The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was introduced in 2005 and was set up for every child born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011. It preceded the Junior ISA (JISA) and works in much the same way, originally created to encourage saving for the long-term and at regular intervals. If you have an existing CTF you can still contribute to it, but these can be transferred to JISAs if you would prefer.
Recently, it has been highlighted that some CTFs were opened automatically and hold only the funds put in by the government, with no further contributions ever made. There are reportedly 1 million of these accounts sitting dormant, having been forgotten by numerous families. The good news is that these can now be tracked via the government website and the following link:
The 16th anniversary of the CTF has arrived, meaning those children who are now 16 can take over management and control of their fund if they wish, with full entitlement and access at age 18. If you think your child has a CTF somewhere but you aren’t sure where, now is the time to look into it before they become solely entitled to the funds. By transferring the CTF into an ISA it immediately becomes an adult ISA at the age of 18, but wouldn’t every 16- to 18-year-old want to withdraw the funds and get spending, which they would have every right to do under the rules of the CTF or ISA. Finding out if your child has a CTF is the first step and then educating them on the importance of saving is the next stage.