A Lifetime ISA (LISA) is a new way for younger investors to save for their first home or retirement. For every £4 you put in, the government adds £1 – up to a maximum bonus of £1,000 per year.
So a saver who puts £4,000 yearly into a Lifetime ISA from the age of 18 will get a generous £32,000 bonus, before any interest or growth (assuming these limits and LISA rules are unchanged).
Accessing your Lifetime ISA
You can withdraw your money from a LISA without paying the government withdrawal charge:
When buying your first home – you can use some, or all, of your LISA to buy a home up to the value of £450,000, as long as you’re a first time buyer and buying with a mortgage. If you’re buying with a partner, both of you can save with a Lifetime ISA and receive the bonus.
From age 60 onwards – once you reach the age of 60 you can withdraw your entire LISA tax-free and spend it as you like.
If you have a terminal illness, you can withdraw all the money in your LISA without paying the government withdrawal charge. If you choose to withdraw money from a Lifetime ISA in any other circumstances, you’ll have to pay the government withdrawal charge of 20% (25% from 6 April 2021). This may mean you get back less than you originally saved.
Is a Lifetime ISA right for me?
With its generous government bonuses, a Lifetime ISA is a great way to save for a first home or later life. But if you plan to access the money for any other reason, you may want to consider investing instead into a Stocks and shares ISA, or cash ISA.
If you’re looking to save for retirement, you may want to consider a Lifetime ISA alongside a pension. You should carefully weigh up whether you want to save into a LISA instead of enrolling in a workplace pension scheme if it means losing the benefit of employer contributions. Your current and future entitlements to mean-tested benefits could be affected too.
Need help choosing your investments?
Then take a look at our investment ideas: easy, expert solutions to the question of where to put your wealth. Whether you’re after some fund suggestions, or want our investment specialists to do the hard work for you, we can help.
Or if you want to choose your investments yourself, there's a huge range available – including shares, funds, exchange traded funds and investments trusts. Find out more by visiting our investment options page.
Help to Buy ISA and other transfers
If you already have a Help to Buy ISA, you can transfer it into our Lifetime ISA, and you'll get the 25% government bonus on it. Find out more about Help to Buy ISA transfers.
You can also transfer in a Stocks and shares ISA, a Cash ISA or another Lifetime ISA, and get the 25% government bonus. Keep in mind that transfers from a Stocks and shares or Cash ISA will count towards your annual Lifetime ISA payment limit.