Boost your savings with a
25% government bonus
Looking to either buy your first home or save for your retirement? Then take a look at our Lifetime ISA (also known as a LISA). It’s a little different to other ISAs because the government gives you a very healthy 25% monthly bonus on whatever you’ve saved. The question is, why wouldn’t you open one today!
What is a Lifetime ISA?
Our stocks & shares Lifetime ISA is designed to help people buy their first home, or to build additional savings for their retirement. We understand it’s harder than ever to get onto the property ladder. And when it comes to saving for the future, well, it’s good to have all the help we can get. You can open a Lifetime ISA with new funds or transfer other ISA savings, and save up to £4,000 per year. The government will add a monthly 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year. It all helps your pot to grow as quickly as possible.
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Why choose the Lifetime ISA?
Save for your future
Set yourself up for a bright tomorrow with a little extra help. The Lifetime ISA is designed to help people save for their first home or retirement over the medium to long term.
Lifetime ISA eligibility
Lifetime ISAs are available to all UK residents aged 18 to 39. And while you can’t take out a joint account, your partner can also open one.
Lifetime ISA bonus
Your Lifetime ISA will receive a 25% government bonus, up to £1,000 each tax year.
Lifetime ISA Allowance
You can save up to £4,000 each tax year until your 50th birthday. Save regularly from £50 per month or invest a lump sum of at least £500. Top ups of £250 or more can be made thereafter. Transfers are also accepted.
Your money is invested in a fund which gives you access to investment types you cannot get directly.
Your membership benefits
When you open a Lifetime ISA with Foresters Friendly Society, you’ll gain access to Foresters Extras – membership benefits. These benefits include discretionary grants to help towards the cost of higher education, healthcare and lots more.
What do our members say?
“We took out a Lifetime ISA to help boost our retirement funds. It appealed to us as we feel the state pension and workplace pensions may not be sufficient on their own. We didn’t want to miss out on the additional money from the government with the plan’s 25% bonus!
As editor of the Foresters member magazine, and with Rosemary running our local Foresters branch, it’s been great to get involved with the member events that take place too.”
Rory and Rosemary, Surrey
Lifetime ISA calculator – see how much you could save
Added value for you – Foresters Extras
Taking out a Lifetime ISA is only the start. By doing so, you’ll be a part of the Foresters Friendly family and can enjoy some wonderful, unique benefits including discretionary grants to help you cover the cost of things like higher education, dental and optical costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a Lifetime ISA work?
Fancy getting on the property ladder? Or looking to save for your retirement? A Lifetime ISA could help. It’s a savings account that helps you to achieve your future plans, tax free. Whether that’s purchasing your first home with a value of less than £450,000. Or providing a cushion for when you’ve stopped work.
You can pay in up to £4,000 each tax year into a Cash LISA, or a Stocks & Shares LISA like the one offered by us (or split the allowance between both), and the government will add a 25% bonus on the money paid into the LISA by you each month. A very welcome bonus!
We aim to add an annual bonus each year too, plus a possible final bonus when you withdraw your money. The addition of Foresters bonuses is not guaranteed.
You can open a LISA if you’re aged 18 to 39 and a UK resident for tax purposes. Tax rules may change and depend on individual circumstances.
How long can you pay into a Lifetime ISA?
Once you’ve opened your LISA, you can pay into the plan until you turn 50 – with government bonuses being added. From age 50, no further contributions can be made. So, if you were to open your account at the age of 18, you’d be able to pay into it for a maximum of 32 years.
LISAs are best viewed as medium to long-term investments. If you are planning to use your LISA for a deposit on your first home and are looking to buy a home in the next three years, our LISA may not be right for you.
Because the Lifetime ISA is designed to be held for a number of years, the rules and regulations covering their operation and tax status may change in the future. You won’t pay tax on your investment, but it’s worth remembering that tax is automatically deducted from share dividends and that tax cannot be reclaimed. These tax rules also depend on your individual circumstances.
How much can you put in a Lifetime ISA with Foresters?
To open a Foresters LISA, you can choose to contribute regular amounts from £50 per month by Direct Debit, or invest a lump sum of at least £500. You are then able to invest lump sums of a minimum of £250 as top ups. Or if you prefer, you can use a combination of both, as long as your total contribution is not more than £4,000 per tax year. As LISAs are designed to be held for a number of years, the limit on annual contributions may change in the future.
Even your parents or grandparents can help
We know how hard it can be to save for big things like a first home or retirement, so if your parents or grandparents want to help you, this will enable you to reach your savings goal quicker. While they are not allowed to invest directly, they can pass the money to you to put into your LISA.
Can I transfer a Help to Buy ISA or other savings into a Lifetime ISA?
Yes, if you have other savings or ISAs that are not performing as well as you would like, you could consider moving that money into your LISA. If you’ve already started saving for your first home in a Help To Buy ISA, you can transfer that into a LISA, and receive the 25% government bonus on those funds too. Any transfer from another ISA must not exceed £4,000 and will count towards your annual £4,000 LISA limit. Before you do this, it’s important that you ask your existing provider/s if there will be any penalties or loss of interest from your existing savings or ISAs so that you can make an informed decision.
Transferring an existing ISA is simple. All you need to do is select the Transfer option in our online application, and ensure you complete and return the Transfer form provided so we can process your transfer request. We will then contact your existing provider to start the transfer process. If you already hold a Lifetime ISA with us and would like to transfer other savings to it, you can do this via our online Top up form, ensuring you complete and return the Transfer form provided. You’ll be asked to provide your Foresters Lifetime ISA policy number.
Can you have a joint Lifetime ISA with a partner?
You can’t take out a joint LISA, but your partner can also take one out. This means you can both benefit from the tax advantages, government bonus and growth potential from Foresters. Both you and your partner can each contribute a maximum of £4,000 to a LISA. In addition to this, for the current tax year, you can also each contribute £16,000 in a normal Cash ISA or into a Stocks & Shares ISA like the one we offer.
Can you open a Lifetime ISA at the age of 40?
No. You need to make sure that your LISA is set up and has money deposited in the plan before your 40th birthday. This is part of HMRC’s requirements for the product, as it’s only available to those aged 18 to 39.
If you’re not far off your 40th birthday, it’s a good idea to start the plan with a lump sum payment, as depending on when in the month you make your application, it could be several weeks before your first Direct Debit payment is collected. So, to be on the safe side, we’d suggest you consider opening the plan with a lump sum if you’re less than two months from turning 40.
How does the process of paying towards a first home work?
When you’re buying your first home, we don’t pass the proceeds on to you. Instead, they go directly to the solicitor or licensed conveyancer who is acting on your behalf. If, for some reason, the purchase of the property doesn’t complete, the solicitor will return the money to us. We’ll then reinvest it back in to your plan at no loss to yourself.
Where is the money invested?
The money you pay into your Stocks & Shares LISA, together with the government bonus, is invested in our With Profits Order Insurance Fund, which aims to provide growth over the medium to long term. Annual bonuses and a possible final bonus may be added to your LISA by Foresters. The value of these bonuses depends on how much profit our fund makes and this cannot be predicted.
We have declared the following annual bonus rates for our Lifetime ISA, which are paid in addition to your 25% government bonus:
|Annual Bonus Rate
The annual bonus is applied to the amount invested (minus any withdrawals you may have made to your Lifetime ISA) plus any previous bonuses that have been added.
The addition of any bonus is not guaranteed and you may not get back the full amount originally invested, dependent on the investment conditions at withdrawal. Inflation will affect what you can buy when you cash-in your LISA.
To find out more about the addition of bonuses and how we manage our fund please read our Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM).
We may vary the design of a product to best meet the needs of our policyholders which may affect the timing and size of future bonuses. Therefore the above table is provided for information purposes only and should not be considered an indication of likely future performance.
How can I be confident you’ll invest my money responsibly?
As a friendly society, it’s particularly important to us that our investments are managed in an ethical and responsible way. Foresters is a signatory of the Principles for Investment (PRI) which demonstrates our commitment to responsible investment, to reducing our impact on the environment and mitigating climate change risk in our investment portfolios.
When you open a plan, you can be confident that investing with us means your money will be invested in a trustworthy and environmentally conscious way. The PRI is the world’s leading supporter of responsible investment and promotes a better understanding of the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
Find out more about the six PRI principles we have signed up to here.
When is the Lifetime ISA bonus paid?
The 25% government bonus your Lifetime ISA receives is based on the contributions that you make in any one tax year and is paid on a monthly basis. So, if you pay in £200 a month, your plan will receive a government bonus of £50 that month too. We will liaise with the HMRC to ensure that your Lifetime ISA receives the government bonus – you don’t need to do a thing.
Are there any charges for the Lifetime ISA?
There’s an annual management charge of 2% of the value of your Foresters Lifetime ISA, which will be taken into account when calculating policy bonuses. This may change but we promise it will never exceed 3% of the value of your Stocks & Shares LISA in any one year. These charges cover our costs for managing the LISA for you. For more information about charges, please see the Lifetime ISA (LISA) Key Information Document and Important Information.
What happens if I want to cash-in my LISA and it’s not to buy a home or for retirement?
The LISA is designed for people saving for their first home or later life and retirement from age 60. So you should only plan to use the funds for those purposes. You are still able to cash it in for other reasons, but in most cases this would incur a 25% government charge, applied to the whole amount of your withdrawal.
This charge returns the government bonus to them, including the growth or other bonuses received on that money. If you do wish to make withdrawals, then it’s important to read the Lifetime ISA Important Information for further details.
I’m not sure if a Lifetime ISA is right for me. What should I do?
If you’re unsure as to the suitability of this product you should seek advice from a Financial Adviser. Of course, you may have to pay for this advice.
Three ways to top up an existing Lifetime ISA
Set up a regular monthly direct debit, or make a one-off, secure payment from your debit card. Top up online now.
Call us on 0800 988 2418 and we can set up a regular monthly direct debit, or take a one-off payment from your debit card over the phone.
Download the Lifetime ISA Top Up Form and either complete the Direct Debit instruction or attach a cheque for the lump sum investment, then send it back to us and we will do the rest for you. Or download the Lifetime ISA Transfer Form, complete and return it to us, and we will contact your existing provider for you.
We’re here if you need help or have any questions
If you’re a little stuck and need help, please get in touch. Our UK based team can help to make things as smooth and easy as possible (lines are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm).