Martin Lewis haas urged parents who have children aged between 12-21 to do an online check to see if have hundreds of pounds stashed away in a Child Trust Fund.
Child Trust Funds are long-term, tax-free savings accounts that the government set up for every child born between September 1, 2002 and January 2, 2011.
When opening these accounts, the government initially contributed a first deposit of £250 with parents regularly adding to it – but there’s plenty of youngsters that probably have no idea that one existed.
During a recent episode of the Martin Lewis Money Show, the money saving expert explained that these funds could be accessed once the child had turned 18 and that even if parents didn’t pay into them the government did, meaning the average Child Trust Fund is worth around £1,000.
He said: “Any child between the 1st of September 2002, which is basically a 21-year-old, and the 2nd Jan 2011 – so a 12-year-old – will have had a Child Trust Fund and the State will have added money even if you didn’t.
“Up to a million children have these accounts unknowingly.
“They are worth on average around £1000-ish. So if you don’t know about it and you have a kid that age, go to gov.uk – Child Trust Funds – and you can locate and trace where the money is.”
Lewis encouraged parents to children who are under 18 are able to check online while those 16 can also check for themselves.
“If you don’t know if you have one of those, it really is worth checking if you’re in that age bracket,” he added.
Back in September, HMRC announced that almost 430,000 18 to 21-year-olds have an unclaimed fund, with the average worth £2,000.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Second Permanent Secretary and Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Many 18-21 year olds are starting out in first jobs or apprenticeships, starting university or moving into their first home and their Child Trust Fund is a pot of money with their name on.
“I would encourage young people to use the online tool to track it down or, for parents of teenagers, to speak to them to ensure they’re aware of their Child Trust Fund.
“It could make a real difference to their future plans.”