HMRC urges Britons to claim lost savings worth £2,000 in Child Trust Funds | Personal Finance | Finance


is urging Britons to check if they’re missing out on unclaimed wrapped up in Child Trust Funds.

In September last year, almost 430,000 people still had yet to claim the cash, worth an average of £2,000 each.

Child Trust Funds are tax-free savings accounts designed for long-term saving. They were established for every child born between September 1, 2002, and January 2, 2011, with the Government contributing an initial deposit of at least £250.

Funds can be withdrawn once the account matures when the child turns 18.

In a post on social platform X, formerly Twitter, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recently wrote: “Check if you have forgotten savings in a Child Trust Fund – worth around £2,000 on average.”

More than 500,000 matured Child Trust Fund accounts have been claimed or transferred into an ISA since the oldest children in the scheme turned 18 in September 2020.

However, hundreds of thousands more are thought to have been forgotten about.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s second permanent secretary and deputy chief executive, said: “Many 18-21-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.

“I would encourage young people to use the online tool to track it down or, for parents of teenagers, to speak to them to ensure they’re aware of their Child Trust Fund. It could make a real difference to their future plans.”

How to find a Child Trust Fund

If people know who their account is with, they can contact their Child Trust Fund provider directly to source their savings.

If not, people can ask HMRC to find a Child Trust Fund. They can then explain where the account was originally opened.

HMRC is offering a free tool people can use to find a Child Trust Fund. Users must be a parent or guardian of a child under 18, or aged 16 and over looking to find their own trust fund.

HMRC typically responds within three weeks of the request with a letter enclosing the details of the trust fund.

Those who don’t get a response within that time frame can write to HMRC instead.

Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “We would encourage all young people to investigate if they have money which is unclaimed in a Child Trust Fund and to use it wisely.”

She added that a “disproportionate amount of the money” is unclaimed by young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are the very people who would benefit most from these funds.

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