Treasurer Garrity Announces $2.1 Billion Transfer to Rainy Day Fund

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced the deposit of $2.1 billion into Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund, formally known as the Budget Stabilization Reserve Fund. The transfer, which was officially made yesterday, was authorized as part of the state budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23.

“Our state reserves are the strongest they’ve been in decades,” Garrity said. “Thanks to this deposit, the Rainy Day Fund is approaching $5 billion, positioning Pennsylvania to be able to weather a future economic downturn. Everyone knows that a fiscal cliff is looming, so saving as much as possible in the Rainy Day Fund is the right thing to do. I applaud the General Assembly and Governor Wolf for prioritizing our state’s future.”

Treasurer Garrity Announces Auction of Unclaimed Property

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced that the next online auction of unclaimed property items from Treasury’s vault will take place tomorrow, October 26, and Friday, October 28. This auction includes fine jewelry, coins, currency and more.

“This is a unique opportunity to highlight our unclaimed property program and get more people interested in finding what is theirs,” Garrity said. “We work diligently to locate the rightful owners of every piece of property that comes into our vault – and I encourage everyone to search for themselves at patreasury.gov/unclaimed-property. But, even though we have the largest working vault in the United States, there is limited space. So, from time to time, we have to auction some of the physical items we receive.”

Pook & Pook, Inc., of Downingtown handles item appraisal and auctioneer services. Auction items can be previewed at pookandpook.com, which is also where interested bidders can register.

More than 3,900 items from Treasury’s vault will be on the auction block over the two days, including:

  • Multiple 1 ozt. fine gold South African Krugerrands;
  • A Liberty Eagle 1 ozt. gold coin;
  • Three U.S. $500 notes featuring President William McKinley;
  • A 14K gold, diamond, and gemstone bracelet;
  • A 10K gold necklace with a 14K University of North Carolina diamond-studded pendant;
  • An Omega 18K gold wristwatch; and
  • A custom Breitling stainless steel and black diamond wristwatch.

Some items will be combined into Treasury-only lots. Items from other consignors will also be featured in the auctions but are never comingled with Treasury items.

Items are kept in Treasury’s vault for at least three years before they head to auction. Those sold at auction are carefully tracked and documented. Treasury updates its unclaimed property records to reflect the proceeds from an item’s sale, so if a rightful owner one day comes forward the proceeds of the sale are available for them to claim.

Treasury employees and immediate family members are prohibited from bidding in the auctions.

Unclaimed property comes to Treasury in accordance with state law. Tangible property, like the items being auctioned, most often comes from abandoned safe deposit boxes, with other items coming from college dorms, nursing homes, or police evidence rooms. Unclaimed property also includes balances of forgotten bank accounts, uncashed checks, stocks, insurance policies and more.

About one in ten Pennsylvanians is owed some of the more than $4 billion in unclaimed property being safeguarded by Treasury. The average value of a claim is $1,500.

Treasurer Stacy Garrity: Account Validation Makes Payments More Secure

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced that the list of vendors qualified to provide new electronic payment security protocols (Account Validation Services, or AVS) for state government agencies has been posted to Treasury’s website.

“AVS is a powerful tool in the never-ending fight against fraud and identity theft,” Garrity said. “Criminals are constantly looking for new ways to steal taxpayer dollars, and we will do everything possible to stop them. I thank the General Assembly and Governor Wolf for giving Treasury the authority to require AVS across all state agencies.”

Act 54 of 2022 authorized Treasury to require the implementation of AVS, a significant step forward in detecting and preventing the fraudulent expenditure of public funds. AVS, which is almost instantaneous, uses bank account information and other unique identity data fields to confirm a payee’s relationship with the receiving bank account.

The list of qualified vendors includes 10 companies capable of providing AVS. Every agency, board or commission for which Treasury makes payments must choose one of the vendors to use for its payments no later than January 2024. Act 54 requires Treasury to update the list of approved vendors at least every two years.

Treasurer Stacy Garrity Announces Winners of PA 529 Day Promotion

Treasurer Stacy Garrity today announced the top award winner of Treasury’s 529 Day promotion, which was available for new PA 529 GSP accounts opened in May 2022. The winning account owners, Zach and Brittany Hebert of Allegheny County, received a deposit of $5,290 in the new PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) account they opened for their son.

PA 529 College and Career Savings Program accounts are designed to help PA families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses – including universities, community colleges and trade schools – with significant state and federal tax advantages.

“It’s tremendous to be able to help families save for their child’s future in this impactful way,” Garrity said. “This one-time infusion will certainly boost the Hebert family’s savings for their child, and I hope their story will motivate more families to start saving with PA 529. I look forward to providing more incentives for PA 529 account owners, and to those who may be thinking about opening a PA 529.”

“As new parents, countless everyday expenses constantly pop up and make saving for the future challenging,” said promotion winner Zach Hebert. “Through the PA 529 program, we have been able to set-up recurring, consistent contributions to an account for our son’s education. We’ve been able to enjoy peace of mind that comes with knowing we’re setting our son up for success. Although college is certainly not the only path for success, the PA 529 program, and this extremely generous award, help to ensure our son will have a full range of educational opportunities. And for that, we are incredibly grateful.”

The 529 Day Promotion also included 59 county-specific winners of $529 deposits for their new PA 529 GSP accounts. Awards were available for all 67 counties as part of the promotion, and 59 counties had at least one new account opened. All award deposits were paid for with surplus earnings from the GSP fund.

“Continuing education is extremely important to both my husband and I,” said Franklin County winner Melinda Rush. “We each obtained bachelor’s degrees immediately after graduating high school and went into the workforce afterwards. We want to set ourselves up financially to provide our children with the same opportunity.”

“I was so excited to win,” said Wayne County winner Susan Grosso. “I just moved to PA and decided to start my kid’s college savings in my new home state. I rarely win contests, but my kids are the real winners here.”

“Opening a PA 529 College Savings Plan is a win-win proposition,” said McKean County winner Mary Pierotti. “Anyone can open an account with whatever amount they choose and receive professional money management to save for postsecondary education for a loved one. You can choose a plan that fits your investment style. I’m glad I opened a 529 account when my son attended college years ago. Now, I’m taking care of my grandson’s future, too.”

“This promotion reached all corners of the Commonwealth,” Garrity said. “The extra deposits will help new account owners as they save for their children’s future. We’re excited to help families save and to see their children succeed.”