At the moment it’s hard enough to keep up with day-to-day expenses. Saving money for the future can easily come a distant second to them. But did you know that, while nothing in life is free, if you make the right choices your employer and the Government will give your savings a boost of money? 

They’ve made it very simple to collect that money, too. So even if you’re only putting away a little every month, they’ll help build it up. Over the months and years ahead you could find those boosts of money make a difference in the future, thanks to:

  • Workplace pension
  • Personal pension
  • Lifetime ISAs
  • ISAs
  • The Help to Save scheme

So let’s take a look at those five ways of building up your savings with a helping hand:

Workplace pension

There’s no downside to getting help with your pension contributions. That’s what happens when you pay into a workplace pension. It’s one big reason why, in 2021, over 22.6 million UK adults were paying into one. If you are too:

  • Your employer will top up your workplace pension payments with at least 3% of your salary
  • The government will help too – for every payment you make into your pension, the government add a 25% top up

Paying into your pension might also cut down any student loan repayments you might be making, so you could save money there as well.

Personal pension

Not everyone’s on a payroll so not everyone can get a workplace pension. But you can still get a pension boost if you save into a personal pension.

  • The government will add 25% tax relief to any money you put into a personal pension

You can choose when and how you pay into it, stopping and starting your payments as needed. And if you are saving into one, you’re in good company. In 2020/21, 6.8 million UK adults had a personal pension. They all know that just putting a little money into one now can make a difference later on. You can learn more on our pension tax relief and benefits page.

Lifetime ISAs

If you’re aged between 18 and 39, and saving for your first home, a Lifetime ISA or LISA could be right for you. You can put in up to £4,000 a year and get up to £1,000 extra from the government:

  • The government will add a 25% bonus every year to any money you put into a Lifetime ISA (subject to their terms and conditions)

LISAs have only been around since 2017, so fewer people have signed up for them. Back in 2020/21, just over half a million UK adults were saving into one.


Ok, so we’re cheating a bit with ISAs. Nobody just gives you money when you save into them. But you can still end up taking out more than you put in.

  • Cash ISAs pay interest on your savings, so your money will grow over the years
  • Stocks & shares ISAs let you invest your money, with the aim of achieving better growth over interest accounts. They're longer term investments of at least five years.

You can find out more about and compare them in our Cash ISA vs stocks & shares ISA article. 

Remember that for all the investment products we've mentioned, the value of your investment will go down as well as up. It isn’t guaranteed, so you might get back less than you put in. Tax rules may change in the future too, and are subject to your individual circumstances.

Should you invest in an ISA or your pension?

Both are a tax-efficient way to invest your money. And the sooner you start, the more chance it has to grow. But which is a better investment?

Help to Save

If you’re on Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, you might not feel able to save. But even if you can only put away pennies, the Government will add to them through its Help to Save scheme.

  • The government will add 50p for every pound you save for up to four years

You can save between £1 and £50 a month, and you’re free to stop and start whenever you choose.

What’s next?

Hopefully that’s inspired you to get out there and join the millions who are already enjoying a savings boost from their employer, the government or both. Or if you’re already doing that, perhaps it’s set you thinking about other ways to save.

For more information, we’d recommend:

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