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06/28/2022 07:34 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20190&cosponId=29433
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: April 30, 2019 01:19 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: PA Unclaimed Property – Beneficiary Designations on Retirement Assets
 
I intend to introduce legislation that would require that unclaimed benefits of any type of retirement accounts be reported to the Pennsylvania Unclaimed Property website within three years after the date of death of the account holder.

I was alerted to a situation in my district in which an individual had died in the 1970’s, and nearly 40 years after his death, one of the organizations which privately contracts with financial institutions reached out to the charitable beneficiaries to inform them that they were the remainder beneficiaries of a profit sharing account of approximately $225,000. There were two lifetime beneficiaries who never received the funds. Both beneficiaries had died, and the contingent beneficiaries were the charitable entities. The brokerage house that held the account was not required to report it as unclaimed property to be placed on the Unclaimed Property website. As a result, the brokerage house was able to sit on the account and obtain fees for 40 years.

Financial organizations that have unclaimed benefits on any type of retirement account should be required to list those unclaimed benefits on the Pennsylvania unclaimed property website within a specified period of time after the date of death of the account holder.