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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 26, 2018 01:44 PM
From: Senator Bob Mensch and Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: New Consumer Protection Measure for Unclaimed Property
The Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property is intended to protect the property interests of owners of unclaimed property and to provide a mechanism for the safe keeping and return of property to its rightful owner.

Changes to the law by Act 85 of 2016 caused unintended consequences affecting passive investors, resulting in some consumer investors having their investment accounts inadvertently reported as Unclaimed Property. Currently many owners of securities pursue a buy and hold investment strategy resulting in minimal account activity. This alone is not considered contact. The current law requires that when an owner of security property has “lost contact”, the property must be reported as unclaimed property.

My legislation will change the reporting standards by which securities are determined to be abandoned and unclaimed and thus reportable to Treasury.

This change will pertain solely to non-retirement investment securities held by business associations. For shares of stock that are reported to Treasury the property received should be truly abandoned and unclaimed. A revised “lost contact” standard will be provided to prevent the reporting of securities that are not abandoned, but merely held in a passive investment account. The property in question under this section pertains to varying non-retirement equity investment accounts, including but not limited to cash dividend accounts, dividend investment plan accounts and non-dividend paying accounts.

Under my legislation, the securities would not be reportable as unclaimed property unless:
(1)First class mail to the owner has been returned as undeliverable; and
(2)There has been no account activity for three (3) years after the holder has lost contact with the owner.

Only when both of these elements are met, will any certificate of stock, or participating right in a business association, be deemed “unclaimed” and reportable to the Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

I ask that you please join us in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB1058