In Northern Ireland, there are approximately 188,000 NI Child Trust Funds accounts.
Since 2002, around 6.3 million CTF accounts have been set up, roughly 4.5 million by parents or guardians.
A further 1.8 million were set up by HMRC where parents or guardians did not open an account.
This means some children do not know there are accounts in their name, so are unaware their money is waiting for them.
Around 55,000 accounts will mature each month and HMRC has created a simple online tool to help young people find out where their account is held.
If a parent or guardian is unsure of where their child’s CTF account is held they can also use this tool.
For those who do not have the identifying information required to access the tool, HMRC will provide an alternative, non-digital route to finding a CTF provider upon request.
HMRC and The Share Foundation are also working together to help children in need of further support.
Article continues below
HMRC will send details of the CTF provider by post within three weeks of receiving their request.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, said, “We want to make sure all young people can access the money which has been set aside for them, to invest in their future and continue a savings habit, as they turn 18.
“If you’re unsure if you have an account or where it may be, it’s easy to track down your provider online,” he added.
HMRC is working with the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) and the CTF providers to continue to provide financial education to the beneficiaries.
CTFs were originally set up for children born between 1st September 2002 and 2nd January 2011, with a live Child Benefit claim.
Parents and guardians received a voucher to deposit in a Child Trust Fund (CTF) account on behalf of the child.
At 16 years, the child can choose to operate their account or have their parent continue to operate it, but they cannot withdraw the funds.
At 18 years of age, the CTF account matures and the child is able to withdraw money from the fund or move it to a different savings account.
Over 700,000 accounts will mature each year.
Anyone can pay into the account, with an annual limit of £9,000 and there’s no tax to pay on the CTF savings interest or profit.