Do You Have Money Hiding In a Child Trust Fund?
Free money? It must be a scam! It’s not often you hear about money being handed out for free, but this is 100% true. You could have up to a thousand pounds sitting in a Child Trust Fund account waiting to be claimed.
This article is also available in Welsh. I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma
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 your account by your first birthday, then the HMRC (responsible for tax, payments and customs) did it for you.
How much money did they give?
Two £250 vouchers were given to your parents/guardians to open a Child Trust Fund account for you. 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.
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.
Why did I not know about this?
Lots of parents/guardians may have forgotten about these accounts. You might have moved house, and they didn’t update the address, or your parents may have split up or sadly died. There are lots of reasons why people lose track of things.
Don’t panic. Your money isn’t lost – it’s just sat there waiting for you to claim it once you turn 18.
How do I claim my money?
If you can, the first thing you should do is ask your parents/guardian 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.
But don’t panic if you don’t have any letters or statements. There’s another way!
You can still find your 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 Found 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 sharefound 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.
Want to talk?
If you need to talk confidentially about anything that’s worrying you, whether that be about money or anything else, then Meic is here to listen and offer advice every day between 8am and midnight. Text, Call or chat to us online.