Child Trust Fund Reconciliation Status

as at 10 September 2019

The report below shows the current state of reconciliation of Child Trust Fund (CTF) records (with a responsible adult) at 10 September 2019, following The Share Foundation taking responsibility for this part of the CTF scheme from the Official Solicitor in October 2017. As yet a total 16,205 accounts (9th March 2018: 3,423) are fully reconciled, thereby linking local authority entitlement records to accounts held at specific CTF providers: we estimate that this is 81% (9th March 2018: <25%) of the total expected.

There are three reasons for as yet unreconciled records:

1.    Where local authorities have as yet provided no initial information showing which children in their care should have a Child Trust Fund under the scheme. There is still just one local authority (9th March 2018: 26) in this position, Perth & Kinross, highlighted in red on the schedule below.

2.    Following receipt of this initial information, we ask local authorities for a breakdown showing just those children with no one in a position of parental responsibility (registered contact) before seeking CTF provider details from HM Revenue & Customs. There are a total of 13 local authorities (9th March 2018: 116) where we are still awaiting this information, highlighted in light pink on the schedule:

·        England: 6 (9th March 2018: 82)

·        Scotland: 4 (9th March 2018: 18)

·        Wales: 2 (9th March 2018:14)

·        Northern Ireland: 1 (9th March 2018:2)

3.    Where we cannot locate a match with the CTF provider information transferred to The Share Foundation from the Official Solicitor, we submit entitlement records for those with no registered contact to HM Revenue & Customs to obtain this information. Thus far, for the local authorities who have provided their information as per (2) above, these amount to over 16,000 CTF provider enquiries (9th March 2018: 6,517) over the past 2 years. We are now receiving a structured release of account provider information from HM Revenue & Customs, and using this information we have had responses for 14,813 accounts (9th March 2018: nil).

Where the match is found (in c.85% of cases), we then supply the account provider with our details as registered contact and, on receipt of their reference, set up the active account on our system. Further local authority enquiries are made for the still unreconciled accounts, before setting up a new Junior ISA for those where no CTF exists (eg for refugee children).

The extent of unreconciled records is of considerable concern, and indicates that little has been done until 2018 to align information since the CTF accounts were first issued. We are therefore very grateful to HMRC and the local authorities for their help in reconciling these accounts, aware that the oldest Child Trust Fund recipients reached 17 in September 2019, and that we are unable to provide the benefits of our Stepladder of Achievement programme for unreconciled beneficiaries.