Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has urged people aged between 12 and 20 – or parents of anyone this age – to check if they have a savings fund of up to £2100 that they don’t know about.
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Lewis explained that the government put money into Child Trust funds for anyone born between September 1, 2002, and January 2, 2011. This money cannot be touched until the person is 18 but it will have increased in size due to accrued interest over the years and could be available to some people right now.
6.3 million active trust funds
Speaking on his Twitter feed, Lewis pointed out that even if you or your parents were not able to add to the savings account, the £250 that the government puts in will have increased significantly with some people finding out they had over £2000 in their accounts, as per My London:
These Child Trust Funds were savings that locked money away until you were 18, and some of you will be 18 now so the money is no longer locked away. The state started everybody off with at least £250 and for some from lower income backgrounds £500. So every Child Trust Fund between those dates had money in it.
There are currently 6.3 million trust funds active and it is believed that up to one million of those belong to people who are unaware of them. Lewis added that. ‘GOV.UK estimates that the average Child Trust Fund has £2,100 in’.
How to check
If you already know your CTF provider, you can contact them directly – this could be a bank, building society or something similar. To track down lost accounts. HMRC has a useful tool where you can find out which provider your fund is with, as per Money Saving Expert:
- Go to HMRC's tool. You'll need to log in using a 'Government Gateway ID'. If you don't have one, you can create one easily.
- Fill in your (or your child's) details. Including name, address, date of birth, phone number and National Insurance number.
- You should hear from HMRC within three weeks. It should tell you which provider holds the account – if HMRC needs more information, it'll contact you by phone or post.
- Contact the CTF provider. It can reunite you with the account.
If you're 16 or older, you can do this yourself though you won’t be able to withdraw the money until you are 18.
If you're a parent with children younger than 16, you can find out where the CTF is held on their behalf by following the process above.
- MyLondon 'Martin Lewis issues warning to millions of people who could be missing out on £2,100'
- Money Saving Expert'Aged 18 to 20? Check you're not missing out on £1,000s in a forgotten Child Trust Fund – here's how'