Index-linked Savings Certificates are no longer on sale. Find out how to manage your current Certificates if they’re coming up for maturity, or if you need to cash in early.
Important changes to Index-linked Savings Certificates
From 1 May 2019 if you decide to renew an existing Certificate, we will calculate the index-linking using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The CPI is generally lower than the RPI, so this means you will probably receive a lower return.
Because of this change, we are now giving you the right to cancel your investment. So if your Certificate automatically renews for the same term, you’ll be able to cancel it within 30 days of the date your Certificate renews. We’ll then refund the full value of your new Certificate with any interest due.
If you choose to renew your Certificate for a different term, you won’t have the right to cancel. Instead, you can cash it in at any time but the usual penalty will apply (see the summary box for more info).
We’ll write to you around a month before your Certificate matures explaining the options available to you.
You’ll need to decide if you want to:
automatically renew your Certificate for another term of the same length
renew it for a term of a different length (only 3-year and 5-year terms available)
cash it in
If you choose to renew a Certificate that reaches the end of its term, it will renew under the new customer agreement (terms and conditions). This means that we will calculate the index-linking of your renewed Certificate using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
Remember that the interest rate for renewing your investment could be higher or lower than the rate for your current term.
See the summary box for the renewal rates on offer:
Index-linked Savings Certificates are designed to be held for the whole of your chosen investment term. You can cash in at the end of a term with no penalty or loss of interest.
If you cash in early we will deduct a penalty from your payment, equivalent to 90 days’ interest on the amount cashed in. And you’ll lose the index-linking on your whole Certificate for that investment year.
Bear in mind that if you cash in all of your Certificate within 90 days of renewing, you will get back less than your renewal value.
When you cash in part of a Certificate, at least £100 must remain in the Certificate to keep it open.
How to cash in
If you’re registered to manage your savings online, you can log in at any time to cash in your Certficates.
In 2013, as a result of flaws in the way it is measured, RPI lost its status as a National Statistic. The 2015 Johnson Review of Consumer Price Statistics recommended that government and regulators should work towards ending the use of RPI as soon as practicable. Starting in 2010, successive governments have reduced their use of RPI. The indexation of direct taxes, benefits, public sector pensions, the State Pension and business rates have all moved from RPI to CPI.
The change also helps us to balance the interests of our savers and the cost to taxpayers.
Here is an illustration of what you could expect to receive from a £1,000 investment based on the current RPI index, and what the return could be based on CPI.
RPI (using January 2019 rate of 2.5%)
CPI (using January 2019 rate of 1.8%)
2-year Index-linked Savings Certificate
£1,050.83 Index-linking + 0.01%
£1,036.53 Index-linking + 0.01%
3-year Index-linked Savings Certificate
£1,077.21 Index-linking + 0.01%
£1,055.29 Index-linking + 0.01%
5-year Index-linked Savings Certificate
£1,131.97 Index-linking + 0.01%
£1,093.85 Index-linking + 0.01%
These are illustrations only, so they don’t take into account your individual circumstances. They assume that you don’t make any withdrawals during the term.
The rates of inflation can go up or down so the illustrations are not a guarantee of the return you will receive. The actual return you receive will depend on the levels of the relevant index that apply at the start and end of each investment year.
No, it won’t affect any existing Certificates you have until the end of the investment term. However, if you decide to renew any Certificates that mature, your index-linking will then be calculated using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), not the Retail Prices Index (RPI). The CPI is generally lower than the RPI, so this means you will probably receive a lower return. You will continue to receive 0.01% interest in addition to the index-linking.
Both the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure inflation. Each aims to measure the changes in the cost of buying a 'basket' of products and services, but they cover different items and there are differences in the formulas used.
To find out more about CPI and RPI, visit the Office for National Statistics website at ons.gov.uk and search for CPI All Items Index or RPI All Items Index.
Index-linked Savings Certificates are still a popular investment with a unique combination of index-linking plus a small amount of additional interest – all tax-free.
Yes, we are changing the return on older Certificates that are on index-linked extension terms (Issues 1 to 9). From each of these Certificate’s next anniversary that falls on or after 1 May 2019, we will calculate the index-linking using the Consumer Prices Index instead of the Retail Prices Index.