Non-working parents can still invest in CTFs

Family Investments has said that with more parents taking leave from work to look after their newborns, finances may be stretched, but that is no excuse not to build up a Child Trust Fund (CTFs) in different ways.

A survey released by savings bank ING Direct found that in today's society 43 per cent of fathers now put their career on hold in order to care for their offspring, refusing overtime and jeopardising promotion opportunities, resulting in the loss of £2,800 wages annually.

CTFs are tax-free investment accounts dedicated to children born in Britain and Northern Ireland after September 1st 2002, in order to save up money for when the child reaches majority age, at which points the funds can be released.

Family Investments is the leading provider of CTFs and press officer for the firm, Miles Bingham, said that even if finances are strained within the immediate family, friends can also add to a child's trust up to a maximum of £1,200 annually.

Mr Bingham said: "[The traditional view] is that the woman gives up the career and the man continues, but I think in today's society this is changing and ING have picked this up. It's much more acceptable for the man to take time off work; and it's much more supported by employers.

"The Child Trust Fund really should be the hub of any parents' savings for their child: it's got tax breaks, it's government endorsed. The key thing to remember is that anybody can pay into the Child Trust Fund - just because both parents may be off work, they just need to think laterally. For the first birthday, first Christmas etc [parents should] ask for money and use that to top up the Child Trust Fund; when they themselves perhaps can't reach into their back pocket because their earnings are a bit low at that point in time."

He concluded: "It's healthy that parents take time off work. They just need to think more laterally about how they can get their children's savings off to a good start. Certainly, it's not the sort of thing you want to delay forever - it's the earliest premiums that grow the most."

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