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Different types of investment account

You can choose to hold your investments in a General Investment Account (GIA), or in a wrapper such as a Stocks and Shares ISA or a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). A wrapper can protect your investments from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax – subject to annual allowances and other criteria. With a SIPP you can also get tax relief on your contributions.

The table below compares the main features of the different types of investment account, so you can decide which one is right for you.

ISA vs SIPP vs General investment account

  Stocks & Shares ISA SIPP General investment account
Investment limit Up to £15,240 in one tax year (2016/17). You can hold ISAs from multiple tax years at once Tax relief limited to an annual allowance of £40,000. Lifetime allowance of £1m – anything above this amount will be subject to tax when you access the money. No limit
When can you withdraw funds? At any time From the age of 55 At any time
Tax benefits Investments are exempt from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax Investments are exempt from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax

Automatically receive Basic Rate tax relief (20%) on your contributions. Higher rates of tax relief (up to 45%) can be reclaimed through your tax return.

A tax-free lump sum of up to 25% can be taken from age 55.
None
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Last updated: 13 June 2016

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