An unclaimed annuity is an investment that pays out recurring income each year, that is left unclaimed by the policyholder. State laws require insurance companies to surrender abandoned property, but the owner and her beneficiaries always have a valid claim to the funds. The property is considered abandoned after the policyholder has had no activity or contact with the owner for several years, reports CNN Money.
Annuities are either deferred investment products, meaning that money is invested for a period of time until the policyholder begins taking withdrawals, or they are immediate, meaning that payments begin shortly after making the first investment, states CNN Money. Deferred annuities are the most likely to go unclaimed.
Insurance companies are popular providers of annuities. These funds are often not claimed because the policyholder has forgotten her investment and that she is owed money or because an employee is not aware that she had accumulated retirement benefits at a previous employer. Unclaimed annuities from life insurance plans not held by the state are found on the insurer's site directly, as CNN Money explains.
Policyholders can find unclaimed funds from annuities or other sources on sites like Unclaimed.org and MissingMoney.com, which offer free multi-state searches.