Shepherds Friendly is one of the oldest financial mutual societies in the world. Founded almost 200 years ago, it started off as a sickness and benefits society.
These days its flock of members is nearly 100,000 in size. Meanwhile, it offers a range of savings options for adults and children. Find out if your family should put their savings in Shepherds Friendly with our guide on its key features.
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What savings options does Shepherds Friendly offer?
Stocks and Shares ISA
Easy access to your money.
Open with a regular monthly payment of £30 a month.
Or open with a lump sum of £500.
You might get an annual bonus if investments perform well enough.
Low-medium risk with this investment option.
Tax-exempt savings plan, but not an ISA.
As a friendly society it can offer further tax advantages above and beyond your annual ISA limit.
You put in £10 a month minimum.
It recommends paying in a maximum of £25 a month, to enjoy the tax advantages of the plan.
You invest money for a minimum of 10 years.
You might get an annual bonus. This is subject to how the investment fund performs.
Life cover. If you die during the Bonus Plan’s term, your family will receive a tax-free lump sum.
What is a cash ISA?
A cash ISA is a savings account where you don’t pay tax on the interest you earn. There’s a limit on the amount you can deposit into ISAs each year, which is set by the government.
Parent or guardian can only open this type of account.
Pay in monthly, with a minimum of £10 a month.
Or start with a lump sum of at least £100.
The annual limit for junior ISAs currently stands at £4,260.
Young Saver Plan
Parents, grandparents, family or friends can open.
Open from as little as £7.50 a month.
Child sickness benefit. £400 a week if child is too sick to attend school for four weeks or more.
Available to any child aged 16 or under.
Exempt from capital gains and income tax.
Option to take out 25% of savings when child reaches 11.
Junior Money Maker
Available to any child aged under 11.
Save in regular monthly amounts of between £100 and £200.
Maximum yearly deposit of £2,400.
Earliest they can access money is 18.
Parents, guardians or even extended family can open the account.
Sickness benefit for your child. If they can’t attend school for 4 weeks or more you get £200 in sickness benefits.
If premium payer is under 50 and dies during the account term, Shepherds Friendly will keep putting in the same monthly rate until the account matures.
How do I decide which account is for me?
Firstly, you need to decide what you’re looking for in a savings account. How often will you want to take money out? Are you looking to squirrel away bigger or smaller amounts?
You need to work out what you need before comparing the different offers available for certain types of savings accounts. Once you have done that, it’s useful to look at:
Fees (If there are any.)
Access to cash (If you need quick access, for instance.)
Rewards and loyalty schemes (If you’re into add-ons or switching bonuses.)
Does Shepherds Friendly offer online banking?
Shepherds Friendly lets you apply and manage your accounts online. You can do a range of things in the online members area, including:
View your plan details and recent transactions.
Check how your plan is performing.
Make online payments to your ISA quickly.
What are the pros and cons of banking with Shepherds Friendly?
Online banking. Managing your savings accounts online means you can get instant access to your account. There’s no need to call up or send a letter.
A range of child savers. Shepherds Friendly offers a range of children’s savings accounts.
Insurance. A few of the options discussed above offer life or sickness cover, which may give you added peace of mind.
Free voucher. You might get a Love 2 Shop gift voucher of up to £30 when you open an account.
Little choice for adult savers. You will get a wider selection of savings accounts elsewhere. If you’re after a fixed-rate saver or an easy access account, then maybe look at your options elsewhere.
No high-street presence. It might not be suited to those who prefer face-to-face banking. However, you can contact Shepherds Friendly over the phone, online and also by post and email.
Eligible deposits with Shepherds Friendly are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme.
Yes. Shepherds Friendly will reduce the amount you get back from your Bonus Plan if you stop paying your premiums before the end date of your agreement.
For the 10 year Bonus Plan you will be charged 40% of the first year’s payments and 10% for each year thereafter.
Yes, Shepherds Friendly deducts charges from your investment to cover any expenses as well as the cost for administering and handling your ISA. It currently charges 3% for an initial plan and there is also an annual management charge of 1.5%.
Felix Thompson is a freelance writer at Finder. He covers everything from digital banking to car insurance and, whatever the topic, he aims to make it easy for consumers to get straight to the best deal. Felix has a postgraduate qualification in international journalism and is also a broadcast journalist. In his spare time, he loves to cycle.
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