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Managing or changing a Child Trust Fund account

If you are the main point of contact for the Child Trust Fund (CTF) account, you are known as the 'registered contact'. Find out what your responsibilities are, the paperwork you should keep and how to change the type of account, provider or registered contact.

Your responsibilities as the registered contact

The registered contact is the main point of contact for the account until the child is 16 and takes over the account. 

You're the only person who can:

  • tell the account provider how to invest the funds and run the account
  • move the account to another provider
  • change the type of account

You should keep track on how the account is doing. You'll get sent statements every year and other information to help you do this.

Once your child is old enough, tell them about the account. It’s a good way to help them learn about money and savings.

Paperwork you need to keep

You should keep the following paperwork together in a safe place:

  • your child’s Unique Reference Number - this is shown on the voucher 
  • the annual statements for the account
  • other CTF information
  • details of the type of account and the provider

This will make it easier if you need to query anything or make any changes to the account.

How to change accounts - or providers

To change to a different Child Trust Fund account, check if the current provider offers the type of account you want to change to. If they don't, you may need to try another provider.

You may also want to ask your provider:

  • if there is a fee for changing the account
  • how long it will take to move the account

To change provider, you need to:

  • choose a new provider
  • contact the new provider to check what forms you need to fill in

The new provider will get in touch with your existing account provider to arrange for the money to be moved. They will also tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about the change.

How to change a registered contact

You might want to change the registered contact. For example if your family circumstances have changed or the registered contact has died.

To change the registered contact, follow these steps:

  • step one: get an application form from the provider to change the registered contact
  • step two: both you - and the person who wants to be the new registered contact - sign the form
  • step three: return the form to the provider

Only someone with parental responsibility for the child can be the registered contact. For example if you're the other parent, step-parent or legal guardian.

If you split up from someone who is the registered contact and want to take this role on instead, both of you will need to agree to this.

When your child is 16

When your child is 16, they are responsible for managing their own CTF account. This means they will need to apply to become the registered contact for the account.

They won't be able to use the money in the account until they are 18.

Managing an account opened by HMRC

If you haven't used the voucher by its expiry date, HMRC will open an account for your child.

HMRC will write and tell you:

  • that someone with parental responsibility for the child needs to become the registered contact
  • which provider holds the account

If you want to become the registered contact, get an application form from the provider who holds the account.

As the registered contact you can, at any time, change to another type of CTF account or provider.

Adding or taking money out of the account

Parents, family and friends can add money to the account up to a total limit of £1,200 a year.

No-one can take money out of the account because the money belongs to the child. They can use it when they are 18. The only exception is if your child is terminally ill and is likely to die.

Changes in circumstances you need to report

There are some changes in circumstances you need to report, for example a change of name or address or if a local authority starts to look after your child. This will help you manage and keep track of the Child Trust Fund account.

Some of these changes may also affect Child Benefit payments.

Provided by HM Revenue & Customs who administer the Child Trust Fund

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Additional links

Junior ISAs

Find out about plans for a new tax-free savings account for children

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