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Significant Unclaimed Property Case Decided In Favor Of Thrivent Financial For Lutherans

For the latest updates on unclaimed property and escheatment, join the new two-part webinar Sept. 11 & 20!

This article was published July 26, 2018, by Georgeson.

On July 9, 2018 the California Superior Court heard arguments and granted Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (“Thrivent”)  motion for summary judgment in the case of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans vs. Betty Yee (in her official capacity as California State Controller) and the Office of the California State Controller (“State” or “Controller”).  

The court agreed with the Plaintiff’s arguments that the Controller’s Office had adopted two regulations without following the procedural requirements of the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 


The State Controller’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of the California Unclaimed Property Law. During a recent trend where the life insurance industry was targeted by a number of states for compliance with the unclaimed property laws, the Controller’s office (and/or their auditors) frequently asserted that in order for a life insurance company to be in compliance with the unclaimed property laws, the insurance companies were required to proactively search the Social Security Death Master File (“DMF”) to determine if a policy owner was deceased (“External Database Regulation”).  If the owner was deceased, the state also asserted that the “Dormancy Trigger” began at the owner’s date of death versus the notification of death required by California state statute.  

Thrivent challenged the Controller’s Office arguing that the company had followed the law and that the regulations implemented by the Controller’s Office were not valid and enforceable.

Read MoreClick here for the full article, including "What This Means to You"

New Webinar Series Discusses Compliance on Unclaimed Property & Escheatment

September 11 & 20, 2018
3:00 PM-4:00 PM CT
10:00-11:00 AM HST
$349 Member/$698 Non-Member

2018 Fall Escheat Cycle - Are you Ready? 
Sept. 11, 2018

This educational webinar focuses on what you need to know to be in compliance with the fall escheatment cycle. It begins with a review of the unclaimed property basics and a description of the types of unclaimed property common in the financial services industry. It discusses some of the complex issues such as what is activity sufficient to stop the presumption of abandonment. Detailed reporting requirements will be provided for key states and then the presenters will wrap up with best practices for reporting success as well as common reporting errors to avoid.

Unclaimed Property Policies and Procedures, Record Retention and Litigation 
Sept. 20, 2018

This educational webinar focuses on the importance of policies and procedures, how to write them and what they should include. It will also address the importance of an unclaimed property record retention policy that allows you to document compliance. Well written policies and procedures along with the right records are essential during an audit and for a successful outcome in litigation. Join us as we share information about developing policies and procedures, a record retention policy, and discuss how both were recently an essential part of Thrivent’s successful litigation involving the state of California.


Cheryl Tiedt

Pam Wendt

Who should attend: Suitable for ACH Operations & Management and Compliance Officers as well as ACH Auditors

2.4 AAP Credits for the series | CTP Credits May Apply

Register Now

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