If you were born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, and your parents or carers received Child Benefit, you might have something known as a Child Trust Fund account.
This is a long-term tax-free savings account for young people. They were introduced by the government to help make sure when young people turn 18, they have access to a savings account. The government gave parents or carers £250 (or £500 if your family was on a low income at the time) to get things started and your parents or carers could then put money into the account for you too.
If you’re age 16 or 17 you take charge of your Child Trust Fund account from your parents or carers, or you can choose to let them continue to manage it on your behalf. If you decide to take over the account you can put the money into an ISA or another type of savings or investment account. You can chat to the credit union, building society or bank that provides your Child Trust Fund about all the different options available to you. You can find a list of Child Trust Fund providers here.
How do I know if I have a Child Trust Fund?
Not sure who provides your Child Trust Fund (CTF) or if you have one? Or are your parents or carers unable to find the details of your account? HMRC can help you find who your CTF provider is. All you need to do is complete their online form.
You’ll need your National Insurance number to access this form, which you should’ve got when you turned 16. This is made up of two letters followed by six numbers and one letter, like QQ123456A. If you don’t know your National Insurance number you can request it from HMRC. You’ll also need a Government Gateway user ID. If you don’t already have this, it’s easy to set one up here.
I’m turning 18 soon, what happens next?
From September 1st 2020, when you turn 18, you can start to have access to that account and the savings your parents or carers put away for you. This includes being able to take money out of the account. If you’re not able to contact your Child Trust Fund provider immediately after your 18th birthday you shouldn’t worry, they will keep your money safe in a protected account until you tell them what you want to do with your money.