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Government consults on child trust funds to Junior ISA transfers

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The Government has launched a consultation on allowing the transfer of existing savings from Child Trust Fund accounts into Junior ISAs.

It follows the Chancellor’s announcement at Budget 2013 that the government would consider the position of existing Child Trust Funds (CTFS).

Following the abolition of CTFs at the beginning of 2011, the government introduced the junior ISA as part of its latest attempt to encourage a savings culture in the UK.

However, children born between 2002 and 2011 were denied access to the Junior ISA, instead having to continue contributing to their CTF.

The government has previously held firm despite requests for it to permit transfers to JISAs.

However, today’s consultation proposes that, “in the interest of fairness”, children who have a CTF and are therefore ineligible to open a JISA, or transfer their funds to one, should not be excluded from the Junior ISA market if their long-term interests would be better served there.

Sajid Javid, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “The government wants to support parents by ensuring that there are clear and simple ways to save for all children.

“That is why we introduced Junior ISAs in 2011 and why, in the interests of fairness, we are today consulting on how to give the 6.3m children who have a Child Trust Fund the option to open one too.”

The consultation proposes that voluntary transfers from a CTF to a Junior ISA should be allowed if requested by the registered contact for the account – usually a parent.