what hAPPENS TO UNCLAIMED DIVIDENTS. UPTO HOW MANY YEARS LATER IT CAN BE CLAIMED
The advent of technology has ensured that dividends and redemption proceeds land up directly in the bank accounts electronically. But in the 1990s, the electronic clearing system was non-existent and hence dividend warrants or cheques would be used. If the dividend cheques go unnoticed for the validity period, they would have to be freshly issued.
Come circa 2016, and you no longer have to wait for a fresh cheque to encash your unclaimed funds.
How to Claim It
Each fund house has a page on its website that would lead you to the unclaimed dividends and redemption amount. To ensure that the actual investor is claiming the amount, a few mandatory disclosures need to be made such as PAN, folio number and the name as mentioned in the folio.
Apart from the asset management companies' website, you can also trace your unclaimed amount via the Amfi website or the registrar and share transfer agent's website such as www.camsonline.com or www.karvymfs.com. Provide the necessary verification credentials, as requested on the website. Upon successful verification and existence of any unclaimed amount, your name and address will be displayed on the screen.
A letter – containing details of folio number, units or amount, bank account details for electronic transfer – would be required to claim the amount. The format can be easily downloaded from the AMC, Amfi or registrar's website.
If you have misplaced your old dividend or redemption warrant, then you would also be required to submit an indemnity bond along with the letter. If the nominees are claiming the amount, they will have to submit proof of identity.
The form along with the necessary proofs needs to be submitted at any of the centres of the fund house or the registrar. Post verification, you would receive the funds in your account within a fortnight.
An important way to avoid piling up unclaimed dividends is to update your contact details registered with the fund house. So, when you change your bank account or address, ensure you notify your mutual fund house about the same. Chances are you would stumble upon a treasure of unclaimed amount while doing so.