Young adults who qualified for Child Trust Funds when they were born could be sitting on savings accounts that have been accumulating interest for 17 years. Official figures have revealed that almost two million children are unaware of this fact.
Every child born in the UK between 1 September 2002 and 1 January 2011 whose family was eligible for child benefit received a lump sum of between £250 and £500, depending on their circumstances.
The Government hoped that parents, family and friends would build on the initial amount, with contributors being able to add from £120 to £4,368 a year.
According to official figures, these pots could be worth £3,610 to a 17-year-old now if £10 a month was paid in from birth.
The money can be accessed when the child reaches 18 and either be reinvested in an adult Individual Savings Account (ISA) or used to fund more immediate expenses, such as university fees.
However, official figures show that 1.9 million parents forgot to invest these vouchers at the time and so the Government chose a number of providers to do so on their behalf, who are urging families to track down their accounts.
Steve Horton, Partner at Milsted Langdon Financial Services, said: “Many parents will have forgotten that these accounts existed, lost track of where they were invested or lost the details to access them.
“However, with many of the first recipients of the scheme just months away from turning 18, now is the time to find out where the forgotten vouchers are, as some could be worth £2,000, even if there were no additional top-ups.
“Meanwhile, since the youngest child trust fund beneficiaries are only eight, if the parents track their child’s account down, they could start to top up so that the child benefits when he or she becomes an adult.”
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