What is a Junior ISA and how do they work? Junior ISA guide

2020 has seen its fair share of unprecedented change, with many circumstances out of our control. As the world continues to adapt and gradually find its way to a new ‘normal’, we find ourselves naturally looking ahead to the future.

While life beyond COVID-19 remains unclear and, in many ways, out of our hands, there is some future planning that can be achieved whatever life challenges we’re presented with. Including putting savings in place for your child’s future.

This is where a Junior Individual Savings Account (JISA) comes into play. Whatever you want for your children, whether that’s saving for their first car, a deposit for a home or help towards education costs, a Junior ISA can help to unlock these opportunities.   

What is a Junior ISA?

A Junior ISA, also referred to as a JISA, is a long-term, tax-free savings account for children, and has been designed specifically to help secure your child’s financial future.

There is a whole host of reasons why parents or guardians wish to save for their children’s future. From a travelling savings pot to a deposit for a first home, university fees to a wedding fund, a Junior ISA is a convenient and flexible way to invest in your child’s future. It also adds reassurance that they’ll be financially secure and have savings growing as they do.

How does a Junior ISA work?

A Junior ISA must be opened by the child’s parent or guardian and is available for children aged 0 – 18 years old who are living in the UK.  Children aged 16 and 17 can open a JISA themselves. Once the account is opened, it is possible for family and friends of the child to also pay money into the account.

Parents or guardians can open a Junior ISA and manage the account; however, the funds within the account belong to the child.

What are the types of Junior ISA?

There are two types of Junior ISA available:

  • A cash Junior ISA – this means that you will not pay tax on any interest accrued on the cash you save into this account.
  • A stocks and shares Junior ISA – this means that your money is invested, and you will not pay tax on any capital growth or dividends you receive as a result.

What is the Junior ISA allowance?

This is the set savings limit that can be paid in total into the account each tax year. The current Junior ISA allowance is £9,000 for the 2020-2021 tax year.

How much can you pay into a Junior ISA?

Anyone can pay money into a Junior ISA, but the total amount paid in cannot go over £9,000 in the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Often a Junior ISA will need to be opened with a set minimum amount, after which you could make continued regular payments or lump sum top ups.

How many Junior ISAs can you have?

When it comes to Junior ISAs, your child can have a Junior Cash ISA, a Junior Stocks and Shares  ISA or both. If both are held, the combined total which can be saved this year will still need to be within the annual Junior ISA allowance.

Unlike Adult ISAs where you can have a number of ISA accounts from different tax years, your child can only hold one cash Junior ISA and one stocks and shares Junior ISA. So if your child already has a stocks and shares Junior ISA with £5,000 saved into it and you want to open a new stocks and shares Junior ISA, you will need to transfer the £5,000 into it.

What are the features of a Junior ISA?

A Junior ISA from Foresters Friendly Society boasts a wealth of features:

  • It is a simple and straightforward way of saving for your child’s future
  • Can be opened from just £50 a month
  • Flexible payments – these can be made as regular payments or lump sums
  • You, your friends and family can all pay into the Junior ISA
  • A Junior ISA has the potential to earn annual and final bonuses
  • You can transfer an existing Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund to Foresters
  • Your child will have access to Foresters Membership Benefits at no additional cost
  • Money has potential to grow through being invested in a top performing With Profits fund

You should be aware that your child may get back less than you have paid in. Tax rules might change and depend on individual circumstances. Bonuses are not guaranteed. Member benefits are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.

What happens to a Junior ISA at 18?

Once the child turns 16, they will be able to take control over the account. However, they are not able to access the funds in their Junior ISA until they turn 18.

When your child turns 18, their Junior ISA automatically becomes an adult ISA. Find out more about our range of adult savings and investment plans here.

Which is better – a Child Trust Fund (CTF) or Junior ISA?

A Child Trust Fund (CTF) offered long-term tax-free savings for children; however, this scheme ended in January 2011. Parents or guardians can now apply for a Junior ISA instead.

Can you change a Child Trust Fund (CTF) into a Junior ISA?

If your child has an existing Child Trust Fund (CTF), you are able to transfer the funds from this into a Junior ISA by contacting the Junior ISA provider.

A Foresters Friendly Society Junior ISA accepts Child Trust Fund (CTF) transfers. Find out more here.

Find out more today  

If you would like to find out more about opening a Junior ISA and the benefits of starting to save for your child’s financial future, contact us today.

One of our friendly, expert team will be on hand and ready to advise you on our Junior ISA and all its features. Find out how you can start saving for your child’s future milestones today.

The content of this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. We do not offer financial advice. If you’re unsure as to the suitability of a product you should seek advice from a Financial Adviser. You may have to pay for this advice.