Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Lifetime ISAs

25% state bonus on savings for under-40s

Get Our Free Weekly Email!

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Don't miss out

Martin and Helen S

Updated April 2017

Golden piggy bank

The launch of the new LISA (Lifetime ISA) on 6 April 2017 was a damp squib – with only a few providers offering them. Yet don't ignore it, as £1,000 of annual free cash is nowt to be sneezed at, and for first-time buyers delay could cost. It works the same way for retirement savings – but whether it beats a pension is a much trickier conversation.

This guide by founder Martin Lewis and MSE's chief analyst Helen Saxon takes you through everything you need to know about the LISA, and – crucially – all the latest best buys. If there's anything you think we've missed please let us know.

The Lifetime ISA need-to-knows

  • The Lifetime ISA's designed to help you buy your first home, or for retirement

    The LISA is a tax-free wrapper that lets you put up to £4,000 in it every year. It can be as cash savings – so you get interest – or stocks and shares investing – so you get share growth (or loss).

    It's designed for two specific purposes. The first is for first-time buyers to use towards a deposit for a residential property (see the LISA for first-time buyers). The second is for later life (OK, let's call it retirement) savings once you hit age 60 (see the LISA for retirement). And if you decide to use the LISA to buy your first home, you can keep it open and save for retirement.

    The idea behind mixing the two is a bit of behavioural economics. Many under-40s are turned on by saving for their first home in a way they aren't for saving for retirement, so the idea of bringing them together is that hopefully people will build up a savings habit for their first home, then, with a zest for saving, carry on afterwards. However, the strategy for saving for a home in the short term and retirement in the long term are very different.

    Quick question

    How does the LISA's tax-free status work?

  • You get a 25% bonus each tax year on everything you put in

    Man handing over moneyYou can save up to £4,000 a year in a LISA as a lump sum or by putting in cash when you can. The state will then add a 25% bonus on top. So if you save £1,000, you'll have £1,250 and if you save the full £4,000, you'll have £5,000. And that's before interest or growth.

    • The bonus is paid every year until you hit age 50.
    • It's added to your account annually until April 2018, then monthly.
    • Once in your account it counts as money, so you'll get interest on it too.
    • You only get the bonus on contributions, not interest or stocks and shares growth/loss.
    • The max bonus is £32,000 (unless rules change), if you open it at 18, and max it out until you hit 50.
    Quick questions

    Can I save more than £4,000 a year?

    I'm not from the UK, or I'm currently living overseas. Can I open a LISA?

  • You must be aged 18 or over but under 40 when you open a Lifetime ISA

    Young boy and man

    Anyone aged 18 to 39 can open a LISA. For (grand)parents wanting to help their (grand)kids buy a home, giving them cash to put in a LISA is a great way to do it.

    Those pushing 40 need to be speedy – make sure you open one before you hit the cut-off age.

    Once you're over 40, you can continue to save into the LISA until your 50th birthday. And, if you want to transfer it to a new provider, for example to get a better interest rate, this is allowed – and then you can add to it. You can't just open another for new money only.

    As always when there's an age limit, some will miss out, as Samantha pointed out on Facebook – her birthday was on LISA launch day...

    Facebook comment

    That means she missed out by a day. For the many people who've asked us "Isn't this age discrimination?" the answer is yes, it is. However, it is not illegal age discrimination; no more than setting a state pension age is. Bear in mind that the Help to Buy ISA also gives a 25% bonus (though on a smaller amount) and has no upper age limit. Also see our Top Savings, Top Cash ISAs and Pension Savings guides.

    Quick questions

    Can I open a LISA for my son or daughter?

    Can I keep saving in a LISA once I'm over 50?

  • After the first year, withdraw the money for owt else and you pay a penalty (unless you die)

    You can take some or all of your cash out of a LISA before age 60 even if you're not buying a property. In the first year that LISAs are available (so until 5 April 2018) there is no penalty for doing so; then again you won't have got the bonus either as that's only paid at the end of the first year.

    After that it'll usually cost you – so it's best to try to only use the LISA if you're sure the cash is for one of the two defined purposes.

    • Withdrawals for other reasons have a 25% penalty, equivalent to a loss of just over 6%. At first glance the fact you've had a 25% bonus added and then a 25% penalty would leave you back where you started. Yet unfortunately the maths doesn't work like that...

      ... Imagine you saved £1,000 in April 2017. At the end of year one (so April 2018), you'll get a £250 bonus, so you've £1,250 total (ignoring interest, for ease). If you withdrew it, and closed the account, the 25% penalty would be £312.50. So you'd get £937.50 back.

      The way the maths works out is withdrawing for reasons other than LISA purposes loses you 6.25% of what you contributed.

    • You don't pay the withdrawal charge if you die or are terminally ill. There is provision in the LISA rules so that if you have less than 12 months to live, you retain the bonus with no penalties. If you die, any LISA money including interest and bonuses is passed on to your beneficiaries without penalty, though it'll no longer be in an ISA wrapper, and will form part of the estate for inheritance tax purposes.

    Quick questions

    What happens to my ISA allowance when I die?

    Will I be able to borrow from the LISA if I pay it all back?

  • Once it's opened, you're not locked in – you're free to transfer it to another provider

    Junior ISA

    Once you've got the LISA open you don't have to stick with the provider you pick at the start.

    As with normal ISAs, interest rates will go up and down – you'll need to keep an eye on it, and be ready to transfer between different LISA providers to up the rate if you see a better deal.

    The same is true with stocks & shares ISAs: you may decide to change your investment priorities, in which case you'll be allowed to move it.

    You can hold more than one LISA at any one time, provided that you only pay in to one at any time in each tax year (you can transfer the current year's money around, provided it's ALL transferred each time).

  • You can open and contribute to a cash ISA and a Lifetime ISA

    The overall ISA limit is £20,000 in the 2017/18 tax year. You are allowed to split this between a LISA (up to the maximum £4,000) and put the remainder in a cash ISA, stocks & shares ISA and/or an innovative finance ISA (for peer-to-peer investing) in the same tax year.

    You're also allowed to have a Help to Buy ISA and a LISA, though you can't get the first-time buyers' bonus on both (see Help to Buy ISA vs LISA info below). But you could get the Help to Buy ISA bonus for a home and the LISA bonus for retirement.

    Quick question

    Can I transfer cash from other ISAs into my Lifetime ISA?

The Lifetime ISA need-to-knows for first-time buyers

  • A first-time buyer is someone who's NEVER owned a property anywhere in the world before

    If you've owned before – whether inside or outside the UK – you don't count. This includes owning a property (or a share of one) that you inherited, even if it was sold straightaway and you didn't live there. If you owned a company or had a trust that owned residential property that you are (or were) able to live in, you're also not considered a first-time buyer.

    Quick 'Do I count?' questions

    How do I actually buy a home with a LISA – who does it?

    I'm a beneficiary in a will through which I'll receive a property in future. Am I a first-time buyer?

    I invest in property through peer-to-peer schemes. Am I a first-time buyer?

  • You must be buying a residential UK property to live in that costs £450,000 or less

    To get the bonus you'll just need to buy a property that costs £450,000 or less with any residential mortgage (not buy to let). That includes Right to Buy, shared ownership, self-builds, and Help to Buy loans. The LISA is intended to help you buy your first home, so you're not supposed to rent it out. For exact rules, see Martin's 'Can I rent my property?' blog.

    If you put the money in a LISA and don't qualify to use it for a property (eg, the property you want is more than £450,000), you'll have to pay the penalty to withdraw it or you can keep it for use once you hit 60. So think seriously about whether this could happen to you first.

    You can get the money in time for exchange on your property, meaning you can use it towards the deposit requested by the person you are buying off, as well as the deposit the mortgage company will want on the property at completion. See the difference between these.

    Quick questions

    How quickly do I need to buy after withdrawal?

    What happens if my purchase falls through?

    Is there a minimum mortgage amount or term to use the LISA?

    I'm a cash buyer. Can I use the LISA?

    Can I use the LISA for a self-build property?

    If I have a shared ownership property, can I use the LISA to 'staircase up'?

  • Each person has their own LISA, so couples can have one each

    If you're planning to buy a home together, it's important to understand that there's no such thing as a joint LISA: you and your partner/spouse need to open separate ones. To make it plain:

    • If you're a first-time buyer making a purchase with someone who's owned before – you can still open one and use it towards a home purchase together.
    • If you're both first-time buyers buying a property together costing £450,000 or less – you can both open one and save in it, effectively doubling the bonus. Note: even if you're both using the LISA, the £450,000 limit is strict. It doesn't double because you're both using the LISA cash.
  • Rules for couples buying lifetime ISA together Rules for couples buying lifetime ISA together
  • You need to have the LISA open for a year or more to be able to use it for a home

    This is crucial. You need to have had the LISA open for at least 12 months to get the bonus cash for your first home. If you need to buy within a year, use a Help to Buy ISA instead.

    It's worth bearing in mind that if you open multiple LISAs, each one needs to have been open for more than 12 months to qualify. However, there's a way around this. Simply transfer all the money into the oldest one before you buy – then it all counts.

    Or you can keep the clock ticking by rolling all your LISAs into one, year after year. So if you opened a LISA in April 2017, you could transfer it to another provider in April 2018 and even though the original account would no longer exist, you'd still be able to use your LISA for a home, as the transfer kept the 12-month count running.

  • Wannabe first-time buyer? Even if you've no savings, open a LISA ASAP with the minimum, to start the clock

    As you must have had a LISA open for a year to get the first-time buyers' bonus, anyone with even an inkling of being a first-time buyer should open a LISA as soon as possible, with the bare minimum (can be just £1) just to get the clock ticking – in case you want to add to it later.

    The problem is, so far the only products launched are stocks & shares LISAs, which aren't ideal if you're saving to buy a home, especially if you're buying soon. But we know at least one provider is aiming to launch a cash LISA by the end of June 2017.

    So if you won't buy before June 2018, you could wait until June this year to start the clock, but if you might need it sooner, just open a stocks & shares ISA now, with the minimum, and then transfer it to a cash LISA later. You'll see info on the best accounts to do this with in the LISA best buys.

  • You can transfer Help to Buy ISAs into LISAs to get the bonus on all the cash, but it's probably best to wait for now

    The Help to Buy ISA was launched in December 2015, and like the LISA, it has a 25% bonus that's added to what you save, if you use it towards a first home.

    • You can have a Help to Buy ISA and a LISA.
    • However, you can only use the bonus from one of them towards buying a home.
    • Use the LISA for the 25% bonus to buy a home and you won't get the bonus with the Help to Buy ISA, but you can still keep and use the money plus the interest.
    • Use the Help to Buy ISA for the 25% bonus and you'd have to pay a penalty to use your LISA savings for a property. Though you'd still be able to use it and get the bonus for retirement savings.

    While the LISA allows you to save more, the Help to Buy ISA wins for some as our table shows:

    Lifetime ISAs vs Help to Buy ISAs – which wins?
      Lifetime ISA (for home purchase) Help to Buy ISA
    Max contribution? £4,000/yr £2,400/yr (£3,400 in year one)
    Lump sums? Yes No, need to save monthly
    Max bonus? £32,000 (assumes max contribution over 32 years) £3,000 (assumes max contribution over four years and eight months)
    When's the bonus paid? First year's bonus paid in April 2018; after which it's paid monthly On completion when you buy a home
    Investment option too? Yes, via stocks & shares LISAs No. Cash savings only
    Max property price? £450,000 £250,000 (£450,000 in London)
    How quickly can you use it? After the LISA's been open 12mths Once you've £1,600+ saved (can be done in min 3mths)
    Who can open it? Anyone aged 18 to 39 Any first-time buyer aged 16+
    What can it be used for? The home deposit and mortgage deposit Just the mortgage deposit
    Can I withdraw money if not buying a home? Yes, at age 60+; if earlier you don't get the bonus and will pay a penalty Yes, at any time, you just don't get the bonus

    You can transfer a Help to Buy ISA into a LISA, but should you?

    This is an area many are finding very confusing so let's try to break it down a little...

    • Transfer a Help to Buy ISA into a LISA by 6 April 2018 and you get the bonus on ALL of it. If you transfer your Help to Buy ISA into a LISA, you'll get the bonus on that, as well as your LISA savings. The bonus will be added a couple of weeks after the end of the 2017/18 tax year (so mid April 2018ish). Money transferred in after that doesn't get the extra bonus.
    • Transfer, and any Help To Buy ISA contributions made before 6 April 2017 don't eat up your LISA allowance. If you transfer in your Help to Buy ISA before 5 April 2018, all the money you put in it before 5 April 2017 won't impact your £4,000 annual LISA allowance. However, any money put in after does – eg, if you put £1,000 in your Help to Buy ISA after 6 April 2017 then later that tax year transferred it into a LISA, you will only be able to add £3,000 more to your LISA. See a more detailed example.
    • Don't transfer your Help to Buy ISA until around March 2018 to keep maximum flexibility. The big advantage of the Help to Buy ISA over the LISA is it can be used more quickly. You simply need to have £1,600 in it. With a LISA you need to have had it for a year. To give you the freedom to buy a home before 6 April 2018 and get the bonus, you're best to keep contributing to your Help to Buy ISA as you can't use a LISA before then.
    • Open a LISA with the minimum as soon as plausible to get the clock started. In case you haven't bought by April 2018, it's worth also having a LISA open as soon as practical, to get the 'one year' countdown ticking. Then if you don't use the Help to Buy ISA by March 2018, just transfer it across to the LISA and top the LISA up to the max.
    • If there's definitely no rush to buy, wait until June 2017 if you want a cash LISA. The only issue with opening a LISA straightaway is there may not be any cash LISAs available until June (see LISA best buys), only stocks & shares LISAs. If you're not going to buy before June 2018, and would prefer a cash LISA, just wait until then to open one. If you may need it quicker, you'll need to open a stocks & shares LISA now, with the minimum, and transfer it to a cash LISA when one launches. Then transfer in the Help to Buy ISA later.

    Martin's 'Should you transfer your Help to Buy ISA into a Lifetime ISA?' video

    Quick question

    What if I've transferred in my Help to Buy ISA, but I end up buying before April 2018?

The three Lifetime ISA need-to-knows for retirement savers

  • You can only access your LISA funds at age 60 – so you need to be in for the long haul

    Even for the oldest people who can get a LISA, 60 is two decades away. The rules could be changed within that time, for good or bad – like any form of retirement savings. Here's how they stand now...

    • You can access the cash on or after your 60th birthday. Then use it for whatever you like.
    • You don't have to take it all at once. You can make partial withdrawals.
    • If you leave it in the LISA it will still continue to get interest or investment growth/loss. The LISA doesn't simply stop at age 60; it'll still be an active product.
    • You don't pay tax on the cash. All money taken out of a LISA for retirement is tax-free.
    • LISA savings will affect your eligibility for benefits. Unlike a pension, which isn't counted as savings for means-tested benefits, the LISA will affect your eligibility for them. So you could have to pay to withdraw your LISA retirement savings and live off those until your savings are down below the means-testing threshold. Similarly, they count as assets in bankruptcy or divorce cases.
  • WARNING! Unless you're a self-employed basic-rate taxpayer, using a pension to save for retirement is likely to be far better than a LISA

    The LISA is designed as an option for saving for retirement, just like a pension. Some will see it as an alternative; others will see it as a complementary measure, as you can have both. But the two are very different beasts.

    • With a pension you save from gross (pre-tax) income. So, as a basic-rate taxpayer, to save £100 only costs you £80 from your pay packet, as that's all you would've received.

    • With a LISA you save from net (after-tax) income. So, to put £80 in costs you £80. However, if 25% is added to it, that means you've got £100.

    So on the surface the amount you put in and get are pretty similar for basic-rate taxpayers. But it does get more complex than that...

    Where a pension usually beats a LISA

    • If you're employed, auto-enrolment means your employer has to match some of your contributions in a pension; they don't in a LISA. This is a big advantage of pensions, and one that easily trumps a LISA.
    • You may also get national insurance and salary sacrifice gains from a pension through an employer.
    • Higher-rate taxpayers get relief at 40% in a pension. So to contribute £100 only costs them £60 – easily beating a LISA.
    • Saving in a pension doesn't impact your benefit entitlement; saving in a LISA does. If you became unemployed, you may need to withdraw your LISA savings (and pay the 25% withdrawal charge) before you'd be eligible to claim some means-tested benefits – leaving you nothing for retirement.
    • Savings in a LISA are counted as assets in divorce or bankruptcy cases, so you could be forced to cash in early. Pensions are usually protected.
    • You can currently take money from pensions from age 55; you need to be 60 to use LISA savings without penalty.

    Where a LISA usually beats a pension

    • When you take your pension (see how to take your pension) you can only take 25% of it as a tax-free lump sum – the rest you pay income tax on (at your marginal rate). However, withdrawals from LISAs are totally tax-free.
    • Apart from with critical illness and death you can't ever take cash out of a pension early, but if you're prepared to take a 6% hit you can withdraw money from a LISA.

    As a general rule though, a pension will likely beat a LISA as a first place to save for retirement funds for anyone who is employed (due to the employer's contribution) and anyone who is a higher- or top-rate taxpayer. As this is complex, here's a table which may make it easier.

    Lifetime ISAs vs pensions – which wins?
      Lifetime ISA Pension – basic-rate taxpayer Pension – higher-rate taxpayer
    Employer contribution None Yes – 1-3% of salary (see auto-enrolment) Yes – 1-3% of salary (see auto-enrolment)
    State contribution 25% 25% (tax relief) 66% (tax relief)
    Max amount you can you save/yr? £4,000 £40,000 (max amount with tax relief) (1) £40,000 (max amount with tax relief) (1)
    When is bonus/tax relief paid? First year's bonus paid in April 2018; after which it's paid monthly Immediately 25% paid immediately, rest must be claimed
    Who can open one? Anyone aged 18-39 Anyone aged 16+; parents can open one for you from birth Anyone aged 16+; parents can open one for you from birth
    When can you access it? Age 60 (accessible before for a penalty) Age 55 Age 55
    Do I pay in from pre- or post-tax income? Post-tax income Pre-tax income Pre-tax income
    What tax will I pay on withdrawal? Tax-free 25% tax-free, rest taxed at your income tax rate 25% tax-free, rest taxed at your income tax rate
    Liable for inheritance tax? Yes No No
    Affects pre-pension-age benefits entitlement? Yes No No
    Can be taken to pay creditors in bankruptcy? Yes No No

    (1) You can carry unused allowances over from previous years, meaning that technically you could contribute up to £160,000 in the 2017/18 tax year. However, you'd need to earn at least this to get this much tax relief. For a fuller explanation of the annual allowance, see 17 pension need-to-knows.

    A little aside...

    Not to do with your choice, but it's worth taking a look at the cleverness behind this from the Treasury. If people use a LISA rather than a pension, the Treasury gets tax revenue now, as savings come from taxed income. If people put it in a pension, the Treasury has to wait years to get tax. So this could be the current Chancellor grabbing cash out of future Chancellors' pockets.

  • The longer you're likely to keep the LISA, the more you should consider share-type investments

    The LISA gives you two savings options. The main one for first-time buyers will be cash LISAs which is where you put the money into the equivalent of a savings account, so your capital (the sum you put in) is safe and you get a defined amount of interest on top.

    Yet if you're saving for retirement it's also worth considering investment LISAs – where the money is invested in stocks and shares (or funds) and performance depends on how well your investments do. Here you're taking a risk that you may lose some cash in the hope that it will grow faster.

    Smiling piggy bank

    Which you opt for will depend on your attitude to risk and reward, though as a rule of thumb, you should be looking to invest for at least five years if that's your choice. This allows enough time to ride out any bumps in the market that might see you make a loss.

    If you're saving for retirement and you've more than five or 10 years to go, the general wisdom is it's worth taking some risk at that point and looking at the higher rewards that investing in the market can bring – though it comes with the risk of losing money if stock markets (or companies you hold shares in) tank.

    But, if you're a bit more cautious, you could open a cash LISA one year, and a stocks & shares LISA the next year (remember, you can hold more than one LISA at a time, you just can't usually open and pay in to more than one in the same tax year).

    Quick question

    Are my savings safe in a Lifetime ISA?

Best BuysThe top Lifetime ISAs (there aren't many)

HM Revenue & Customs only launched its final ISA guidance at the end of March 2017, about a week before the 6 April launch date. Many providers told us they were waiting for this before they took their decision on whether to offer a Lifetime ISA – we've information below on those who have said they will be launching LISAs...

Top cash Lifetime ISAs

Only one provider has so far said it will definitely launch a cash LISA, though it won't be in the market till June.

Skipton logo

Not available till June 2017. The first cash LISA we know about

Skipton Building Society

The Skipton Lifetime ISA is the first cash LISA that we know will be available – launching in June 2017. We have little information, but will add more here as we find it out – including the all-important details of rates and whether it'll accept transfers in.

Stats box:
  • Interest rate: TBC
  • Opening restrictions: Must be aged 18-39 to open it
  • Min pay-in: TBC | Max pay-in: £4,000/yr
  • Accepts transfers: TBC
  • FSCS protection: Full £85,000 UK savings safety guarantee. See Savings Safety.

As more providers announce their LISAs, we'll add them here.

Top stocks & shares Lifetime ISAs

Ultimately with stocks & shares LISAs, what counts is what you choose to invest in, and there are a lot of different investment choices. We don't cover which investments are best for you, so here are the main details of the platforms currently offering stocks & shares LISAs.

Stocks & shares LISAs are much riskier than cash LISAs by their very nature. So there are two things to remember before going down this route:

1. IMPORTANT! If you invest, your capital is at risk. As with any investment, the value of your funds can go down as well as up, and while it's unlikely, you could lose all your money.

2. Always keep an eye on fees. Because even small fees year after year can eat into your investment.

Hargreaves Lansdoen logo

Huge choice of investments, good if you're confident and want to DIY

Hargreaves Lansdown*

Hargreaves Lansdown* is a major investment provider, and popular with investors for its large range of choices – more than 13,500 different options. With Hargreaves, you can be as involved as you want, from choosing your own shares and funds, to opting for a managed investment where you say how much risk you're happy with.

Stats box
  • What can I invest in? 13,500 investment choices, incl shares, funds, investment trusts, exchange-traded funds. It also offers managed portfolios.
  • Min investment: £100 lump sum or £25/mth
  • Annual fees: 0.45% as a base, though it depends what you invest in. See all charges.
  • Can I transfer my Help to Buy ISA in? Yes
  • Exit fees: £25 + VAT to close & £25 to transfer out

Opening this just to start the LISA clock?
Largest choice of investments, but highest fees to transfer out – so not the best option if you just want to leave it for a couple of months before you transfer it to a cash LISA.

  • Minimum investment: £100 or £25/mth
  • Fees to transfer to cash LISA: £25 + VAT to close & £25 to transfer out
  • Lowest-risk fund: Hargreaves Lansdown says if you're very risk averse, you can leave your cash in a 'cash park' (basically holding it as cash) until you're ready to transfer it out, though you won't get interest.
Nutmeg logo

Robo-investor, so limited choice of investment, but does it all for you


Nutmeg* is a robo-investor, meaning you don't get to choose the exact investments your money goes into. Instead, you can choose portfolios based on your attitude to risk – Nutmeg will ask you questions when you open your account and recommend portfolio(s) to suit the level of risk you're willing to take. This means you can't pick and choose what funds you want in your portfolio, so beware, though it is an easy route.

Stats box
  • What can I invest in? Choice of 10 fully managed portfolios, or five 'fixed-allocation' portfolios
  • Min investment: £100 lump sum
  • Annual fees: Fully managed portfolio: £0-£100k at 0.75%. Fixed portfolio: £0-£100k at 0.45%. Fund manager charges (estimated): 0.19%.
  • Can I transfer my Help to Buy ISA in? No, not yet
  • Exit fees: None

Opening this just to start the LISA clock?
Higher minimum investment than some of the other LISA providers, but no fees to transfer out so a good option if you just want to open it to start the LISA clock.

  • Minimum investment: £100
  • Fees to transfer to cash LISA: No
  • Lowest-risk fund: Nutmeg says 'portfolio one' carries its lowest risk, being made up largely of bonds, rather than equities which are a lot riskier. There are no fees to shut the account and transfer out to a cash LISA provider.
Share Centre logo

Choice of three portfolios depending on your attitude to risk, but high management charges

The Share Centre

Invest in The Share Centre's Lifetime ISA and you can choose from one of its three 'Ready-made Funds': 'Cautious', 'Positive' or 'Adventurous', based on your attitude to risk. You can pick one when you open your account and do so with just £1. Again, this is a limited choice of portfolios, and you can't decide what goes in them, so be careful if selecting this.

Stats box
  • What can I invest in? Choice of three portfolios
  • Min investment: £1
  • Annual fees: Varies, but typically 2% Cautious, 2% Positive and 2.21% Adventurous
  • Can I transfer my Help to Buy ISA in? Yes
  • Exit fees: £25

Opening this just to start the LISA clock?
Lowest minimum investment, but you pay £25 to transfer out.

  • Minimum investment: £1
  • Fees to transfer to cash LISA: £25
  • Lowest-risk fund: The Share Centre says there is a 'cash park' while you're deciding which fund to pick, so you could leave money in that, if you wish to, though you won't get interest. Otherwise, the 'Cautious' fund – as the name suggests – has the least risk.

One more provider launched a LISA on 6 April, though it's limited in who can get it...

Metfriendly. This is an option if you, or a family member, works for the police service (or used to). It invests your cash in a "balanced mix" of equities, bonds, property and cash – you don't get a choice. Metfriendly gives a 2% bonus in the first year (on top of the 25% state bonus).

If you're only opening this to start the LISA clock, you'll need to commit to putting in £1,200 as a lump sum (or £100/mth). If you transfer out to a cash LISA, Metfriendly charges a fee of 5% of the value of your investment.

Get Our Free Weekly Email!

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Don't miss out