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ISAs: It’s time your money started working harder 

ISAs, the tax efficient saving and investment accounts, were introduced over 15 years ago. 

Billions of pounds will have been allocated into ISAs since 1999. Some of the money will be carefully managed, with ISA allowances used year on year; but there is likely to be large sums of UK tax payers’ wealth lying in dormant accounts.

The countdown has begun to the end of the 2014/15 tax year and this is always a good time to review all of the savings and investments you hold. This means reviewing the rates of interest you are being paid, reminding yourself of the purpose for the savings and even considering investing a proportion, if you plan to leave the money untouched for at least five years.

Your financial adviser can help you to review your savings and investments as a whole and make sure your money is working hard to achieve your goals. More importantly, they will help you to take advantage of opportunities, like using your ISA allowance, before the 5th April deadline passes. 

5 things you may not know about ISAs

  1. You can save or invest the much higher sum of £15,000 in cash, shares or a combination of the two, tax efficiently this tax year (2014/15).
  2. The rules surrounding ISA saving and investing became more flexible in 2014. Gone are the restrictions of the old ISA that governed how much you could save into either cash or stocks and shares. You can now hold all of your allowance in cash, all of it investments, or a combination of the two. 
  3. You can also switch your money between cash and investments any time you like. With old ISAs you could only transfer your savings in one direction from cash to stocks and shares, and not the other way round: the ‘new’ ISA (or NISA) is a much more flexible financial planning tool than its predecessor.
  4. You can switch providers anytime you like. This means you can transfer your old ISAs, from as far back as 1999 into a better paying cash or equity ISA accounts, even if this is with a new provider. Make sure you arrange a transfer of accounts, rather than withdrawing the money, if you want to retain its ISA tax wrapper from that year. 
  5. From 1st April you will be able to leave your ISA portfolio to your spouse or civil partner,  whilst retaining its tax efficient wrapper. This makes ISAs even more versatile than they have ever been before.

The clock is now ticking

Don’t forget that the 5th April falls on a Sunday in 2015, which means it is even more important not to leave investing or saving into your ISA or NISA until the last minute. 

If you are unsure about how to top up your ISA or NISA in 2014/15, or you want to talk about reviewing your investments and next year’s allowances please get in touch if you’d like any assistance or if you wish, just to have a chat, email letstalk@sanlam.co.uk

Date issued: 12.03.15

Please remember any views or facts expressed above are based on information received from a variety of sources which we believe to be reliable, but are not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Any expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice. None of the information should be regarded as advice. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Investing involves risk and the value of investments and the income from them may fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the original amount invested. Any tax treatment is dependant upon individual client circumstances and may be subject to change.

Sanlam is a trading name of Sanlam Wealth Planning UK Limited (Reg. in England 3879955) and English Mutual Limited (Reg. in England 6685913). English Mutual Limited is an appointed representative of Sanlam Wealth Planning UK Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Registered Office: St. Bartholomew’s House, Lewins Mead, Bristol, BS1 2NH.

Investing involves risk and the value of investments and the income from them may fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the original amount invested.