NB - Legislation relating to Individual Savings Accounts is subject to change.

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are available to all UK residents over 18 years of age, 16 years of age for the Cash ISAs. They benefit all taxpayers, as any income or capital gains received from investments held within an ISA do not have to be declared to the tax man.

ISAs were introduced in 1999 and replaced PEPs and TESSAs, but if you have one of these accounts, you can keep PEPs indefinitely and TESSAs until maturity. Furthermore, if you have a maturing TESSA you can rollover the original capital (without accrued interest) into a TESSA only ISA without affecting your ISA allowance in that tax year.

ISAs can invest in cash or longer term investments like stocks and shares (including unit trusts, investment trusts, Open Ended Investment Companies, some fixed interest securities, or any share quoted on a stock exchange recognised by the Inland Revenue.)

In April 2008, the old Mini and Maxi ISA's disappeared and investors now have a choice between a Cash ISA and Stocks and Shares ISA.

Further changes from 1st July 2014 with rebranding as New Individual Savings Accounts (NISAs) provided Increase Investments and greater flexibility.

Investment Limits

The current ISA rules are:

The annual investment allowance is £20,000 overall into cash or stock and shares.

Under revised rules from 1st July 2014 it is possible for the cash and stocks and shares elements to be held within a single NISA .

NISA providers have discretion as to whether they offer this facility or not.

It is not a standard feature that they are obliged to offer.


Cash ISA's - Cash ISA's are wildly available with different interest rates. It is a good idea to shop around for the best Cash ISA rates. It is important however to understand the conditions attached to those rates, for instance access may be restricted in order to achieve that particular rate.


Stocks & Shares ISA- There is no upper limit on the stocks and share holdings this type of ISA. Your entire ISA allowance can be in stocks and shares. However if you hold a Cash ISA which you have taken out in the same tax year, you will be restricted to the difference between the overall ISA limit and what you have deposited in the Cash ISA. The Stocks & Shares ISA is one account and managed by one provider.

Junior ISAs

Junior ISAs subscription limit is £4,128 for 2017/2018. At age 18 the JISA converts to an adult ISA.[4] Like adult ISAs, JISAs are available in both cash and stocks and shares types. Money cannot be withdrawn until age 18. They are available to those who are:

  • under age 18 and
  • were born on or after 3 Jan 2011 or do not have a CTF account, and
  • are resident and ordinarily resident in the UK, or are a UK Crown servant, married to or in a civil partnership with a Crown servant, or a dependent of a Crown servant.

Unlike an adult ISA a child can only hold a total of one cash ISA and one stocks and shares ISA, including for all money from past years. Up to the full JISA limit can be used for any combination of cash and stocks and shares ISA subscriptions.