Home Insights Child Trust fund – Financial focus on is your (grand)child owed money by HMRC?

Child Trust fund – Financial focus on is your (grand)child owed money by HMRC?

By Robin Beadle
27th Apr 2023

For every child born in the UK between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, HMRC was giving away
free money. Despite several reminders, millions of pounds of this money remains unclaimed.
The scheme was known as the Child Trust Fund (CTF) and was meant to encourage parents to save
for their children. For children born between 1 September 2002 and 1 August 2010, the government
contributed up to £500 (an initial £250 and in some cases a further amount at age 7). For those born
between 3 August 2010 and scheme closure on 2 January 2011, the amount was £50. The initial award
was in the form of a voucher which could be presented to a CTF scheme provider (often a High Street
bank) to be invested as a Stakeholder account, a shares account or as a bank account. The CTF
account, once opened, could then be added to by other family members. Except in very few exceptional
circumstances, the investment could not be withdrawn until the child reached 18 but from age 16, the
child could receive statements and could control fund investment.
If the parents did not claim the initial award, HMRC themselves opened an account on behalf of the
child. It is these accounts that have often been forgotten about and are largely still unclaimed. Of all
the CTF accounts opened, it is thought that 27% are still unclaimed.
As the government-invested CTF funds are likely to have just been deposited and just left there – it is
important that these accounts are not only claimed but are also reviewed to determine whether any
performance decisions need to be made – perhaps by converting them into a Junior ISA
If you are unsure whether your child has an unclaimed CTF account, you need to go online and ask
HMRC at https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds. (You will need a Government Gateway reference if you
do not already have one, so you may need to register with HMRC before you can start the trace)
Even if the child was born towards the end of the scheme and received a smaller reward, it is still free
money from the government which can be claimed.
Hope this helps.