IFISA Missed Opportunity for Over-50s

Merkel, Obama and Cameron watching the World Cup

Britain's biggest savers are missing out on the best interest because they don't know about IFISA rates and tax breaks. Saga Investment Services, which specialises in the over-50s, recently conducted a poll which shows only half of them know what an IFISA is.

 Most Brits leave it until they hit their fifties to begin thinking about saving for retirement. You only need the smallest grasp of compound arithmetic to realise what a missed opportunity that is. Saga specialises in serving the personal finance needs of the older generations, and published a landmark report two years ago - The Wealth Of The Over-50s [PDF]   which showed that over two-thirds of household and financial wealth in the UK is owned by people in that age bracket.

So - that's a big target market to need to be educated about the new Innovative Finance ISAs (IFISAs) - they have the money, and they deserve the benefits. It's a shock to us to discover that the crowd of almost 10,000 people polled in Saga's latest research was split down the middle - half of them knew, and half of them didn't.

Here are just three highlights from P2P Finance News' coverage of the story:

  • Just 14 per cent of over 50s knew that cash ISAs were available to people over 16,
  • While a third of people knew that an investment ISA was available only to over 18s, a quarter were unaware who could open one.
  • Half of over 50s were not aware that it is possible to transfer cash ISAs into investment ISAs and vice-versa. Another half were not aware of the requirement to transfer between ISA providers – rather than closing and reopening a new one – to preserve the tax-free status of their income.

We need to do something about the perception that ISAs, and other investment products, are seen as 'too complicated' and 'not for people like me' by the very people who are most in need of them.