April 25, 2024

LA Treasury’s Unclaimed Property earns national innovation award | Breaking News

Louisiana Treasury’s Unclaimed Property (UCP) Division has been honored with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ inaugural Innovation Award for its Great Employee Give Back (GEGB) program. This first-ever of its kind recognition was awarded for leading the charge on an innovative idea and advancing the administration of unclaimed property.

“Louisiana’s Unclaimed Property is an unsung hero in Louisiana government,” said State Treasurer John M. Schroder. “This team is consistently recognized at the national level for its exemplary work. They work extremely hard to find ways to get money back to the people it belongs to.”

Unclaimed property is lost or forgotten money from items such as royalties, unclaimed cash, stocks, bonds, securities, and insurance proceeds never paid out.

Unclaimed Property Director Kathleen Lobell explained the GEGB as a means by which employers can have reports run to see if their employees have money or property owed to them. Employees can be given the opportunity to opt-in, and their data, including current addresses, is run looking for a match in information against UCP records. Those with matches are issued checks.

The GEGB initiative began in February following a meeting between Treasurer Schroder and Baton Rouge General (BRG) CFO Kendall Johnson, when their idea to connect directly with employers resulted in giving back $42,000 to BRG employees. Since that time, Treasury has been able to return $221,000 to employees across the state who work in various industries including a school system, three hospital systems, two local governments, a janitorial service company, and a large industrial contracting company. Of the employee names submitted, approximately 17% had money owed.

Whenever possible, Unclaimed Property staff and often Treasurer Schroder, would attend an event hosted by the employer to help hand out checks to employees. In fact, Treasurer Schroder had the pleasure of visiting with the employee who was surprised with $98,000, the largest amount found through the program to date.

Lobell stressed that the GEGB program is not going away. Entities and businesses interested in participating can go to lacashclaim.org/great-employee-giveback to find out more and sign up.

2023 marks the 50th Anniversary of Louisiana’s Unclaimed Property Program. More than half of the unclaimed property checks ever written from LA Treasury have been during Schroder’s administration. Over the past 50 years, Louisiana’s UCP has issued 1.38 million unclaimed property checks, totaling $727 million, to the rightful owners. During Schroder’s administration, 734,226 checks have been printed putting $278 million back into the hands of the owners and into the state’s economy.

One in six individuals in Louisiana has unclaimed property, with claims averaging $900. To check for unclaimed property, go to LaCashClaim.org.

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