Warning to anyone born after 2002 with a Child Trust Fund

Young people across the UK are being encouraged to check if they have a Child Trust Fund (CTF) using a free online tool, amid warnings about companies charging hefty fees to locate the funds.

CTFs are savings accounts that were set up automatically for most children born in the UK between September 1, 2002, and January 2, 2011.

These accounts reach maturity 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 concerns about firms approaching young people on social media, offering to find and access their CTFs for a charge, which could end up costing hundreds of pounds unnecessarily.

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In contrast, there's a no-cost government service available online to help individuals, or their parents or guardians if they're under 18, locate their CTF. Additionally, other organisations exist that can assist in finding CTFs without imposing a fee.

Joanne Walker, LITRG Technical Officer, highlighted the issue, 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", reports Wales Online.

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."

For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds.

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.

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