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Over 50 not over the hill

Save for a bright future with our affordable Stocks and Shares ISA

Open My Smarter (ISA)

Why choose SunLife for a Stocks and Shares ISA?

More affordable

from just £10 a month

Money back guarantee

built-in on set dates

Boost your saving

choose automatic annual payment increases

Free gift

choose a £60 wine voucher or a £25 gift card

What is My Smarter (ISA)?

  • My Smarter (ISA) is a Stocks and Shares ISA that’s available to UK residents aged 18 and over
  • Invest as little as £10 a month or a lump sum of £100 or more
  • Grow your investment faster by automatically increasing your payments each year using our Savings Escalator
  • Make the most of your investment by investing for at least five years (or ideally ten or more)
  • Get back at least what you put in on your 10th anniversary and every five years after that (as long as you haven’t made any withdrawals)
  • Stop, start or change your payments at any time without paying a penalty
  • Invest up to £20,000 in My Smarter (ISA) in the 2017/18 tax year (minus any amount you have already saved in a Cash ISA, Innovative Finance ISA or Lifetime ISA)
  • A 1.5% charge will be deducted from the value of your ISA each year. These charges may vary in the future. For more information see Scottish Friendly's Key Features document.
  • You won’t pay income or capital gains tax on your returns (other than tax on dividends from UK shares). Exactly how tax affects you depends on your individual circumstances and tax law could change in the future
  • My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly. Your money is invested in their With-Profits fund

The value of your ISA can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you pay in. And bear in mind that inflation will reduce what you can buy in the future.

My Smarter (ISA) explained

Video transcript
Helping you save more

With The My Smarter ISA, your money is invested in Scottish Friendly’s ‘With-Profits’ fund. This fund is carefully managed and aims to provide steady growth. It does this by spreading your money across a range of different investments - like shares, property, bonds & cash deposits – making sure all your eggs aren't in one basket.

With an ISA, the more you invest, the more it could grow! So to make life easier, this ISA lets you increase your monthly payments automatically by up to 10% each year. But of course the ISA is flexible, so if you want to change this, you can. Here’s how it could work:

Starting at £30 a month, and increasing your payments by 10% each year for 10 years. You would have invested a total of £5737. That’s compared to £3600 invested over the 10 years if you decided not to increase your payments. And of course that’s before any potential growth on either of these amounts! Although this ISA aims to pay back more than you put in, as with any investment, there’s an element of risk so it could pay back less.

But this ISA has a special guarantee.

If you want, provided you haven’t made any withdrawals, on the 10th anniversary of starting your ISA, you can take out at least 100% of the money you invested, which you don’t get with most other ISAs!

Stocks & Shares ISAs. Just another thing we’ve made straightfordable.

As this is a Stocks and Shares ISA you could get back less than you invest.

Inflation will reduce what you can buy in the future.

Watch our short video which explains how our Stocks and Shares ISA works.

Where your money is invested

Your money is invested in Scottish Friendly's cautiously managed With-Profits fund, which invests in a mix of shares, property, cash and bonds.

How the With-Profits fund works

A chart to show how the With-Profits fund spreads it's investments.

The chart above shows how the With-Profits fund spread its investments on 31/12/2015

The fund aims to smooth some of the short term highs and lows of these investments over time, so you see a steadier return year on year.

Scottish Friendly aim to increase the value of your ISA, based on the performance of the investment within the fund.

They also aim to ensure your total return reflects how the With-Profits fund has performed during the entire time you were invested in it. 

  • If the With-Profits fund has performed well, Scottish Friendly could add an additional Final Bonus when you take your money out.
  • If the With-Profits fund has not performed well, Scottish Friendly could apply a Market Value Reduction (MVR), which will reduce the value of your ISA when you take your money out and can mean you could get back less than you have paid in.
  • If you choose to cash in your ISA, on the 10 year anniversary of your start date and every 5 year anniversary after that, you're guaranteed to get back at least all the money you've paid in, as long as you haven't already made any withdrawls.
  • You can check the value of your ISA at any time on My Plans including the current Final Bonus or MVR that would be applied if you make a withdrawl, and the dates on which the safety net will apply.

We'll help you save more

Unlike most other ISAs this one features something called a 'Savings Escalator'.

The Savings Escalator lets you increase your monthly payments automatically each year so the amount you put away gets bigger, quicker. You can choose to increase your payments by 10%, 5% or 2.5% each year. Our example is based on a monthly payment of £30 that increases by 10% every year.

See how your ISA could grow

Our growth calculator is a handy tool that uses three assumed investment scenarios to show how much you might get back on your investment in the future.

Try our growth calculator

Frequently asked questions

What is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

An ISA is an Individual Savings Account that allows you to put money aside tax-efficiently for the future.

You don't pay any income or capital gains tax on your returns (other than tax on dividends from UK shares). How tax affects you depends on your individual circumstances, and tax law could change in the future.

A Stocks and Shares ISA invests your money in a wide range of areas including shares, property, bonds and cash. These all have greater long-term growth potential than a cash savings account, for example.

Unlike a cash savings account, the value of your Stocks and Shares ISA can go down as well as up, so you could end up with less than you paid in.

Who can open a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Anyone aged 18 or over and a UK resident for tax purposes, can apply for a Stocks and Shares ISA, such as My Smarter (ISA).

In each tax year, you can open one Stocks & Shares ISA, one Cash ISA, one Innovative Finance ISA and one Lifetime ISA, up to the combined current maximum limit of £20,000.

How much can I invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

How much can I invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA?

In the 2017/18 tax year, you can invest up to £20,000 in a Stocks and Shares ISA, minus any amount you save in a Cash ISA, Innovative Finance ISA or Lifetime ISA.

The minimum you can invest in My Smarter (ISA) is £10 a month or a lump sum of £100 or more.

You can also pay in extra lump sum amounts of at least £100 whenever you like.

All money must be paid in by Direct Debit.

Why is a Stocks and Shares ISA tax-efficient?

You don't pay any income or capital gains tax on your returns (other than tax on dividends from UK shares).

How tax affects you depends on your individual circumstances, and tax law could change in the future.

Can I transfer money from another ISA provider?

Yes you can transfer money you hold in other Cash ISAs, Stocks and Shares ISAs, Innovative Finance ISAs or Lifetime ISA to Scottish Friendly.

However, you can't transfer this money into your My Smarter Policy, but you can transfer it into a Scottish Friendly My Choice Policy. This will still form part of your overall Scottish Friendly ISA.

For information on how to transfer your ISA to Scottish Friendly please contact them on 0333 323 5433.

How long should I invest for?

To give your money the best chance to grow, you should consider this as a medium to long-term investment of at least five years (and ideally ten years or more).

However, you can make a withdrawal at any time if you need to.

I'm not sure a Stocks and Shares ISA is right for me, what should I do?

You need to be satisfied this type of product meets your needs. If you are unsure and need advice, please visit unbiased.co.uk to find an independent financial adviser in your area – you may have to pay for the financial advice provided.

Who is Scottish Friendly?

Scottish Friendly is the provider of My Smarter (ISA). They have over 150 years' experience in savings and investments. Scottish Friendly looks after assets worth £2.6 billion (as at 31 December 2015) and has over 415,000 members. By taking out My Smarter (ISA) you'll get access to their expertise.

Why has SunLife teamed up with Scottish Friendly?

SunLife is committed to making straightforward and affordable financial products available to everyone. To do this well, we work closely with other financial companies who we consider to be experts in a specific field.

What is the My Plans Online Service?

My Plans is an online service provided by Scottish Friendly. It allows you to manage and keep track of your investment online – whenever you want.

With My Plans, you can check the value of your My Smarter (ISA), change your payments and (if you wish) automatically increase your payments each year. You can also use it to update your personal details such as address or email.

You can register for My Plans when you open your My Smarter (ISA).

What might I get back from My Smarter (ISA)?

Scottish Friendly aim to increase the value of your ISA daily based on the performance of the investments within the With-Profits fund.

Then when you take money out they aim to add on an additional final bonus, so that what you get back reflects how the With-Profits fund has performed during the time you were invested in it.

However, if the fund hasn't performed well, Scottish Friendly may need to apply a Market Value Reduction (MVR) instead of a final bonus.

Is there anything you don’t cover?

Scottish Friendly aim to increase the value of your ISA each day, based on the performance of the investments within the With-Profits fund.

Then, when you take money out, they aim to add on an additional final bonus – so that what you get back reflects how the With-Profits fund has performed during the time you were invested in it. However, if the fund hasn't performed well, Scottish Friendly may need to apply a Market Value Reduction (MVR) instead of a final bonus.

What is a Final Bonus?

A Final Bonus is an amount which Scottish Friendly adds to the value of your ISA when you take money out. This is so that what you get back reflects how the With-Profits fund has performed during the time you were invested in it. A Final Bonus is not guaranteed.

What is an MVR or Market Value Reduction?

An MVR reduces the value of your ISA. This means you might get back less than you've put in (outside Scottish Friendly's guarantee dates on the tenth anniversary of your policy and every five year anniversary after that). On these dates Scottish Friendly guarantees that an MVR will not be applied – so you’re guaranteed to get back at least what you have paid in (as long as you haven't already made any withdrawals) if you take out your money on these dates.

Please see the Scottish Friendly Key Features document for more details.

What is the money-back guarantee?

Unlike most other Stocks and Shares ISAs, My Smarter (ISA) has a built-in money-back guarantee. That means on the 10th anniversary of your policy's start date and every five years after that, the money you've paid in so far will be protected from loss. And don't worry about forgetting – you'll receive a reminder when an eligible anniversary is approaching.

On these specific dates only, Scottish Friendly guarantees that no Market Value Reduction (MVR) will be applied. So (as long as you haven't made any withdrawals outside of these dates) you can get back at least what you've paid in.

If you have taken money out of your Stocks and Shares ISA at any other time, Scottish Friendly still guarantee that no Market Value Reduction (MVR) will be applied to the value of your ISA on the dates specified. But, because you have already taken money out, you can no longer be guaranteed to get back at least what you have paid in.

What happens if I cash in My Smarter (ISA)?

If you cash in your ISA, the amount you get back will depend on the following factors:

  • The performance of the Scottish Friendly With-Profits fund
  • Any Final Bonus added or Market Value Reduction (MVR) applied
  • The actual charges applied
  • The tax treatment of the investment, which may change over time.

If you register for My Plans, you will be able to check the value of your My Smarter (ISA) and make withdrawals online, straight into your bank account whenever you want.

What happens if I die?

The death benefit under your My Smarter policy within a Scottish Friendly ISA will be paid to your estate. The amount payable on death is 101% of the value of units held within all the life policies held within your ISA plus the value of any final bonus. The tax advantages end from the day you die. The tax advantages of a Scottish Friendly ISA can be transferred to your spouse or civil partner. This allowance is the value of a Scottish Friendly ISA at the date of your death, and is in addition to your spouse or civil partner's own ISA allowance. Please see Scottish Friendly's Key Features document for more information.

What happens if I cancel My Smarter (ISA) or change my mind?

You will have 30 days from the date on your welcome pack to cancel. The details of how to do this will be in your welcome pack.

If you decide to cancel, you will get back the value of your ISA on the day of cancellation, which could be more or less than the amount you've paid in.

This is because your payment will have been invested in the With-Profits fund. So the money you will get back will reflect how the investments have performed. The money will be returned to the bank account from which it was taken. The money will not be treated as having being paid into an ISA, so your annual ISA allowance will not be affected.

After 30 days you will no longer have the right to cancel your policy. To get access to your money after this time you will have to cash it in.

How can I keep track of my investment?

You can register for Scottish Friendly's My Plans online service when you open your My Smarter (ISA). It allows you to manage and keep track of your My Smarter (ISA) online – whenever you want.

Where is my money invested?

The money you pay into your My Smarter (ISA) is invested in Scottish Friendly's cautiously managed With-Profits fund, where it is spread across a range of different investments (including shares, property, bonds and cash) with the aim of reducing the overall risk to your money. This is because if the growth from any one investment is poor, you may be protected from the full impact if the others are performing better. In other words, it makes sure all your eggs aren't in one basket.

Why is My Smarter (ISA) sometimes referred to as a 'policy'?

Your money is invested in an individual investment policy, and this policy is held within a My Smarter (ISA).

You can have more than one policy within a My Smarter (ISA) provided you remain within your annual ISA allowance. For example, if you wanted to invest in separate sums of money for different events in the future or for different family members. Think of each policy as a separate 'pot' of money.

Once you have opened your My Smarter (ISA), you can call Scottish Friendly on 0333 323 5433 to set up additional policies.

Are there any charges?

Yes. The charges help Scottish Friendly to manage the With-Profits fund. These are currently 1.5% deducted from the value of your ISA each year. These charges may vary in the future.

For more information about charges, please see Scottish Friendly's Key Features document.

How do I invest in My Smarter (ISA)?

You can open My Smarter (ISA) with a monthly payment of £10 or more, or with a lump sum payment of £100 or more. Both must be paid by Direct Debit.

Can I top up my Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes, you can increase your monthly payments or pay in extra lump sum amounts of at least £100 whenever you like.

Can I pay a lump sum in to my Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes you can pay in a lump sum of £100 or more.

You can open a My Smarter (ISA) with a lump sum, add lump sums into an existing policy and start a new policy with a lump sum, as long as you stay within the annual ISA allowance.

How does the Savings Escalator work?

You can choose to automatically increase your monthly payments by 2.5%, 5% or 10% each year.

For example, if you choose to pay £30 a month and increase your payments annually by 10%, then you would pay £30 a month for the first year, £33 a month in the second year, £36.30 a month for the third year, and so on.

You can choose to start, stop or change the rate of annual increase at any time. The new rate of annual increase will apply twelve months from the date you request the change.

Is my money protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

If you open My Smarter (ISA) and Scottish Friendly cannot pay the full amount due, you may be entitled to compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is classed as an insurance product so you can claim up to 100% compensation against a firm declared in default.

You can get further information from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme at:

Financial Services Compensation Scheme,
PO Box 300,
Mitcheldean,
GL17 1DY
Tel: 0800 678 1100
fscs.org.uk

Important information

This website explains how My Smarter (ISA) works. It doesn't give advice on whether My Smarter (ISA) is right for you. Therefore it's very important that you read and understand the Key Features and Terms & Conditions of My Smarter (ISA), the 'How Scottish Friendly invests your money' guide and the SunLife Key Facts about our services.

Please print or save these documents and keep them for future reference. If you do not have access to Adobe Reader, you can download the software by clicking the following link.

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Please note that the Adobe website is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority and, as it is not operated by SunLife Limited, we cannot be liable for Adobe contents.

View the Key Features and Terms & Conditions of the My Smarter (ISA)

View the SunLife Key Facts about our services (PDF 0.6MB)

Stocks & Shares ISA

The smallest print

This website explains how My Smarter (ISA) works. It doesn't give advice so you need to be sure this investment is right for you. If you need advice, go to unbiased.co.uk to find an Independent Financial Adviser near you. You may have to pay for their advice.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd. Golden Charter Ltd are not required to be authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to funeral plans but are registered providers with the Funeral Planning Authority.

If you choose to pay for your funeral in one go, with a single payment, you will have a contract with Golden Charter. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

If you choose to pay for your funeral with a life insurance policy, the policy will be provided by AXA Wealth Ltd, trading as SunLife. The funeral services will be arranged by a funeral director selected by Golden Charter Ltd.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.