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How to find your child trust fund account

The funds are intended to give financial help to young people once they turn 18  (Gareth Fuller / PA Archive)
The funds are intended to give financial help to young people once they turn 18 (Gareth Fuller / PA Archive)

Martin Lewis is urging up to one million young people and parents to make sure they are not missing out on £1,000 “sat waiting for them”.

Parents with children aged between 12 and 21 can check if they can claim the money.

Lewis told viewers on his Money Show on Tuesday that, “any child born between 1 September 2002, so a 21-year-old, or 2 January 2011, so a 12-year-old, will have had a Child Trust Fund and the state will have added money even if you didn’t. Up to a million children have these accounts unknowingly and they’re worth about £1,000 each in a Child Trust Fund.”

The fund was a long-term tax-free savings account that was set up for children born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011. The idea was the Government would provide an initial deposit of at least £250 and funds could be withdrawn once the account matured when the child turns 18.

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According to HMRC, there are currently 5.3 million open Child Trust Fund accounts, which young people aged 16 or over can take control of – although funds can only be withdrawn once they turn 18. More than 500,000 matured Child Trust Fund accounts have been claimed or transferred into an ISA since the oldest children on the scheme turned 18 in September 2020.

Anyone who is still yet to claim their savings could be owed an average of around £2,000.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s second permanent secretary and deputy chief executive, said: “Many 18- to 21-year-olds are starting out in first jobs or apprenticeships, starting university, or moving into their first home and their Child Trust Fund is a pot of money with their name on.”

The chair of the public accounts committee for the Government, Dame Meg Hillier, said: “In an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, our young people need every bit of support we can give them. HMRC still has time to make sure that CTFs are given the chance to be the boost to young people’s futures which they were designed to be.”

Any child born between 2002 and 2011 is eligible to receive at least £250 in a savings pot, which they can access as soon as they turn 18.

The Government has paid more than £2 billion into child trust funds for 6.3 million children born during this period, with the intention of helping them financially in early adulthood.

Most children initially received £250 each but those from low-income families or in local authority care were given a higher allowance and received an additional £250.

How do I find out if I have a Child Trust Fund?

Every child born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011 has one. HMRC can tell people who the account is held with or they can contact their child trust fund provider directly if they know who the account is with.

Is my money safe?

Yes, the Government has said it will keep the money safe until it is claimed by an account holder.

How do I find my Child Trust Fund?

Those wanting to find out more information about their trust fund can fill out an online form here with HMRC. To use the online form you will need your national insurance number and a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one the first time you sign in.

When did the Child Trust Fund start?

The scheme was started in 2005 and closed in 2011. It has been replaced with junior individual savings accounts, which parents or carers can open on behalf of a child.