Get in quick before NS&I's top savings rate disappears

14 October 2014

In just a few weeks' time, savers age 65 and over will have a chance to fix their money over one and three years at top rates.

The new Pensioner Bond from National Savings & Investments (NS&I) will go on sale in January. But they are not expected to be on sale long as interest-starved savers snap them up.

The Pensioner Bond is expected to pay nearly double rates currently on offer from banks and building societies. The exact rates will be announced in the Autumn Statement on 3 December. Chancellor George Osborne has promised the new one and three year bonds from NS&I will pay 'market-leading rates'.

In the Budget last spring he said: 'The exact rates will be set in the autumn, to ensure the best possible offer - but our assumption is 2.8% for a one-year bond and 4% on a three-year bond.'

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That works out at 2.24% and 3.2% after tax - nearly double what's current on offer from big banks and building societies.

The top one-year rate is 1.85% before tax - or 1.48% after 20% tax from BM Savings, part of Halifax.

But NS&I has limited itself to taking only £10 billion into the accounts. The maximum investment per bond is £10,000; that works out at around one million accounts, so you will have to act fast once they come on sale.

They look particularly good deals against the outlook for interest rates. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, stresses rate hikes will be 'gradual and limited'.

The Bank expects base rate to rise in line with market expectations - to 0.75% from its current 0.5% next spring. They are pencilled in to reach around 2.25% in three years' time and 2.5% after five years.

Star buys

Post Office Premier Cash Isa: 1.55% tax-free including a 0.8 percentage point bonus for 18 months. Transfers accepted.

Virgin Money Easy Access Saver: 1.3% before tax (1.04% after tax), with no bonus or withdrawal restrictions.

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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