Investor Education and Protection Fund or IEPF established by market watchdog SEBI under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs seeks to promote investor awareness and protect investors' interests. As per the Companies Act, 2013, in case investors do not claim the proceeds from shares, matured company deposits, debentures and other such instruments including dividend amount and interest on them for seven continuous years, such unclaimed funds will be moved to IEPF.
There is a trust which manages the use of IEPF funds for activities related to investor education and awareness.
Funds moved to IEPF
The unpaid dividend account with companies having investors' unclaimed amount can include:
1. Proceeds from matured company deposits
2. Debentures of companies and interest on them
4. Application money due for refund
Know the process to redeem unclaimed amount
Each of the listed company is required to provide the details of unclaimed dividend amount on its website with investors' name, address and the amount to be paid. Within 90 days of holding the company AGM, each company is required to upload all the details concerning unclaimed amount every year till seven year's time. IEPF website also should feature the details of unclaimed amounts.
Use form IEPF-5 to claim refund
Form IEPF-5 can be downloaded from the website of IEPF to make the claim for the refund amount.
Claimant need to fill in all the relevant details including his or her name, company name, shares or security with details against which redemption or refund is being claimed, amount claimed, aadhaar details, demat account and bank account number.
After you upload the completed form successfully, the form is processed by MCA21 and a SRN is generated. An acknowledgement for the claim made is generated after the claimant clicks on the pay option. It is to be noted that there is no fees for making the claim.
The copy of the claim form bearing the signature of the claimant as well as acknowledgment and the indemnity bond are to be submitted with the nodal officer (IEPF) of the company. The documents need to be marked as "claim for refund from the IEPF Authority".
IEPF authority refunds investors’ unclaimed money within 60 days of receiving verification report
After the claim is made, the verification is done by the company against whose securities the claim request is placed and if all is well the verification report is sent to the IEPF authority and it then processes the claimant's refund electronically in a matter of 60 days time from the receipt of such report.