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Thousands open Help to Save scheme offering up to £1,200 cash bonus

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
In the two months since its launch, more than 70,000 people have signed up to the government savings scheme aimed at low earners, exclusive figures for reveal.

The Help to Save scheme, which launched on 12 September, lets low earners put away up to £50 every calendar month. Every £1 saved attracts a 50p bonus from the government.

To date, over £6m has been saved into the scheme, with the average amount per month standing at £35, the figures show.

According to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the majority of accounts have been opened online.

Help to Save

Under the scheme, you can save between £1 and £50 every calendar month and the amount will receive a 50% tax-free government bonus after two years, worth up to £600.

If you continue saving, you’ll receive another 50% tax-free bonus after four years – another £600.

So after four years, you could build a savings pot worth £3,600, split between £2,400 from your own contributions and a £1,200 bonus from the government.

The scheme is aimed at low-earners – the 3.5 million people in receipt of benefits, including:

  • People entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit payments.
  • People claiming Universal Credit and with a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for the last assessment period. Universal Credit isn’t considered part of household income.
  • People living overseas if they are a Crown servant, or their spouse or civil partner
  • Members of the British armed forces, or their spouse or civil partner.

Withdrawals can be made from the account, though this will affect the size of your bonus. Savers don’t need to pay in every month to get the bonus. You can set up a standing order to make regular payments or you can make one-off payments by debit card.

The Help to Save account can be opened online or over the phone on 0300 322 7093 and the scheme is available to open until September 2023.

As Help to Save is backed by the government, all savings in the scheme are secure.

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