- What is NS&I?
- How they work
- Risk and return
- Access to your money
- Safe and secure?
- Where to get NS&I products
- If things go wrong
- Next steps
What is NS&I?
NS&I is an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that offers saving and investment products to the public.
NS&I is a government agency that offers saving and investment products to the public.
NS&I changes its products often, and at any given time you might find the following:
- Income Bonds
- Premium Bonds
- Direct ISA (a Cash ISA)
- Guaranteed Equity Bonds
- Direct Saver – a savings account
- Fixed Interest or Index-Linked Savings Certificates.
- Guaranteed Growth Bonds and Guaranteed Income Bonds
- Junior ISAs (Children’s Bonds are no longer available, but if you already have them you have options. Find out more on our Children’s Bonds page).
How they work
- When saving or investing with NS&I, you’re lending to the government and your money is totally secure.
- Different NS&I products may pay interest, stock market or inflation-linked returns (income) or, in the case of Premium Bonds, tax-free prizes.
- Some NS&I products may impose early encashment penalties for some investment products, meaning you may get less back than your original investment.
Risk and return
You can be sure that you’ll get all your money back except where a penalty has been imposed for early encashment for some investment products.
As with any cash or investment-based product, if inflation is high your money might not hold its value in real terms - in other words its ‘buying power’ will be eroded by inflation.
Returns vary depending on the product you choose – for more information, check the NS&I website.
Access to your money
Varies from instant access for some savings accounts to several years for bonds and savings certificates.
Bonds and certificates can usually be cashed in early but there will usually be financial penalties for doing this.
Check the facts before you commit.
Safe and secure?
Your savings or investments are secure and backed by HM Treasury however much you save or invest, subject to any early encashment penalties on some investment products.
Where to get NS&I products
You can buy NS&I products directly from the NS&I website or over the phone.
Some NS&I products pay returns that are free from income and capital gains tax.
- cash ISAs
- premium Bonds
- fixed Interest and Index-Linked Savings Certificates
- junior ISAs (Children’s Bonds are no longer available, but if you already have them you have options. Find out more on our Children’s Bonds page).
Guaranteed Income Bonds and Guaranteed Growth Bonds pay returns with basic rate income tax deducted at source (at, currently, 20%), although non-taxpayers can reclaim this tax.
For other products, returns are taxable but paid ‘gross’ (without tax taken off).
If you’re a UK taxpayer, you have a duty to declare the income to HM Revenue & Customs and pay any tax you owe.
You should know that tax may change in the future.
If things go wrong
NS&I voluntarily works within the spirit of the Financial Conduct Authority guidelines.
If you’re unhappy with the service you get or you want to make a complaint, read Sort out a money problem or make a complaint.
Not for you?
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.