Family Finances

Child Trust Funds: Renewing the Debate for Long-Term Savings Policies

March 10, 2014  • William Zichawo, Colby Farber, Lisa Mensah

Download Publication
View this Publication
Download PDF

As policymakers examine the tax code and reevaluate our nation’s priorities to promote economic security for households, children’s savings accounts are one answer to the question of how families can invest in their futures and reinvigorate the American Dream. The power of child savings is that for a modest cost – starting each child with an account seeded with $500 – the lifelong positive impacts are vast.

In 2003, the United Kingdom embarked on a bold national program that ensured that each child born in Britain from September 2002 onwards would receive government funds to open an account that matured at age 18: the Child Trust Fund program. This paper intends to address the Child Trust Fund’s criticism to highlight the success of the Child Trust Fund and renew the debate on children’s savings accounts in the United States.