Fixed Rate Bonds ‘Effective Tool To Beat Inflation’

Fixed rate bonds continue to dominate the higher end of the savings market.

Although these savings accounts offer guaranteed returns, there is a small gamble involved when using fixed rate bonds, as the general census follow the Bank of England base rate so there is no guarantee that you will continue to benefit from the best rates throughout the full term.

On the other hand, the base rate can also remain low or fall significantly as we saw when the recession emerged. In this case if you were lucky enough to put your savings into a fixed rate bond you could still be earning well above the average.

Some might think that because the base rate is at its lowest level on record, it can only go one way – up. But on closer inspection you will see that it hasn’t moved in over 18 months, and with the inflation rate exceeding 3% for the fifth month now, unless you find an alternative savings engine your savings account rate is unlikely to be strong enough to avoid the effects of erosion.

A basic rate tax payer currently needs to be earning at least 3.88% from their account to stop inflation eroding their savings, while a higher rate tax payer must earn 5.17% – a rate that’s unheard of in today’s market.

Savers hit hardest by the rise in inflation are those that rely on the in interest earned from their savings as a source of income, many of whom are pensioners. The average savings pot held by a basic rate tax payer is in effectively being eroded at an annual rate of 2.51%.

Darren Cook, spokesperson for, said: “Inflation is a stealthy enemy for savers and when rates are low, it quietly erodes the spending power of a hard earned nest egg. Savers may have had a short respite from a marginal fall in inflation, but savings rates have hit a plateau and may be there for a while.

“The average one year fixed bond rate has fallen from 3.07% in January to only 2.54% today and the average five year fixed bond rate has fallen from 4.56% to 4.08% for the same period.

“The average instant access savings rate is still at rock bottom at a rate of only 0.74%. The only trigger for any improvement in savings rates may be a surprise increase in the Base rate by the Bank of England, but this is most likely not to happen soon.

“To just break even, higher rate tax payers need to find an account paying 5.17%, a level that is nigh on impossible to achieve.

“Only 87 out of a possible 1,244 accounts allow a basic rate tax payer to just break even at 3.88%. 51 ISA accounts beat inflation at 3.10%.

“It is difficult for savers to try and beat inflation but at best, they should try and stay within an arms length and try and weather the storm of low rates and high inflation.”

Some economists believe that the base rate will remain at it’s historic low of 0.5% until 2014. If this were the case, then by investing in a 4-5 year fixed rate bond could allow you to earn at rate of 4.75% – around 2% higher than some of the best savings accounts on the current market. ICICI fixed rate bonds offer a range of terms and sit at the top of many comparison tables.

If you’re willing to lock your funds away for a period of 5 years, you could earn 4.75%, with the ICICI fixed rate bond.