FAQs

What does "unclaimed assets" means?

These are assets that—

(a)  have been presumed abandoned and have become unclaimed assets under the provisions of sections 4 to 18 of UFA Act.

(b)  have been transferred to the Authority as unclaimed assets, and ;

(c) have been deemed under any other law to be unclaimed assets and payable to the Authority, and includes all income, dividend or interest thereon but excludes any lawful charges thereon.

Do you have to be rich to be owed unclaimed assets?
No. Any person can have unclaimed assets considering you may have put in a deposit in a bank, rented a facility or earned wages.
Do I lose my money once it is turned over to the UFAA?
You do not lose any financial assets once remitted to UFAA. Indeed, UFAA on behalf of the Government exercise responsibility as “Bona Vacantia” (holder of assets in the public interest) and guarantee you an indefinite right of reunification. Heirs should constantly check for the status of deceased relatives
Does the unclaimed financial assets law only reaches back to 2011?
The law is retroactive to the date of holding institution incorporation.
What are the responsibilities of holders concerning unclaimed financial assets?
These entities are responsible for identifying, segregating, reporting and remitting unclaimed assets to UFAA.
What are examples of unclaimed assets?
  • Dormant accounts at banks.
  • Unclaimed dividends and interest earned from stocks and shares.
  • Unclaimed utility deposits in books of power and water companies.
  • Unclaimed retirement benefits at insurers at insurers and pension administrators.
  • Unclaimed death benefits and annuities from insurance companies.
  • Unclaimed bail and bond money deposited in Courts of Law.
  • Unclaimed deposits and benefits from collapsed institutions.
  • Uncollected prize money e.g. from a lottery.
Who bears the cost for opening a safe deposit box?
Where a safe deposit box is forced open, the Authority shall bear the cost of the forced opening of the box and the repair of the box.
How long do different types of assets take before being considered unclaimed?

ASSET

 

DURATION OF ABANDONMENT

 

1.    Traveller’s cheque

 

2 years from the date of issuance

 

2.    Money order or similar written financial/ monetary instrument

2 years from the date of issuance

 

3.    Cheques, drafts or similar instruments

 

2 years after it was payable or after its issuance

 

4.    Demand, savings, matured time deposit, funds paid towards the purchase of a share, mutual investment certificate, any other interest in a financial institution

 

5 years

 

5.    Life or endowment Insurance policy or annuity contract

 

2 years after the funds become due

 

6.    Assets as a result of demutualisation of an insurance company

 

2 years after the date of the demutualisation

 

7.    Deposit for utility services e.g. electricity, water, etc.

 

2 years after termination of the services

 

8.    Order by a court for refund by holder

 

2 years after it became payable

 

9.    Ownership interest

 

3 years

 

10.  Assets from dissolved business entity

 

2 years

 

11.  Assets held in a fiduciary capacity

 

2 years after they become payable

 

12.  Gift certificate, gift card or credit memo/note

 

5 years

 

13.  Unpaid wages

 

1 year after they become payable

 

14.  Assets held in safe deposit box or repository

 

2 years after the lease or rental period on the box or repository has expired

 

How long does it take to process a claim?

A person claiming an interest in any assets paid or delivered to the Authority may file with the Authority a claim as prescribed by the Authority.

The Authority shall consider each claim within ninety days after it is filed and shall give a written notice to the claimant of its decision.

Where a claim is allowed, the Authority shall pay over or deliver to the claimant the assets or the amount the Authority actually received or the net proceeds if it has been sold by the Authority.

A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Authority or whose claim has not been acted upon within ninety days after its filing may bring an action in court against the Authority.

Why are laws on unclaimed assets necessary?

It is important to have laws on unclaimed assets for the following reasons:

·         A mandatory legal framework on unclaimed assets gives holders legal compulsion to manage these assets considering interests of the owners.

·         These laws reduce fraud by employees of holding institutions as well as reducing fraud and malpractice in such entities.

·         The laws protect the interests of beneficiaries such as widows/ widowers, orphans and dependents among others.

·         These laws increase corporate governance by increasing transparency of managing third party assets.

·         The laws help diaspora to be reunited with their assets hence increasing diaspora remittances.

·         The laws also lead us towards realizing Vision 2030’s social and economic pillars which provide Kenyans with competitive financial services.

How do assets become “unclaimed”?

According to section 3-18 of Unclaimed Financial Assets (UFA) Act, 2011 unclaimed assets have to meet the following conditions:

1.      When records of the holder do not reflect the identity of the person enlisted to the assets.

2.      When the holder has not previously paid or delivered the assets to the apparent owner or other person entitled to the assets.

3.      The last known address, as shown on the records of the holder, of the apparent owner is in a country that does not provide by law for the escheat or custodial taking of the assets or its escheat or unclaimed assets law is not applicable to the assets and the holder is domiciled in Kenya.

4.      Other ways that assets become unclaimed:

·         Death

·         Forgetfulness

·         Poor record keeping

·         Relocation (Regional & global)

·         Ignorance

·         Negligence

 Also note that assets are considered “abandoned property” when they appear to have been forsaken by their owner by virtue of no generated activity and to which it is presumed the owner has relinquished his or her interest to the property without vesting such interest in another person or entity.

How can I prevent my assets from being considered “unclaimed”?
  • Be an active owner: cash cheques, dividends and insurance benefits no matter how small.
  • Keep making deposits into your accounts at least once a year to avoid having dormant accounts.
  • Always inform all interested parties of a change in your address.
  • Keep accurate financial records of bank accounts, stocks, safe deposit boxes and insurance policies.
What does UFAA do with the money?
UFAA keeps money remitted by holders in a trust fund which is managed by the Authority. The Authority then reunites the funds with their owners.
How do I contact the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority?

Find us at:

Pacis Centre, 2nd Floor, Slip Road,

Off Waiyaki Way

Post mail to:

UNCLAIMED FINANCIAL ASSETS AUTHORITY

P.O. Box 28235-00200 , City Square , Nairobi.

You can call us during our business hours (weekdays from 8.00am -5.00pm) on:

+2547 0686 6984, +2547 3655 9152

020 4023 4400, 020 4343 4400

Email us on:

info@ufaa.go.ke

How long do I have to file a claim?
There is no limit for lodging a claim with us. Owners can claim their assets at any time.
What is a holder?
A holder (or a holding institution) is an entity which is in possession of a financial asset on behalf of an owner. These institutions can be banks, insurance companies, business, etc

Contact Us

Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority,
Pacis Centre, 2nd Floor, Slip Road, Off Waiyaki Way, Westlands, Nairobi.
P.O Box 28235-00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
Phone: 020 4023000, 020 4343440, 0706866984, 0736559152
Email: info@ufaa.go.ke

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