Money Wellness
Image of a piggy bank with a child's hands putting coins in
category iconMoney Saver
calendar icon26 Jul 2023

Billions sat unclaimed in children’s savings accounts – could you be missing out

Billions of pounds are sitting forgotten in child trust fund (CTFs) accounts of millions of young people, according to a government report.

Child trust funds were introduced by the government in 2005.  They were automatically opened for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, with the aim of giving children a financial nest egg by the time they reached 18.

The government paid more than £2 billion into CTFs for over 6 million children born during this time, with the average value now around £1,500.

Children can access this money when they turn 18 but the government has said in a new report that there’s potentially £1.7 billion unclaimed, largely because people have forgotten about them.

According to the trade association representing CTFs, 42% of 18-to-20-year-olds – almost a million young adults – have so far not claimed their savings.

The report goes on to say it’s likely that a high proportion of these accounts belong to young people from low-income backgrounds who may need the financial boost the most.

While families of young adults without mental capacity are finding it costly and complicated to access their CTFs through the Court of Protection.

The HMRC is being called on to do more to find and contact these young people who haven’t claimed.


What can you do to claim your CTF?

You can also take action if you think you or your child has a missing CTF by visiting Child Trust Fund: Find a Child Trust Fund - GOV.UK (

You’ll have to complete the online form and will need:

  • Your national insurance number
  • A government gateway user ID and password – if you don’t have one, you can create one when you sign in


You can also request the details by post by writing to the HMRC. You’ll need to include:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Adoption details if this applies
  • Your national insurance number (if you’re writing on your own behalf)

If you’re a parent or guardian looking for a CTF, you’ll need to send

  • Your full name, address, and date of birth
  • The child’s full name, address, and date of birth
  • Any previous names you or the child have used
  • Your national insurance number
  • Your child’s national insurance number (if you have it)

Send your information to:

Charities, Savings and International 1




What happens next?

You’ll get a letter from HRMC with details of the CTF provider – usually within 3 weeks of the HRMC receiving your request.

If you’ve adopted the child or a court has given you parental responsibility, you’ll get a letter asking for information.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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