We explain how to find out if your child has a Child Trust Fund and where it might be.
What is a Child Trust Fund?
The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was launched in 2005 as a way of encouraging parents to save for their children. The UK Government gave each child born between 1st September 2002 and 1st January 2011 a voucher of typically £250 which had to be used to open a Child Trust Fund with an authorised provider. If the parent did not do so within a year, then an account would automatically be opened with a provider chosen by the Government.
Child Trust Funds were replaced by Junior ISAs from 1st January 2011 and, since 2015, it has been possible to switch CTFs into Junior ISAs.
Any UK citizen born between these dates will have had a Child Trust Fund and most still do – even if you don’t know how much is in it or where it is.
How to Find a Child Trust Fund
It is relatively simple to find a lost Child Trust Fund, but you must be the parent or legal guardian of the child.
All CTFs were registered with HM Revenue and Customs, who provide a form allowing you to request information on who the provider is. You can find the form here:
You will need to log in using your Government Gateway credentials (which are the credentials you use to access Government services, taxes and so on). If you don’t have credentials, you can register for them using the link above.
Switching your Child Trust Fund
The Child Trust Fund was replaced by the Junior ISA in 2011 and since then you have not been allowed to hold both a JISA and a CTF at the same time. Although you can still hold and make contributions into a CTF, they have become less attractive as providers are not competing for new accounts (e.g. Cash CTFs interest rates tend to be lower than Cash Junior ISAs).
Fees on Stakeholder CTFs (and some Stocks & Shares JISAs) are typically around 1.5%, significantly higher than for Beanstalk. The Beanstalk JISA also automatically becomes an ISA when the child turns 18 years old, and with Beanstalk you can monitor the performance of your account in real time on your phone (unlike many CTFs where you have to wait for an annual statement).
It is for you to decide, but if you open a Beanstalk JISA, the transfer process is very simple, and we handle everything for you.
Our Switch & Save Calculator will show if you could save money in fees by transferring.