Published On: Mon, Sep 2nd, 2019

Universal Credit: How you could boost savings by £1,200 – are you able to benefit? | Personal Finance | Finance

While stowing away money can seem like a luxury many cannot afford, there are ways in which it’s possible to see one’s savings get a boost. Take, for example, the Help to Save savings account. This is a government-backed scheme, which allows certain people entitled to Working Tax Credit or receiving Universal Credit to receive a bonus of 50 pence for every £1 they save, over the course of four years.

A person can save from £1 to £50 each calendar month.

This works out at £2,400 over four years.

Eligible savers can set aside their savings into this account via debit card, standing order, or bank transfer.

It’s only possible to withdraw money from the Help to Save account, to one’s bank account.

After the end of the second and fourth years, a person may get the savings bonuses.

These are dependent on what has been saved.

For instance, after the first two years, the first bonus will be 50 per cent of the highest balance which has been saved, explains.

After the fourth year, a final bonus for those who have continued to save can be applied.

This bonus will be 50 per cent of the difference between the highest balance saved in the first two years, and the highest balance saved in the last two years.

Over the course of four years, that maximum amount which can be earned from savings in this time is a bonus of £1,200.

This is based on £2,400 being paid into the account within the four years.

The bonus will then be paid into the saver’s bank account, rather than their Help to Save account.

Those who claim Universal Credit may be eligible if their household earned £569.22 or more from paid work in the last monthly assessment period.

Figures published on Friday show that 132,000 people have signed up to the savings account.

However, millions are currently missing out on the opportunity, with around 3.5 million people being able to benefit from the scheme.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said: “Saving shouldn’t be seen as a luxury but as an essential part of planning for the future.

“That’s why I launched the Help to Save scheme last year, and it’s been great to see so many people using it to put money aside for themselves and their loved ones.

“Around 3.5 million people could benefit from the scheme, so if you’re eligible but haven’t yet opened an account, you should take a look.

“Saving comes with a 50 per cent government bonus, and even a small amount could help you to be more prepared for the future.”

READ MORE: When will Universal Credit affect me? Why you may get payment ahead of ‘managed migration’

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