Unclaimed Property and Escheatment FAQ

What is escheatment?

Escheatment refers to the act of turning over unclaimed or abandoned property to the state of the owner’s last known address.  Escheatment laws are set by each state, and the definition of abandoned property can vary by state.  Financial institutions like Columbia Threadneedle Investments are required to follow the specific requirements of each state’s escheatment laws.

What is unclaimed or abandoned property?

For purposes of escheatment, states define unclaimed or abandoned property as one or a combination of the following:

  • Financial accounts with no activity or contact initiated by its owner. 
  • Financial accounts with an address deemed undeliverable by the United States Postal Service. 
  • Uncashed checks.

Please note that ‘activity” and “contact” are defined by each state.  Importantly, automated features on an account (such as regular, ongoing purchases or redemptions, or reinvestment of dividends) do not necessarily count as contact, so such activity might not protect your account from state escheatment law.

When is abandoned property escheated?

Each state has laws that require financial institutions, including Columbia Threadneedle Investments, to turn over abandoned property to the state’s unclaimed property department after a set period of dormancy, which is the period of time before property will be considered to be abandoned. Most often, property is considered abandoned after a period of 3 to 5 years of inactivity or “no contact”. Columbia Threadneedle will attempt to locate you prior to the escheatment process.

How can I prevent my assets from being escheated?

The best way to prevent your assets from being escheated is to make regular contact on your account and to review annually your personal account information for accuracy. 

Many states have added “inactivity” or the absence of customer-initiated contact as a component for determining abandoned property. These regulations require shareholders to contact their fund companies on a regular basis to prevent their account(s) from being deemed dormant. 

What methods can be used to establish contact?

Online: Accessing your online account will establish contact and allow us to record your account(s) as active.  To access your online account, please click “Log In” located at the top-right of this webpage. First-time users will need to establish an online account as a “New User?”. You will need your fund and account number, Social Security Number (SSN) or Tax Identification Number (TIN), name, and email address associated with your account.

Customer Connection: Customer Connection is an automated phone system that gives you 24-hour access to your account(s) and supports speech recognition. To access, dial 800.345.6611 and say, “account information”. First-time users must go through a registration process to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). You will need your fund and account number and SSN or TIN associated with your account.

Shareholder Account Services: Call 866.840.5469 to speak with an investor services representative, Monday through Friday between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET.

Mail: You can mail us a letter, stating that you are initiating contact on your account(s) with Columbia Threadneedle. Mail the letter to: Columbia Management Investment Services Corp. P.O. Box 219104 Kansas City, MO 64121-9104.

What if I have more than one account, do I need to establish contact on all my accounts?

No, establishing contact on one account will qualify as contact on all accounts registered under the same primary Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number.

Where do my assets go if escheated?

Unclaimed property assets turned over to the state are held for their rightful owner to claim. Each state holds and uses the assets in accordance with their individual state statutes.

Please note that states require fund companies, including Columbia Threadneedle Investments, to redeem abandoned fund shares and turn over the redemption proceeds in cash. Shareholders who reclaim their assets from a state will receive the dollar amount of the redemption but will not receive any dividends, interest or market appreciation that may otherwise have been earned on their investment if the shares had not been redeemed. It is therefore very important that you maintain contact with Columbia Threadneedle as described above.

Additionally, please note that under IRS rules, the escheatment of traditional IRA accounts are subject to federal and state tax withholding rules for IRAs.

Click here to search for unclaimed property in your state. 

Where can I get further information regarding the escheatment process?

Click here to visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) website for more information about escheatment.

Click here to visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ (NAUPA) website for more information about the escheatment rules that apply in your state. 

Click here to visit the Investment Company Institute’s (ICI) website for more information about lost property. 

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