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Posted on: 15 May, 17

The start of the new tax year on 6 April 2017 saw the launch of the Lifetime ISA (LISA), which was announced in the 2016 Budget. This is a new type of Individual Savings Account (ISA) designed to help you save for a first home or for your retirement at the same time. To be eligible, you have to be aged between 18 and 39 years old (up until your 40th birthday).

Government bonus

You can save up to £4,000 a year into a LISA, and this will be supplemented by a government bonus of 25% of the money you put in. After year one, the bonus will be paid into your account monthly based on how much you pay in, but in the first year it will be paid in one lump sum at the end of the tax year. The maximum bonus that you can receive is £1,000 each year. You’ll obtain a bonus on any savings you make up until you reach 50 years of age, at which point you won’t be able to make any more payments into your account. You only receive the bonus on the new money that you pay in (or transfer from another ISA) during the tax year, rather than it being based on the overall value of your LISA.

Combination of different ISA types

You will be able to have any combination of different ISA types and a LISA at the same time. For example, if you have a Cash ISA and a Stocks & Shares ISA already, you can also have a LISA. You can’t pay in more than the annual ISA allowance however, which in the 2017/18 tax year (that started on 6 April) is £20,000, with a maximum of £4,000 going into the Lifetime ISA. The ISA allowance relates to each person and not per household, so two first-time buyers could both receive a bonus when buying their first home together.

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