Thousands of young people urged to check if they have a Child Trust Fund

Pound coins and notes
-Credit: (Image: Jon Brady LDRS)

Young adults across the UK are being encouraged to check for forgotten Child Trust Funds (CTFs) using a free government tool, amidst concerns about companies charging hefty fees to locate these funds, reports Wales Online.

CTFs, which were automatically set up for most individuals born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, become accessible when the beneficiary turns 18, allowing them to either withdraw the funds or transfer them into an Individual Savings Account (ISA).

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has raised awareness about certain firms exploiting social media to offer fund tracing and withdrawal services at a significant cost, potentially leaving young people out of pocket by hundreds of pounds.

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In contrast, the government provides a complimentary online service that enables fund owners, or their parents or guardians if they are under 18, to track down their CTF. Additionally, there are other organisations willing to assist in finding CTFs without charging a fee.

Joanne Walker, LITRG Technical Officer, highlighted the lack of awareness among many young people regarding their entitlement to a CTF, stating: "There are many young people who are not aware they have a Child Trust Fund. Their parent or guardian may not have taken up the government's offer when they were born, but HMRC would have opened an account on their behalf."

She further advised: "If they want to find out if they have a Child Trust Fund and withdraw the money, they do not need to pay someone else to do this for them. HMRC offers a free service for people who know the name of the savings provider that holds their account.

"Even if they do not have this information, HMRC can help them find it if they provide their date of birth and National Insurance number. For those who want help doing this, there are organisations available who can help locate the fund and who do not charge for the service.

"There is nothing wrong in using a company that will charge for their services as long as people make an informed choice to do so. However, these simple steps can ensure young people are able to find and access their fund, without the need for an expensive fee."

You can trace your Child Trust Fund at here. You'll be asked for your National Insurance number, as well as adoption details if they apply.

If you're a parent or guardian looking for a child's trust fund, you'll need the child's full name, address and date of birth, and any previous names you or the child have used. You can include the child's National Insurance number if you have it.