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@example.com 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.
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.
We’ll continue to manage your plan until then. The plan will continue to benefit from potential growth and will be treated as tax free – so you’ll pay no tax on any bonuses received. 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 bonuses that may have been added. However, this guarantee can only be honoured for 3 months after your 18th birthday.
Why reinvest with Foresters?
Our discretionary Educational Award can provide up to £220 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 2019, we paid over £1.6m in discretionary grants to our members. Unlike a student loan, you don’t need to pay these grants back. It’s our gift to you!
Your money is invested in our top performing With Profits fund and has the potential to grow thanks to annual and final bonuses. (Source: Barnett Waddingham Survey Dec 2018)
We’ve been established for over 185 years with over 70,000 members. And have 96% customer satisfaction (2018 Member Satisfaction Survey).
How the Educational Award Fund has helped our Members
“I am very grateful for the Educational Award, which has helped fund my transport to college. Without this grant I would not be able to continue with my education, so the support received from Foresters Friendly Society has been invaluable. I would recommend any member studying in further education apply for the grant to give them a bit of extra help when they need it.”
“In order to start my apprenticeship, I needed to pass a maths exam. Thanks to the Educational Award grant I was able to take advantage of some one-to-one tuition with a specialist tutor, which really helped give me confidence with my maths exam and achieve my target grades.
The award really helped my studies, I would recommend the grant to anyone studying who needs some extra support.”
“The Educational Awards Fund grants have supported me throughout my first degree in Sport and Exercise Science and will now continue to support me as I start a second degree to fulfil my dream to become a Physiotherapist. The medical books needed for physiotherapy are very expensive, so this grant is a big help.”
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 top performing with profits Order Insurance Fund, with the Ethical Child Trust Fund only being invested in the ethical section of our 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 interest does the plan pay?
The Child Trust Fund does not pay interest. Instead, by investing the money paid into your plan into our with profits Order Insurance Fund we provide your savings with the potential for growth by way of bonuses. The better the fund does, the higher the bonuses you could potentially receive. Any profits generated by our fund are used to add an annual bonus and possibly a final bonus when the plan ends (matures).
We have paid annual bonuses on our Child Trust Fund for the past 12 years and although we can’t guarantee that we’ll pay a bonus every year in the future, we can guarantee that you will get back what has been paid in plus any previous bonuses that have been added to the plan.
- In 2019 the annual bonus rate was 2%
The annual bonus is applied to the amount invested in your Child Trust Fund plus any previous 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 Features Document.
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