What is a Child Trust Fund and who has one?
A Child Trust Fund (CTF) isa long-term tax-free saving account for children. They were designed to encourage children to become savers for their future adult life. You cannot apply for a new CTF because this government scheme is now closed but you can keep an existing CTF. CTF’s were available to all children born in the UK whose parents were awarded Child Benefit between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011.
All money earned on the CTF is tax-free, including capital gains, interest payments and any other money earned on the account. This means all the money in the fund belongs to the account holder and none of it will be lost in tax deductions.
The first CTFs matured in September 2020, when the oldest account holders turned 18. The last CTFs will mature in 2029.On maturity, CTFs s can either be cashed in or transferred into an adult ISA.
If you’re 18 or over and have money in a Child Trust Fund, find out more about your options
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Finding a Child Trust Fund account
Child Trust Funds can be lost to the young person they were set up for. This can be because HMRC set up the account with a starter payment amount on their behalf (if the parents didn’t open one), or because it has been forgotten and the parents have not updated their address.
However, lost accounts can easily be located. You can find out where a lost Child Trust Fund, even if you don’t know the provider.
If you already have a Government Gateway user ID and password, you could fill in the HMRC online form at GOV.UK (Opens in a new window)
HMRC will send you details of the Child Trust Fund provider by post within three weeks of receiving your request.
Alternatively, you can use the Share Foundation to help you find your Child Trust Fund account for free (Opens in a new window). You might find this useful if your provider has changed or if you grew up in care.
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How a Child Trust Fund works
When CTF’s became available, HMRC sent the parents or guardians of qualifyingchildren a starting payment voucher of £250 (or £500 if you were on a low income).Thisvoucher could then be used to set up a Child Trust Fund account in the child’s name.
If you didn’t use the voucher within one year, HMRC would set up a Child Trust Fund account in your child’s name on your behalf.
Money in a Child Trust Fund account belongs to the child and is ‘locked in’ until they turn 18.
When a child or young person turns 16 years old, they can legally take over responsibility for their Child Trust Fund account and can make decisions about the fund (such as switching to another provider or transferring it to a Junior ISA). They can do this by contacting their Child Trust Fund provider.
When theaccount-holderturns 18 years old, they can access and withdraw the money in their Child Trust Fund account.
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Types of Child Trust Fund
There were three types of account that could be opened with the voucher:
1.Cash Child Trust Fund
This is where you can make deposits just as you would for a bankor building society account, which can earn tax-free interest.
2.Stakeholder Child Trust Fund
This is where the savings in the account are put into a wide mix of stock market investments. There are a set of rules to reduce financial risk (including that the money would gradually be moved to lower-risk investments when the child reaches 13 and a cap on the annual charge).
Stakeholder Child Trust Funds are charged based on the value of the fund and capped at a maximum charge of 1.5% a year.
A child will have a stakeholder Child Trust Fund account, opened by HMRC on the child’s behalf, if their parent(s) failed to open a Child Trust Fund account within a year of receiving a payment voucher.
This is where most or all the money is invested in shares, but without the protections of a stakeholder account. The savings in the account could be put into the stock market via an investment fund of your choice or select your own investments.
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Adding money to the account and family member payments to a Child Trust Fund
Anyone can pay money in to a CTFincluding parents, family members and friends. This is up toa totallimitof£9,000 (2022/23) each year, with the child’s birthday considered the start of the year.
The amount of money in a child’s Child Trust Fund doesn’t affect any benefits or tax credits the child’s parent/guardian receives.
Child Trust Funds for Children in Care
Some children looked after by local authorities have a Child Trust Fund account set up on their behalf.
If a child has been in the care of a local authority and was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, they could have a Child Trust Fund account.
If you want to find your Child Trust Fund, your first option is to fill in the HMRC form on the GOV.UK website
Or you can get help on the Share Foundation website
The Share Foundation acts as the registered contact for Child Trust Fund accounts for children and young people who are care-experienced and manages them for the child or young person. The Share Foundation run both the Child Trust Fund and the Junior ISA schemes for children and young people in care.
The Share Foundation will write to the account holder about two months before they turn 16, telling them how to become the registered contact for their Child Trust Fund account.
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What about Child Trust Funds and young people with disabilities?
Some young people with a disability might not have the mental capacity to manage the money in their Child Trust Fund.
If your child doesn’t have mental capacity, then you as their parent(s)/carer(s) will need to apply to the Court of Protection to act as your child’s Deputy.
A Deputy is someone, usually a family member, who is appointed by the court to manage and make day-to-day decisions about someone’s finances. Without this, you won’t be able to manage the account when your child turns 18. This is because they legally become an adult and the money belongs to them.
At the moment, applying to the Court of Protection can be expensive. This is because there’s a court fee of £365 – and legal costs, if a solicitor is used. There might also be delays to the process due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s important to get legal advice if you want to apply to the Court of Protection so you understand all of the options. Solicitors might provide you with a free initial discussion.
However, the government announced on 1 December 2020 that all parents or guardians of children or young people who lack mental capacity can ask for court fees to be waived or refunded when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund.
For full details and qualifying criteria, go to GOV.UK (Opens in a new window) Opens in a new window)
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If you want to change the Child Trust Fund account that HMRC set up for you
If HMRC set up a Child Trust Fund account for your child, you can change to a Child Trust Fund provider or account of your choice. You can do this at any time.
Make sure you ask providers about any fees charged for running the account. Also ask about making further contributions. You can pay as little as £10 into a stakeholder account, but some providers might require larger payments for other accounts.
If you’re looking to change your Child Trust Fund provider, also be wary of scams, which are designed to get hold of your money and can come in many forms.
Find out how to recognise and protect yourself from scamsin our guideA beginner's guide to scams
To help you manage your money, use our free and easy-to-use Budget Planner
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What is a Junior ISA and should I switch my Child Trust Fund into one?
An alternative to switching Child Trust Fund providers is to switch your Child Trust Fund into a Junior ISA.
If you have a Child Trust Fund you can’t have a Junior ISA at the same time. But you can transfer your Child Trust Fund into a Junior ISA.
You don’t have to transfer a Child Trust Fund into a Junior ISA. However, a Junior ISA can work out better for your child’s savings in the long term.
Junior ISAs generally offer more choice and better value, whether it’s higher interest rates on their cash accounts or lower annual fund management charges.
You can’t transfer back to a Child Trust Fund when you’ve switched to a Junior ISA. So it’s important to check that you’re getting the best possible deal in terms of investment returns and fees.
Looking for more information on Junior ISAs? Take a look at our guide Junior ISAs
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I’m 18 or over and have a Child Trust Fund. What should I do with the money in it?
If you’re 18 years old or over, you can access the money in your Child Trust Fund account.
To access the money you will need to contact your Child Trust Fund provider. If you don't know who that is, read the section above on 'Finding a Child Trust Fund account'.
It’s your money, and it’s up to you what you do with it.
One option to consider is to continue saving your money. This could be by, for example, transferring your money into an adult savings account or an adult ISA. As your savings build up, they’ll grow faster – so your money makes money.
Discover our tops tips for choosing a savings accountin our guide Regular savings accounts
Find out in our guide why it’s good Getting into the savings habit
You might want to save regularly and build up your fundfor a deposit towardsaproperty purchase or a rental deposit.
The money in your Child Trust Fund could also provide an excellent foundation for building a ‘rainy day fund’ to make sure you have money available for emergencies or sudden expenses.
Putting money away now means you’re covered for an expense you didn’t see coming, reducing your need to borrow. For example, if you were to suddenly lose your job, need a new phone or need emergency dental treatment – that’s when a rainy day fund would be handy.
What happens when my Child Trust Fund matures?
If you have a Child Trust Fund but do not inform your provider what you would like to do with the money in it when it matures, the money will be held in a 'protected account' until you contact your provider.
Interest earned on funds in a 'protected account' will remain tax-free, and any terms and conditions that applied to your Child Trust Fund before it matured will still apply.
Defnyddiwch ein Teclyn Llywio Ariannol
Oes gennych chi bryderon ariannol oherwydd coronafeirws? Os felly, nid ydych chi ar eich pen eich hun.
I gael canllawiau di-oed ynghylch arian yn seiliedig ar eich amgylchiadau, rhowch gychwyn arni gyda'n Teclyn Llywio Ariannol
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Child trust funds | MoneyHelper? ›
A Child Trust Fund is a savings account for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. They've since been replaced by Junior ISAs, but those with existing Child Trust Fund accounts or vouchers can still keep their accounts and pay in.What happens to Child Trust Fund at 18 UK? ›
On your child's 18th birthday, the Child Trust Fund matures. This means that: your child automatically takes over the account. no more money can be added.How do I check my CTF? ›
- Go to HMRC's tool. ...
- Fill in your (or your child's) details, including name, address, date of birth, phone number and national insurance number.
If you're a parent looking for your child's trust fund
Use the online form to ask HMRC who provides your Child Trust Fund. If your child is under 16 you'll need their Unique Reference Number - you can find this on letters from HMRC or Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP ), for example if you claim child benefit.
Child Trust Funds were launched in 2005 and made available to all children born in the UK between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. They have now been replaced by junior ISAs.How do I get my Child Trust Fund now im 18? ›
If you're 18 years old or over, you can access the money in your Child Trust Fund account. To access the money you will need to contact your Child Trust Fund provider. If you don't know who that is, read the section above on 'Finding a Child Trust Fund account'. It's your money, and it's up to you what you do with it.Do I get 1000 when I turn 18? ›
There's a cash windfall waiting for everyone who turned 18 from 1 September 2020. It's worth around £1,000 tax-free – a bit less for some; rather more for others.What happens to Child Trust Fund at 18 one family? ›
The account matures when your child turns 18. This means that the funds in the account become available but only your child will be able to access the money.How do I contact HMRC about my Child Trust Fund? ›
- Child Trust Fund Helpline 0845 302 1470 (offers a call-back translation service) Welsh Helpline 0845 302 1489. ...
- Child Trust Fund Office. Waterview Park. ...
- Washington. NE38 8QG. ...
- firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information on the Child Trust Fund, visit www.childtrustfund.gov.uk.
When your child turns 18. Any savings in the Child Trust Fund will be moved into a CTF Maturity ISA. This account is designed to be a temporary home for your child's savings until they decide what they'd like to do with it. Because of this, they won't be able to pay any more money into the account when it moves.
When did Child Trust Fund end? ›
The Child Trust Fund scheme closed in 2011.Do child trust funds get interest? ›
Cash child trust funds: Similar to a cash ISA, these accounts earn tax-free savings interest.What happens to premium bonds when child turns 16? ›
Until the child's 16th birthday, the parent or guardian named on the application looks after the Bonds, regardless of who bought them. We'll send confirmation of any transactions made, prizes won and payment for cashed-in Bonds to the nominated parent or guardian until the child is 16.Who qualifies for a Child Trust Fund? ›
Child Trust Funds (CTFs) are long-term tax-free savings accounts. You will have (or have had) one if you: were born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, your parent or guardian had a live child benefit claim for you, and.How do trust funds pay out? ›
The trust can pay out a lump sum or percentage of the funds, make incremental payments throughout the years, or even make distributions based on the trustee's assessments. Whatever the grantor decides, their distribution method must be included in the trust agreement drawn up when they first set up the trust.Did every child get a Child Trust Fund? ›
Child Trust Funds are a savings account which were given to all eligible babies born between September 2002 and 2 January 2011.How much is the average Trust Fund UK? ›
The warning comes from HMRC which says the average Child Trust Fund (CTF) has £1,500 in it. It is now one year since the first account holders started turning 18 and around 55,000 CTFs mature every month. This means their owners can withdraw funds or transfer savings into an adult ISA.Can I take money out of my child's trust fund? ›
There are certain conditions for withdrawing money from Child Trust Fund accounts. For instance, only the registered contact will be able to withdraw money and the account cannot be closed. The account provider will be able to tell you about the conditions that apply to the child's particular account.What happens to a child savings account when they turn 18? ›
Unless the money you pay in is already in a trust, you'll hold the money in the account on bare trust for a child. The child is beneficially entitled to it, and you'll normally have to transfer the money to them when they're 18 years old.At what age do child trust funds mature? ›
At age 18 the account will mature and be referred to as a Matured CTF ISA. It will continue to be invested in the same fund(s) within a Stocks and Shares ISA.
What is a Child Trust Fund account? ›
The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was a long-term savings and investment account introduced by the government, encouraging saving for a child's future.What happens to Child Trust Fund at 18 Natwest? ›
On your 18th Birthday we will move your investment from the Child Trust Fund into a Matured Child Trust Fund, keeping your money invested in the RBS Stakeholder Fund until you choose what to do with your money and provide us with the required documents.How do I take over my child's trust fund? ›
When your child is 16. Once your child turns 16, they can either: take over the account by contacting the Child Trust Fund provider. leave you in charge of the account.How do I get my childs trust fund at 16? ›
Register to become the owner
Before you can tell us what you want to do with your money, you need to become the owner of your Child Trust Fund. This will take the place of your parent/guardian, who are currently looking after it on your behalf. You can register to take over your CTF when you turn 16.
What is going to happen to my child's Junior ISA when they turn 18? The Junior ISA will automatically move to an Adult ISA. Your child can simply leave their savings where they are and if they wish to add further contributions or access the money, your child can do this at any time.Can I withdraw money from my child's bank account UK? ›
Once your child reaches 16, they can take charge of the account, and when they are 18 they are allowed to withdraw their money. Read our guide, for more information about Junior ISAs.How much is the average trust fund? ›
Less than 2 percent of the U.S. population receives a trust fund, usually as a means of inheriting large sums of money from wealthy parents, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances. The median amount is about $285,000 (the average was $4,062,918) — enough to make a major, lasting impact.How much interest does a trust fund earn? ›
The numeric average of the 12 monthly interest rates for 2019 was 2.219 percent. The annual effective interest rate (the average rate of return on all investments over a one-year period) for the OASI and DI Trust Funds, combined, was 2.812 percent in 2019.What can you do with a trust fund money? ›
The main ones are to withdraw all or some of the money as cash, transfer it to an adult Isa from another provider, or keep it with the current provider. If someone holds a cash CTF with a provider, then it would be transferred into a cash Isa, with the same going for stocks and shares versions.What is the Child Trust Fund rate? ›
2.10% tax-free pa/AER variable
you have an existing non-stakeholder Child Trust Fund (CTF) with another provider. you'd like to transfer it to us to keep saving tax-free until the age of 18. you're aged 16 to 18, or applying for a child if you have parental responsibility.
What's the best way to invest money for a child? ›
- Stocks. Stocks represent one of the best investments for kids because they have a long-term orientation and will provide years of fruitful returns for your kids. ...
- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) ETFs have become increasingly popular over the past two decades. ...
- Mutual Funds for Kids. ...
- Savings Account.