Sunday, January 27, 2013

$58 billion unclaimed: Is some of it yours?

Unclaimed property comes from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.

Millions of Americans are missing out on billions in forgotten cash.

Currently, states, federal agencies and other organizations collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and benefits. That's roughly $186 for every U.S. resident. The unclaimed property comes from a variety of sources, including abandoned bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and forgotten pension benefits.

Some people are owed serious cash. Last year, a Connecticut resident claimed $32.8 million, proceeds from the sale of nearly 1.3 million shares of stock. The recipient of the funds requested to remain anonymous and no further details were provided.

More than $300 million in pension benefits is currently owed to some 38,000 people, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The unclaimed benefits currently range from 12 cents to a whopping $704,621, with an average benefit of $9,100. Benefits may go unclaimed because an employee is unaware they had accrued retirement benefits at a previous employer, the agency said.

However, the majority of the forgotten funds -- roughly $41.7 billion -- are held by the states, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. Read more....


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