What is a Child Trust Fund?

A Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a savings account set up by the government for children who were born between 01/09/2002 and 02/01/2011. Parents, guardians and family members can pay up to £9,000 per year (birthday to birthday). Any of the child’s loved ones can pay in regularly – either manually or by direct debit, or make one-off payments at their leisure.

You can’t open new CTF accounts, but if you’re interested in opening a savings account for your child, click here.

Where is my CTF?

Where is my Child Trust Fund? If you're not sure, you can find out through HMRC. If your parent or guardian didn't transfer your CTF, there's no guarantee you'll have the same provider as your siblings, if they have CTFs too. 

Click here to find your provider.

Who Controls a CTF Account?

Generally, your parent or guardian will be the correspondents on CTF accounts, this means the account was created by them on your behalf. Parents can apply to become a registered contact, to receive details about your account and manage any changes. When you (the account holder) turn 16, you can apply to be the registered contact on the account and manage it for yourself. Regardless of who the registered contact is, when you turns 18, the money is yours. Only the account holder (the child) can withdraw the money from the account.

What Happens When I Turn 18?

When you turn 18, it’s time to make a final decision on what to do with your money. You can withdraw it, or invest it into another savings account – you can even do both. Speak to our team about how much you have, how you’d like to split it, and which type of account you’d like to open next.

For some inspiration on what our other products can be used for, click here.

Unity Mutual cannot give you advice, we can only give you factual information. If you’re in any doubt about whether a product is right for you, it’s a good idea to talk to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), for unbiased advice on the best financial products for you, from a range of different companies.

The CTF Hub

If you’re 16 or over, you can become the registered contact on your own CTF account. This will allow you to use the CTF Registered Contact Hub, have control on whether you transfer your account (into our Junior ISA or to another provider), or manage any changes, such as change of address. You cannot access or withdraw the money until you turn 18.

Parents can also become the registered contact on the account, for children under 18, and the same rules apply.

Neither you nor your parents can access the CTF Hub without becoming a Registered Contact. You can do this here.

The CTF Portal

If your 18th birthday is coming up in the next few weeks, you should receive a maturity letter from us with instructions on how to access the CTF portal, and your unique reference number.

The CTF Portal can only be accessed by you (the account holder), around 3 weeks before you turn 18, and is where you can have a look through your options on what to do with your money, and let us know what you’d like to do.

For more information on accessing the CTF portal, including what ID and proof of address you’ll need, and where to find your unique reference number, please see Question 3 of the FAQs below.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team on 0151 724 1930 or email info@unitymutual.co.uk

(Our team is available from 9am to 5pm Monday-Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays)

The Important Bits:

  • £9,000 a year can be paid into a CTF account.
  • Anyone can pay money into your CTF account
  • You can transfer existing CTF accounts from any provider into our Junior ISAs*
  • Once the account holder turns 18, the money is legally theirs. No one but the account holder can withdraw the money from the account.
  • Your money is invested in stocks and shares. As the value can fall as well as rise, you could get back less than has been paid in
  • This product is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • FAQs for Parents
  • FAQs for Account Holders
  • Performance
Q.1 Which children were given a CTF?

Children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, residing t in the UK qualified for a CTF. Parents or Guardians of eligible children were given vouchers worth between £50 and £250 to invest with their chosen CTF provider. Some children will have received multiple vouchers.

Q.2 I think my child will have been eligible, but how do I find out if I have one and where it is?

You can do this through HMRC where the account was originally opened. HMRC will send you details of the Child Trust Fund provider by post within 3 weeks of receiving your request.  You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you fill in the online form.  HMRC will contact you for more information if you’ve adopted the child or a court has given you parental responsibility for them.

Q.3 What if the voucher was lost or wasn’t invested before it expired?

There were a large number of children who didn’t have an account opened before the voucher expired.  This could have happened for any number of reasons.  The good news is, if the child was eligible, a CTF was opened in their name by the Government. These are often referred to as Revenue Allocated Accounts.

Q.4 Are there different types of CTF?

Yes. There are three main types of CTF account:

  • Stakeholder CTF: A Stakeholder CTF comes with a set of agreed requirements that define how the account must be managed. These include the types of investment funds the money can be placed in, capped charges, minimum investment amounts and methods of paying into the account. All Revenue Allocated Accounts (see above) were opened as a Stakeholder CTF Account.
  • Non-Stakeholder CTF: These don’t have the same restrictions as their Stakeholder equivalent, meaning they can invest in higher risk funds, charges could be higher, and minimum investments are at the discretion of the individual provider and may differ between providers.
  • Cash Account (deposit based): These types function like a bank account with a regular amount of interest applied.
Q.5 Can a CTF be closed and the money withdrawn?

No.  It is not possible to withdraw money from a CTF before the account holder turns 18, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as terminal illness or death (please see Q18 & Q19 for further details).  CTFs can be transferred into a different type of CTF (see question above) or in to a Junior ISA. The CTF will mature on the date of the account holder’s 18th birthday, when they can decide what they wish to do with the money. 

Q.6 Who controls the CTF until the child is 18?

The child’s parent or guardian is able to control the account initially, but this doesn’t happen automatically. They will need to apply to become a Registered Contact on the account. At Unity Mutual, you do this by heading to our registered contact portal, but other providers may have different ways of applying for this. A registered contact can transfer the account, find out details of the amount held in the account, but cannot close or withdraw money from the account. Once the child turns 16, they can apply to become the Registered Contact, and their parent can be removed from the account.

Q.7 How much can I save in a CTF?

This alters each year. Currently (2022-23) parents, family members and friends or even the child themselves can pay in up to £9,000 each year between them. A subscription year runs from the child’s birthday in one year to the day before their birthday in the following year.

Q.8 As the child’s parent/guardian, do I automatically have control of the account?

No. To take control of your child’s account, you must have parental responsibility for the child and will need to complete an application to become the Registered Contact. Once they reach the age of 16, the parent can relinquish the Registered Contact responsibility, and the child can apply to become the Registered Contact. Should they not want to, you can continue to be the Registered Contact until they reach 18. However, a decision on what to do with the money on maturity of the account can only be given by the child.  

Q.9 Can I withdraw money from the account?

No.  No money can be withdrawn from the account until its maturity on the day of the child’s 18th birthday.  Providers can only accept a decision from the account holder at this time, regardless of whether a parent has been the Registered Contact on the account since birth.    

There are exceptional circumstances where money may be withdrawn early, such as a terminal illness. (Please refer to Q18 for more details).

Q.10 I have more than one child. Will their Revenue Allocated CTFs all be with the same provider?

When HMRC allocated CTF accounts they were allocated to providers in rotation and they didn’t attempt to keep siblings together. If you’re unsure of which provider each of your children have accounts with, please refer to Q2.

Q.11 I have more than one child and their CTFs are all with different providers. Is it possible to move them all to a single CTF provider?

Yes, that’s no problem. Although CTFs aren’t open to new business, it is possible to transfer an existing CTF account to another provider, the funds will be put into a Junior ISA. If you would like to move your child’s CTF simply contact your chosen provider and request a CTF Transfer Form. If you would like to transfer a CTF from another provider into our Junior ISA, you can either download our transfer form or request it by post, you can do this here.

Q.12 How can I add money to a CTF account?

This can vary between different providers – you will need to contact your current provider for more information. At Unity Mutual, it is possible to pay into a child’s CTF by Direct Debit, debit card, bank transfer or cheque. The minimum payment is £5. Payments are a gift to the child and cannot be returned to the payer. Anyone can pay into a Child Trust Fund account. The most that can be paid in is £9,000 in a 'Subscription Year' (birthday to birthday). All money paid into the account belongs to your child, who can only access it when they reach 18.

Q.13 My child is too young to have a CTF – can I open one for them?

No, it’s not possible to open a CTF now as the scheme closed in 2011. However, there are alternative tax-free savings products for children such as a Junior ISA or a Tax-Exempt Savings Plan (TESP), which are only available through Friendly Societies. You can look at the Children’s savings products Unity Mutual offers here.

Please note, Unity Mutual cannot give you advice, we can only give you factual information. If you’re in any doubt about whether a product is right for you, it’s a good idea to talk to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), for unbiased advice on the best financial products for you, from a range of different companies.

Q.14 Where is the money invested?

Until your child reaches age 15, at Unity Mutual the money deposited into the account is invested to buy ‘units’ of investment within the Unity Mutual Equity Fund. These units are purchased at the unit price, which will be calculated at the next pricing date, which is every Monday. Unlike other unit priced funds, our fund is single priced, which means the buy and sell prices are always the same.

This Fund tracks the performance of the UK Equity market and follows the fortunes of over 600 UK companies whose shares can be bought and sold on the Stock Market. Spreading the investment over such a large group of companies reduces the risk of individual companies not performing too well.

Q.15 Can Child Trust Funds with other providers be transferred to Unity Mutual?

Yes, the Registered Contact can transfer a Child Trust Fund account to us at any time, free of charge.

Whilst we do not accept transfers into our Child Trust Fund, we do accept transfers from an existing Child Trust Fund account into our Junior ISA.

To do this, if you’re the account correspondent, you can contact us or find our transfer forms here. Once we are in receipt of your completed form we will contact the other provider, once any cancellation period has expired, and arrange the transfer.

The Registered Contact has the right to cancel the transfer if they wish.

Q.16 What might the Child Trust Fund be worth in the future?

This depends on a number of things, such as how much has been paid in and the investment returns on the fund where the money is invested.

Please note as the money is invested in stocks and shares the value can fall as well as rise meaning your child could get back less than has been paid in.

Q.17 What happens if the child dies?

101% of the value of the account will be paid to the person with parental responsibility for the child, following receipt of necessary evidences, such as their death certificate. You’ll need to ensure that you are the registered contact on the account in order to make these arrangements. If this applies to you, please contact us and we’ll help you get this arranged.

Q.18 What happens if the child becomes terminally ill?

If this happens before the child is 18, then it may be possible to draw money out of the account for their benefit. You’ll need to ensure that you are the registered contact on the account in order to make these arrangements.  It is down to HMRC to determine if and how you will receive the funds if your child is terminally ill. If this applies to you, please contact us, and we’ll help you get this arranged.

Q.19 What about tax?

Money held in a Child Trust Fund account is not subject to income or capital gains tax.

Under current legislation the child will not have to pay tax on money drawn out of a CTF account.

Q.20 How can I track how the Child Trust Fund is performing?

You can keep up to date with the value of your child’s CTF Account in the CTF Hub. Once you’ve become a registered contact, you’re free to log in any time, check the value and make any changes that you need to.

Q.1 How do I find out where my CTF is?

You can do this through HMRC where the account was originally opened. You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you fill in the online form.  HMRC will send you details of the Child Trust Fund provider by post within 3 weeks of receiving your request.  HMRC will contact you for more information if you’ve adopted the child or a court has given you parental responsibility for them.

Q.2 What do I need to access the CTF portal?

In order to access the CTF portal, you’ll need your 5 part unique access code, ID and proof of address.

Your unique access code can be found on the 2nd page of your maturity letter that you should receive within the 3 weeks before you turn 18. If you’ve lost your letter, you can contact us to get your code sent out to you again.

You’ll also need ID and proof of address. If the address on your account doesn’t match the address you’re at now, the Registered Contact on the account can update this, via our Registered Contact Hub or by getting in touch with us via phone or email. If you’re over 16, you can apply to become the Registered Contact, to take control of the account for yourself.

It is vital that we receive both proof of who you are and where you live. You can upload more than one document if you need to. This can be:

  • Photo ID such as a passport or provisional/driving license.
  • Birth certificate
  • Bank statements (even digital PDF statements that include your name and address)
  • Letters from HMRC
Q.3 How can I access the money in my CTF account?

While you will be able to control the account from age 16, you won’t be able to access your money until your 18th birthday, which is the day your CTF account matures. In the weeks leading up to your 18th birthday, your provider should get in touch with you to give you more information about the options you have, so you can make a decision about what you want to do with your money. If your CTF account is with Unity Mutual, you can find out more about your options in the information above.

Q.4 When I have access to my CTF account, what options do I have?

This may depend on your CTF provider and we’d suggest you check with them, but generally you have three main choices:

  1. Withdraw all your money - You may already have plans for what you want to do with the money and need it all now to make those plans happen.
  2. Transfer all your money to an Adult ISA - Perhaps your plans are a little more long term and you don’t need immediate access to your money. If this is the case, and you want to keep saving into a tax-free product, you can choose to transfer the money into an adult ISA.
  3. A bit of both - Perhaps you’re torn over what to do, or don’t need all of the money immediately. If this is the case, you can choose to withdraw some and transfer some into an ISA to keep saving for the future.  It’s important to remember you have to decide what to do with ALL the money, you can’t leave any in your CTF Account.
Q.5 What happens if I don’t let you know what I want to do with my money in time?

Don’t worry, this will be transferred into either a Matured CTF or Protected ISA (this depends on your provider).  You can still access the money from this account, but you will not be able to pay into it. You’ll still be able to make a decision on what you want to do with the money in your account if it transfers to a Matured CTF or Protected ISA. At Unity Mutual, we use a Matured CTF account to store your money until you’re ready to withdraw or transfer it. Your Matured CTF will be invested in the same fund as your CTF and the Terms and Conditions be broadly similar, including the Annual Management Charge (AMC). 

Q.6 How will I know when my CTF is maturing?

Your CTF account will mature on your 18th birthday. Your provider should let you know what your options are prior to your birthday so you have time to make a considered and informed decision. It’s really important if you reinvest your money that you fully understand the product and Terms & Conditions. If you’re in any doubt about whether a product is right for you, it’s a good idea to talk to a Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), for unbiased advice on the best financial products for you, from a range of different companies.

Q.7 How much is in my child trust fund with Unity Mutual?

For details on how much is in your Unity Mutual account, the Registered Contact can check your balance in the CTF Hub. If you’re over 16, you can apply to become a registered contact. If you’re under 16, one of your parents can become the registered contact to keep an eye on your balance for you, and make sure all the details are up to date.

Q.8 What’s the difference between the Hub and the Portal?

The CTF Hub can be used to check the balance on your account, update your details such as a change of address, and make changes such as transferring your account to another provider, or into a Junior ISA.

The CTF Portal is used for accessing your money when you turn 18, and letting us know what you’d like to do with it.

Q.9 How soon will I have my money once I withdraw?

It can take a few weeks for the money to show up on your account balance if you’ve chosen to withdraw some or all of your funds once you turn 18. If more than a 2 weeks have passed and you still haven’t received your funds, please contact us.

Unity Mutual (former Schoolteachers) Equity Fund - Performance over the last 12 months
Look at the performance of this Equity Fund over the last 12 months, which is the one of the Funds our Child Trust Fund invests in.
Current Price: 2.576
Unity Mutual (former Schoolteachers) Equity Fund - Historical Performance
Look at the historical performance of this Equity Fund, which is the one of the Funds our Child Trust Fund invests in.
Current Price: 2.576
Unity Mutual (former Druids Sheffield) Equity Fund - Performance over the last 12 months
Look at the performance of this Equity Fund over the last 12 months, which is the one of the Funds our Child Trust Fund invests in.
Current Price: 2.333
Unity Mutual (former Druids Sheffield) Equity Fund - Historical Performance
Look at the performance of this Equity Fund, which is the one of the Funds our Child Trust Fund invests in.
Current Price: 2.333
Unity Mutual (former Oddfellows) Equity Fund - Performance over the last 12 months
Look at the performance of this Equity Fund over the last 12 months, which is the one of the Funds our Child Trust Fund invests in.
Current Price: 2.272
Unity Mutual (former Oddfellows) Equity Fund - Historical Performance
Look at the historical performance of this Equity Fund, which is the one of the Funds our Child Trust Fund invests in.
Current Price: 2.272