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One million Child Trust Funds missing: how to find yours

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Six million Child Trust Funds were set up for little ones in the early 2000s, but it is estimated that one million have been lost. Here are the steps to take to trace an account.

Child Trust Funds (CTFs) were available for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 as a way to save for their future.

The government funded the CTFs with a £250 voucher and as the oldest recipients are reaching 16 this September, accounts can be worth up to £1,000, according to The Share Centre’s own customer data.

Around six million CTFs were set up but according to The Share Foundation – The Share Centre’s charity – and the Tax-Incentivised Saving Association (TISA), around one million accounts worth £1bn have been labelled as ‘addressee gone away’. This essentially means the accounts are lost.

The two organisations are looking to reunite parents, guardians and children with their accounts, particularly those from the poorest homes.

Of the one million lost accounts, a third are owned by families in receipt of Child Tax Credit. As such, the organisations calculate that nearly 400,000 lost accounts belong to these children, with a combined value of around £600m.

TISA and The Share Foundation have placed 20,000 posters in secondary schools in the UK as part of the ‘Shares4Schools’ initiative.

How to trace a Child Trust Fund

Visit the Shares4Schools Find a Child Trust Fund web site. From this page, you will be able to request information about the account from HM Revenue & Customs.

You’ll need to be a parent, guardian or the actual young person whose name the account is in. You’ll need a government gateway ID and once you’ve submitted the form, you should receive a response within 15 days, telling you the provider details.

Once you have this, you’ll need to contact the provider directly to update the registered contact details.

Gavin Oldham, chairman of both The Share Centre and The Share Foundation, said: “The Child Trust Fund was a significant initiative designed to improve social mobility, but unless missing accounts are re‐linked swiftly its impact will be lost. We are working urgently and closely with the government and HM Revenue and Customs to re‐link these accounts, most of which were ‘Revenue‐allocated’ when first issued.”

Related: See YourMoney.com’s ‘Should I transfer a Child Trust Fund to a Junior ISA?’ for more information.