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Mar 2019

Lower ISA fees for fitness enthusiasts

Lower ISA fees for fitness enthusiasts

Do you need a nudge to encourage you to keep going to the gym, or for a regular run? How about lower admin fees on your ISA? Your health is as important to how much you will enjoy your retirement years as your future income. A new ISA provider reckons it makes sense to link the two together.

Newcomer to the ISA market, Vitality, is offering healthy-living discounts on product charges for their Stocks and Shares ISA and their Junior ISA.

Step by step for lower fees

If you take steps to improve your health – for example by literally tracking your daily steps with a fitness device like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch – you earn “Vitality points” which add up to your Vitality status.

Or you can win points by going to the gym regularly, buying healthy food, having a mammogram or taking part in a Parkrun.

(Sadly, these are not lifestyle choices which the anti-exercising dachshund Stanley, brand-ambassador in Vitality’s advertising, is keen on.)

Give up smoking, go to the dentist…

Bronze-status customers win a 40% discount on the annual product charges. Silver status gets you a 50% discount, Gold a 70% discount, and Platinum policy-holders get a 100% discount: they pay no annual product charges at all. (Though fund charges still apply.)

A customer with a £25,000 investment would otherwise be looking at 0.5% or 0.65% on annual product fees.

Vitality health savings

  1. 10,000 steps tracked in a day = 5 points
  2. Going to the gym = 5 points
  3. A 30-minute run = 8 points
  4. Dental check-up = 100 points
  5. Online non-smoking pledge = 100 points
  6. Mammogram or prostate screening: 150 points

(Vitality June 2018)

Total Vitality

There are some conditions: you need to have a Vitality life or health insurance plan as well, and the fee reductions only apply to Vitality’s own funds – not to all the financial products they offer.

Plus a 15% investment boost

To make the deal even more attractive for you, Vitality offer a loyalty bonus they call the Investment Booster every five years, to encourage you to hold your ISA for longer.

Over 25 years the boost adds over 15% to your earnings, on top of any returns.

We’re underestimating our life expectancy

UK savers are underestimating how long they will live after retirement, say Vitality, and we’re not saving enough to make our retirement income last as long as we will need it. So they’re also offering higher bonuses to ISA investors who are in drawdown if they take out less money.

Start younger, save for longer

Vitality say they want to improve the rather fuddy-duddy image of health insurance and retirement saving, and get away from negative “do this or you’ll regret it later” marketing by tapping into young people’s positive engagement with fitness.

“I don’t think you can divorce management of health from the management of finance,” says Vitality chief executive Herschel Mayers.

“We are trying to encourage people to live a healthier life and fund their retirement.

“We earn additional fee income from people living longer and saving sooner, and we plough that back to the customer in the form of incentives.”

See Vitality's investment ISA

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