Why you can't keep your child's CTF a secret

Planning to surprise your child on their 18th birthday with a Child Trust Fund? Think again - we legally must notify them at 16...

Our responsibilities to Child Trust Fund holders

Child Trust Funds were a government scheme to give kids a financial head start and encourage them to save and invest over the long term.

As a parent you want the best for your kid, and you probably think you know what the best thing is for them to do with the funds that have built up over the years. Perhaps you’ve even added your own contributions to their Child Trust Fund.

Some parents have expressed their wishes to surprise their kids with their Child Trust Fund when they reach 18 and the policy reaches maturity, but as a Child Trust Fund provider we have legal obligations to communicate with account holders.

You can’t surprise your kids with their Child Trust Fund

It’s a shame – because what a nice surprise it would be – but you can’t expect to keep a Child Trust Fund a secret from your child. We have a responsibility to unite account holders with their accounts, and to communicate with them at specific milestones on the way to account maturity.

It’s their decision

Only the account holder can decide what to do with the money, whether to keep it invested in stocks and shares, saved in cash or spent. They can only do this when they reach the age of 18.

As a parent, you still have an important role to play in helping your child decide.

But you can’t make the decision for them. When they are 18 they are an adult and they can make the decision about what to do with their money.

The same applies to Junior ISAs - they can only be accessed by the child, and only once they turn 18 years of age.