Help to Buy ISAs and the Lifetime ISA

Want to transfer your Help to Buy ISA to a Nutmeg Lifetime ISA?

Leave us your email and we’ll let you know when we’re set up to make Help to Buy ISA transfers. Don’t worry, it’ll be within the next few months so you won’t miss out on the government bonus.


Can I transfer my Help to Buy ISA to Nutmeg?

Currently, you can't transfer your Help to Buy ISA to a Nutmeg Lifetime ISA, though we plan to introduce this feature before the end of the current tax year.

But put in your email above and we'll keep you updated as to when it may be possible.

Can I have a Lifetime ISA and a Help to Buy ISA?

If you currently have a Help to Buy ISA you can continue to put money into it. You can transfer it to the Lifetime ISA, or you can choose to save into both — but you will only be able to use the bonus from one of them to buy your first property.

Can I transfer my Help to Buy ISA to a Lifetime ISA?

If you have a Help to Buy ISA, you can choose to transfer your savings into a Lifetime ISA:

  • During the 2017/18 tax year: you can transfer any money that you’ve saved in your Help to Buy ISA to a Lifetime ISA. For this year only, provided you saved the money into your Help to Buy ISA before 6th April 2017, the transfer won’t count towards your Lifetime ISA allowance, so you can still contribute an additional £4,000. You will receive the 25% government bonus on the whole amount.
  • If you contribute to your Help to Buy ISA on or after 6th April 2017 and then choose to transfer it to a Lifetime ISA, it will count towards the £4,000 annual cap.
  • From 6th April 2018: if you decide to transfer your Help to Buy ISA to a Lifetime ISA, all transfers count towards your Lifetime ISA annual allowance — irrespective of when the contributions were made, i.e. including those made before 6th April 2017.

What’s going to happen to the Help to Buy ISA?

You’ll be able to open a Help to Buy ISA until 30 November 2019. Beyond that date, if you have one, you can keep saving in it until 30 November 2029. You must claim your bonus by 1 December 2030.

Head-to-head: The Lifetime ISA vs the Help to Buy ISA

Lifetime ISA Help to Buy ISA
Age to open one 18-39 16+
Annual contribution limit £4,000 £2,400
Contribution type Any – lump sum or monthly Monthly
Government bonus 25% of contributions 25% of contributions
Maximum bonus £1,000 per year until you’re 50 £3,000 total
Bonus paid Annually for the first year of the scheme, monthly from April 2018 When you buy your home
Earn interest/growth on bonus Yes No
Eligible ISA type Cash or stocks and shares Cash
Maximum property price £450,000 £450,000 in London, £250,000 everywhere else
Earliest withdrawal period to buy first home with bonus After your Lifetime ISA has been open for one year Once you’ve saved £1,600
‘Ineligible’ access penalty A 25% government penalty on the total value of the withdrawal None, you just don’t get the bonus

A Lifetime ISA may not be right for everyone

As with all investing, your capital is at risk. Tax rules may change in the future. If you are unsure if a Lifetime ISA is the right choice for you, please seek independent financial advice.

  • You must be 18–39 years old to open one.
  • If you need to withdraw the money before you’re 60, and it’s not for the purchase of a first home up to £450,000, or a terminal illness, you’ll pay a 25% government penalty. So you may get back less than you put in.
  • Compared to a pension, the Lifetime ISA is treated differently for tax purposes. You may be better off contributing to a pension.
  • If you choose to opt out of your workplace pension to pay into a Lifetime ISA, you may lose the benefits of the employer-matched contributions.