Six million Child Trust Funds were set up for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, but an estimated three million young savers may not realise they have an account, or have lost track of it.
What is a Child Trust Fund?
The Child Trust Fund (CTF) scheme was first introduced by the Government in 2005 to give children a financial boost and to encourage long term saving. Parents or grandparents could add to the initial £250 CTF voucher issued to parents at launch (£500 for lower income families) with a possibility of a further £250 top up when the child reached seven (for those who reached this age prior to the scheme being discontinued in January 2011). The funds could be invested in either a cash account, a ‘stakeholder’ stock market investment account or a shares-based fund.
The Junior ISA replaced the CTF in January 2011.
How to trace a lost or forgotten CTF
You may not know where your CTF is, don’t have the details anymore or perhaps simply did not get around to using the voucher. HMRC’s Child Trust Fund tracing service can help you find out where your child’s investment has been made. To use this service, you’ll need a Government Gateway ID and you must either be the child who owns the account (aged 16 or over) or the child’s parent or legal guardian.
If you don’t already have a Government Gateway ID, you’ll need your National Insurance number plus another form of ID such as a passport or recent payslip to set it up.
How can Metfriendly help?
Bringing your investments together to declutter your finances will make it easier to have a clear view of savings and investments for you and your child. You may decide to keep your Child Trust Fund where it is, or move it into an ISA. At Metfriendly we have a range of ISAs available – a Junior ISA for children under the age of 18, and a Lifetime ISA for those over 18 to help them with the first steps onto the property ladder. You may also want to consider our Lump Sum ISA or Monthly Saving ISA, both of which build on the idea of encouraging long term saving.
A child cannot have a CTF and a JISA, however all our ISAs can accept transfers from Child Trust Funds. The first step in moving your CTF to Metfriendly is the completion of the CTF Transfer Application Form. There also a few things to note:
- CTF investments cannot be part-transferred
- Once the decision to transfer out of a CTF into a Junior ISA is made and the transfer is in progress, it cannot be reversed.
- Because a child cannot have a CTF and a JISA, the provider must close the CTF account when they transfer it (in whole) into either a cash or stocks and shares JISA.
Metfriendly currently offers a Junior ISA, paying annual bonuses and a potential final bonus after three complete tax years’ investment.