Individual Savings Account 

Individual Savings Account 

A type of retail investment arrangement that is available to UK citizens is an individual savings account, or ISA. 

ISAs, launched in 1999, have a favourable tax status. They are after-tax income funds, and the performance is exempted from income tax and capital gains tax on investment returns. There is also no tax due when funds are removed from the plan.  

There are no limitations on when or how much money can be taken, and the arrangement allows for the holding of cash and a wide range of investments. It is the British version of the individual retirement account (IRA), or tax-advantaged retirement plan, that Americans are familiar with. 

What is an ISA? 

An ISA is a type of savings account that offers tax-free growth on your savings. Even people with access to employer-sponsored plans like a 401(k) or 403(b) nevertheless take advantage of IRA tax benefits to increase their savings and portfolio flexibility. 


Understanding ISA 

ISAs, which the government established in 1999, are intended to encourage people over 16 to save or invest money for their or their children’s futures. These kinds of accounts have several benefits. First, neither the interest you earn nor any rise in the value of your investments is subject to taxation. Secondly, depending on your chosen ISA, some also give a government incentive.  

Banks, building societies, credit unions, and other financial institutions typically provide individual savings accounts. At a later time, you can transfer your ISAs to different providers. Each tax year, which runs from April to April, has a cap on the amount you can deposit into an ISA. If you fall short of the savings cap, the difference does not carry over to the following year. The savings cap applies to all your accounts, including multiple ISAs, if you have multiple accounts. 

While tax-free in the UK, ISA wrappers offer no advantages in the US, where these accounts are taxed similarly to other accounts. You may maintain the ISAs that you’ve funded in the UK if you reside in the United States.  

When residing in the United States, you are still permitted to manage your ISAs but not to start new ones or add to existing ones. You will thus need to find another way to save and make investments so that it is tax-efficient. 

Types of ISA 

The types of individual savings accounts are as follows: 

  • Cash ISAs 

There are various kinds of cash ISAs, including easy-access and fixed-rate cash ISAs, just like regular savings accounts. Find accounts that offer you the highest interest rates possible while allowing you access to your money when needed. A cash ISA is simple and typically easy to withdraw money from. 

  • Lifetime ISAs 

LISAs can be a fantastic method to save money for retirement or a home. Cash in a LISA can only be used to purchase your first house or to save for the future; otherwise, it can be invested in cash, stocks, or other securities and implies that, unless you are terminally sick, you will typically have to pay penalties greater than the bonus if you withdraw it for any other reason. 

  • Stocks and shares ISAs 

Stocks and shares ISAs allow you to store investment assets like corporate bonds, money, stocks, and shares in a tax-free container. The increase in your investments and any withdrawals you make are not taxed. You can get supplies and shares from ISA through a bank or an online investing platform.  

Look around before paying for these services, including trading and annual fees, to ensure you only pay what is essential. Compared to a cash ISA, this type of ISA may offer higher returns, but the risk is higher because investments might go up and down, and you can get back less than you invested. 

Calculation of ISA 

An ISA is a tax-free savings account that is available to UK residents over the age of 18. The account can be used to save money or to invest in stocks and shares. The government has set a limit on the amount of money that can be deposited into an ISA each year, which is currently US$24,353. 

 The interest earned on an ISA is not subject to income tax, and any capital gains made on investments held within an ISA are also exempt from capital gains tax. This makes ISAs attractive for those looking to save or invest long-term. 

Example of ISA 

An example of an ISA is a Junior ISA or Junior Individual Savings Account. This tax-efficient savings account can be opened in a child’s name by a person responsible for the kid. As long as the total amount deposited doesn’t exceed the annual allocation, parents and other family members are permitted to save on behalf of a kid once a Junior ISA has been formed.  

You can set up recurring direct debit payments or make one-time payments. Before turning 18, when the account is automatically converted into an adult ISA, the youngster cannot access the money. The child can keep saving or withdraw the money and use it in whatever way they like. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Savings are the funds that remain after subtracting a person’s consumer spending from their disposable income during a specific period. 


Although there are various savings accounts, the deposit account, money market account, and certificate of deposit are the three most popular forms. 


You can start a savings account by going to a bank with your government-issued ID and any cash or cheques you wish to deposit. You must also provide your address, contact details, and social security or tax ID number. 


The amount of money that can be kept in an ISA has no upper limit. The ISA allowance cap applies to the maximum amount you can contribute each tax period (6 April to 5 April of the following year). Thus, you cannot have more than £20,000 or US$24,353 in an ISA as long as you haven’t contributed more than £20,000 or US$24,353 in a single tax year. 


You can close your account after making sure there are no uncompleted transactions. Although some financial institutions allow you to shut your account online, others need you to phone, go to a branch, or mail in a form. 


Related Terms

    Read the Latest Market Journal

    Deciphering the Updates: Understanding the latest CPF Changes

    Published on Mar 5, 2024 17 

    The latest changes to the Central Provident Fund (CPF), as unveiled in the 2024 Budget...

    Weekly Updates 4/3/24 – 8/3/24

    Published on Mar 4, 2024 23 

    This weekly update is designed to help you stay informed and relate economic and company...

    Weekly Updates 26/2/24 – 1/3/24

    Published on Feb 28, 2024 62 

    This weekly update is designed to help you stay informed and relate economic and company...

    All-in-One Guide to Investing in China via ETFs

    Published on Feb 27, 2024 444 

    Start trading on POEMS! Open a free account here! Why China? In the vast landscape...

    Navigating the Post-Inflation Landscape in 2024: Top 10 US Markets Key Events to Look out for

    Published on Feb 23, 2024 453 

    Start trading on POEMS! Open a free account here! In 2023, the United States experienced...

    From Boom to Bust: Lessons from the Barings Bank Collapse

    Published on Feb 23, 2024 62 

    Barings Bank was one of the oldest merchant banks in England with a long history...

    Decoding FX CFD 2.0

    Published on Feb 20, 2024 70 

    This article is aimed at availing information and knowledge essential to intermediate forex traders. It...

    Weekly Updates 19/2/24 – 23/2/24

    Published on Feb 19, 2024 89 

    This weekly update is designed to help you stay informed and relate economic and company...

    Contact us to Open an Account

    Need Assistance? Share your Details and we’ll get back to you


    This material is provided by Phillip Capital Management (S) Ltd (“PCM”) for general information only and does not constitute a recommendation, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of any offer to invest in any of the exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) or the unit trust (“Products”) mentioned herein. It does not have any regard to your specific investment objectives, financial situation and any of your particular needs. You should read the Prospectus and the accompanying Product Highlights Sheet (“PHS”) for key features, key risks and other important information of the Products and obtain advice from a financial adviser (“FA“) pursuant to a separate engagement before making a commitment to invest in the Products. In the event that you choose not to obtain advice from a FA, you should assess whether the Products are suitable for you before proceeding to invest. A copy of the Prospectus and PHS are available from PCM, any of its Participating Dealers (“PDs“) for the ETF, or any of its authorised distributors for the unit trust managed by PCM.  

    An ETF is not like a typical unit trust as the units of the ETF (the “Units“) are to be listed and traded like any share on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (“SGX-ST”). Listing on the SGX-ST does not guarantee a liquid market for the Units which may be traded at prices above or below its NAV or may be suspended or delisted. Investors may buy or sell the Units on SGX-ST when it is listed. Investors cannot create or redeem Units directly with PCM and have no rights to request PCM to redeem or purchase their Units. Creation and redemption of Units are through PDs if investors are clients of the PDs, who have no obligation to agree to create or redeem Units on behalf of any investor and may impose terms and conditions in connection with such creation or redemption orders. Please refer to the Prospectus of the ETF for more details.  

    Investments are subject to investment risks including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. The purchase of a unit in a fund is not the same as placing your money on deposit with a bank or deposit-taking company. There is no guarantee as to the amount of capital invested or return received. The value of the units and the income accruing to the units may fall or rise. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of the future or likely performance of the Products. There can be no assurance that investment objectives will be achieved.  

    Where applicable, fund(s) may invest in financial derivatives and/or participate in securities lending and repurchase transactions for the purpose of hedging and/or efficient portfolio management, subject to the relevant regulatory requirements. PCM reserves the discretion to determine if currency exposure should be hedged actively, passively or not at all, in the best interest of the Products.  

    The regular dividend distributions, out of either income and/or capital, are not guaranteed and subject to PCM’s discretion. Past payout yields and payments do not represent future payout yields and payments. Such dividend distributions will reduce the available capital for reinvestment and may result in an immediate decrease in the net asset value (“NAV”) of the Products. Please refer to <> for more information in relation to the dividend distributions.  

    The information provided herein may be obtained or compiled from public and/or third party sources that PCM has no reason to believe are unreliable. Any opinion or view herein is an expression of belief of the individual author or the indicated source (as applicable) only. PCM makes no representation or warranty that such information is accurate, complete, verified or should be relied upon as such. The information does not constitute, and should not be used as a substitute for tax, legal or investment advice.  

    The information herein are not for any person in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or availability for use would contravene any applicable law or regulation or would subject PCM to any registration or licensing requirement in such jurisdiction or country. The Products is not offered to U.S. Persons. PhillipCapital Group of Companies, including PCM, their affiliates and/or their officers, directors and/or employees may own or have positions in the Products. Any member of the PhillipCapital Group of Companies may have acted upon or used the information, analyses and opinions herein before they have been published. 

    This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  


    Phillip Capital Management (S) Ltd (Co. Reg. No. 199905233W)  
    250 North Bridge Road #06-00, Raffles City Tower ,Singapore 179101 
    Tel: (65) 6230 8133 Fax: (65) 65383066