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Government Policies & Welfare Schemes

Insurance companies can no longer retain unclaimed amounts of policyholders if those accruals are more than 10 years old. Such sums need to be, instead, transferred to the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund (SCWF) of the Centre.

“All insurers having unclaimed amounts of policyholders for a period of more than 10 years as on September 30, 2017 need to transfer the same to the SCWF on or before March 1, 2018,” insurance regulator IRDAI said.

The direction from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has come in the backdrop of the amendment made in April to the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund Rules. The amendment expanded the purview beyond the unclaimed amounts in small savings and other saving schemes of the Centre, PPF and EPF.

It brought in unclaimed amount lying with banks, including cooperative banks and RRBs; dividend accounts, deposits and debentures of companies coming under the Companies Act; insurance companies and Coal Mines PF.

Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar had informed the Lok Sabha that unclaimed deposits as on March 31, 2016, with insurers (life and non-life) totalled ₹11,725.45 crore, rising sharply from the ₹7,227.23 crore in the previous year.

Details as to how much of the unclaimed amounts was more than ten years were not immediately available. Unclaimed amounts include sum payable as death claim, maturity claim, survival benefit, premium due for refund and indemnity claims.

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