Skip to content

The Friendly Guide to Junior ISAs

Find out about Junior ISAs and how they can help you put money aside for your child’s future.

What is a Junior ISA?

ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and is a tax-free way to put money aside for the future. A Junior ISA (JISA) is a special version for children. By using it to save or invest, you can provide a lump sum for your child when they reach 18.

What kinds of Junior ISA are there?

Cash Junior ISA

Similar to a Junior Savings Account, but with one major difference - it allows you to save money for your child tax-free. That means the taxman can't touch any interest gained on the savings.

Investment Junior ISA

Invests in a range of assets, such as funds, bonds, property or stocks and shares and grows free of tax (other than tax that's already paid, i.e. on dividends from UK shares).

How do I know if my child is eligible for a Junior ISA?

Your child is eligible for a Junior ISA if:

They are a UK resident.

They are under 18.

They weren’t eligible for a Child Trust Fund.

Can my child have both kinds of Junior ISA?

Yes, your child can have one Cash Junior ISA and one Investment Junior ISA, as long as you keep within the annual savings and investments limit.

What is the Junior ISA limit?

You can invest a total of £4,128 in Junior ISAs in the 2017/2018 tax year.

The child's allowance can be used between both types of Junior ISA. The tax year runs from the 6th April each year.

Find the right Junior ISA for your child

Scottish Friendly can't give advice, so we can't tell you which type of Junior ISA is best for you and your child. The table below should help you see the main differences and work out what suits your needs best.

  Cash Junior ISA Investment Junior ISA

How much can I save or invest each year?

£4,128 in tax year 2017/2018 less any amounts subscribed to an Investment Junior ISA.

£4,128 in tax year 2017/2018 less any amounts subscribed to a Cash Junior ISA.

Who can get one?

UK residents under 18 who weren’t entitled to a Child Trust Fund.

UK residents under 18 who weren’t entitled to a Child Trust Fund.

Who can contribute?

Anyone, though the Cash Junior ISA must be set up by a parent or legal guardian.

Anyone, though the Investment Junior ISA must be set up by a parent or legal guardian.

Short or long-term investment?

Long-term - locked away until the child turns 18.

Long-term - locked away until the child turns 18.

Is there risk involved?

No. The value of the initial investment steadily acquires interest until child reaches 18. Bear in mind that current low rates of interest could mean that the return your child receives on the money could struggle to outpace inflation.

Yes. While the long-term potential returns are greater, the value of the child's investment can go down as well as up and they could get back less than you have paid in.

Can I switch between accounts?

Yes, you can switch to another Cash Junior ISA or Investment Junior ISA. Keep in mind the child can only have one Cash Junior ISA.

Yes, you can switch to another Investment Junior ISA or Cash JISA. Keep in mind the child can only have one Investment Junior ISA.

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about our Junior ISA

If you’re interested in investing for your child’s future, we’ll help get you started.

When you open a Junior ISA with us, we’ll add in £50 to kick-start the child’s investment. Terms apply.

Why choose Scottish Friendly?

  • Established 1862

    We've been helping customers to invest for over 150 years.

  • We're a mutual

    That means any profits are used to benefit our members - people like you.

  • You're protected

    Your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensations Scheme.