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Our guide to Stocks and Shares ISAs

Making sense of ISAs

ISA stands for Individual Savings Account — an account that lets you to save or invest your money without paying tax on the interest you earn.

There are several types of ISA, the main types are — a Cash ISA, a Stocks and Shares ISA and an Innovative Finance ISA — which of these is right for you will depend on your savings goals and the level of risk you’re comfortable taking with your money.

Every tax year, HMRC gives you an ISA allowance. This is the maximum you can pay into one or more types of ISA in that year. It’s worthwhile making the most of this allowance if you can, because it can’t be carried over to the next tax year.

NEW Personal Savings Allowance (PSA)

Basic rate tax payers can earn up to £1,000 interest on savings tax free, with a £500 allowance for higher rate tax payers.

What is the ISA allowance?

Adult ISAs

Available to UK residents aged 18+ (16+ for a Cash ISA)

A tax year is from April 6 — April 5. Current ISA allowances are:

2018/2019 tax year — £20,000

You can only hold one of each type of ISA at any time

You can pay into one type of ISA or a combination of different types

Junior ISA

Available to parents on behalf of a child under 18 years of age

Current ISA allowances are:

2018/2019 tax year — £4,260

Although parents must open a Junior ISA, anyone can contribute to it

What is a Stocks and Shares ISA?

A Stocks and Shares ISA lets you invest in a range of investments such as shares, property and bonds and pay no income or capital gains tax on any returns.

Investing can generate better returns than cash savings if given time to ride the ups and downs of the stock market, although there are no guarantees. That’s why a Stocks and Shares ISA is most appropriate for longer term goals at least five years into the future.

When thinking about whether to invest, it’s important to understand that the value of an investment could go down as well as up and you could get back less than you pay in.

A Stocks and Shares ISA can be opened by any UK resident 18+.

What is a Cash ISA?

A Cash ISA is a savings account with interest earned tax free. They are available to anyone aged 16 or over.

Cash ISAs are usually seen as suitable for short to medium-term savings goals — if you want to put some money away for a holiday, home improvements or car repairs for example.

What is an Innovative Finance ISA?

An Innovative Finance ISA allows you to invest in peer to peer lending schemes without paying tax on the returns or interest. Peer to peer lending is a growing way for businesses and individuals to borrow money without going to a bank.

What is a Lifetime ISA?

Anyone aged 18-39 can put up to £4,000 into a Lifetime ISA every year until their 50th birthday and receive a 25% Government bonus — that’s £1,000 for every £4,000 saved. The money can be used towards a first home or be withdrawn at age 60, tax-free. From tax year 2018/19 if you cancel your Lifetime ISA or withdraw funds from it, there will be a charge of 25% of the amount withdrawn. Eventually the Lifetime ISA will replace the current Help to Buy ISA.

How our Stocks and Shares ISA works

  • We offer an easy to manage — Stocks and Shares ISA available to all UK residents over 18
  • It’s an affordable way to start investing from £10 a month or with a lump sum
  • Invest up to the full annual ISA allowance less any deposits you make into other types of ISA
  • Stop, start or change payments without penalty to work around you and your life
  • Boost the amount you save each year automatically to help grow your investment
  • Money back guarantee for added peace of mind

Our Stocks and Shares ISA is provided by Scottish Friendly and your money is invested in the With-Profits Fund.

Is a Stocks and Shares ISA tax free?

A Stocks and Shares ISA is not completely tax free like a Cash ISA, but it is tax efficient. There is no income or capital gains tax to pay on any growth in your investment but income on share dividends is taxed at 10%.

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

For those of you that prefer video...

Video transcript
How our Stocks and Shares ISA works

A Stocks & Shares ISA is a type of Individual Savings Account.

Through a Stocks & Shares ISA you can invest in things like shares and property. They are a very tax efficient way to invest.

The maximum you can put into ISAs this tax year, is a whopping £20,000.

The SunLife My Smarter ISA invests in a mix of shares, property, bonds and cash deposits. You don’t need to be rich or an expert to have one. With this ISA you can invest from just £10 a month or, if you prefer, you can invest a lump sum.

The more money you put into your ISA over time, the more it could grow. So, to make life easier, you can increase your payments automatically by up to 10% each year. But, of course, you can change this if you want, depending on your finances each year.

Your money will be carefully managed by Scottish Friendly, who will do all the work for you. There’s an annual charge of 1.5% of the value of your ISA, which is deducted from your investment.

Before you get started, just be sure you’re happy to put money away long term, say 5 – 10 years, and that you’re happy with an element of risk, as the value of your investment can go up or down and you may get back less than you paid in.

But here’s why this ISA is a little bit special…

If you want, provided you haven’t made any withdrawals, on the 10th anniversary of starting your ISA we guarantee you can take out at least 100% of the money you’ve put in.

*Inflation will reduce what you can buy in the future.

So you can invest knowing you’ve got this extra reassurance, which you don’t get with most other ISAs!

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

 

Reasons to invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA

Over your life, you’ll probably save for many different things in a number of different ways, but a tax efficient Stocks and Shares ISA may actually be an appropriate way to put money aside for all your longer term goals.

  • Starting out in your 20s and 30s — Be it a house deposit, a wedding or a family car it’s probably going to take time to save for these big-ticket items. If you’re in a position to put money away each month for at least 5 years if not longer, a stock and shares ISA has the potential to generate better returns than cash savings
  • Prime time in your 40s and 50s — By now, planning for retirement may be your focus. With plenty of working years still ahead of you, investing even a relatively small amount regularly into a Stocks and Shares ISA, can help build up a handy nest egg for your later years
  • Later life in your 60s and beyond — As you get closer to retirement, it can be worthwhile continuing the make the most of your annual ISA allowance, especially now you can pass on your ISAs savings to your spouse without losing the tax benefits
1. Who can open an ISA?

You have to be a UK resident to open an ISA. For a Cash ISA you must be 16 or over and for a Stocks and Shares ISA or Innovative Finance ISA you must be 18 or over. For a Lifetime ISA, you must be aged 18–39.

2. Can I take out an ISA for someone else?

No, you can’t take out an ISA on someone else’s behalf, unless you are a parent taking out a Junior ISA on behalf of your child under the age of 18.

3. Can I open more than one Stocks and Shares ISA?

No, you can only pay into one Stocks and Shares ISA in each tax year. However you can open a new Stocks and Shares ISA with a different provider each year if you want to.

4. How many ISAs can I hold in one tax year?

You can hold one of each type of ISA in any given tax year — Cash ISA, Stocks and Shares ISA, Innovative Finance ISA and the Lifetime ISA (from 6th April 2017). You cannot hold more than one of a particular type of ISA in a given tax year and you cannot invest more than the £20,000 limit.

5. Can I withdraw money from a Stocks and Shares ISA?

Yes, you can access the funds in a Stocks and Shares ISA at any time, but to get the best growth potential you should aim to invest for at least five years and ideally 10 or more. It’s worthwhile keeping some cash savings separately for emergencies.

6. Which ISA is right for me?

Choosing the right ISA for you will depend on your circumstances, savings goals, how long you’re willing to put your money away for and the level of risk you’re comfortable taking with your money. If you’re unsure would like some advice go to www.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 is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd which is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

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.