Back in 2005, then-Chancellor Gordon Brown launched his Child Trust Funds for every kid in the country.
A fund – known as a CTF for short – was given to every child born from September 1 2002 to January 3 2011.
Each child received a voucher for up to £250 – or up to £500 for lower income families – and their parents could choose a cash or investment CTF.
If the parents didn’t claim the voucher, the government opened a CTF for the child, as long as they appeared on the child benefit register.
So, almost exactly a year ago, those CTF babies started turning 18, and the funds could be withdrawn.
But now, HMRC has issued a call to action for teenagers and their parents to make sure they don’t forget about theirs.
How much cash is out there?
UK-wide, about six million CTF accounts were opened by parents or guardians. A further million were set up by HMRC.
The average amount in each one is thought to be £1,500.
HMRC estimate 55,000 CTFs mature every month. They say hundreds of thousands of accounts have been claimed so far, but many have not.
A 2018 estimate suggested 1 million accounts might be lost.
Why would you forget free money?
Some young people might not know they have a CTF at all – the ones set up by HMRC spring to mind, or perhaps a change of family circumstances meant the message never got through.
Some parents or guardians may have forgotten who they set the account up with.
How do you get your cash?
If you know who the provider of the fund was – where you opened it, basically – then you have a head start.
Contact the provider directly and you can either withdraw the money or transfer to an adult ISA if you want to keep saving.
Sometimes – whisper it – we all feel like HMRC are mainly there to take money away from us.
But they’re really, really keen to help teenagers find their Child Trust Funds – they have even created an online tool.
All you need in the first instance is the account holder’s national insurance number.