Nearly three-quarters of 16 and 17-year olds know to expect Child Trust Fund payouts

by | Oct 1, 2022

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Nearly three-quarters (73%) of 16 and 17-year-olds surveyed know that, on their 18th birthday, they are due to receive a nest egg from their Child Trust Fund (CTF) or Junior ISA.

This is an increase on the previous year – for the second year running – demonstrating that awareness of the savings initiative which launched in 2002 is growing among its young recipients.


  Turn 18 from Sept 2022-23 Turned 18 from Sept 2021-22 Turned 18 from Sept 2020-21
Did know about CTF/JISA money 73% 59% 38%
Did not know about CTF/JISA money 27% 41% 62%



When asked what they plan to do with the money (respondents could select more than one option), most plan to put it in a cash savings account (35%), with a further 14% selecting a cash ISA. 30% were unsure what they planned to do with the proceeds.

Nearly one in five (19%) said that they would either invest in stocks and shares (whether directly, or through an ISA or a fund).

18–19-year-old recipients


Orbis also questioned 18–19-year-olds who have now received their money about what they had done with it. Again, interviewees could select more than one option.

The largest cohort here had opted for a cash savings account (29%) with a further 12% saying a cash ISA, while the second largest group (26%) said that they had spent the money on material things, or on a trip away (this came in fourth position last year). The next most popular choice was buying things for friends and family (25%). Others had invested in stocks and shares (17% via an ISA and 11% directly). Cryptocurrency investors (13%) were notably down on last year (21%). And while 18% last year were saving for a mortgage deposit, this year that figure had dropped to 13%.

Dan Brocklebank, head of Orbis Investments UK said: “It is encouraging to see the increased awareness of CTF/JISA money this year.  It is also interesting to see that cryptocurrencies have received far less interest this year than last year. Recent price declines have clearly cooled enthusiasm here.” 


“I’d also note that more than a quarter of the 18-19-year-olds surveyed this year had spent their money on material things or a trip away. Maybe this was a symptom of having endured nearly two years of lockdowns? If so, it is perhaps an understandable case of ‘seizing the day’.”

Why keep it in cash?

Orbis asked those who had selected cash options5 from both the 16-17 and 18-19-year-old cohorts why they were choosing to keep their money in cash, with the following results:



Reason for keeping proceeds in cash 16–17-year-olds (yet to receive money) 18–19-year-olds who have received money
So they can take advantage of opportunities quickly 37% 38%
Because they don’t know enough about investing 33% 31%
They know a bit about investing but feel that markets will go down soon 19% 26%
Because cash interest rates are rising again 14% 12%


The results were fairly similar across cohorts, with the exception of market sentiment, where those who had already received the money were more pessimistic about falling markets.


Dan Brocklebank, head of Orbis Investments UK said: “It is understandable that those who have been considering investing over the last year or two may be more cautious after watching the recent weakness in markets.  However, it is vital to recognise that stock market declines are good news for those who have cash to invest today: companies are cheaper now than they were a year ago.

“There are some valid reasons for 16-19 year-olds to keep at least part of any windfall in cash (e.g. to fund known university expenses over the next couple of years).  However, 16-19 year olds have plenty of the one truly non-refundable resource at their disposal: time.  So, if these individuals can afford to park the money for a while, it is worth remembering that stock markets have historically provided better long-term returns even though they have been more volatile. Since CTFs launched in 2005, the MSCI World Index has returned over 10% per annum whereas cash has returned just 1.5%.

“A final, but important, note to those hanging on because cash rates are rising: they are still nowhere near inflation rates.  Given today’s inflation rate of 10.1% – a figure which no cash savings account is likely to come close to matching – the 14% of soon-to-be CTF or JISA recipients who are optimistic about cash rates rising need to recognise that they are still locking in a guaranteed loss of spending power by earning an interest rate lower than the rate of inflation.


“At Orbis, our goal is to make the process of investing in stock markets simple, fair and transparent.”

As well as adult ISAs and a direct savings platform, Orbis offers a Junior ISA (JISA) on which no fees will be charged, for the entire lifetime of the account, on any money invested during the first 12 months, including money transferred in from another JISA or CTF.

Parents or children can track down lost Child Trust Fund amounts at this link:

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