Over half of 18-year-olds in Wales may be unaware of a trust fund payment that has been sitting in a bank account since they were born.
Reports from charity ‘The Share Foundation’ which runs the Department for Education’s savings and investment schemes, found that of the 273,000 child trust funds opened for young people in Wales, an estimated 95,600 belonged to 16-18-year-olds.
Account providers report that 58% of 18-year-olds in Wales have yet to claim their funds, typically worth over £1,000.
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The child trust funds (CTFs) were a scheme which gave parents and guardians vouchers to invest in their child’s future – money they could move at 16 and then access when they turned 18.
The Government gifted parents and guardians of children born between 2002 and 2011 vouchers to deposit into a child trust fund account on behalf of their child. The scheme vouchers were worth between £50 and £1,000, depending on whether parents were on a low income at the time and when the children were born.
A huge proportion of these accounts are now listed as ‘addressee gone away’ or have never been registered, which risks losing access to the money and around 1.8million CTF accounts have been ‘forgotten’ according to HMRC. The Share Foundation said that this particularly impacted more disadvantaged young people.
The Share Foundation is working with HMRC and CTF account providers to run a UK-wide series of Virtual CTF Events for 16-18-year-olds to help them find their accounts. The next arranged event you can attend is on Tuesday, August 31, at 7pm for young people in Wales, you can sign up here.
The Virtual CTF Event runs for about 30 minutes with short videos and a breakout session for groups of young people to ask any questions they may have to the CTF ambassadors.
You can find your child trust fund on the Government Gateway service, that you have to register for. You’ll also need your child trust fund unique reference number or national insurance number. You can also visit the Share Foundation charity
More information on child trust funds is available through the government-backed Money and Pensions Service.
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