Child Trust Fund Maturities
It’s time to decide
what’s next for your Child Trust Fund
With your 18th birthday fast approaching, as well as planning what’s next for you, whether that’s starting at university or beginning your career, you can also decide how best to invest that money for your future.
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, or instruct us how you would like to reinvest the funds.
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.
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 3 basic options to choose from.
Your options in detail
Reinvest it all
Quite simply as it says – you can choose to reinvest all of the money in your Child Trust Fund. We offer two ISAs that may be suitable for you – a Lifetime ISA, to help you save for a first home purchase or retirement, and a Stocks & Shares ISA.
Any funds moved to the Stocks & Shares ISA won’t affect your annual allowance, but if you choose the Lifetime ISA then your Child Trust Fund will count towards the annual £4,000 limit. However, you can choose to open both a Lifetime ISA and Stocks & Shares ISA should you wish.
Invest part / Take part
You may wish to take some of the money now, to help towards a first car, or towards the costs of starting university for example, but also want to invest some to keep saving for your future.
That’s fine, because it’s possible to split your Child Trust Fund, taking some money now, and reinvesting the rest. Just let us know how much you want to reinvest, and we’ll arrange to pay the rest to your bank account.
Take the money
If you’ve decided you have plans for the money now, that’s fine too. The money can only be sent to you, so 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.
The Foresters CTF comes with a guarantee that when you turn 18, you’ll get back at least everything that’s been paid in, plus any annual bonuses previously added. However, this guarantee can only be honoured for 3 months after your 18th birthday. Please note that any previously estimated final bonus is not guaranteed and can change at any time depending on investment conditions when the CTF matures.
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.
We’ll continue to manage your plan which will benefit from potential growth and will be treated as tax free – so you’ll pay no tax on any bonuses received. You won’t be able to add any money to the Matured Child Trust Fund under HMRC rules.
Why reinvest with Foresters?
Our discretionary Educational Award can provide up to £300 a year to members aged 16 and over in further education and studying for a recognised qualification, to help cover the cost of books, travel expenses or other items.
Further member benefits include discretionary grants to help you to cover the cost of some healthcare costs, including dental treatment, eye tests or glasses. In 2023, we paid over £1.72m in discretionary grants to our members and charitable donations. Unlike a student loan, you don’t need to pay these grants back. It’s our gift to you!
Your money is invested in a fund which gives you access to investment types you cannot get directly.
We’ve been established for over 190 years with over 55,000 members.
How our discretionary grants have helped our Members
“The Educational Award has helped to support the costs of my education. The grant has enabled me to purchase up to date textbooks to help with my studies and has funded my travel to and from sixth form. Receiving the grant has also enabled me to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, which has given me great life skills that will prepare me for University. Without the grant from Foresters, I wouldn’t have been able to afford all of this.”
“I applied for a Child Support fund grant for my youngest child, who has complex educational needs and sensory processing difficulties. He is an exceptionally bright child but requires specialist support in school. The grant will enable us to ensure that our son is able to fully access specialist support outside of school and to have the same assistive software on home devices as he will be using in school. For our son it means that he can try more experiences that will enable him to push himself in terms of his safe boundaries to build his resilience as he grows through his teenage years into adulthood. For him the grant will bring opportunities and for us as a family it will enable us to further see our son flourish in a world that at the moment is often a challenging place for him.”
“I applied for the Educational Award grant to help meet course costs and to help secure access to study books and journal papers. The Educational Award will in a very short time be applied to reduce my cost of learning. This is particularly helpful at the moment as my partner and I like many others, are feeling the effects of the rising cost of living. I am very pleased with the prompt assessment by Foresters Friendly of my suitability for the Educational Award. Moreover, I feel that the products and benefits offered by Foresters Friendly represent a social responsibility difficult to find promoted elsewhere in the financial sector.”
Ready to make your choice? Click here to complete your Choices form today!
What if I don’t want to reinvest the lump sum, but want to start saving regularly?
Our ISA products offer flexible saving options and can accept payments from £50 a month as well as lump sums. Or if you’re looking to pay a smaller monthly amount, you can pay £25 per month into our Tax Exempt Savings Plan for a fixed term of between 10 and 25 years. You will still be a Foresters member and have access to our member benefits for any plan you take out with us after your CTF has ended.
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.
I’ve made my decision, what happens now?
Around four weeks before your 18th, we’ll write to you confirming the value of your CTF. The letter will also explain your options, and ask you to complete the form in the pack, or on our website, to give us your decision.
If you’d like to reinvest all or some of the money with us, we will collect some details from you, as the CTF was set up by your parent/guardian so we have their details on our systems currently. Any new plan you open will be held in your name only and we can easily transfer all or part of the CTF money into the new plan on your behalf.
If you want to take all or part of the money, we’ll need your bank account details and a form of ID. Once that’s received, the funds will be sent to you after your 18th birthday.
If we don’t hear from you, your CTF will become a Matured CTF. 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. We will continue to run the Matured CTF for a minimum of 15 years or until we receive your instructions.
What if I don’t know what I should do with my Child Trust Fund right now?
We understand it can be a big decision. If we do not hear from you after sending you the maturity pack, we’ll continue to look after your investment for you. It’ll become a Matured Child Trust Fund, and although no further money can be paid into the plan, it will have the potential to receive bonuses, which will increase your plan’s value. The addition of bonuses is not guaranteed.
The plan will continue to be treated as tax free – so you’ll pay no tax on any bonuses paid.
I live abroad – what are my options?
You have the same options as anyone living in the UK, but if you are considering reinvesting in a Stocks & Shares or Lifetime ISA, you should be aware that you won’t be able to make any additional contributions unless you become a UK resident again.
Please note that if you’d like to take the money and have it paid to an overseas bank account you’ll need to give us a call to arrange this.
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).
How can I be confident my money is invested responsibly?
As a friendly society, it’s particularly important to us that our investments are managed in an ethical and responsible way. Foresters is a signatory of the Principles for Investment (PRI) which demonstrates our commitment to responsible investment, to reducing our impact on the environment and mitigating climate change risk in our investment portfolios.
You can be confident that investing with us means your money will be invested in a trustworthy and environmentally conscious way. The PRI is the world’s leading supporter of responsible investment and promotes a better understanding of the investment implications of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
Find out more about the 6 PRI principles we have signed up to here.
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 Stocks & Shares ISA can be opened from £50 per month, or our Tax Exempt Savings Plan is fixed at £25 per month for a period of 10 to 25 years.
How can I help my child decide what to do with the money?
Depending on your and your family’s approach to savings, you may have been teaching your child about the importance of saving through their life – in which case they’ll hopefully feel ready to make an informed decision. But if you and your child are new to looking at savings, it can seem daunting working out what’s best.
Ultimately, when the child turns 18, only they can make the decision and instruct us on what they’d like to do with the money in their plan. But many parents will no doubt want to help, so consumer finance websites can help provide lots of fact-based information to help you understand what may be best for your son or daughter. Foresters will also send an information pack to both you and your son/daughter which you may find useful to look at and discuss together.
We have also provided some ideas of what they can do with the CTF money on this page and will continue to provide options in the maturity pack we send you ahead of their 18th birthday. We cannot offer financial advice, so if you feel you need some support, a financial adviser may be best placed to help, however they may charge a fee for their service.
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.
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).