Parents still engaged with the Child Trust Fund
One third of children under 18 now have a Child Trust Fund
Leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, The Children’s Mutual welcomes the latest official figures showing parents are still investing for their children’s financial futures.
Quarterly CTF figures released today from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that, even with the current economic turmoil, nearly three quarters of parents are actively opening CTFs for their children rather than letting the Government choose where the CTF is invested.
David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “It’s very encouraging that, with the time pressures and economic worries faced by many families, parents are still engaged with the Child Trust Fund. Nearly 4.2 million children – that’s nearly one third of young people under 18 years of age – now have a Child Trust Fund.
“The Child Trust Fund is a ray of hope for parents wanting to support their children into adulthood. With recent stories about university chancellors wanting to increase tuition fees, and the need for even larger house deposits, parents are acutely aware of the costs facing their young ones when they reach adulthood. The CTF is well placed to assist families in planning their children’s financial futures, especially at these difficult times as it allows any family member or friend to contribute. We know from our own customers, that many CTFs are topped up by the wider family as well as parents. We’ve calculated that if parents and both sets of grandparents are each able to contribute £20 per month into a child’s CTF, they could create a pot of nearly £22,700 when the child reaches 18.”
Mr White continued: “As an industry, we believe it is critical that we act together to ensure parents know about the benefits of families saving regularly over the long-term into the Child Trust Fund, and we work to make it as easy as possible for families to invest for their children. We welcome the news that on the fourth anniversary, there will be change to voucherless applications and while it’s not compulsory for CTF providers to offer voucherless applications, we believe that enabling parents to apply for the Child Trust Fund without having to physically send in the voucher is the right thing to do. We estimate that by making parents’ lives easier, at what is an incredibly joyful but pressured time, it could increase take up further still by up to 10 per cent.” The total number of accounts opened as at 15th December 2008 for all vouchers issued to the same date is 4.19m. HMRC March 09.
 Government Actuary’s Department estimates there to be 12.8 million children under 18 in the UK.
 These projections are based on money being invested for 18 years in a stakeholder Child Trust Fund account, alongside the Government’s initial £250 voucher and another £250 voucher at age 7, with yearly growth at the FSA mid-rate of 7% and charges of 1.5% of the account’s value each year. These figures are not guaranteed, shares can go down as well as up and the eventual lump sum could be more or less than indicated.