Child Trust Fund (CTF) accounts became fully operational in April 2005. According to the Labour Government at the time, it was hoped that the new Child Trust Fund would engender a savings habit among children; providing a cushion of financial assets as they embark on adult life and empower them to be confident in the management of their financial affairs.
All children born in the UK between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 were entitled to a fund and parents or guardians were sent a voucher, worth either £250 or £500 depending on their household income, for them to invest. Parents or guardians needed to choose which CTF account to open on their child's behalf. If they failed to open a CTF account within a year of having received a CTF voucher, the Revenue opened a stakeholder CTF account on the child's behalf.
Family and friends were able to add further sums into the account. All capital gains, interest payments and any other money (such as dividends) earned on a Child Trust Fund are free of tax.
Children received an additional £250 on their seventh birthday. Lower income families could have received up to £500.
Due to government cut backs children born August 1 2010 to January 1 2011 received between £50 and £500 depending on a variety of factors. No additional payments were given to this group of children at age seven.
All payments and the issue of new vouchers stopped from 1 January 2011.
There are more than 6 million CTF accounts in existence. No money can be withdrawn from the CTF until the child reaches the age of 18, although children legally take control of their CTF when they reach 16. The first CTFs will mature in September 2020. The last CTFs will mature in 2029.
Lost Child Trust Funds
If you know the name of the CTF provider but have lost access details you can contact them via this link
If you do not know the name of the fund provider, or did not set one up yourself, then please follow the instructions on the government's CTF website in order to trace the fund.
In October 2010 the Treasury announced a new tax-free children’s savings account, the Junior ISA, which aimed to replace the Child Trust Fund. The Junior ISA was launched on 1 November 2011. Further information can be found in our Junior ISA Factsheet, linked to below.
The annual subscription limit for Child Trust Funds and Junior ISAs for the 2019/20 tax year is £4,368.
Junior ISAs - BSA Factsheet
Transfer of CTFs to Junior ISAs
On the 23rd December 2013 the government announced that transfers from CTFs to Junior ISAs would be allowed from the 6th April 2015 onwards. Further information can be found via the link below.
CTF transfer to Junior ISA announcement