Millions owed share of ‘life-changing’ £1.7billion savings pot – check here

Britons are being urged to check if they could be one of those owed a share of a £1.7billion savings pot.

The money is wrapped up in forgotten Child Trust Funds (CTF), however, new research shows a lack of awareness among young people that it exists, meaning millions risk missing out on money due to them.

The long-term tax-free savings account was launched by the Government in 2005 for all children born in the UK between September 1, 2002, and January 2, 2011.

The Government put money in and parents had the option to top it up. The first CTFs came to maturity in 2020 and children will continue to reach the age to claim theirs up to 2029.

According to recent data from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), there is currently £1.7billion in lost CTFs and the Government website values the average account worth £1,900.

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Wealthify’s research shows more than half (51 percent) of 16 to 18-year-olds are unaware of the existence of — with a further 58 percent not knowing how to claim one.

Even many young people who are aware of CTFs are unsure if they are eligible (25) percent, meanwhile, their parents are similarly unaware, even of the CTF initiative itself (37 percent).

Teenagers who are planning to access their funds are mostly opting to put the money in a savings account (33 percent), towards a university education (25 percent), or to purchase a car (16 percent).

People can locate their Child Trust Fund accounts online by using the ‘Find my CTF’ page on GOV.UK.

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Andrew Russell, CEO of Wealthify commented: “Child Trust Funds are a leveller because they were available to all children born in the UK at that time, regardless of background. For young people on the cusp of adulthood, gaining access to a lump sum like this offers a unique opportunity to engage positively with money, just as they become financially independent.

“But too many teens risk missing out on this once-in-a-lifetime chance to kickstart their financial future, simply because they don’t know about it.

“We have partnered with financial education and enterprise charity, Young Enterprise, to help raise awareness of the availability of Child Trust Funds — and turn this into a powerful moment to engage young people with financial education.”

Sharon Davies, CEO of Young Enterprise, added: “In so many households, worries about managing money have been exacerbated by the cost of living crisis. It is therefore crucial for young people to be informed and educated about all resources available, to ensure they are equipped with the skills to create a positive relationship with money and a path to a secure future.

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“Child Trust Funds have the potential to be a life-changing tool that a significant number of 16 to 18-year-olds have no knowledge about, even though they present an incredible opportunity to help young people learn to engage with money management from an earlier stage in life.”

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Every 16-year-old is sent information about finding their Child Trust Fund with their National Insurance letter. We also regularly remind people how to check if they have an account.

“The banks and building societies managing the funds are also responsible for communicating with account holders. We would encourage anyone unsure about their situation to get in touch with their bank or building society as well.

“People can easily locate their Child Trust Fund accounts online by using the ‘Find my CTF’ page on GOV.UK.”

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