National Savings & Investments (NS&I)
National Savings and Investments (NS&I) offer a wide range of savings and investment products that are backed by HM Treasury. Some are not always available, or are limited offers – keep an eye out for good deals.
- What is NS&I?
- How they work
- Risk and return
- Access to your money
- Chancellor announces plans for NS&I in 2014 Budget
- 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 change products often, and at any given time you might find the following.
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.
- Direct Saver – a savings account
- Direct ISA (a Cash ISA)
- Fixed Interest or Index-Linked Savings Certificates
- Guaranteed Growth Bonds and Guaranteed Income Bonds
- Guaranteed Equity Bonds
- Income Bonds
- Children’s Bonds – a tax-free saving product for children under 21
- Premium Bonds
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.
Chancellor announces plans for NS&I in 2014 Budget
The government recently announced plans for National Savings and Investments (NS&I) to help support savers by:
- launching a choice of market leading savings bonds for people aged over 65 in January 2015
- increasing the Premium Bonds investment limit from £30,000 to £40,000 on 1 June 2014; and increasing it again to £50,000 during 2015-16
- increasing the number of £1 million Premium Bonds prizes per month to two, starting with the August 2014 prize draw
Safe and secure?
Your savings or investments is secure and backed by HM Treasury, however much you save or invest subject to early any 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. These include Premium Bonds, Fixed Interest and Index-Linked Savings Certificates, Children’s Bond and cash ISAs. 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.