In stark contrast to regional salaries which put Northern Ireland salaries bottom of the UK league1 , Engage has found that parents in Northern Ireland topped up their child’s CTF by 50% more than Welsh parents, 45%more than English parents, and 42% more than Scottish parents2. Industry figures from PIMA, the leading trade body for CTFs and tax incentivised savings, suggest the average amount saved into a CTF is just over £20 per month3.
Research also reveals that 31% of parents with an Engage CTF are topping up their child’s CTF on a monthly basis, compared with an industry average of 22.8%4.
Other interesting findings from Engage:
- Engage was one of the first CTF providers to introduce online debit card payments into Child Trust Funds.
- Debit card top-ups account for 18 per cent of all top-up transactions, a proportion which is increasing each month.
- Chloe and Jack were the most popular names of CTF recipients in 2006 withengage Mutual customers
Karl Elliott, 3GB Spokesperson for engage Mutual Assurance, said:
“On the second birthday of the Child Trust Fund, we are delighted to see that Engage Mutual’s Northern Irish parents are leading the way when it comes to topping up their child’s Child Trust Fund, despite lower than average earnings than in other UK regions. Our message is simple – by contributing little and often to a CTF, parents and other relatives can give their children a financial head-start when they reach 18. We are delighted to see that Engage customers are taking our advice on board. Almost a third of our customers are topping up their child’s CTF regularly, compared to an industry average of less than one in four.”
Engage Mutual Assurance CTF product information
- The stakeholder CTF is an equity product that initially invests in the engageInvestment Growth Fund
- The CTF has built in life styling – once the child reaches age 13, the money is gradually moved from the Engage Investment Growth Fund into less speculative assets (Engage High Income Fund – by 20% each year) to lock-in gains as the account reaches maturity. At age 17, 100% of the money is invested in the Engage High Income Fund, although life styling can be switched on or off at anytime and any money transferred into the Engage High Income Fund can be transferred back in to the Engage Investment Growth Fund at any time.
- Please note this is a stockmarket-linked investment and its value can fall as well as rise. The child may get back less than has been paid in.
- The annual charge is 1.5%
- The minimum contribution is £5
1 ONS average salaries 2006 -Northern Ireland: £16,787; Wales: £17,397; Scotland: £18,616; England: £19,522
2 Engage internal figures to January 2007
3 PIMA figures, January 2007
4 PIMA figures, December 2007
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.