Personal Finance

Teenagers could be eligible for thousands of pounds without even realising it - how to claim

TEENAGERS could be missing out on thousands of pounds in savings they are not even aware of. NimbleFins explains why, and how to find out if your child could have a pot of money waiting for them worth thousands of pounds.

Child Trust Funds were set up for every child born between September 1 2002 and January 2 2011 to help parents save for their youngsters' future.

Each child was given £250 from the Government to start the fund, and parents can pay up to £9,000 a year tax free until the child turns 18.

Funds can then be accessed, with each pot of money eligible to be withdrawn thought to be worth an average £2,100.

Two years have passed since the first account holders turned 18, so there is the potential for thousands of people to be able to access funds just when they need it most.

Fund holders could be starting university or first jobs and in need of a lump sum which could be thousands of pounds.

The money doesn't have to be withdrawn - it can also be reinvested into another savings account.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s second permanent secretary and deputy chief executive, said: "Teenagers could have a pot of money waiting for them worth thousands of pounds and not even realise it. We want to help you access your savings and the money you’re entitled to."

When the scheme was launched, a parent or guardian had the option to set the fund up for their children themselves, but if they didn't HM Revenue and Customs started it on the child’s behalf.

Over the years 6.3 million Child Trust Fund accounts were created through the scheme, containing about £9 billion, HMRC estimates.

Over 16s can take control of their Child Trust Fund, but can only withdraw the funds when they turn 18.

To access the money, teenagers or their parents or guardians need to know who their Child Trust Fund provider is and contact them directly. It may be a bank, building society or other savings provider.

Those who don't know where their Child Trust Fund is held can fill in an online form to find out.

Until the money is withdrawn it stays in an account no one else has access to.

The Child Trust Fund scheme was replaced with the Junior Individual Savings Accounts (ISA) in January 2011.


Our team of writers has expertise in business, car, travel, home and pet insurance as well as personal finance issues.


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