Good news for Premium Bonds savers as lower minimum investment and gifting facility to be introduced
As confirmed in today’s Autumn Budget (29 October 2018), NS&I has announced several future enhancements to Premium Bonds, which will encourage a stronger savings habit and boost the opportunity for young people to save:
- The minimum investment for Premium Bonds will be reduced from £100 to £25
- People other than parents and grandparents will be able to purchase Premium Bonds for children under 16
- NS&I to launch new app to make saving easier.
Premium Bonds minimum investment lowered to £25
The minimum investment for Premium Bonds will be reduced from £100 to £25. This change will come into effect by the end of March 2019. This is the lowest the minimum purchase has been for all customers since 1993. Customers will also be able to set up standing orders to purchase a minimum of £25 to save on a regular basis (the current minimum is £50). The maximum investment limit will remain at £50,000 for each Bond holder.
The changes will give customers more opportunity to save and encourage a regular savings habit, especially for younger savers.
Premium Bonds give savers the chance every month to win tax-free prizes ranging from £25 to £1 million. Every £1 Bond number has a separate and equal chance each month of winning a prize of any value and the odds are currently 24,500 to 1. Earlier this month, a customer’s £25 Bond (from a previous prize reinvestment) scooped the £1 million jackpot. There have been four winners in total winning the top prize from a £25 Bond (again, from a previous prize reinvestment).
Buying Premium Bonds for children under 16
In August 2018, NS&I changed the way that grandparents can invest for their grandchildren by allowing them to purchase Premium Bonds to be given as gifts, online at nsandi.com/gift. Grandparents can choose to be sent a gift card that they can then give to the grandchildren following their purchase.
NS&I has also announced that purchasing Premium Bonds for children will be made even more accessible. Adults other than grandparents or parents, such as aunts, uncles, godparents and family friends can invest on behalf of under 16s – helping to support younger people to save. The purchaser of the Bonds will need to be 16 or over and nominate one of the child’s parents or guardians to look after the Bonds until the child turns 16. The date of this change will be announced in due course.
Since the £1 million jackpot prize was introduced in 1994, there have been ten winners of the top prize who were under 16 at the time of winning.
Managing Premium Bonds online
Following on from the success of NS&I’s Premium Bonds prize checker app, NS&I will be launching a new app to make saving easier for our customers. The launch date of the new app will be announced in the New Year.
The current prize checker app, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, has been available to customers since 2011.
Customers can register to manage their Premium Bonds by phone and online at nsandi.com, and can also opt to have their prizes paid directly into their bank account. More than two million customers have now chosen to have their prizes paid in this way and this ensures that customers receive the benefits of their tax-free prize more quickly. Alternatively, customers can decide to have their prizes automatically reinvested, up to the maximum investment of £50,000. This is one way of giving customers more chances to win a tax-free prize in future draws.
Ian Ackerley, NS&I Chief Executive, said: “Premium Bonds have helped tens of millions of people to save since their launch in 1956 and these new improvements will make Premium Bonds more accessible. Our customers are increasingly dealing with NS&I online, and the development of the app will give customers the option to help them manage their money with us in a way that suits them.
“Customer feedback is always an important part of our decision-making, and we found that the current £100 minimum purchase was too much and recognised that people other than parents or grandparents wanted to gift Premium Bonds to children.
“By lowering the minimum investment and making gifting for children accessible to all adults, we are extending the opportunity for more people to save and trying to encourage a savings habit, especially among younger people. This supports a strong savings culture for families in a product that has spanned the generations, and for those who want to save little and often.”
Children’s holdings of Premium Bonds: Key facts
|Number of children holding Premium Bonds||Over 770,000|
|Children holding PB by value||£1.1 billion|
|Number of prizes won by children over the last year||Over 495,000 prizes worth over £13.7 million|
|Number of child jackpot winners (under 16 at the time of the win), since the £1 million jackpot was introduced in 1994||Ten|
|Number of grandparents that have purchased online for children since gifting online went live in August 2018