Alternatives to saving

Alternatives to saving

The interest rate on savings accounts is at an all-time low. The majority of banks only pay the legally required minimum interest rate of a 0.01% base rate and a 0.10% fidelity bonus over savings accounts. How can you gain higher returns on your savings? We list three alternatives, together with the advantages and disadvantage.

1. Tax-advantaged saving

What is tax-advantaged saving?

Tax-advantaged saving means that you keep your savings in a product that provides you with tax advantages. The tax authorities allow you to benefit from a tax reduction. Of course, tax reductions are only appealing if you have to pay personal income tax.

There are two types of tax-advantaged saving

  1. Pension saving, either on a pension savings account or with a pension savings insurance policy
  2. Long-term saving with branch 21 savings insurances

Advantages of tax-advantaged saving

  • You get an annual tax reduction
  • Both pension saving and long-term saving can be done on tax-advantaged savings accounts

Disadvantages of tax-advantaged saving

You save in the long term so you will not have access to your money for a longer period of time.

2. Investment plan

What is an investment plan?

With an investment plan, you choose how much (at least 25 euros) and how often you want to invest. You choose which investment funds you invest in (a maximum of five different funds).2 3

Advantages of an investment plan

  • Investment plans are a suitable alternative to monthly saving and you can invest both smaller and larger amounts
  • The investment plan is ideal if you want to start investing: you don't need to have any previous investment experience
  • You invest over time, which reduces the risk of investing
  • You can modify or cancel your investment plan whenever you want

Disadvantages of an investment plan

Although you can request the funds in an investment plan on a daily basis, remember that it's best leave your money where it is for a longer period of time. Investment happens over a longer period of time.

3. Time deposit account

What is a time deposit account?

With a time deposit account, you need to leave your money on the account for a fixed time period.

Advantages of a time deposit account

  • You receive a higher rate of interest than on an ordinary savings account
  • For a number of term investments, capital of up to 100,000 euros (per person and per bank) that you have invested is also protected by the deposit guarantee scheme, subject to certain conditions
  • A time deposit account is free of charge

Disadvantages of a time deposit account

  • Your money is not immediately accessible: you can only access your money on the final due date of your time deposit account
  • You need to invest a specific minimum amount, varying from a few hundred euros to 10,000 euros

1 Future tax treatment can change and depends on your individual circumstances. Your intermediary will be glad to give you personalised advice in this respect. 
2 The term investment fund refers to a sub-fund of a sicav or an open-ended investment company under Belgian or Luxembourg law, or a mutual fund. 
3 You can choose from more than 100 investment funds. Only open-ended capitalisation funds may be used in an investment plan.

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