Get ready
Your Child Trust Fund will soon mature

With your 18th birthday fast approaching, it’s time to decide what you would like to do with your Child Trust Fund.

The Child Trust Fund was a new way of saving, launched by the government in September 2002. All children born from then until 2nd January 2011 received a voucher of up to £500 to invest into a Child Trust Fund savings plan, with the money locked away until your 18th birthday.

Any payments being made into the plan, in addition to the initial investment, will stop once you turn 18 and from this point on only you can access the money.

If you hold a CTF with us, you’ll receive a pack explaining your options in the run up to your birthday.

Not sure if your Child Trust Fund is with us?

No problem – it’s easy to check your details with us. Simply complete this online form with your name, date of birth, postcode and policy number and we’ll check and respond to you. If you don’t know the policy number, please leave that blank.

If you do know it, our Child Trust Fund policy numbers are formatted either CTF0000001 or CTFE0000001 so if yours looks like that, it’s likely your plan is with us.  But we’ll be happy to check for you if you complete the form.

Alternatively, you can call our Member Services team on 0800 988 2418, or email [email protected] with your details.

CHECK WE HOLD YOUR CTF

What to do next?

Your Child Trust Fund maturity pack will give you a final value for your plan, and include all the information you need to make your decision on what to do next. However, now the Child Trust Fund is in your control, you have 2 options to choose from.

Your options in detail

1. Take the money

If you’ve decided you have plans for the money now, the money can only be sent to you.  If you choose to have the funds sent to a UK bank account this must be in your name and we may require additional proof of identity.

2. Leave the money

If you decide to leave the money invested, your plan will become a Matured Child Trust Fund. Any existing direct debit payments into the plan will stop as the plan cannot be topped up.  The terms and conditions of the plan will continue and any annual bonuses we pay will continue to be added to its value. However, your maturity guarantee will not be honoured after 3 months from your 18th birthday.

If we do not hear from you, when you turn 18 your plan will simply become a Matured Child Trust Fund and will remain invested with us until you contact us with your decision. After three months, the maturity guarantee will end.

Common questions

What should I do if I don’t know what organisation my Child Trust Fund is with?

We understand that as these plans were taken out some time ago, you or your parents may not have the paperwork or you’ve perhaps moved home since the plan was started. If you think your plan may be with Foresters Friendly Society, we can check for you – either call us on 0800 988 2418 or you can fill in this form with your details, we’ll check and get in touch to let you know if we hold your plan or not.  If you don’t have all the information the form asks for, just provide as much as you can.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also provide a system where you can check if your parents or guardians are unsure what company they invested the original voucher with. Further information is available on the government website. Bear in mind you’ll need to login with or create your Government Gateway ID so it’s best to make sure you have a few minutes to spare.  If your parents didn’t invest the voucher, a plan will have been set up for you by HMRC, but it could be with one of several different providers, so it’s best to use the HMRC service to find out who your plan is with.

Where is the money invested?

The money held in the Child Trust Fund is invested in Foresters Friendly Society’s with profits Order Insurance Fund. The money is spread across a number of different types of assets that may include property, UK government bonds, equities and cash. If the return from any one particular asset type is poor, the investment may be protected from the full impact of this fall as other assets may perform better.

To find out more about the addition of bonuses and how we manage our fund please read our Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM).

What is the potential benefit of the chosen asset mix within the Foresters with profits fund?

Many funds that invest in a variety of asset classes would have a mixture of equities and bonds.  These asset classes traditionally have a negative correlation, meaning that if equities go up in value, bonds generally go down in value.  The opposite happens when equities go down in value.  Over the past few years this correlation has moved to a positive correlation, resulting in equity and bond valuations moving in the same direction.  This can increase the risk of poor returns and increased volatility in fund values.

We use private assets to help diversify our fund and reduce its overall risk, as private assets are not so closely correlated with equity and bond (public) investments and so can help to balance investment volatility.  Private assets also offer the potential for higher returns as they are often long term investments.  The downside is that private assets offer lower flexibility than public assets. We monitor the overall exposure between private and public assets to ensure the mix meets our expected cashflows.

What interest does the plan pay?

The Child Trust Fund does not pay interest. Instead, by investing the money you pay into the plan into our with profits Order Insurance Fund we provide the potential for growth by way of bonuses. The better the fund does, the higher the bonuses your child could potentially receive. Any profits generated by our fund are used to add an annual bonus and possibly a final bonus when the plan reaches the end of its term.

We have paid annual bonuses on our Child Trust Fund for the past 15 years and although we can’t guarantee that we’ll pay a bonus every year in the future, we can guarantee that your child will get back what has been paid in plus any previous annual bonuses that have been added to the plan.

  • In 2022 the annual bonus rate was 1.50%

The annual bonus is applied to the amount you have invested in your child’s Child Trust Fund to date plus any previous annual bonuses that have been added.

The addition of any bonus is not guaranteed. To find out more about the addition of bonuses and how we manage our fund please read our Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM).

Common questions for parents and guardians

I pay into my (grand)child’s Child Trust Fund, what happens now?

Once the child turns 18, no further money can be paid to the plan. If you make regular payments by Direct Debit, these will automatically stop after the final payment in the weeks before their 18th birthday. For example, if they turn 18 on November 22nd, your last Direct Debit will be taken on November 1st.

If you wish to continue saving for your son, daughter, grandchild, or other young relative, once they turn 18 you could either send them the money to put into a savings plan themselves, or take out a plan in your own name and decide when in the future you wish to pass the funds onto them. If you’re already in the habit of making monthly payments, our Tax Exempt Savings Plan is fixed at £25 per month for a period of 10 to 25 years.

What should I do if I can’t remember which company I set up the fund with, or didn’t set up a plan?

It’s easy to check which company holds your child’s CTF. And if you received the government voucher but didn’t get around to setting up the fund, after 12 months, they will have stepped in and set this up for your child on your behalf.  It could be with one of several different providers, but your child is able to check where their fund is using the form on the government website. Please note they will need a Government Gateway ID to use this form which can take a few minutes to get set up.

Can my child access the money in their Child Trust Fund before they reach 18?

No. The Child Trust Fund is designed to offer a financial head start when the child becomes an adult by providing a cash payment when they turn 18 years old. Only in exceptional circumstances can they get their hands on the money before their 18th birthday. There are further details within the plan conditions which you will have received when you opened the Child Trust Fund.  If you have misplaced these, please read the CTF Key Information Document.

My child has reduced mental capacity and can’t manage their own financial affairs, so what do I need to do?

Foresters are committed to ensuring that we make our processes clear and simple for our policyholders and their families. We want managing your child’s Child Trust Fund maturity to be as straightforward as possible and our Claims team are here to help. The first step is to make contact with us to make us aware of your family’s circumstances so we can work with you to establish the best way forward.

If you already have a Court of Protection Deputyship Order or a Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) in place then this allows you to make financial decisions on your child’s behalf. We’d need to see the documentation to support this, but can then proceed based on your instructions.

If you do not already have one of these in place and your child will be turning 18 soon, we can help.

We have agreed to a protocol which allows for balances of up to £5,000 to be released, without the need for you to adopt the usual Court of Protection process, and with proportionate safeguarding of your child’s interests. The protocol is a process that is similar to the fair access protocol used by The Department for Education to enable vulnerable people to obtain a school place, and allows the release of funds in the plan against documentation that the parents or guardians may already have.

Alongside the Association of Financial Mutuals, Foresters Friendly supports a formal legal solution in development by the Ministry of Justice.

By simplifying the maturity process, to help reduce costs to you, and to ensure young people receive the money due to them without delay, we hope this will bring a much fairer customer outcome. We are doing this ahead of the government consultation and planned changes to the law, because it is very much the Foresters way of doing business

There is more information available on Learning Disability England’s website here and about becoming someone’s deputy on the government’s website here. We would also advise checking with your local authority to find out what support they can give you.  You can read more about our approach here.

2023/2024 Charity Appeal supporting

Youth Sport Trust

We give back in more ways than one! Our Annual Charity Appeal is a marvellous way for our members throughout the UK to focus on helping a good cause each year. We’re proud to announce that our charity for 2023/2024 is Youth Sport Trust.

Find out more

We’re here if you need help or have any questions

If you’re a little stuck and need help, please get in touch. Our UK based team can help to make things as smooth and easy as possible (lines are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm).

Call free on 0800 988 2418