It's easy to invest in any private or government scheme but recovering your money or claim in need is a herculean task. This near to impossible task of recovery will become easy for you or your legal heirs if you follow the mantra of 'secure investment'.
'Invest and forget' this age old adage is coming heavily on investors or their legal heirs after their demise, as getting back the investment is really a herculean task in India. The case becomes more complicated if documents are lost or address is changed or death of investor. We get several such cases where investors or legal heirs are running from pillar to post to get back the hard earned money invested by them or their demised relatives. It happens in all the financial instruments from company shares to bank deposits to provident funds, mutual funds, debtors etc.
According to data available with various government departments / comapnies investments amounting over three lakh crore is lying in physical papers / unclaimed with private and government bodies. We may call it a 'black hole' of investor wealth. There are no takers for crores of money stuck up. Literally! various financial instruments such as Old Shares, Mutual Funds, Old Insurance, In-operative bank accounts, Provident Funds and post office deposits carries the 'black hole' of unclaimed money that nobody claims year after year. Some data suggests that more than Rs 2 Lakhs crore stuck up in shares which are in physical form.
If we notice beyond the capital markets, the amount is no less mind-boggling. A whopping Rs 60,000 crore is lying in equally crucial instruments of dormant bank accounts, inoperative provident funds, post office savings schemes and matured insurance policies, involving lakhs of investors. "This is such an issue that bothers every household. We prefer to ignore it despite the chronic presence in our daily life in absence of any solution." People invest their hard earned money so that their spouses or children get it after their sudden. Sadly, in cases of casualty and need of the money, the family suffers.
With whopping unclaimed investment in the country lot of fraud has been uncovered where in the original investor's money syphoned into the coffers of fraudsters. To counter this fraud the government has taken the following admirable initiative in recent past to protect the investment but the investors or their legal heirs are not aware about how to approach and follow up with these bodies to get back the blocked money.
Shares: As per the latest notification from the Government of India, all shares in respect of which dividend has not been paid or claimed by the shareholder for 7 consecutive years or more, all these shares will be transferred to Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) suspense account set up by the Central Government. IEPF just holds and protects the investment to avoid any fraudulent transfer of investor's hard earned money. If the shares are very old and company is non traceable, the investors can approach IEPF.
Provident Fund: The government has reversed a five-year-old decision and announced that inoperative employees provident fund (EPF) accounts will earn interest, a move that will cheer millions of workers. Move will benefit more than 40 million holders of inoperative accounts; over Rs 32,000 crore is parked in such accounts. As almost all the records are digital, you can approach this body to get your PF even if you had changed several jobs and are not aware about you PF sum.
At Share Samadhan we have a dedicated team of expert professional - Chartered Accounts, Company Secretaries, and Lawyers to assist aggrieved investors to recover the lost / forgotten and scattered investment in any form of financial instrument. Share Samadhan is like 'one window shop' for all the aggrieved and harassed investors searching for a single widow. We are expert in mining the detail information of the investors on the basis of very small information/negligible provided by the investors.
Protect Your Investment: Once should keep a proper record of their investment whether in paper form or in electronic. Someone in the family should be aware about all the investments made by the investor so that in case of exigencies, there is someone who can deal with those papers. It's better to get the 'Will Executed' to avoid any future litigation. Everyone's Family Deserve to preserve their Investments so that the same can be help them to sail through troubled time. Share Samadhan has launched an initiative Wealth Samadhan card where any investor can keep his/her investment details in encrypted form without even giving them any investment document or disclosing the amount of investment. To each client Share Samadhan issues a 'Wealth Samadhan Card' with unique ID to the investor and a 'duplicate' which she/he could provide to any confidential relatives/friend to help the family in case of any fatality/emergency. The investor need not divulge details but can mention his investment in a layman format.
To conclude, our wealth whether earned by us or inherited by us, please do not let those investment just ruined in old papers. Convert it in liquid cash with the help of expert who can help you recovering your old investment.
Vikash Jain is Director with Share Samadhan , India's largest Unclaimed Investment Recovery Advisory entity. (www.sharesamadhan.com)