Child Trust Fund Reconciliation Status
as at 28th February 2019
The report below shows the current state of reconciliation of Child Trust Fund (CTF) records at 28th February 2019, following The Share Foundation taking responsibility for the CTF scheme from the Official Solicitor in October 2017. As yet a total 13,948 accounts (9th March: 3,423) are fully reconciled, thereby linking local authority entitlement records to accounts held at specific CTF providers: we estimate that this is 77.5% (9th March: <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 just one local authority (9th March: 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 16 local authorities (9th March: 116) where we are still awaiting this information, highlighted in light pink on the schedule:
· England: 7 (9th March: 82)
· Scotland: 4 (9th March: 18)
· Wales: 4 (9th March:14)
· Northern Ireland: 1 (9th March: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 14,405 CTF provider enquiries (9th March: 6,517) over the past nine months. We are now receiving a structured release of account provider information from HM Revenue & Customs, and using this information we have had responses for 12,462 accounts (9th March: nil).
Where the match is found (in c.80% 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 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 16 in September 2018, and that we are unable to provide the benefits of our Stepladder of Achievement programme for unreconciled beneficiaries.