Michele Carby reports on the extension of the UK's Dormant Asset scheme and explains the opportunity to release forgotten policies, accounts & investments
The UK government has announced that it will extend its Dormant Asset Scheme to include most insurance and pensions. This is a significant expansion of the Scheme, which analysts forecast could consist of 1.6 million pensions valued at £19.4 billion.
A Dormant Asset is defined as one where there has been no activity (other than interest) for 15 years or more. In many cases, the policy owner, asset or account may simply have forgotten about that the account exists. Accounts are also frequently missed when someone died, so funds that should have passed to their beneficiaries remain untouched.
Under the Scheme, financial institutions can opt to donate the money to good causes if they cannot trace the owner and the asset has remained untouched for 15 years. The government is extending the Scheme to release further funds to help people and families suffering hardship due to Covid. It is hoping that £800 million could be made available.
Assets forming part of the Scheme include:
- Proceeds of dormant life insurance and retirement income policies;
- Proceeds of dormant shares or units in collective investments;
- Dormant investment asset distributions and proceeds;
- Proceeds of, or distributions from, dormant shares; and
- Unclaimed proceeds from corporate actions.
The news could also provide a stimulus to people to track down old pension or insurance accounts, many of which may have grown into sizable sums. Under the Scheme rules, assets can be reclaimed in full at any time.
If you have lost track of previous policies and assets and would like assistance in tracking them down and releasing the funds, please contact Michele directly at [email protected]