NS&I to close children’s bonds as it launches junior ISA
The government’s savings arm will close children’s bonds to new sales from September. There are currently more than 839,000 children’s bonds but NS&I confirms customers will be able to keep the product until their current term matures.
NS&I’s children’s bonds were first issued in 1981 where it paid a bonus at the end of the fixed term in addition to the interest rate. In 2012, the bonus element was removed in favour of a simpler interest rate structure.
Currently, the five-year bond pays 2.00% tax-free AER on a minimum £25 investment.
NS&I has also today announced it is launching a Junior ISA.
It will pay 2.00% tax-free/AER interest and it can only be opened and managed online. The minimum deposit is £1 and maximum subscription limit is £4,128 for the 2017/18 tax year.
Anyone can pay into the account, but only those with legal responsibility for the child can open the savings product.
Once the child reaches 16, they can take control of the ISA, though no withdrawals are allowed before the age of 18.
NS&I confirms it will allow transfers of Child Trust Funds and other junior ISAs.
How good is the NS&I Junior ISA?
One of the major benefit of any NS&I product is that it’s backed by HM Treasury so they offer 100% capital security.
However, the 2.00% interest rate is at the lower end of junior ISA offerings currently available in the market.
According to Moneyfacts data, the top paying junior ISA comes from Coventry Building Society, offering 3.25% AER on a minimum £1 deposit. However, unlike NS&I, the product can only be opened in branch or by post, not online.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a better rate but with internet access, Nationwide Building Society’s junior ISA offers 3% AER and the account can be operated via app too.