An unbeatable rate of 6% net of taxes, a payment ceiling increased to 10,000 euros at the end of the week: the LEP has never been so attractive. However, 9 million of you pass by this extraordinary product. Here’s what you need to know to check that you are eligible and if so, where and how to open a LEP.
Do the math. Nearly 10 million French people currently hold a Popular Savings Account (LEP). However, according to figures provided this summer by the Bank of France, 19 million are eligible. Clear, you are close to 9 million passing by this booklet exceptional savings, showing a return of 6% net.
It’s better: from next Sunday, October 1, the LEP will become even more attractive. Its payment ceiling, currently blocked at 7,700 euros, will increase to 10,000 euros. 10,000 euros 6%: a LEP at the ceiling can now bring in 50 euros interest per month.
LEP: 100 euros of interest per month thanks to the increase in the ceiling
The characteristics of LEP
- Net tax rate since August 1: 60%
- Minimum amount to pay opening: 30 euros
- Minimum payment amount: 10 euros
- Payment ceiling: 10,000 euros (from October 1, 2023)
- Withdrawals are free, provided you maintain a positive account balance.
- Eligible people can only hold one LEP, and two maximum per tax household.
Who can open a LEP?
Want to take advantage of the bargain? The first step is to verify that you are eligible. Unlike Livret A, the LEP is not a universal product. Its opening is reserved for adult taxpayers domiciled in France for tax purposesin clear terms to individuals who declare income in France.
This constraint de facto excludes people under the age of 18but also young adults who choose to stay attached to their parents’ tax household. Indeed, a maximum of two LEPs can be opened within the same tax householdfor the benefit of the taxpayer and his or her spouse or partner bound by a PACS (civil solidarity pact).
Another important limitation: not all tax households have access to the LEP. To be eligible, they must be below certain income ceilings.
What are the income limits?
Do you want to know if you have the right to open a LEP? To find out the answer, you must refer to the tax notice received during the summer of 2023. It contains the 2022 reference tax income (RFR) of your tax household. It is this figure that the banks will look at before opening a LEP for you. To be eligible, your RFR must be equal to or lower, depending on the composition of your household, than the figures compiled in this table:
|Reference tax income ceiling for holding a LEP in 2023|
|Family quotient shares||Metropolitan France||Martinique, Guadeloupe, La Runion||Guyana||Mayotte|
|Increase for the first additional half-share||+5714||+6047||+7285||+10914|
|Increase for subsequent additional half-shares||+5714||+5714||+8558|
|Or for 2 tax shares (husband or civil partnership, single person with one child, single person with 2 children)||32821||37077||39465||59137|
How is the opening going?
Before agreeing to open a LEP for you, the bank has an obligation to ensure that you are eligible. To do this, it checks your last reference tax income. Currently these are your RFR 2021 and 2022, those which appear on your 2022 and 2023 tax notice, which are authentic. This administrative constraint explains why opening a LEP is generally more complicated and time-consuming than opening a Livret A or LDDS and requires going to an agency.
To facilitate the opening and management of the LEP, banks now have the possibility of check your eligibility with the tax authorities. Most major banks have implemented this automatic control. Not all of them, however, use it fully as part of an opening. It is therefore still possible that you will be asked to provide the paper or pdf version of your latest tax notices.
In which bank to open a LEP?
Do you want to open a LEP? If you are eligible and a customer of a traditional bank, all you need to do is introduce yourself to one of its agencies to get it. All major local banking networks offer the product.
If, on the other hand, you are a customer of an online bank or a nobank, the part will be more complicated. The LEP is, in fact, absent from the catalog of all, except one: Hello Bank!
Savings accounts: products distributed according to banks
Why does LEP make so much money?
6%, i.e. duplicate of Livret A and LDDS (3%) and almost 4 times the current average yield on bank deposits (1.72%) (1): no secure, available and free savings product can currently compete with the rate of the Popular Savings Booklet (LEP). It is even the only one, in this category of investment, to provide savers with protection against the effects of inflation (+4.8%, excluding tobacco, in August 2023).
It is not a coincidence. Since 2021 and the latest reform to calculate the remuneration of regulated savings products, the LEP rate is designed to align, at least, with the consumer price index. (2). The Livret has thus regained the role, formerly carried by the Livret A, of protection against inflation.
On the other hand, unlike Livret A, its rate has not been frozen until January 2025. It is therefore likely to evolve from next February 1, and probably not in the right direction.
Bad news for holders of a popular savings account
(1) Source: Banque de France, remuneration rate for bank deposits, July 2023. (2) More precisely on the average, in the previous half-year, of the consumer price index excluding tobacco year-on-year.