Lost and Found
A mother in the UK was shocked to find out that her son had £11,000 stashed away in a little-known savings account. Sharon Maloney realized that her 15-year-old son, Jonah, had a lost Child Trust Fund (CTF) account. The family had lost track of the account after relocating to Hong Kong. This meant that Jonah had a substantial amount of money waiting for him when he turns 18.
Child Trust Funds: The Basics
Child trust funds were tax-free savings accounts for children born between September 1, 2002, and January 2, 2011. Eligible parents received vouchers worth up to £500 to invest in these accounts, which would grow in value until the account holder turned 18.
The Search and the Solution
Sharon was able to track down Jonah's money with the help of a website called Gretel. She said, "Gretel were able to track down the new company that had taken it over, and passed on the details to me, including contact information that put me directly in touch." Thanks to this discovery, Jonah will be able to access the money when he comes of age.
Thousands of Funds Unclaimed
According to the National Audit Office, over 145,000 child trust funds remain unclaimed. Figures released by the government in October 2022 suggest that these funds could contain an average of £2,100. Gretel's CEO, Duncan Stevens, stated that there is a staggering £2.2 billion sitting unclaimed in CTFs in the UK. The goal of Gretel is to help reunite young adults with their "lost" CTFs, potentially making a significant difference in their lives.
How to Find Your Child Trust Fund
If you haven't claimed your child trust fund, you have options for locating it. You can contact the HMRC directly and ask them to trace your account. The government also has an online tracing service where you can find out if you have a CTF and which provider it is with. Additionally, parents looking for their child's fund can access it online or send a letter to HMRC with specific details.
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