It has been widely reported that the first Child Trust Funds (CTF) matured in September 2020, this means there will be many young people with access to what could be large pots of money. It is therefore important that parents have conversations with their children and encourage them to be wise with their money in advance of them getting access to their pot.
Key facts about Child Trust Funds:
- CTFs are long-term tax-free children’s saving accounts set up by the government. They were designed to help make sure children arrived at adulthood with a savings account, parents/guardians were encouraged to teach children the importance of having savings
- There are 6.3 million CTF savers in the UK according to the Office for National Statistics
- The money is locked away, but when the child turns 16 they can legally take over responsibility for their account and make decisions about the fund, such as switching to another provider or transferring to a Junior Isa (JISA).
I don't doubt that many of the teenagers who will benefit from their CTF maturing over the coming months and years will be excited at the prospect of having a pot of money to splurge. My advice to parents with children in this position is to sit down in advance of maturity and have a conversation about the future. It should include an eye-opener on what amount is needed to buy a house or a car and go to university.
I would suggest that treating themselves with a small amount and putting the rest into another savings product is the most sensible option. I wish them luck with this because the temptations for them to go out and enjoy themselves with the money will be strong, but the idea of saving this money isn't impossible with a little financial education. After all, you're only young once!