Home Lost Property Resource Center
How to Protect Yourself from Being Deemed a “Lost” Mutual Fund Shareholder
Mutual fund shareholders face a growing risk: states are using increasingly aggressive tactics to take individuals’ “lost” property, including financial accounts, and are using the money to close state budget shortfalls.
New Pennsylvania Budget Law Smooths Path for State to Seize Residents’ Retirement Assets
When Pennsylvania’s budget went into effect on September 10, 2016, an amendment to the state’s abandoned property law made it easier for the state to deem retirement accounts “abandoned” and transfer the accounts’ assets to the state treasury. Previously, abandoned retirement accounts were not required to be turned over to the state until the account owner a) reached age 70½, and b) if, for a three-year period, either the owner of the account failed to take some action on the account or the financial institution holding the account did not have a good address for the owner.
Removal of Age Restriction Endangers All Retirement Accounts
The amendments to the law in the new budget removes this age restriction—meaning every retirement account in the state is at risk. Worse still, when these accounts are turned over to the state, they are liquidated—so the state can use the money for its purposes—and the account holder is on the hook for any taxes and tax penalties that apply to early liquidation.
What You Can Do
ICI encourages retirement savers to take these steps to protect their accounts:
- Contact your financial institutions annually to maintain contact and confirm your address is current.
- If you are a Pennsylvania resident, urge Governor Tom Wolf and your General Assembly representatives to reinstate the age limit that must be triggered for retirement accounts to be deemed abandoned.
- Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your retirement assets.
ICI will continue to work to address these issues, and to protect assets held in retirement accounts owned by Pennsylvania’s residents, as well as by residents across the country.
ICI is working to educate fund shareholders like you about this practice. This section of our website provides resources to help you find “lost” accounts, and give you the information you need to protect yourself in the future.
ICI will continue to work to address these issues, and to protect assets held in retirement accounts owned by Pennsylvania's residents, as well as by residents across the country.