Treasurer Stacy Garrity is urging lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to support the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act of 2021, legislation that would give states the ability to return more than $29.4 billion in U.S. Savings Bond proceeds to rightful owners nationwide.
The U.S. Treasury currently has an estimated $928 million to $1.4 billion in bond proceeds that are legally owed to Pennsylvanians. Enacting the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act would empower the Pennsylvania Treasury to return those proceeds through the state’s unclaimed property program.
“The U.S. Treasury is sitting on tens of billions of dollars in savings bonds that belong to everyday Americans – and they are doing absolutely nothing to get that money back in the hands of the people it belongs to,” Garrity said. “It’s inexcusable and it has to change. This money does not belong to the government – it belongs to the patriotic individuals who bought the bonds. It’s time for the federal government to let us find the rightful owners.”
Garrity wrote letters to both U.S. Senators representing Pennsylvania and to the three members of state’s House delegation who serve on the House Ways and Means Committee, encouraging them to support the Unclaimed Savings Bond Act.
Proceeds of these bonds are not the property of the U.S. Treasury, but are debt owed to original bond owners or legal heirs. The U.S. Treasury, however, does not notify bond owners of maturity, or make efforts to locate or contact owners who have not reclaimed their bond proceeds.
The U.S. Treasury exclusively possesses the ownership records for these bonds, and has opposed efforts to provide these records to state unclaimed property administrators like Pennsylvania Treasury. These state administrators have the tools and dedicated resources to identify, locate and return unclaimed property — including securities such as savings bonds.
The Pennsylvania Treasury has returned more than $1.5 billion in unclaimed property over the past 10 years.
“This legislation is an efficient and equitable way to get this money where it belongs while costing taxpayers virtually nothing,” Garrity said. “It will also ensure that the government upholds its promise to the hardworking people who chose to invest in America.”