Child Trust Fund warning as Britons have thousands in forgotten cash available – check now

Child Trust Fund: Expert explains voucher scheme

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The Child Trust Fund scheme was first introduced by the Government in 2005 as a long-term tax-free savings solution. The programme was made available to help children born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011 – many of whom will now be teenagers. A Child Trust Fund saw the Government provide parents and guardians with vouchers which they were then able to put towards their child’s future, whatever goal they ultimately had in mind.

Now, 16 years later, it is believed the average fund is worth £1,000, but of course, many accounts could be holding significantly more.

It has now emerged that 200,000 accounts currently remain unclaimed by the parents who set up the fund, and the teenagers who could be entitled to the sum.

This could mean millions of pounds are sitting in dormant Child Trust Fund accounts at present, leaving families out of pocket.

Britons who wish to be reunited with their funds, therefore, will need to take action as soon as possible.

There is, though, a way for Britons to hunt down their Child Trust Fund, whether they are the parent who established it, or the individual entitled to the sum.

To help people, the Government has set up an online Child Trust Fund tracker, which is available through the official Government website.

Britons will be able to find out where a Child Trust Fund is held through this tool, even if they cannot remember the provider.

To start the process, people will need to have a Government Gateway user ID and password, which can be created if someone does not already have an account set up.

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Parents who are looking for their child’s Trust Fund will need certain information to hand.

This will include:

  • The child’s Unique Reference Number – which can be found on the annual CTF statement
  • Their National Insurance number

Children who have now come of age to look for their own Child Trust Fund will need to provide the Government with their National Insurance number.

The Government website explains: “HMRC will send you details of the Child Trust Fund provider by post within three weeks of receiving your request.

“HMRC will contact you for more information if you’ve adopted the child or a court has given your parental responsibility for them.”

However, if someone does not wish to use the Government’s online tool, they can alternatively apply by post.

Parents will need to provide their full name and address as well as that of their child, alongside a child’s date of birth and National Insurance number.

Individuals looking for their own Trust Fund will need to include the following:

  • Their full name and address
  • Their date of birth
  • Their National Insurance number or Unique Reference Number if known

Under the Child Trust Fund, the Government will originally have placed £250 into a tax-free account upon a child’s birth.

It will have then added an additional £250 sum upon the child’s seventh birthday.

The account was advantageous as it enabled parents, family and friends to be able to contribute.

Many of these accounts could help children with university costs or help them on the property ladder later down the line. 

For parents and guardians who are now looking for an alternative option to save, as the Child Trust Fund has now closed, a Junior ISA is posed as the best solution. 

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to personal.finance@reachplc.com

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