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Thousands Of Teenagers Missing Out On Child Trust Fund Cash

7th September 2021

Photograph of Thousands Of Teenagers Missing Out On Child Trust Fund Cash

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is today urging young people to check if they have a hidden pot of gold - in the shape of a Child Trust Fund (CTF).

It is now one year since the first account holders started turning 18 and around 55,000 CTFs mature every month. This means their owners can withdraw funds or transfer savings into an adult ISA. Hundreds of thousands of accounts have been claimed so far, but many have not.

CTFs were set up for all children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 with a live Child Benefit claim. Parents or guardians set up these accounts with Child Trust Fund Providers - usually banks, building societies or investment managers - using vouchers provided by the government. If an account was not opened by the child's parent, HMRC set one up on the child's behalf.

Between 2002 and early 2011, about six million CTFs were opened by parents or guardians, with a further million set up by HMRC.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said: "It's fantastic that so many young people have been able to access the money saved for them in Child Trust Funds but we want to make sure that nobody misses out on the chance to invest in their future.

"If you're unsure if you have an account or where it may be, it’s easy to get help from HMRC to track down your provider online."

Some young people may not know they have a CTF - or some parents or guardians may have forgotten who they set the account up with. To help them find their accounts, HMRC created a simple online tool.

Any young people unsure about whether or not they have a CTF should first ask a parent or guardian if they remember setting one up. Once they know who their provider is, they should contact them directly – and either request to withdraw the money or transfer the funds into an adult ISA or other savings account.

For those who cannot access the tool, HMRC will provide alternative, non-digital routes to finding a CTF provider upon request. HMRC will send details of the provider by post within three weeks of receiving their request.

The accounts were set up to encourage positive financial habits and a saving culture among the young account holders. HMRC is working with the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) and the CTF providers to continue to provide financial education to the beneficiaries.  

At 16 years, a child can choose to operate their CTF account or have their parent or guardian continue to look after it, but they cannot withdraw the funds. At 18 years of age, the CTF account matures and the child is able to withdraw money from the fund or move it to a different savings account.

10 things you need to know about Child Trust Funds

If you were born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, and your parents received Child Benefit, you most likely have a Child Trust Fund account.

You can find out more online at www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds

Your parent or guardian may have received a voucher to use to open a CTF account for you.

If your parent or guardian didn’t open an account, HMRC may have opened one on your behalf.

If you’re turning 18 from 1 September 2020, you can access and withdraw the money in your CTF account.

If you’re age 16 or 17 you can take over responsibility for your CTF account from your parent or guardian, or you can choose to let them continue to manage it on your behalf.

There are various options for what you can do with your money, including moving it into an ISA or another type of savings or investment account.

Your CTF provider can advise you on the options available to you.
You can ask your parent or guardian for details of your CTF account if they have it.

If your parent or guardian does not have details of your CTF account you can ask HMRC who your CTF provider is by completing an online form here www.gov.uk/find-child-trust-fund.

Once you get in contact with your provider, they’ll tell you how much
you have in your CTF account.

You’ll need your National Insurance number to access this form.
This is made up of two letters followed by six numbers and one letter, like QQ123456A. If you don’t know your National Insurance number you can find out how to request it through the helpline here
www.gov.uk/find-child-trust-fund

You’ll also need a Government Gateway user ID. If you don’t already have this, it’s easy to set one up here www.gov.uk/find-child-trust-fund

If you’re not able to contact your CTF provider immediately after your 18th birthday you shouldn’t worry, they will keep your investments safe in a protected account until you tell them what you want to do with your money.