Child Trust Fund - Savings Support

Overview

The ACB Financial Services Limited Child Trust Fund is now closed to new business, but those with existing accounts can still get in touch with Family Investments by phone, email or online.

If you have a Child Trust Fund account with us, it will continue to run as normal. Rest assured, we remain committed to providing a high level of service right up until your child reaches 18.

For those with existing accounts, you can login or register for the online account management pages, where you can get a current value, make payments and manage Direct Debits.

How it works

What happens to your child's money?

This Child Trust Fund account is provided by Family Investments; Family Investments are the UK's favourite Child Trust Fund provider looking after over 1 million CTF accounts and they have over 35 years experience in helping families invest for their future. It is a 'stakeholder account,' which means it meets strict Government criteria, some of which are designed to reduce the risk associated with investing in the stock market.

Initially, most of your child's money will be invested into stocks and shares to benefit from the growth potential of the stock market. On or before your child's 13th birthday Family Investments will start to invest less in stocks and shares and more in fixed interest and/or cash investments. This is a process called 'lifestyling' and continues until your child's 18th birthday to help protect their savings towards the end of the investment period. Meeting the stakeholder criteria does not mean that this type of account is suitable for everyone or returns are guaranteed.

The value of the account can fall as well as rise and your child could recieve back less than was paid in.

How the account operates

  • Anyone can contribute to the account. Parents, grandparents or any other family member or friend can pay money (from as little as $10) into the account up to a combined total of $1,200 each year
  • As well as adding one off payments you can also set up a direct debit. A little extra each month could make a big difference to your child's future.
  • All payments into the account are a gift to your child, which only they will be able to withdraw, and only when he or she is 18 years of age.
  • Online statements helps you keep track of how well the account is performing you can also call the Customer Service Team at any time for a valuation.
  • Returns are free of income tax and capital gains tax (although tax advantages depend on individual circumstances and may change in the future). Please see the document headed 'All you need to know' for a full explanation of the tax treatment.
  • If you open a Family Investments Child Trust Fund, your child's account will be with the only Stakeholder provider where you can manage the account online! Visit their Online Wizard section for more information about the benefits of a Child Trust Fund.

Managing your child's account online

  
If you already have a Family Investments CTF and registered for Online Wizard, you'll be able to:

  • Check the current value of your child's account
  • View an up-to-date statement summary
  • See what the final value of your child's account may be at age 18
  • See how much you can still top up this year
  • Set up and manage your direct debit top ups online
  • Personalise your secure account management page with a picture of your little one
Family Investments is a trading name of Family Equity Plan Ltd (Co. No. 2208249) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England and Wales at 16-17 West Street, Brighton BN1 2RL.

Frequently Asked Questions

How the voucher system will work

How do I know if I've done the right thing with the money?

Making investment decisions is hard. But one thing we know is that over a long period of time, such as 18 years, savings in shares have the potential to provide worthwhile returns.

However, please remember that share prices can fall as well as rise and it is possible your child could get back less than was invested.

Child Trust Fund providers offer a Stakeholder account as one of their products.

These accounts do the hard work for you:

  • These initially include some investment in shares
  • But on or before your child reaches the age of 13 they can start moving the money into safer investments such as cash or fixed interest securities so that there is less risk of the value of the Child Trust Fund account falling sharply just before your child's 18th birthday.

Stakeholder versus non Stakeholder

There are strict rules for Stakeholder accounts. For example they must start off investing primarily in shares and they can't charge you more than 1.5% annual management charge to look after your child's money.

But not every Child Trust Fund account will meet these criteria - some will charge more or less than the maximum and others will put your money into an alternative investment such as a cash savings account. While there is nothing wrong with these, ACB Financial Services Limited believe Stakeholder accounts are a potentially profitable way to invest your child's money. You should remember though, that just because a 'Stakeholder' account will meet certain criteria it does not mean it is suitable for you or your child or has a guaranteed return. It is possible your child could get back less than was invested.

Charges

What are the charges?

A Stakeholder account has annual charges of no more than 1.5% per annum of the value of the fund. Providers may also levy a charge for incidental services such as share dealing in transfer cases.

Topping-up your Child Trust Fund

How much can be paid into my child's Child Trust Fund account?

The limit is $1,200 in any subscription year (this excludes the value of the voucher in the first year). Remember, the more you invest into your child's account, the greater the financial rewards could be when they turn 18. Please bear in mind that only your child can access the money and only when they are 18.

Who can pay into my child's Child Trust Fund account?

Your family, your friends, any person or organisation can 'top up' your child's Child Trust Fund account simply and as often as they want (subject to the investment limits).

Am I committed to regular contributions?

No. You may invest as and when you like. You can make regular contributions, ad hoc contributions or a combination of the two. You are not obliged to pay anything into the Child Trust Fund account other than the Government voucher if you don't want to.

How long will it take to transfer funds?

Payments processed through the Faster Payments scheme and deposits made using SaveBack should arrive in your account no later than the next bank working day. Transfers between ACB Financial Services Limited accounts are normally treated as arriving in your account straightaway, except when they are made after 8pm or on a non bank working day. Payments made to external beneficiary accounts will be received by midnight on same day the payment is instructed, provided instruction is made by 5pm.  Transactions instructed after these times will be treated as next business day.

Access to the money

 

Can I access the money invested into my child's Child Trust Fund account?

No. You can only deposit money into your child's Child Trust Fund account. Your child is the only one who can access the money in their account, but not until their 18th birthday.

 

Child Trust Fund providers

Can I transfer it to another provider if I want to?

Yes. Your child's Child Trust Fund account can be transferred (in whole) to another provider at any time. There should be no fee for the transfer providing you transfer between Stakeholder accounts. However, providers will be allowed to charge your child's Child Trust Fund account with the costs of any share dealings necessary as part of the transfer process. You will be able to transfer your child's Child Trust Fund account as many times as you wish. 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.

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