Thousands of child trust funds may be unclaimed, meaning that money that is rightfully yours, could be lost! Let’s see if you could be missing out on money.
What is a Child Trust Fund?
Child Trust Funds were introduced by the UK Government in 2005. Accounts were opened for almost 6 million children born in the UK between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011.
The Child Trust Fund was meant to:
- make sure that every child has some savings by their 18th birthday
- help get into the habit of saving
- teach the benefits of saving
- help understand personal finance
If your parents/guardians didn’t get around to opening an account for you by your first birthday, then the HMRC (responsible for tax, payments and customs) did it for you.
How much money could be in my Child Trust Fund?
The amount of money in your Child Trust Fund depends on a few things.
If your parents/guardians opened a Child Trust Fund for you, you’ll have received two £250 vouchers. Two vouchers of at least £500 each were given to families claiming Child Tax Credit. The Welsh Government also sent £50 top-up vouchers when you started primary school or £100 to children living in low-income households.
Your parents/guardians could also add money to your account, which may have increased the value of your Child Trust Fund.
The organisation that looks after your account will have sent a letter or statement to your parents every year to tell them how much is in your Child Trust Fund.
How do I access my Child Trust Fund?
If you’re not sure where your Child Trust Fund is, don’t worry!
If you can, the first thing you should do is ask your parents/guardians if they have any of the letters or statements. There will be a number on these that you can call to start the process of getting your money. If you can’t do this, or your parents/guardians don’t have the letters or statements, there is another way.
You can still find your Child Trust Fund account using your National Insurance (NI) number, which everybody gets on or around their 16th birthday. When you turn 16, you can take control of your Child Trust Fund before gaining access to your money at 18 years old.
A charity called Share Foundation can help you find which provider has your account. Click here to start the process of applying for your money. It’s an easy process where you fill in an online form with your name, date of birth, address, previous addresses and NI number.
Once you’ve filled and submitted your form, you’ll need to print, sign and send it. This is because if Share Foundation can’t find your account straight away, they will need to ask HMRC for help, and they will need this form as proof to show that you’ve asked for their help.
It’s simple and will probably take less than 5 minutes. Make sure you claim what you’re entitled to.
There’s lots of information about getting support with money on TheSprout’s money info page.