Perhaps ready to claim? Don’t forget your Child Trust Fund!

01 September 2022

It is topical to talk about the cost-of-living crisis at the moment, and with good reason. However, it is noteworthy that some are unaware that there may be reasonable cash levels available to them that they may not know about or may not remember. With the new academic year about to start for universities, this cash might be very welcome.

As many as 716,000 Child Trust Funds (CTFs) out of the 1,524,000 that matured between 01 September 2020 and 30 June 2022 have gone unclaimed, according to TISA (The Investing and Savings Alliance).

Over £1bn remains unclaimed in Child Trust Funds by those who have turned 18 since September 2020, new analysis has revealed.

The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was created by then-chancellor Gordon Brown in 2002, giving children born between 01 September 2002 and 02 January 2011 the choice of a tax-free savings or investment account that was boosted by government vouchers of £250, or £500 for those from lower-income families.

It was hoped the vouchers would encourage parents to save regularly for when their child turned 18. Whilst many took up the offer, it seems thousands then forgot about the accounts.

Now TISA has suggested that 716,000 accounts hold around £1.1bn – an average of £1,600 in each – of unclaimed funds.

Around 6.3 million CTFs were opened in total, of which around 1.8 million were set up by HMRC.

The first beneficiaries to receive CTF cash began turning 18 in September 2020 and can now access their accounts.

How to find a Child Trust Fund

There are two ways in which you can search for a lost Child Trust Fund.

You can use HMRC's free tracing service (https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds/find-a-child-trust-fund) to find an account. You'll need a Government Gateway ID and password and must provide a national insurance number (for a child over 16) or the child's unique reference number if they are under 16.

The Share Foundation, a charity working to reunite teenagers with their money, also offers a free online tracing service (https://findCTF.sharefound.org) and hosts webinars for parents, teachers, and teens.

Don't miss out

The CTF savings arrangement was a good initiative, although it is clear that the many years that have gone by have made some forget about the value secured and where applicable, now available. Please don't miss out if you are eligible to make a claim for your funds and now might be a good time to check.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
Director
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner

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