Record-Setting Number of Searches in Opening Month Of CT Big List Campaign
Record-Setting Number of Searches in Opening Month Of CT Big List Campaign
More than two million web hits, 59,600 new claims for more than $48 million
Hartford, CT – Driven by a record response to the latest CT Big List Unclaimed Property outreach campaign, more than 59,600 inquiries and claims were initiated during the first four weeks for assets valued in excess of $48 million — the largest number and dollar amount of claims ever opened in a month during the program’s 83-year history.
State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier stated, “Our mission is to return unclaimed property to rightful owners. The incredible response to our latest web-based outreach campaign speaks to the growing appeal of the internet as an effective way to increase public awareness of the CT Big List.”
The outreach campaign included greater use of internet and digital promotion along with a newly designed CT Big List website and a special online publication of 95,000 new names since the 2013 print publication.
The CT Big List, available online at www.ctbiglist.com, features the names of 1.4 million individuals, businesses and organizations that may be entitled to $771 million in unclaimed property. The user-friendly database is updated weekly with new names.
During the first four weeks of the CT Big List campaign, the Treasury received 2.2 million inquiries on the Treasury’s website; 10,351 telephone calls to the toll-free number; and 59,691 claims initiated.
For the last fiscal year ended June 30 2016, the Treasury collected $111 million in unclaimed property, which was $8 million more than projected. During that same year, the Treasury returned $58 million to 15,758 rightful owners.
Unclaimed property includes money from uncashed payroll checks, bank accounts and utility deposits, insurance proceeds, liquidated assets from safe deposit boxes, stocks and bonds. The Treasury receives unclaimed assets from holders such as banks, insurance companies, stock transfer agents, utilities, hospitals, retail, manufacturing and service companies following a loss of contact with the owners of record. These assets are reported and turned over every year, and are held in custody until claimants come forward or are located. There is no time limit to claim the money.
Prior to 2015, state law required newspaper publication every two years of potential rightful owners of unclaimed property turned over to the Treasury during previous years. Since the migration to a web-based outreach, the cost of promoting the CT Big List has declined while the number of claims has increased.
“Every dollar in unclaimed property that we receive is held in custody until the rightful owner steps forward. Until that happens, the money is deposited into the State’s General Fund and put to good use on behalf of Connecticut’s taxpayers,” Treasurer Nappier said.
“From helping to avoid tax increases during difficult economic times, chipping away at the State’s debt burden or relieving the pressure on local governments to fund services that might otherwise be cut, the Unclaimed Property program has been and continues to be an important component of the State’s revenue stream,” Treasurer Nappier said.
There are two ways to find out whether you may be entitled to unclaimed property:
Go to www.ctbiglist.com to search for a name. Download a claim form and follow the instructions;
Call 1-800-833-7318, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
“I encourage Connecticut residents, businesses and non-profit organization alike to search the CT Big List website to find what’s theirs! And, even if you don’t see your own name on the list, you might notice a relative, friend or a local business with assets waiting to be claimed,” said Treasurer Nappier.
Comparison of the online outreach campaign to previous print publications indicates a significant increase in website searches and claims initiated. The chart below compares the first 30 days of each campaign:
The State of Delaware Cash Management Policy Board (“Board”) is seeking a qualified consulting and/or advisory services firm (“Consultant”) with substantial public sector experience to review the State of Delaware’s banking framework, and to recommend a course of action to achieve the most efficient architecture. The Consultant will work directly with the Office of the State Treasurer (“OST”) and the Banking Structure Task Force (“Task Force”) convened by OST.
The proposed schedule of events subject to the RFP is outlined below:
Event DATE Public Notice / Issue of RFP – January 27, 2017
Deadline for Consultant Questions – February 14, 2017
Response to Questions Posted – February 21, 2017
Deadline for Receipt of Proposals – February 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM EST
Finalist Presentations – Week of March 9, 2017
Estimated Notification of Award – Week of March 23, 2017
“A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House to make it easier to save money in 529 college savings plans and accounts aimed at helping families with special needs children.
HR 529, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc., would encourage companies to help employees start up either of these accounts and contribute to the plans by offering businesses tax incentives to do so. It also would remove limits on the number of times per year investments in the accounts can be changed, which currently stands at twice a year.
Funds saved in 529 college savings plans, which are named after the Internal Revenue Service code that created them, could be used to pay back student loans or be donated to charity without tax consequences, under the proposed bill.”
Through the Public Finance Network, NAST recently signed onto a letter sent to members of Congress on the importance of retaining the tax exemption for municipal bonds.
“For more than 100 years, the organizations listed above have consistently depended on the preservation of the municipal bond tax exemption as a fundamental component of our nation’s intergovernmental partnership. It is the bedrock by which State and local governments, authorities and nonprofits of all sizes can cost effectively access the capital markets and in turn provide essential infrastructure for their citizens.”
LOS ANGELES – Treasurer John Chiang announced today that his office has become the first in the nation to offer gift cards – a popular stocking stuffer used by nearly 93 percent of American consumers – as a way of helping Californians give the gift of college.
The cards are arriving in 96 Toys “R” Us stores across California just in time for the holidays. Treasurer Chiang forged the partnership with the largest standalone toy store chain in the world to offer the pioneering new product. The cards will also be available at Babies “R” Us, an affiliate of Toys “R” Us, which offers an assortment of products for newborns, infants, and toddlers.
“There is no more time-tested solution to poverty, crime, or income inequality than to make college education an affordable possibility for every child who seeks one,” said Chiang. “Faced with skyrocketing tuition, we must empower Californians to save, invest, and plan for their children’s futures.”
By using a familiar product in an innovative way, never before has it been this easy for relatives, friends, or even a parent’s employer, to help kids save for college.
Saving for college is critical, state educators agree.
“The University of California and the State are doing all they can to ensure that a college education is affordable through financial aid programs, but saving for your child’s education is a prudent financial decision,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “Saving for future education expenses through 529 college saving programs like ScholarShare is an essential part of preparing our future generation of students.”
“One of the best ways a parent, grandparent, friend, or relative can help children achieve their college dreams is to begin saving early for college expenses,” agreed State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
“Opening or contributing to a 529 ScholarShare account for a child is a great way to do that because earnings from funds in the account are not taxed if the money is spent on college expenses.”
The gift cards allow families and friends to contribute to college savings accounts with California’s highly-rated Scholarshare 529 plan in three easy steps:
Parents or guardians register the child, linking an existing or new ScholarShare 529 plan.
Friends and family can then contribute by purchasing physical or digital gift cards at any California-based Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us retail store or online at www.scholarshare.com * The gift cards can then be redeemed at ScholarShare.com/redeem and GiftofCollege.com, where funds are then transferred directly to the recipients’ plan.
A recent study by the Journal of Children and Poverty, concluded that kids with savings accounts in their names are seven times more likely to attend college than children without such accounts.
“Thanks to our Toys “R” Us partnership California families now have an easy and convenient way to build a college nest egg and a realistic path to helping their children earn a college degree without saddling them with crippling debt,” Chiang said.
About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan
Named for the section of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code under which they were created, 529 plans offer valuable tax advantages. Contributions are made with money that has already been taxed. Once funds are placed in the account, investment earnings, if any, are not federally or state taxed, if withdrawn to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
California’s 529 plan is called ScholarShare. Accounts may be opened with as little as $25. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum account balance.
ScholarShare, which is governed by a board chaired by Treasurer John Chiang, is ranked as one of the top-rated 529 college savings plans in the country by Morningstar, an independent investment research firm. ScholarShare currently holds over $6.9 billion in assets in more than 278,000 accounts as of 9/30/16.
The Treasury Department, Division of Risk Management and Claims Administration, processes claims filed against the State of Tennessee for the negligent operation of motor vehicles or machinery; negligent care, custody and control of persons or property; professional malpractice; workers’ compensation claims filed by State of Tennessee employees; dangerous conditions on State maintained highways and bridges; and nuisances created or maintained by the State. Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 9, Chapter 8, Parts 3 and 4, the Division of Claims Administration operates in conjunction with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office and the Tennessee Claims Commission in this claims process.
The Division of Claims Administration contracts with a third party administrator for the processing of workers’ compensation claims. The Division’s staff monitors the work done by the third party administrator and acts as a liaison between State employees and the third party administrator.
During the period from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, the Division of Claims Administration received approximately three thousand (3,000) workers’ compensation claims and two thousand one hundred twenty-eight (2,128) employee property damage and tort claims. As of June 30, 2016, there were approximately one hundred thousand (100,000) regular and part-time State employees (including employees employed in public institutions of higher education).
All claims falling within the above categories are paid through the Risk Management Fund. This fund is supported by premiums paid by each State department, agency and institution. The required funding is based upon an actuarial study that reflects risk assessment and estimated losses. The State’s funding for self-insurance is compiled using an occurrence based funding method. The State has limits of liability in tort of $300,000 per person in any one occurrence not to exceed a maximum of $1,000,000 per occurrence. The State’s workers’ compensation liability is governed by the existing workers’ compensation statutes in Tennessee, which are codified in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 50, Chapter 6, with exceptions as described in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 9-8-307(a)(1)(K)(ii). Accounting for the Risk Management Fund is in accordance with Statement Number 10 of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
To determine the funding required for the Risk Management Fund and the premiums required of each such department, agency and institution, the successful proposer will be expected to perform a self-insured funding study of the expected liability of the Risk Management Fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 (based on data as of June 30, 2017) and every subsequent fiscal year for the duration of the contract (as defined in Section B of RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract). In addition, the successful proposer will be expected to perform a self-insured funding study of the cumulative outstanding Fund liability as of the year ending June 30, 2017 and every subsequent fiscal year for the duration of the contract (as defined in Section B of RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract). Copies of the documents comprising the most recent study performed by the State’s current risk management actuarial firm can be found in RFP Attachments 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, and 6.13.
On an annual basis, the State will furnish to the successful proposer certain information concerning all historical claim payments and loss reserves valued as of June 30. A description of the information and the means by which it will be provided is contained in Section A.2.a(1) of RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract. A copy of the claim payments and loss reserves information from the current study can be found in RFP Attachments 6.8 and 6.9, titled Estimation of Outstanding Losses Workers Compensation and Estimation of Outstanding Losses Tort Reserves. The numerical codes that identify the types of claims and the numerical codes that explain the causes of claims, which are referred to in Section A.2.a(1) of RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract, can be found in RFP Attachments 6.10 and 6.11, respectively.
In addition, the State will annually furnish to the successful proposer certain information regarding units of claim exposure in each department, agency and institution of the State of Tennessee, and the administrative cost for administering the risk management program. A description of the information and the means by which it will be provided is contained in Sections A.2.a(2) of RFP Attachment 6.6., Pro Forma Contract. A copy of the exposure unit data provided to the State’s current contractor for the most recent study can be found in RFP Attachment 6.14.
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NASHVILLE- This morning, a Joint Convention of the 110th General Assembly reelected David H. Lillard, Jr. by acclamation to a fifth term as Tennessee State Treasurer. The State Treasurer is a Constitutional Officer elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. In his official capacity, Treasurer Lillard oversees the Tennessee Treasury Department and its more than 270 employees. The Treasury Department internally manages over $55 billion in state and local government funds.
Treasurer Lillard has championed issues of financial literacy and strives daily find new ways to improve the financial lives of Tennesseans. Since first elected in 2009, he has worked with the Treasury Department to provide Tennesseans with financial tools needed to lead a better quality of life. Among his first steps as Treasurer, he worked with the General Assembly to create the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and the TNStars® 529 College Savings Program. A top direct-sold college saving plan, TNStars has been nationally ranked for investment performance consistently since 2014. The Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission has worked to incorporate the nationally recognized Financial Fitness for Life® curriculum into K-8 classrooms across the state. This has been achieved by training more than 3,500 Tennessee teachers, pilot programs with three Tennessee school systems and by offering an online interactive financial literacy game as a free resource.
Last year, Treasury opened ABLE TN, Tennessee’s own Achieving A Better Life Experience program, a new resource to help those with disabilities plan and save for the future. Tennessee is one of the first states in the nation to offer these savings accounts. In just 7 months, more than 680 people have opened ABLE TN accounts, and have saved more than $2.4 million to help individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities pay for future qualified expenses.
Under Treasurer Lillard’s leadership, the Treasury Department proposed, and the 108th General Assembly enacted, reforms to the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement Systems (TCRS), the state defined benefit pension plan. These reforms created a hybrid plan with cost controls effective for state, higher education and K-12 teachers hired on or after July 1, 2014. The restructured plan has been recognized as an aggressive, innovative reform that substantially reduces the costs to the state while providing a sufficient and sustainable benefit for State and higher education employees, K-12 public school teachers and employees of electing local government entities. At the end of the FY16 fiscal year, TCRS was valued at more than $43.3 billion and recognized by major credit ratings agencies as one of the highest funded public employee defined benefit retirement systems in the nation.
“It has been an honor to serve our state as Treasurer for the last eight years. With the support of the General Assembly, the Treasury Department has been able to accomplish many great things for our state.” said Treasurer Lillard. “I am honored to serve a fifth term and grateful to the General Assembly for the opportunity to continue to serve Tennessee as a faithful steward of our state’s financial and human resources.”
Treasurer Lillard is an active advocate nationally on the importance of sound management on financial issues. He is the immediate Past President of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) and was elected President of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) in August 2016. Both of these organizations bring together officials responsible for the financial management of state governments from across America.
He’s chairman of the Public Education Committee but Utah State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, is also preparing bills on other kinds of issues prior to the start of the 2017 session in January.
Hillyard says he is working on a so-called Unclaimed Property Bill. He says he was told by State Treasurer Damschen Condemns that each year between $25 million and $50 million is turned over to the state from unclaimed property and they are able to turn back between $5 million to $10 million to those who should have the money.
“A parent may have a bank account that they opened, they die, and the children don’t know about it,” says Hillyard. “They have a life insurance account, quite typically people have a health insurance plan that will have a life insurance policy with it.
“If they die the children or the heirs don’t know that dad had this credit card account, and in the credit card account there was a life insurance policy.”
Hillyard says the Treasurer showed him a list of six pages of names of Cache Valley residents he was hoping to help in his endeavor.
The senator says he does not expect the marijuana issue to occupy as much of the legislature’s time as it did in the last session.
Tax exemptions on municipal bonds are hardly the sexiest political issue surrounding Donald Trump’s transition. But a group of mayors, meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Thursday, were surprised with welcome news when they pressed Trump to keep the exemptions.
“He’s the president-elect, and he said he would keep it,” said Tom Cochran, the CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “My lobbyist has been up on the Hill, and they said to us everything is on the table. We didn’t know what would happen.”
He added: “As soon as the sun comes up, I will be contacting the authorities in Speaker Ryan’s office and others on the Democratic side that we were encouraged by the president-elect.”
A spokesman for Trump, who convened the mayors in Trump Tower for about 30 minutes, didn’t respond to a request for comment. Trump has vowed to overhaul the country’s tax code when taking office, and mayors have feared the exemption could be in jeopardy. It has been targeted by some Republicans as too pricey, particularly when the bonds are used to build sports arenas and stadiums.