This month thousands of young people turning 18 in Ogmore and across the UK will for the first time be able to access their Child Trust Fund accounts – a government funded savings scheme introduced by the last Labour Government and abolished by the Conservatives a decade ago.
However, many people may have forgotten about this savings pot and Huw Irranca-Davies MS, is calling on all parents and teenagers across Ogmore to check they have access to government-backed trust funds, set up when they were born.
Child Trust Funds were set up by the former UK Labour Government in 2002. All children born from 1 September 2002 received an initial payment of at least £250 before the scheme was abolished by Conservative Ministers in 2011. It is a long-term tax-free scheme designed to help boost savings for children with those from low income families receiving an additional £250.
The Welsh Government boosted the scheme even further with Child Trust Fund Cymru in Autumn 2009. The scheme provided an additional top-up of £50 for all children in Wales, with a payment of £100 to children living in low income households as they began primary school. The first wave of the child trust funds will mature from today, with access to savings for all children born in 2002.
Ogmore MS Huw Irranca-Davies said: “Child Trust Funds offer an opportunity for young people to re-invest and save further or cover immediate costs, at 18 years of age they face some of their most important life decisions. They should face no barrier in accessing the savings that they’re entitled to.”
“Many people won’t know that they have these accounts because the Conservative UK Government hasn’t promoted them. Some 18-year olds (and their parents) may have long forgotten that an account exists for them, and others may know the account exists but may have lost the details which would enable them to access it.
I don’t want any 18-year-old to miss out on their Child Trust Fund and I’m urging all young people across Ogmore who turn 18 this September to check their funds.
If you’d like more information or help on how to access these funds visit: https://www.gov.uk/child-trust-funds for details.