Our guide to the Junior ISA

A Junior ISA is a long-term savings account set up by a parent or guardian with a Junior ISA provider, specifically for their child's future. Only the child can access the money, and only once they turn 18.

Before we start...

The information we provide should help you to make an informed decision as OneFamily doesn’t provide advice. If you’re not sure whether a Junior ISA is suitable for you or your child, it’s worth speaking to an independent financial advisor (IFA).


About the Junior ISA

There are two types available: a cash Junior ISA and a stocks and shares Junior ISA. Both can be used to make a long-term investment for your child, but the option(s) you choose will likely depend on your attitude to risk and which of the product features are most appropriate for your circumstances.

The current annual investment limit for Junior ISAs is up to £4,128 for the 2017/18 tax year (that's from 6 April to 5 April the following year), but you are not limited to choosing just one type of Junior ISA - you can split the annual £4,128 investment limit, in any proportion, across both types of account if you wish.

Over the long term, a stocks and shares Junior ISA offers the potential for larger returns if the stocks and shares perform well. But it’s worth remembering that its value can fall as well as rise. This is normal for this kind of investment, but it does mean the child could get back less than has been paid in.

Cash is more secure, but the cost of living (inflation) generally increases over time, so if interest rates aren't higher than inflation the final amount probably won’t buy as much in the future as it could now.

Find out more information about how Junior ISAs work below. Or for more information about our Junior ISA, find out "What is  Junior ISA?" here.



  • Available to those not eligible for a Child Trust Fund, or those wishing to transfer an existing Child Trust Fund into a Junior ISA
  • May be held in cash and stocks and shares
  • Investment limit set at £4,128 for the 2017-18 tax year

How much could your child get?

We all want our children to do well in life and there are certain milestones where a little help from parents can make a massive difference.  Whether you're investing a little or a lot, you can use our calculator to work out how you could build up a very useful amount by the time they're 18.

The figures are a guide only, and we can't guarantee them. They're not a reliable indication of future performance. The amount your child gets back depends on how the investment grows. Stocks and shares can fall as well as rise so the child could get back less than has been paid in. Also, the cost of living generally increases so the final amount may not buy as much in the future as it could now.

Slide to the amount per month you intend to invest

  • £50

Slide to the current age of your child


Amount your child could receive at age 18


    2% annual growth


      5% annual growth


        8% annual growth

        These figures are based on the OneFamily Junior ISA. This is a stocks and shares Junior ISA. These figures do not relate to cash Junior ISAs or Junior ISAs from other providers.

        These figures aren’t guaranteed.

        The results assume amounts for low (2%), mid (5%) and high (8%) annual growth levels.  These figures include a deduction of annual management charge of 1.5%. Calculations are not exact and these charges may vary in the future.

        This projection is only an example, not a reliable indicator of future performance. The child could get back more or less than this. Over time the cost of living will generally rise, which means the child will not be able to buy as much in the future with the amounts shown.


        Only a parent or a legal guardian can open a Junior ISA for a child - although once the account is set up anyone can invest in it, meaning grandparents and other extended family members can make their own contributions towards your child's future.

        Your child is eligible for a Junior ISA if they...

        • Are under 18 years of age (although some providers may have lower age limits, depending on the particular account)
        • Be resident in the UK
        • Have not been eligible for a Child Trust Fund account

        It is worth noting that, since April 2015, holders of Child Trust Fund accounts can transfer to a Junior ISA.


        A Junior ISA can be an efficient way of saving because tax isn’t paid on the returns from the investment - this means your child will receive the full value when they turn 18, without having to worry about deductions from the taxman.

        However, there is a limit to how much you can save in a Junior ISA each tax year, and you must remember that any tax advantages related to Junior ISAs depend on your and the child's individual circumstances and may change in the future.

        Graph showing Junior ISA subscription limits increasing from £3,720 in 2013-14 to £4,128 in 2017-18.

        How you can invest money for your child

        You can open a cash Junior ISA or a stocks and shares Junior ISA, or set up one account of each kind for the same child. It's up to you how you choose to split your investment over these two accounts, but remember that the total payments that can be made into the accounts cannot exceed the current tax year limit of £4,128.

        For example, you could invest £2,064 in a stocks and shares Junior ISA during this tax year, as well as £2,064 in a cash Junior ISA, as long as the overall investment for the 2017/18 tax year does not exceed the £4,128 limit.

        Alternatively you could invest £3,000 in a stocks and shares Junior ISA and £1,128 in cash, or place the entire £4,128 allowance in stocks and shares. Equally, you could invest more in a cash Junior ISA.

        Remember that the £4,128 Junior ISA allowance is a maximum yearly investment amount for the current tax year - you can invest significantly less than this if you wish to, either as a lump sum, or as a regular investment. Please bear in mind that any unused allowance at the end of the tax year is lost and cannot be added to the allowance for subsequent years.

        Graph showing how you can split money across cash Junior ISAs and stocks and shares Junior ISAs.

        How to set up a Junior ISA

        Setting up a Junior ISA for your child is straightforward. You should firstly decide on whether you want to invest in a cash Junior ISA, a stocks and shares Junior ISA, or a combination of the two.

        Then you should select your account provider - there are lots to choose from, including offerings from banks, building societies, credit unions and other financial services providers.

        Each will offer different Junior ISA products with different rates and returns, so be sure to shop around to get the most suitable product for your child before contacting the provider to confirm the application process.

        About our Junior ISA

        Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions.