• Our guide to Stocks and Shares ISAs

    Everything you need to know

  • 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)

    From 6 April 2017, 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:

    • 2017/2018 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:

    • 2017/2018 tax year - £4,128

    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?

    From April 2017, 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. 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 on set dates 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.

    Open a My Smarter (ISA)

    Calculate how your money could grow


    Use this free growth calculator to see how much you might get back on our Stocks and Shares ISA in the future.

    For those of you that prefer video...

    Watch our short video that explains how our Stocks and Shares ISA works

    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

    Straightforward answers to your questions about ISAs

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.