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Friday, 20 May 2016

€28.5m from Dormant Accounts Fund to Combat Disadvantage

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is pleased to announce the adoption of the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan 2016 which outlines measures under a number of Government Departments totaling some €28.5m to be disbursed from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The Dormant Accounts Act 2001 together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012 provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings and in this regard, institutions/undertakings are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.
The legislation also provides for a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed.  In each year monies may be disbursed in accordance with Part 6 of the 2012 Act, from the Account, but only for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:
1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged or
3. persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000).
A new Disbursement Scheme was approved by Government in December 2013 in accordance with the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Act 2012. The 2012 Act also provides that the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government may adopt an Action Plan to give effect to the scheme.
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, together with Pobal, carried out a consultation process with the Departments of Health; Education and Skills; Social Protection; Justice and Equality; Transport, Tourism and Sport; and Children and Youth Affairs in preparing the Action Plan.
Funds amounting to around €28.5 million will be allocated from the Dormant Accounts Fund towards programmes and projects across all three themes.  The Action Plan includes programmes and projects for specific measures supporting children; disadvantaged youth; prisoners, the unemployed, carers and a diverse cohort of marginalised groups including those affected by homelessness, migrants and asylum seekers, ROMA, Travellers, those who suffer from addiction and refugees.
About Dormant Accounts
The Dormant Accounts Act 2001 together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012 provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings and in this regard, institutions/undertakings are required to take steps to identify and contact the owners of dormant accounts and unclaimed life assurance policies.
Dormant funds/unclaimed life assurance policies, which have not been reclaimed by the original account/policy holder or their beneficiaries, are transferred each year by the financial institution/insurance undertaking to the Dormant Accounts Fund which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).  The transfer of monies takes place on the basis that the beneficial owner will have a guaranteed right of reclaim to their property at any time in the future.
The legislation also introduced a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed.  In each year monies may be disbursed in accordance with Part 6 of the 2012 Act, from the account, but only for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:
1. the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
2. the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged or
3. persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000).
Pobal administers Dormant Accounts Measures on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and certain other Departments. All costs charged by Pobal for the administration of Dormant Accounts Measures are paid by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, including costs for measures under other Departments, and this is recouped by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government from the Fund as Appropriations-in-Aid.

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