Guide to the Lifetime Isa

  • Comprehend what the Lifetime Isa is and how it fits alongside the Isa range of products.
  • Learn the pros and cons of the Lifetime Isa and which providers are offering it.
  • Understand whether the Lifetime Isa is the forerunner to a pension Isa.
Guide to the Lifetime Isa


Say the word ‘Isa’ to most people age 18 and above, and they will probably be familiar with the simplest Isa, the cash Isa.

With any luck, their parents or grandparents may have begun investing for them in a Junior Isa.

Russell Warwick, direct to consumer director at Prudential UK, observes: “The Isa has come a long way since its launch in 1999, with its tax-efficient model helping it become the backbone of millions of Britons’ personal investments.

“With over two-fifths of UK adults currently subscribing to an Isa, the Isa market has now grown to be worth over £470bn, with further growth anticipated as the Isa allowance continues to rise."

But mention the Lifetime Isa and you may be met with stony silence. 

There has been a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the Lifetime Isa - the so-called Lisa - since it was announced by George Osborne in his 2016 Budget.

Those in the savings and investment industry pointed out the range of Isas is becoming overly complex and may deter rather than encourage younger people from saving.

As such, there are only a few providers offering the product from 6 April, including Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell, Transact, The Share Centre and Nutmeg.

The first month of the Lisa’s life will be an important one, with providers closely watching demand, presumably before deciding whether to enter the market with their own Lisa.

The new Isa has been positioned by the government as for those with the following saving goals: buying a first home, or setting money aside for retirement.

This guide will set out what the Lisa is, explaining some of the finer details of this new product, and assessing the extent of any demand.

It will also weigh up the pros and cons of the latest addition to the Isa range, which many in the industry believe paves the way for a pension Isa, as discussed in the final article of the guide.

Contributors to this guide include: Rachel Vahey, product technical manager at Nucleus Financial; Paul Darlow, head of proposition development at Xafinity; Trevor Clark, operations director at Rutherford Wilkinson; Niki Patel, technical consultant at Technical Connection; Martin Jarvis, associate consultant at Mattioli Woods; Jon Greer, pensions expert at Old Mutual Wealth; Danny Cox, head of communications at Hargreaves Lansdown; Iain Niblock, chief executive at Orca; Russell Warwick, direct-to-consumer director at Prudential UK; Martin Tilley, director of technical services at Dentons Pension Management; Ollie Smyth, independent financial adviser at Walker Crips Wealth Management; Neil Lovatt, commercial director at Scottish Friendly; Kris Brewster, head of products at Skipton; Financial Conduct Authority; The Share Centre; and Selftrade.

In this guide

  1. According to Ms Patel, someone who opens a Lifetime Isa account aged 18 to save for retirement and keeps contributing the maximum until age 50 will be able to secure lifetime savings of up to how much?

  2. Which one of these is not a reason given by Mr Darlow for interest in the Lisa?

  3. Of the 150 18-39 year olds polled by The Share Centre, 76 per cent believe the Lifetime Isa will what?

  4. Which two features does Mr Lovatt want to see the government add to the Lisa?

  5. What will help people understand the benefits of using pensions and Isas to save, according to Ms Vahey?

  6. The PLSA survey of 895 adults found 42 per cent of respondents plan to do what with the Lifetime Isa?

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