The Ultimate Guide to the Government Children's Trust Fund

Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the government child trust fund.
Amabel Polglase
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December 1, 2022
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4
min read
In this article, you'll find: 

Child trust funds were introduced by the government in 2002 and were available to anyone born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011.

For some parents, the trust fund may have been put on the back burner. With a busy life and a family to raise, the government child trust fund may have passed you by, but it could be a great future saving opportunity for your child.

Now, you may want to know more about how to see if you have a child trust fund or if there is any money in the account. Although they have now been replaced by Junior ISAs, your child may still have an open children’s trust fund account. 

This guide will provide you will find all you need to know about the Government children's trust fund, how to access a child trust fund, and how to find out if you have one.

What is a Government Child Trust Fund?

A government child trust fund is a savings account that was set up for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011. The aim was to provide a long-term savings account to help parents save for their children’s future and help children become better savers as adults. The money can be saved and invested for many things, including:

·   A nest egg for their future

·   Help towards a house deposit or other significant costs

·   An emergency fund for when your child is older

Children can access the money in the account when they are 18 and begin to have control of the account from age 16. Child trust funds are no longer available as the scheme closed in 2011. However, if you have an existing child trust fund account or vouchers, you can continue to pay money into it and keep the account open.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about the value of saving money and how it can grow over time. The HyperJar kid's card is a great way to help your kids get into intelligent money habits for life. Kids can learn how to manage their money properly from age six and have great money skills before accessing the money in their government trust fund. 

Do I Have a Government Child Trust Fund?

If you were born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011 or had a child born during this time, you would have been issued a voucher to invest in a CTF account. If you did not open the account, the government automatically opened one on your behalf. You can find out if you have a government child trust fund on the government website. You will need the following:

·   A government gateway ID

·   National Insurance number

·   Date of Birth

You cannot apply for a new child trust fund because the scheme is now closed. Your child can withdraw money from an existing account if they are over the age of 18. The account will have been opened in the child’s name, and any money in the account belongs to the child.

How do I Access my Government Child Trust Fund? 

The money in the child trust fund can only be accessed by the account holder when they are 18. The first accounts to be accessed would have been in 2020, with the last accounts maturing in 2029. You can access your government child trust and find information by doing the following:

1. Contact your Child Trust Fund provider.

2. If you’re unsure who this is, you can easily find this information by visiting the government website. You will need your government gateway number, password, and National Insurance number.

3. Use the online form to ask HMRC who provides your child’s trust fund. If your child is under 16, you'll need their unique reference number.

4. If you are 18 or over, you can access the money in your account immediately. If not, you will be able to access it at 18.

No one else can access the account, and it will remain in the child’s trust fund until they withdraw or transfer the money. 

How do I Know How Much Money is in my Government Child Trust Fund Account?

You can find out how much is in the account by accessing your account online. You can pay up to £9,000 per year if you have an existing account. All money earned in a CTA is tax-free, including any interest or other profit it makes.

The money in this account will not be subject to tax deductions. Once your child reaches the age of 18, no more money can be added to the account.

What is a Registered Contact on a Government Child Trust Fund Account?

A registered contact is the primary contact for the child trust fund account. As the registered contract, you will have some responsibilities to manage and maintain the account until the child turns 18.

Your responsibilities are:

·   Ensure the address and personal details are updated and change the details if needed. For example, if you move house.

·   Tell the account provider how to run the account and how to manage the funds

·   Change the account type, for example, from cash to stocks and shares

·   Move the account to another provider. You can transfer a child trust fund account to a Junior ISA. Contact a Junior ISA provider to do this.

You will also need to keep paperwork for your records, such as your child’s unique reference number, account statements and account provider details. The registered contact can be changed, which should be done directly with the account provider.

When can I Take Control of my Government Child Trust Fund Account?

You can take over your own child trust fund when you turn 16, although you cannot access any of the money until you turn 18. This means you will be responsible for managing the account and taking over the role of the registered contact. 

Once your child turns 16, they can either:

·   Take over the account by contacting the Child Trust Fund provider

·   Leave the registered contact in charge of the account

What can I do With the Money in my Government Child Trust Fund?

Once your turn 18, you can access the money in your government child trust fund. Although it is your money and you can do whatever you want, you should think about the best way to use it to benefit you both now and in the future. There are several options available to you.

  • Transfer the balance into an adult ISA
  • Withdraw it as cash
  • Add it to another savings account. HyperJar saving jars are a great place to visualise your money, organise your expenses and track your spending habits. It can all be done with our easy-to-use app
  • Invest it in stocks and shares
  • Use it for something special like a holiday, car, or wedding
  • Invest in your future (starting a business, retirement fund, house deposit)
  • Travel
  • Education costs

For more ideas, make sure to check our our blog on things to save up for as a teenager

How long your child's trust fund takes to transfer will depend on the provider, but it should be a quick process. It’s your money so that you can combine the above. Save some, spend some, invest some. Dividing up your child trust fund can help you make the most of your money (and treat yourself too).

A child trust fund is an excellent opportunity to build up a healthy amount of money to help your child in the future. If you think you have an account but have not accessed it, now is a great time to check if you have a child trust fund account and start saving. If your child was born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, your CTA would already be set up, and you can start saving or investing immediately. 

You can visit the government website or contact your account provider to learn more about the child trust fund.

Amabel Polglase

Chief Marketing Officer

Amabel has diverse experience in business, marketing and entrepreneurship, including founding her own successful startup. She served in several senior leadership roles prior to joining HyperJar including Zilch and Curve Card where she led brand, marketing and communications. Before joining the fintech revolution, Amabel was a managing global client partner at Facebook and prior to that at McCann-Erickson, the world’s largest ad network. She volunteers at Girls Out Loud, a charity created to empower and inspire teenage girls, and is also a mentor at The Girls’ Network. She received her MA in history and international relations from the University of St Andrews.

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