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Child Trust Funds, opened between 2002 and 2011, could have unclaimed cash in them says HMRC





Tens of thousands of teenagers could have unclaimed cash sat waiting for them because government-backed Child Trust Funds were opened in their name and then forgotten about.

Thousands of pounds belonging to young people is estimated to be sitting untouched in the long-term savings accounts set up for every child born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011.

HM Revenue and Customs says many unsuspecting teenagers are likely to now have unclaimed savings pots, after six million accounts were opened throughout the duration of the scheme, eventually containing more than £9billion.

Accounts were set up for every child born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011
Accounts were set up for every child born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011

To encourage future saving and to start the account each child was also handed an initial deposit of at least £250 from the government - and if a parent or guardian was not able to set up the account for their child, the HMRC opened it on a youngster's behalf to ensure as many babies as possible took up the offer.

With the savings accounts maturing when a child turns 18, eligible teenagers now in early adulthood without access to their account could find savings waiting for them worth an average £2,100 says HMRC.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Second Permanent Secretary and Deputy Chief Executive, explained: "Teenagers could have a pot of money waiting for them worth thousands of pounds and not even realise it.

"We want to help you access your savings and the money you’re entitled to."

Teens and young adults born in 2002 would now be able to access their money. Image: Stock photo.
Teens and young adults born in 2002 would now be able to access their money. Image: Stock photo.

Tracing the money

Teenagers aged 16 or over can take control of their own Child Trust Fund, although the money can only be withdrawn once they turn 18, say the rules of the scheme.

Where children have a Child Trust Fund, families can still pay in up to £9,000 a year tax-free but once the account matures on the child's 18th birthday, no more money can be deposited and young adults can then either withdraw the cash or reinvest it into another savings account.

When a child turns 18 the money can be withdrawn or reinvested elsewhere. Image: iStock.
When a child turns 18 the money can be withdrawn or reinvested elsewhere. Image: iStock.

Child Trust Fund providers include both banks and building societies so if teenagers, or their parents, know who their provider is they can contact them directly.

Alternatively the government has now set up an online form to help those born between 2002 and 2011 trace funds families may have forgotten about.

The Child Trust Fund scheme closed in January 2011 and was replaced with Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISA).



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