Thrifty teenagers, or rather teenagers with thrifty parents, will soon gain access to their Child Trust Fund (CTFs) savings, and some, may not even know it is there…
CTFs were originally set up for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, with a live Child Benefit claim. Parents and guardians received a voucher to deposit in a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account on behalf of the child.
At 16 years, the child can choose to operate their account or have their parent continue to operate it, but they cannot withdraw the funds. At 18 years of age, the CTF account matures and the child is able to withdraw money from the fund or move it to a different savings account. Over 700,000 accounts will mature each year.
The accounts are not held by HMRC, but by a number of CTF providers who are financial services firms. Anyone can pay into the account, with an annual limit of £9,000, and there’s no tax to pay on the CTF savings interest or profit.
As the earliest accounts were opened 1 September 2002, come 1 September 2020, those celebrating their eighteenth birthday will be able to access their CTF savings.
It is estimated that approximately 55,000 will mature each month – starting September 2020 – and HMRC have created a simple online tool to help young people track down where their CTF is held. Google “Find a child trust fund GOV.UK”. To use the facility, you will need to have a Government Gateway ID and password. If necessary, this can be created when you make the application.
For many eighteen year olds embarking on further education or vocational training this will provide a boost to their funding at this critical time.