Client
Portal

Changes To Individual Savings Accounts In 2024

Back to News & Views

Why savers and investors now have a more flexible approach

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) offer a versatile and tax-efficient way to save for the future, whether for yourself, your children or grandchildren. Now that we have entered the new financial year, on 6 April 2024, significant changes to ISAs have been introduced.

Since April 6, savers and investors have had a more flexible approach to using their ISA allowance. For the first time, individuals can open multiple accounts of the same type of ISA within a single tax year, from 6 April one year to 5 April the next, provided they do not exceed the annual ISA limit. This marks a departure from previous rules, which annually restricted savers to one account per ISA type.

Partial transfers and the British ISA

In addition to this newfound flexibility, the rules now permit partial transfers of funds from current tax year ISAs into different types of ISAs, enhancing the ability to tailor savings strategies to personal needs. Furthermore, the government has proposed a new ‘British ISA’ featuring a separate £5,000 allowance aimed at investments in UK-based companies on the UK stock market.

The Chancellor’s announcement of the British ISA during this year’s Spring Budget seeks to complement the existing £20,000 annual ISA allowance. This initiative is still under consultation, with a deadline set for 6 June, signalling a potential boost for domestic investment.

Diverse spectrum of ISAs

The ISA regime offers a variety of options to cater to different financial goals and risk appetites. Whether prioritising safety, growth or a mix of both, there’s an ISA type to match most requirements. From Cash ISAs, known for their simplicity and tax efficiency, to Stocks & Shares ISAs, which offer the potential for higher returns albeit with increased risk, choosing the right ISA depends heavily on individual circumstances.

Cash ISAs

Cash ISAs serve as a cornerstone for risk-averse savers, providing a straightforward, tax-efficient haven for cash savings. Cash ISA products can be easy access accounts that allow immediate withdrawals or fixed rate accounts that reward savers for committing their funds for a predefined period. Although these accounts can offer both higher and lower interest rates typically offer lower interest rates than standard savings accounts, they present a valuable tax shield, especially for those who have maximised their savings allowance or anticipate doing so.

The allure of Cash ISAs lies in their tax advantages. Interest earned within these accounts does not contribute to the saver’s personal savings allowance, thereby offering a tax-efficient growth environment for savings. This feature is particularly beneficial for higher rate taxpayers and those with substantial savings, making Cash ISAs an option despite potentially lower interest rates compared to non-ISA savings accounts.

Stocks & Shares ISAs

Stocks & Shares ISAs, sometimes referred to as ‘investment ISAs’, present an opportunity for individuals to diversify their investment portfolio across a broad spectrum, including collective investment funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), investment trusts, gilts, bonds, and stocks and shares. This form of investment carries an inherent risk since the value can fluctuate significantly; however, historically, the stock market has offered returns that surpass those of traditional savings accounts over extended periods.

Investors can choose investment funds within a Stocks & Shares ISA, where funds are amalgamated with those of other investors and managed by a professional fund manager, diluting the risk associated with individual investments failing.

Proceeds from Stocks & Shares ISAs are tax efficient. This encompasses both capital gains and dividends derived from the investments within the ISA. The convenience of not having to report these investments on a tax return simplifies the investment process, making Stocks & Shares ISAs an appealing starting point for newcomers to the investment world.

Lifetime ISAs

The Lifetime Individual Savings Account (ISA) presents a unique opportunity for individuals aged between 18 and 40, potentially benefiting your children or grandchildren. For each pound deposited into the account, the government offers an additional 25p, tax-free. With an annual contribution limit of £4,000, savers can receive a maximum bonus of £1,000 per year.

This fund can be used to purchase a first home worth up to £450,000 or for retirement savings, functioning similarly to a pension scheme. It is important to note that funds can be freely accessed after the age of 60 to supplement retirement income. However, early withdrawals for other purposes incur a 25% penalty.

The Lifetime ISA is available in two forms: Cash ISA and Stocks & Shares ISA. The market for Cash ISAs within this category is limited, with only a handful of providers. The £4,000 contribution towards a Lifetime ISA is counted within the broader £20,000 annual ISA allowance.

Junior ISAs

Turning our attention to Junior ISAs (JISA), these are designed for individuals under the age of 18. This financial year allows for an investment of up to £9,000 in either cash or stocks and shares. Access to the funds is restricted until the beneficiary turns 18, at which point full control over the account is granted. From the age of 16, they can manage the account, making it an ideal option for those looking to foster financial independence in their youth. From the start of the 2024/25 tax year, the minimum age to open a Cash ISA increased to 18.

ISA transfers

The flexibility to transfer across different ISA providers and types (from cash to stocks and shares or vice versa) enhances the appeal of ISAs. However, verifying transfer policies with your chosen providers is critical, as not all permit transfers. Direct withdrawals and transfers should be avoided to maintain the funds’ tax-efficient status. Instead, the recommended approach involves initiating the transfer through the receiving provider, who will manage the process on your behalf through a straightforward form.

ISAs and spousal inheritance

When it comes to managing the financial aftermath of a loved one’s passing, understanding the nuances of how Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) can be inherited is key. An ISA can be transferred to a surviving spouse while retaining its coveted tax-free status, offering a silver lining during such difficult times.

However, it’s important to note that no further contributions can be made to the ISA once the original owner has passed away. Nevertheless, any increase in account value during the probate period remains exempt from tax. For the surviving spouse, this transfer includes an additional ISA allowance, which is calculated based on the higher of two values: the cash or investments inherited or the market value of the ISA at the time of the original holder’s death.

Non-spousal beneficiaries

The situation becomes markedly different when ISAs are bequeathed to beneficiaries other than the spouse. In these instances, the value of the ISA may fall within the scope of Inheritance Tax (IHT), which is levied at a rate of 40% on portions of the estate exceeding the current £325,000 (2024/25) IHT threshold. This significant tax implication underscores the importance of proactive estate planning to effectively navigate the potential fiscal impact.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE TAX OR LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. TAX TREATMENT DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CLIENT AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. FOR GUIDANCE, SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.

THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENTS CAN GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP, AND YOU MAY GET BACK LESS THAN YOU INVESTED.

THE TAX TREATMENT IS DEPENDENT ON INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN FUTURE. THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY DOES NOT REGULATE TAX PLANNING.

Book your FREE, no obligation discussion today. Schedule Appointment

Sign Up to our mailing list - Receive regular news, tips and financial commentary from the Gemini Team.

Latest News

  • In an era where the lines between work and personal life are increasingly blurred, a new study sheds light on a concerning trend among UK employees. Despite advancements in workplace policies and a growing emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, a significant number of workers are still pushing themselves to work even when they are not in full health. [...]

  • A recent study suggests that a substantial proportion of Generation Z, born from 1996 to 2010, view property acquisition as their principal avenue to amass wealth for their retirement years [1]. This perspective is slightly more prevalent within this demographic than the reliance on pensions, with 33% of Gen Z individuals planning to utilise property as a retirement fund compared to 30% who favour pensions. [...]

  • Recent research has uncovered that a staggering 51% of adults in the UK have neither penned a Will nor are they in the process of doing so[1]. This statistic encompasses 13% of individuals affirmatively declaring no future plans to undertake this task. Alarmingly, a significant portion of the older demographic, with 30% of those aged 55 and above, also finds themselves without a Will, including 9% who have decisively chosen not to create one. The primary deterrent for many is the perception of insufficient assets or wealth, cited by 26% of respondents, indicating a widespread misconception about the necessity of a Will. [...]

  • A recent study reveals that a considerable proportion of UK adults, including a significant number nearing retirement, find themselves in a quandary regarding their State Pension entitlements and the commencement of their payments[1]. The research underscores that 31% of Generation X individuals (ages 42-57) are in two minds about their retirement timing, in stark contrast to 19% of Baby Boomers and the older cohort (58 years and above). Moreover, a notable 24% of UK adults confess to being unsure about their retirement timing, with 27% of women feeling less confident compared to 21% of men. [...]

  • In recent times, a significant portion of retirees, specifically 14% of those aged over 55, have found themselves re-entering the workforce, driven by the inadequacy of their pensions to meet rising living costs, according to new research[1]. This phenomenon, further compounded by an additional 4% contemplating a return to employment, highlights a growing trend among older generations striving to sustain their standard of living in retirement. Notably, this trend is more prevalent among men, with 16% returning to work compared to 12% of women. [...]

  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) represents a significant consideration for anyone looking to pass on assets to the next generation. As of the 2024/25 tax year, IHT incurs a 40% charge on the portion of an estate exceeding the nil rate band of £325,000, excluding transfers to a spouse or registered civil partner. [...]

  • Recent research has uncovered that a staggering 51% of adults in the UK have neither penned a Will nor are they in the process of doing so[1]. This statistic encompasses 13% of individuals affirmatively declaring no future plans to undertake this task. Alarmingly, a significant portion of the older demographic, with 30% of those aged 55 and above, also finds themselves without a Will, including 9% who have decisively chosen not to create one. The primary deterrent for many is the perception of insufficient assets or wealth, cited by 26% of respondents, indicating a widespread misconception about the necessity of a Will. [...]

  • UK retirees are encountering significantly smaller pension pots than they had anticipated, with a considerable number expressing regret over not having commenced their savings journey earlier in their careers. New research has identified a disturbing trend: the average pension pot amounts to merely £131,000[1]. This figure falls short by £119,000 for individuals who had envisioned amassing a nest egg of £250,000. Such a shortfall can drastically alter the retirement lifestyle of many pensioners. [...]

  • A recent study has spotlighted women and investing, offering critical insights that aim to empower women to take the reins of their financial destinies and forge paths toward a prosperous future. Notably, an impressive majority of women (68%) engage in investment activities at least once a month, with over two-fifths (42%) diligently monitoring their savings and investments via online platforms or apps at least once weekly[1]. [...]

  • Recent research reveals that a significant proportion of individuals over 50 years old anticipate relying on secure income sources, such as Defined Benefit (DB) pensions, for their retirement funding[1]. However, the State Pension emerges as the most pivotal component of retirement planning, with three-quarters (73%) of this demographic identifying it as their primary income source. This data underscores the State Pension's integral role in the financial security of retirees. [...]

  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) represents a significant consideration for anyone looking to pass on assets to the next generation. As of the 2024/25 tax year, IHT incurs a 40% charge on the portion of an estate exceeding the nil rate band of £325,000, excluding transfers to a spouse or registered civil partner. Additionally, introduction of the main residence allowance in 2017, offering an extra £175,000 relief when a primary residence is bequeathed to direct descendants or where an individual has moved into a care home, enables individual allowances to reach £500,000 before IHT applies cumulatively. [...]

  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) offer a versatile and tax-efficient way to save for the future, whether for yourself, your children or grandchildren. Now that we have entered the new financial year, on 6 April 2024, significant changes to ISAs have been introduced. [...]

Gemini Wealth Management Ltd is Authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority Registered in England & Wales No. 5919877 Registered Office: Gemini House, 71 Park Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B73 6BT The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax and trust advice, will writing and some forms of buy to let mortgages. The guidance and/or advice contained in this website is subject to regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to those based in the UK.

Website by Mellow Marsh Software
© Gemini Wealth Management Ltd
Important Documents | Cookie Policy