When the Individual Savings Account (ISA) was launched in 1999, the allowance was £3,000 for a Cash ISA or £7,000 for a Stocks and Shares ISA each tax year. Now at the grand old age of 21, the overall allowance has risen to a generous £20,000.
In the early days, choice was limited to either a Cash ISA or a Stocks and Shares ISA, but the range has been extended over time and the total investment of £20,000 can be spread across different types of ISA. Any investment growth is tax-free.
First investment route
Junior ISAs (JISAs), introduced in 2011, can be opened by parents or a guardian with parental responsibility for a child from birth. Once opened, anyone can pay into the JISA, but the child is unable to access the cash until they reach the age of 18. The JISA annual allowance per child was almost doubled to £9,000 per tax year at the Budget in March.
ISAs have proved a popular investment choice over the years; recently released government figures show around 11.2 million adult ISA accounts and around 954,000 JISAs were subscribed to in the 2018–19 tax year, with new investments totaling around £67.6bn and £974m, respectively.