Final Junior ISA details revealed

Large and small piggy banks

Junior ISAs will be available from 1 November 2011 with a £3,600 limit.

The Treasury has today confirmed the increased savings limit from £3,000 to £3,600 and that its guideline date for introducing Junior ISAs will be upheld. Junior ISAs - or JISAs, as they are already being referred to, are being introduced to bridge the gap left after child trust funds were abolished.

They are available to children born on or after 3 January 2011, any child under 18 years old born before September 2002, or anyone born between these dates who doesn't already have a child trust fund. Those with existing child trust funds aren't eligible for a JISA.

Children will be able to hold both a stocks and shares ISA and cash ISA; however unlike adult ISAs it's not possible to hold ISAs with multiple providers although, provided transfers are allowed, account holders can switch providers each year.

Children won't be able to access their savings until they reach 18. Alternatively, if they don't withdraw the money, the JISA will revert to a standard adult ISA.

Banks, building societies and investment houses are now expected to reveal details of their own JISA products and specific terms and conditions. A number have already released details following the Treasury's announcement.

Family Investments' JISA will require monthly premiums of as little as £10, while Fidelity's offering promises access to a large range of funds (200) through its platform: "Our fund supermarket will enable investors to select funds from multiple providers for their Junior ISA rather than being restricted to one should they choose to invest directly with a fund provider", says Rob Fisher, head of personal investments at Fidelity.

Familes and the financial sector alike are welcoming the introduction of products that will get families saving.

Ian Sayers, director general of the Association of Investment Companies, says investing the maximum £3,600 into a stocks and shares ISA through an investment company would have grown to £147,541 over 18 years.

He adds: "Junior ISAs offer a straightforward way to save for children tax efficiently. The use of the well-established ISA brand should help build confidence and familiarity with the product.

"The Junior ISA will create even stronger incentives for those committed to saving for their children."

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My first child's CTF is with F&C, which has a mere 12 funds available. My second child qualifies for a JISA. If things have been opened up in this way, why can't a CTF be converted to a JISA, allowing my son access to a greater number of funds?

Is it possible for me to close the CTF & reapply on his behalf for a JISA? Will there be sufficient pressure in due course that CTFs & JISAs will be interchangeable? So many questions & an agonising wait until November in the meantime...!