The Pensioner Bonds have fallen slightly off the radar in the last few weeks, arguably because the fact that the deadline had been extended to mid-May – regardless of the level of investment – meant that the urgency to apply had lessened. Well, the urgency is back, because the deadline is just over a week away!
The bonds were first launched in January under the assumption that they'd be closed to savers once the investment limit of £10bn had been reached. However, less than a month later, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the bonds would remain on sale until May, and it's expected that around £15bn could be sold within this time.
So, did you remember that the deadline was nigh? It's crept up on us too, but as of next Friday (15 May), the Pensioner Bonds will be closed to new savers. This means that if you don't get your application in quickly you could be too late, and with such impressive rates on offer, it would be a shame to miss out.
Applying online at www.nsandi.com has always been the quickest and most convenient method, allowing you to get an instant response so you know your bonds are set up and ready to earn you interest. Applying by phone is another option, and with either of these two methods, you'll be able to apply right up until the deadline.
It's still possible to apply by post, but you'll need to be even more cautious about the deadline – all applications sent by post MUST be received by next Friday, regardless of the date you filled out the forms, otherwise they won't be processed. You'll need to allow yourself plenty of time to send off the application to ensure it arrives by the cut-off point, and remember that postal issues can't always be planned for.
As for why you'd want to apply? Well, it's all down to the market-leading rates! Paying 2.8% for a one-year bond and 4% for the three-year version, these bonds shot straight to the top of the Moneyfacts charts on their launch day and have remained there ever since, with nothing else on the market coming close. It's for this reason that all eligible savers may seriously want to consider taking out one of these bonds (or even one of each term), and there could well be a last-minute rush as a result.
"We may be looking at a second stampede for those who have yet to take out the Pensioner Bonds as the closure deadline is only one week away," said Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts. "These bonds have the best rates on the market, so even the current standard best buy rates are poor in comparison – even when taking tax-free savings into account.
"Although ISAs provide shelter from tax, the majority of the top three-year deals pay just 2%, while the three-year Pensioner Bond pays a rate of 3.2% even after basic rate tax has been deducted. It's clear to see why these bonds have been so popular on rate alone."
So, don't delay! Given the potential returns on offer, make sure you apply for one of these accounts in good time so you can be confident you won't miss out.
Find out more about the Pensioner Bonds by reading our FAQs
Don't qualify? Compare alternative savings accounts
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.