Some of the most well-known fixed income instruments on the market are Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), and Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme (SCSS).
This is because of the government’s backing and the tax advantages that some of the schemes offer, which makes them seem reasonably safe. These accounts, however, can go unclaimed for a long time. This could occur for a number of reasons, such as the account holder dying without telling the investment’s heirs or the senior citizen losing the investment, account documentation, or passbook.
Due to the abundance of investment options, investors occasionally overlook these accounts with lengthy maturities. According to government regulations, the relevant investment authorities must notify investors about their accounts. But over time, many account holders become untraceable because they fail to update their addresses, phone numbers, or both, with the investment authorities.
Where do the unclaimed funds go?
After a predetermined amount of time, the unclaimed money is transferred to different government funds. These funds can be claimed by account holders/policyholders directly. The Senior Citizen’s Welfare Fund (SCWF) is such a fund that holds unclaimed deposits. This Welfare Fund was established in 2015 in order to use unclaimed funds for a worthy cause and for the welfare of society. The Senior Citizens Welfare Fund is used to support senior citizens. Before distributing the unclaimed funds, the insurers typically get in touch with the account holders or the nominee once the investment reaches maturity or after the tenure expires.
Deadline to withdraw the funds:
After the funds have been transferred to the Senior Citizen’s Welfare Fund, beneficiaries have up to 25 years to claim the money under their policies. According to Section 126 of the Finance Act of 2015, unclaimed funds are transferred to the Central Government if claims have not been filed for up to 25 years following transfer to the SCW fund.
Steps to find details of unclaimed small savings accounts on the India Post website:
Go to the India Post website, https://www.indiapost.gov.in/
On the homepage, click on ‘Banking and Remittance.’
Select ‘Post Office Savings Scheme’ in the next window.
Select the ‘Senior Citizen Welfare Fund’ option.
A list will appear to show the accounts, including Kisan Vikas Patra, PPF, Savings Bank, and others.
Access the state-specific account information by clicking on the account type.