Investment Bond

Invest either onshore or offshore. An investment bond is an investment wrapper, just like an ISA or a General Investment Account. The tax rules for ISAs are more generous than those for investment bonds, so investors typically use an investment bond if they’ve already used up their ISA allowance or to help with trust and estate planning.

Investment bond

A medium to long-term investment to grow the value of your capital. You can invest in wide range of professionally managed funds.

Investment bonds are usually a single premium ‘life insurance’ policy, but they’re really an investment product.

You can withdraw up to 5% per year of the amount invested in each Tax-Year with no immediate income tax liability.

Independent Financial Advice

Invest either onshore or offshore.

No limit on the amount you can invest.

Access to a comprehensive range of investment funds.

Withdraw up to 5% per year with no immediate liability to income tax.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The information provided in these FAQs does not constitute professional financial advice. We strongly recommended that you consult a professional adviser before proceeding with a financial transaction.

How much can I pay into an investment bond?

There’s no limit on how much you may invest in an investment bond.

Is an investment in an investment bond a good idea?

If you’ve already used up your ISA (Individual Savings Account) subscription allowance for the current Tax-Year, you’ve fully funded your pension and you’re a higher rate tax-payer but believe you’ll become a basic rate tax-payer in the future, or you’re a trustee and you want to invest in a wrapper which automatically rolls up dividends and gains rather than paying them out, then yes.

Bear in mind that the profits you earn on investments in an ISA or pension are free from personal taxes whereas, in an investment bond, whilst income and gains from the underlying investments can roll up inside the bond wrapper, if you take any withdrawals you may be assessed for Income Tax.

The value of an investment and any income from it may fall as well as rise, and you may not get back the full amount you invest.

How does an investment bond make money?

You can invest in investment funds which invest in stocks and shares, fixed interest securities or cash in an investment bond. Whilst profits aren’t guaranteed, the underlying investments can grow the value of an investment bond over the medium to long-term at a higher rate than the rate of inflation or the rate of interest generally available on cash deposits.

The value of an investment and any income from it may fall as well as rise, and you may not get back the full amount you invest.

How Is An Onshore Investment Bond Taxed?

There’s no personal liability to Capital Gains Tax or Basic Rate Income Tax on the gains within an Investment Bond.

A tax liability can occur when a gain arises following a ‘Chargeable Event’, which is defined as either a withdrawal of more than 5% (the tax-deferred allowance) of the amount originally invested, the full or partial surrender of the bond, the death of the life assured, the maturity of the investment bond or its assignment to a third-party.

A chargeable gain is treated as income, and assessable for Income Tax. If a gain pushes your total income into either the higher or additional rate tax bands you would pay Income Tax on at least part of the gain.

If you withdraw money from a bond your gain and the associated tax-liability may be mitigated using either your tax deferred allowances, top-slicing, encashment over a number of policy years, or a partial encashment across all segments vs the full encashment of individual segments.

Your entitlement to personal allowances and benefits such as Working Tax Credit can be affected if you earn a Chargeable Event gain. Hence you should take professional advice before you take a withdrawal.

Onshore providers pay a ‘Life Fund Tax’, at an equivalent rate to the Basic Rate of Income Tax, on any income or gains earned on your Investment Bond’s investment funds. This tax is pre-paid by the provider and is not reclaimable, so an onshore Investment Bond is not generally appropriate for a non-taxpayer.

Note that this tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future.

How Is An Offshore Bond Taxed?

Offshore is a common term used to describe a range of locations where companies could offer customers returns on their investments largely free from tax. They includes location such as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Dublin.

The tax treatment of an Offshore Investment Bond varies from one type of investment to another, and from one market location to another. Offshore Investment Bonds are similar to UK investment bonds but there’s one main difference.

For an Onshore Bond, tax is payable on the gains earned in the underlying investment funds at a rate equivalent to the basic rate of Income Tax. For an Offshore Bond no Income or Capital Gains Tax is paid on profits from the underlying investments, although there can be an element of Withholding Tax that can’t be recovered. Withholding Tax is deducted from interest and dividends received by investment funds.

The preferential tax treatment of investments in an Offshore Bond means that, they can grow faster than an Onshore Bond. If earn a Chargeable Event gain, Income Tax at the basic, higher and additional rates may be payable.

Note that this tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future.

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Neil Jenkins owner of Fintegrity

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