Children Missing Out on a Child Trust Fund
CTFs were set up by the government for all children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011 where low income families were claiming Child Benefit. They were tax-free savings accounts for children with the aim of providing a financial nest egg by the time they reached 18.
The government paid in £250 via a voucher system when a child was born and another £250 on their seventh birthday. Parents were also able to invest on their children’s behalf.
So long as they qualified, parents, official guardians/carers could set up an account on behalf of the children with designated CTF providers – usually banks, building societies or investment managers using the vouchers provided. In the event that parents did not, HMRC set one up on the child’s behalf. The entry scheme was scrapped in 2011, and parents were later allowed to switch the CTFs into a junior ISA.
Between 2002 and early 2011, around six million CTFs were opened by parents or guardians, with a further million set up by HMRC. It is now a year since the first account holders became eligible to withdraw their payments, if they chose. Many parents/guardians might not even be aware that their children might be sitting on a sizeable nest egg. Over 55000 CTFs mature every month and HMRC is urging people to check. There are still about 6.3m child trust funds in existence.
HMRC also believes some young people may not even know they have a CTF, parents may have simply forgotten about them or with whom they invested the original vouchers. To help track down their accounts, HMRC has created a free online tool which allows users to find details of their CTF providers.
HMRC is trying to raise awareness of the situation and wants any young people unsure whether or not they have a CTF to talk to their parent or guardian to see if they remember setting one up.
If they find out they do have one, the next step is to find out who their provider is. If they know, they should contact them directly and either request to withdraw the money or transfer the funds into an adult ISA or other savings account.
In order to find out more, go to https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds/find-a-child-trust-fund. For those who cannot access the tool, you can apply to HMRC at : –
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