Help to Save scheme

Savings can help you and your family prepare and plan for the future. Through the Help to Save scheme you can build savings and receive tax-free bonuses if you are working and claiming Universal Credit, or eligible for Working Tax Credits.

About Help to Save

Through the Help to Save scheme, you can deposit up to £50 a month for up to four years.

After two years you will receive a 50 per cent bonus, based on the highest balance you have saved within that time.

You can continue saving for another two years to receive another 50 per cent bonus on your additional savings.

Over four years, if you save the maximum of £2,400, you can receive bonuses of £1,200.

Your bonus is paid into your bank account, not your Help to Save account.

Withdrawing money

You can withdraw money at any time but this can affect the amount of your bonus.

You can only withdraw money from your Help to Save account to your bank account.

Closing your account

You can close your account at any time. If you close it early you’ll miss your next bonus and you won’t be able to open another Help to Save account.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you live in Northern Ireland and are either:

  • entitled to Working Tax Credit and receiving Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit payments
  • claiming Universal Credit and have a household or individual income of at least £542.88 for your last monthly assessment period (payments from Universal Credit do not count as part of your household income)

If you live overseas and are eligible, you can apply for an account if you are:

  • a Crown servant, their spouse or civil partner
  • a member of the British armed forces, their spouse or civil partner

If you stop claiming benefits

If you stop claiming benefits, you can keep using your Help to Save account.

If you no longer live in the UK

Your Help to Save account will be frozen if you move abroad for: 

  • more than eight weeks – if you received Working Tax Credit when you opened your account
  • more than one month – if you received Universal Credit when you opened your account

You must report absences of this duration to Help to Save. There are penalties if you don't.

There are exceptions if your absence is due to illness, medical treatment, bereavement or certain professions.

How to apply

You will need a Government Gateway account to apply. If you don’t already have one, you can set one up when you apply.

To start using your Help to Save account, you’ll need to provide your UK bank details.

You can open a Help to Save account at the following link:

If you are unable to apply online, you can phone 0300 322 7093.

Sign in to your account

If you already have a Help to Save account, sign in below.

How Help to Save affects your benefits

Saving money through Help to Save can affect your eligibility for certain benefits and how much you get.

Universal Credit

If you or your partner have £6,000 or less in personal savings this will not affect how much Universal Credit you get. This includes any savings in your Help to Save account.

Your Help to Save bonuses will not affect your Universal Credit payments.

Working Tax Credit

Your Working Tax Credits will not be affected.

Housing Benefit

If you or your partner have £6,000 or less in personal savings this will not affect how much Housing Benefit you get. This includes any savings in your Help to Save account.

Your Help to Save bonuses will not affect your Housing Benefit payments.

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