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Exciting Changes Coming to UK’s Individual Savings Account (ISA)

Published by Prerana
Published Date: May 8, 2024

The world of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) in the UK has changed significantly, offering more flexibility and opportunities than ever before. The Autumn Statement 2023 announced a comprehensive package of ISA reforms that came into effect on 6 April 2024. Among the changes are raising the age limit for opening cash ISAs and introducing the innovative UK ISA. These changes promise to revolutionise how the British save and invest for their future.

What Changes Are to Occur?

The Individual Savings Account is experiencing various changes that will optimise the future of the people of the UK. Here is a detailed breakdown of all the changes coming to the ISA reform policy.

  • Age for Opening Cash ISAs – From 6 April 2024, only individuals aged 18 or above are allowed to open a cash ISA account. Those who are 17 or younger are not be permitted to have more than one cash ISA. However, there are transitional arrangements that will apply until 5 April 2026. 
  • Subscription to Multiple ISAs – Managers can choose to subscribe to multiple ISAs of the same type, apart from Lifetime ISAs (LISA) and Junior ISAs (JISA). However, the total subscription amount must not exceed the overall ISA subscription limit of £20,000.
  • Removal of Requirement for New ISA Application – Investors with existing ISA accounts inactive for a year no longer need to make a new ISA application. Managers can choose to implement this change.
  • Permitting Investments in Innovative Finance ISA – Funds with extended redemption periods, such as Long-Term Asset Funds (LTAFs), can be held in an innovative finance ISA. However, they must be liquidated within 31 to 185 days of the investor's request.
  • Partial Transfer of Current Year ISA Subscription – Managers can choose to offer or accept partial transfers of current year ISA subscriptions. Reporting procedures differ for full and partial transfers.
  • Funding First-Time Residential Property Purchase with LISA – Starting from 6 April 2024, a Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) cannot be used to fund the purchase of a first-time residential property through a legal mortgage between related parties.

Other ISA Changes

Other than these ISA policy changes, HMRC can now withdraw ISA manager approval for failure to comply with regulations or lack of qualification. Approval may also be withdrawn if the manager fails to open any ISA accounts within 18 months.

Changes to ISA, LISA, and Child Trust Fund.

Also, only UK-based managers are eligible to manage ISAs and Child Trust Funds. In addition, HMRC is working to digitise the ISA reporting system and create a collaboration forum for ISA managers.

Apart from these changes to the Individual Savings Account (ISA), the UK government has introduced the UK ISA with a £5,000 allowance, which will provide an opportunity for people to invest.

Changes to LISA and Child Trust Funds

Some major changes are also coming to the Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) bonus payments. Here are some LISA bonus payment changes:

  • Ensuring Accuracy – Investors must ensure that the figures they report are accurate, especially if they are making multiple subscriptions in a month.
  • Claim Period – Bonus claims can be submitted from the 6th of the month to the 5th of the following month. The deadline for monthly claims is the 20th of that month.
  • Payment Processing – Payments become visible after the 20th of every month. Transactions received after this date are processed in the following month.
  • System Slowdown - During the end of the financial tax year, the LISA system's API may experience slower performance due to increased usage by managers creating new accounts.

If any changes are made to the Child Trust Fund provider list, it is advised that the Child Trust Fund provider contact the HMRC by mail or phone.

Conclusion

The UK's ISA landscape has changed since 6 April 2024, bringing more flexibility and opportunities for savers and investors. The reforms include changes to the age limit for cash ISAs, introducing the UK ISA with a £5,000 allowance, and allowing investments in innovative finance ISAs.

The government is also digitalising ISA reporting and requiring UK-based managers to oversee ISAs and Child Trust Funds. Stay informed and adapt to the changing dynamics of savings and investments to pave the way for a brighter future.

Prerana
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