Unclaimed assets in India refer to any financial or material assets that have been left unclaimed or inactive by the owner for an extended period of time. This can include bank accounts, insurance policies, fixed deposits, shares, pensions, and gratuity benefits.
In India, the regulations regarding unclaimed assets vary depending on the type of asset. For example, bank accounts that have been inactive for a period of 10 years are considered unclaimed, and the banks are required to transfer the balance in such accounts to the depositor education and welfare fund established by the government. Similarly, insurance companies are required to transfer the unclaimed life insurance policies to the Life Insurance Council.
The government of India has established various depositories for holding and safeguarding unclaimed assets, such as the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund for unclaimed bank deposits, the Investor Education and Protection Fund for unclaimed shares and dividends, and the Life Insurance Council for unclaimed insurance policies. The goal is to ensure that these assets are protected and eventually returned to their rightful owners or their heirs.
It’s important to note that individuals can claim their unclaimed assets at any time by providing the necessary proof of identity and ownership. The process of claiming unclaimed assets in India is relatively straightforward, and can be done by contacting the relevant authority or visiting the official website of the depositories.