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Could you be losing out on a share of £171.4 million by still having a Child Trust Fund?

You or your child could be losing out on your share of £171.4 million by still having a Child Trust Fund. Here’s how to find out if you have a Child Trust Fund and what you can do about it.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

Child Trust Funds (CTFs) were launched in 2005 and given to every child born from 1 September 2002. Each child received a voucher for up to £250 (£500 for lower income families) which their parents could then put into a cash or an investment CTF.

From January 2011, the initiative was scrapped altogether, but children who already had a CTF were able to keep them. So, if you or your child were born between 1 September 2002 and 3 January 2011, you could have investments or some extra cash lying around somewhere and not even know about it.

Around 6.3 million CTF accounts were set up – but a 2018 estimate suggests 1 million of those accounts could’ve been lost. With an average holding of £1,500 in each of these accounts and over 717,000 said to have matured this year, that could mean potentially over 114,000 teenagers are missing out on £171.4 million in 2021.

It could certainly be worth tracking yours or your child’s down and making the most of any existing investments or extra cash you might have.

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure what’s right for you or your child’s circumstances, please ask for financial advice.

How do I know if I or my child has a CTF?

Any child born between 1 September 2002 and 3 January 2011 will have something somewhere.

Even if you or your parents didn’t open an account, the government would have chosen a CTF for you – so it’s definitely worth looking into.

If you or your child are already over the age of 18, the CTF will have matured and rolled over into an ISA or into a savings account with the same tax benefits of an ISA. If you had an investment CTF, your money will have stayed invested in the same investments, and cash savings will have remained as cash.

How can I track one down?

You can track down a CTF through the government website if you’re over 18. If you’re the parent or guardian, you must have parental responsibility for the child in order to have access to find out where the CTF is.

You’ll need to sign into the Government Gateway, or sign up for an account. You can then fill out a form with your or your child’s details and they’ll tell you who currently holds the CTF. You’ll then need to contact the provider if you’d like to transfer the money to another account, or withdraw it if you’re eligible to.

What to do with your or your child’s CTF

If you’re happy with the current provider, you can leave your or your child’s CTF where it is.

Alternatively, if you want to try and make more of your or your child’s savings, you could think about a Junior ISA. Junior ISAs are quite similar to CTFs – not only do they let you save and invest for your child, any gains you make are tax free. You can add up to £9,000 to the child’s Junior ISA every tax year.

Remember though as with any investment accounts, investing takes on an added risk unlike cash and their value can fall as well as rise – so you could get back less than you put in. Tax rules can also change, and benefits depend on your circumstances.

More about investing in a Junior ISA

Transferring a CTF to a Junior ISA (JISA) with us is easy too. Find out how by reading our free guide on how to transfer a CTF to a JISA.

Transferring a CTF to a JISA

My CTF has matured but I want to keep saving. What could I do?

You might be happy keeping the account with your or your child’s current provider once it’s matured and keep saving into it. But you might want to do more and get the savings in the CTF working harder for you.

Stocks and Shares ISA

A Stocks and Shares ISA is a simple way to invest up to £20,000 each tax year free from UK tax. Any growth you make from your investments are free of UK tax. Plus it’s easy to transfer to from a matured CTF.

Find out more about our Stock and Shares ISA


Lifetime ISA (LISA)

Thinking about putting your savings towards your first home? You could put up to £4,000 per tax year from your CTF into a LISA and receive an extra 25% top up from the government. That’s potentially an extra £1,000 per year to invest and grow.

The same rules apply in terms of tax-free growth and on withdrawals. But if you don’t use the money for a first home or withdraw before the age of 60, you could be subject to a 25% penalty charge. That would mean you could get back less than you put in.

Find out more about our Lifetime ISA


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Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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