What's a Junior Individual Savings Account (JISA)?

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Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.

So, what is it exactly? At Wealthsimple, we believe that the more time you have to save and invest, the better off you will be in the long term. So just what JISAs are designed for - long term investing for your children.

What are the pros? Just like the grown-up version (ISA), a JISA lets investment gains and income grow without having to pay anything away to the tax man.

Who can get a JISA? The child must be under 18 and living in the UK. If you are a Crown servant (in the armed forces or an overseas civil servant) you can still set one up for your child.

Who can open a JISA? If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child, you can open a JISA for them, from birth. Or if you are sixteen, you can set one up for yourself.

How much can you put in a JISA? For the 2020/21 tax year the limit is £9,000 (a jump from last year's £4,368 contribution room).

What should I watch out for? If your child is is lucky enough to already have a Child Trust Fund, you cannot have both open, but you can transfer the Child Trust Fund over to a JISA.

While parents or guardians open and manage the JISA, the money is the child’s, no one else's! This means that at 16 they can take control of what the account is doing, but only get money out when they turn 18.

So at 18, if they want to, they can take the money, it is their’s after all! Most people put money into JISAs with education, a house deposit or just a better start to life in mind, perhaps only a few thinking of a huge party or amazing holiday. So that’s one thing to have at the back of your mind for a bit further down the track.

Last Updated 14 November 2017

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