State Treasurer of Iowa

2020 Annual Report

Honorable Kim Reynolds and Citizens of Iowa:

In accordance with Iowa law, I submit to you this report of the State treasury. This report includes all cash receipts and disbursements during the year ending 2020 and the final balance held in the treasury on June 30, 2020, as well as information about treasury programs.

Sincerely,

Michael L. Fitzgerald
Treasurer of State

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Treasurer's Biography

State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald

State Treasurer Michael L. FitzgeraldRe-elected to a tenth term in 2018, Michael L. Fitzgerald is Iowa’s 25th Treasurer. He is the longest serving state treasurer in the history of the United States.

Born in Marshalltown, his family farmed outside of State Center and later Colo, where he graduated from high school. He attended the University of Iowa and received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. 

Treasurer Fitzgerald has a proven record of providing sound financial management to the citizens of Iowa. He serves as trustee and custodian of Iowa’s three state pension funds and invests over $3.4 billion of state operating funds.

Treasurer Fitzgerald has returned millions in unclaimed property through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt and serves as the administrator for the Iowa Educational Savings Plan Trust, which includes College Savings Iowa and the IAdvisor 529 Plan. He is also the administrator for the Iowa ABLE Savings Plan Trust, which includes IAble.

The Treasurer is active in national organizations that have an impact on issues in Iowa, including the National Association of State Treasurers (past president), the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (past president), the College Savings Plan Network (past Chair) and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (past president). 

Treasurer Fitzgerald serves on the following boards and committees in Iowa:

Flood Mitigation Board*
Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation*
Iowa Cultural Trust
Rate Setting Committee*
Southeast Iowa Regional Port Authority

Tobacco Settlement Authority*

*Denotes Voting Member
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State Treasury

Treasury Overview

Mission Statement: To Keep the Money Safe 

Treasurer Fitzgerald swearing in for his 9th term as Iowa’s Treasurer.The Treasurer acts as the State’s banker, depositing State funds, investing them and ensuring they are available when needed. He invests Iowa’s pooled money, coordinates bonding, oversees the unclaimed property program and administers Iowa’s 529 education savings programs and ABLE program.

Fiscal year 2020 presented the country, state and Treasurer's Office with unique challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Treasurer's Office continued to operate with the same intensity Iowans have come to expect. The Treasurer's Office, College Savings Iowa, IAdvisor 529 Plan, IAble and the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt remained staffed and ready to serve Iowans.

History of State of Iowa Treasurers

Below is a list of individuals who have served as Treasurer since Iowa became a state.
Name
Year
Morgan Reno (D)
1846-1850
Israel Kister (D)
1850-1852
Martin L. Morris (D)
1852-1859
John W. Jones (R)
1859-1863
William H. Holmes (R)
1863-1867
Samuel E. Rankin (R)
1867-1873
William Christy (R)
1873-1877
George W. Bemis (R)
1877-1881
Edwin H. Conger (R)
1881-1885
Voltaire P. Twombly (R)     
1885-1891
Byron A. Beeson (R)
1891-1895
John Herriott (R)
1895-1901
Gilbert S. Gilbertson
1901-1907
Willison W. Morrow (R)
1907-1913
William C. Brown (R)
1913-1917
Edwin H. Hoyt (R)
1917-1921
William J. Burbank (R)
1921-1925
Raymond E. Johnson (R)
1925-1933
Leo J. Wegman (D)
1933-1939
Willis G. C. Bagley (R)
1939-1943
John M. Grimes (R)
1943-1951
M. L. Abrahamson (R)
1951-1965
Paul Franzenburg (D)
1965-1969
Maurice E. Baringer (R)
1969-1983
Michael L. Fitzgerald (D) 
1983-present

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For Citizens

Unclaimed Property

Overview"I just want to thank you for doing that so quickly. During this chaos we are all going through I have yet to get neither unemployment nor relief funds. This is going to help greatly. Thank you very much." - Great Iowa Treasure Hunt claimant

Each year, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, Iowa's unclaimed property program, returns millions of dollars in unclaimed property to the rightful owners. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions, companies or entities that have lost contact with the property owner for a specific period of time. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents. When Treasurer Fitzgerald took office in 1983, he established the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt as a way to reunite past and present Iowans with their unclaimed property.

As of June 30, 2020, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt held $395 million and returned more than $284 million to over 541,000 owners since the program's inception. 

Great Iowa Treasure Hunt Data: Previous Five Years

 Fiscal Year 
  Cash Reported
  Shares Reported
 Properties Received
   Claims Paid
Shares Paid
Cash Paid
2016
 $29,564,282.13
    23,658,791.50
         1,722,814.00
   16,572.00
     325,166.42
   $16,882,645.42
2017
$35,235,462.16
    3,615,249.22
        374,732.00
    15,719.00
  464,452.69
$15,107,548.39
2018
$42,848,983.39
   11,499,331.54
         419,587.00
      36,103.00
    39,119.02
$17,407,291.95
2019
$31,560,000.70
    3,327,878.82
        337,828.00
     28,223.00
   25,580.36
$17,571,973.38
2020
$34,790,791.29
    3,586,041.84
        329,935.00
22,175.00
115,333.46
$20,165,838.80

 

Iowa State Fair

Each year, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt hosts a booth at the Iowa State Fair. As a result, visitors at the 2019 Iowa State Fair discovered over 3,600 unclaimed properties, totaling more than $343,206.70 across 617 paid claims. The largest claim was $17,123.21. Treasurer Fitzgerald often visits with WHO radio hosts Van and Bonnie at the Iowa State Fair to encourage past and present Iowans to check the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt for their unclaimed funds.
 Treasurer Fitzgerald talking with WHO radio hosts Van and Bonnie.Iowa State Fair claimant. 

 

 

 


 

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Iowa 529 Education Savings Plans

Overview"I just completed my first withdrawal from my 529 plan for my son. I was amazed at how easy it was. The money showed up in my checking account within days of the request." - quote from a College Savings Iowa account owner

College Savings Iowa and IAdvisor 529 Plan are Iowa’s two 529 savings plans administered by the Treasurer under the Iowa Educational Savings Plan Trust. Launched in 1998 by Treasurer Fitzgerald, College Savings Iowa became Iowa’s first 529 plan and the IAdvisor 529 Plan followed in 2006. The plans allow anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – to contribute towards education costs on behalf of a child.

The information in the annual report is summarized. Please refer to the appropriate Plan Disclosure documents for more information.

College Savings Iowa and IAdvisor 529 Plan Data: June 30, 2020

Program
Assets
            Accounts
      Average Account Size
     Qualified Withdrawals
College Savings Iowa      
   $5,315,093,027.19
254,469
$19,837.62 
$3,076,007,104.76
IAdvisor 529 Plan
$443,149,889.00
59,989
$7,387.00
$43,205,356.00
Combined
$5,758,242,916.19‬
314,458
$18,311.64
$3,119,212,460.76

 

If a College Savings Iowa account owner is also an Iowa taxpayer, they can now deduct the first $3,474 they contribute per beneficiary account from their state taxable income in 2021.*

 

 


Tax Benefits

In January 2020, Treasurer Fitzgerald announced the increase to the annual state income tax deduction. Iowa taxpayers who own an account can deduct the first $3,439 they contribute per beneficiary from their state taxable income in 2020.* 

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

Withdrawals

College Savings Iowa books graphic.Funds from Iowa’s 529 plans can be used to pay for qualified expenses such as tuition, room and board, books, supplies, fees and required equipment.** Students can attend any eligible institution in the United States or abroad, including colleges and vocational/technical schools. You can also use the 529 plan assets to pay for certified apprenticeship program expenses, qualified education loan repayments and K-12 tuition.***

**Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state income taxes. 
***Up to $10,000 per year per student in the aggregate at public, private and religious schools. If the K-12 school is not in the state of Iowa you will be required to recapture amounts previously deducted. However, an exception is applied for children requiring special education. 

Plan Updates

Effective January 1, 2020, Iowa extended its favorable College Savings Iowa and IAdvisor 529 Plan tax treatment to include qualified withdrawals for apprenticeship expenses and student loan repayments. Account owners can now withdraw funds to pay for fees and supplies for a registered apprenticeship program. Account owners can also withdraw a lifetime limit cumulative from all accounts of $10,000 in qualified student loan repayments for each plan beneficiary and another $10,000 for each of the beneficiary's siblings. 

Effective January 1, 2020, a participant with a beneficiary who meets the definition of “children requiring special education” under Iowa Code Section 256B.2 may use assets in a College Savings Iowa or IAdvisor 529 Plan to pay for K-12 tuition at an out-of-state elementary or secondary school with no adverse Iowa state tax consequences.

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Achieving a Better Life (ABLE) Plan

Overview

After the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was passed by the federal government in 2014, states were allowed to create tax-advantaged savings plans for eligible individuals with disabilities, and their families, to save for qualified disability related expenses without the fear of losing their federal benefits. Treasurer Fitzgerald administers the Iowa ABLE Savings Plan Trust, which includes IAble

As of June 30, 2020, IAble accumulated a total of $5,575,841.16 across 790 total accounts. That's an average account size of $7,058.03.

The information in the annual report is summarized. Please refer to the appropriate Plan Disclosure documents for more information.

Maintaining Benefits"We were able to keep Medicaid benefits and had a way to save for our disabled son." - quote from an IAble account owner

Many individuals with disabilities and their families depend on public benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicaid and more. Eligibility for these programs are often means-tested, which limits the individual from having more than $2,000 in savings or they risk the loss of their benefits. IAble allows eligible individuals to save above the $2,000 threshold and still maintain eligibility for these programs.

Qualified Expenses

Savings in an IAble account can be used for disability-related expenses. Some examples are food, transportation, legal fees, education, assistive technology and housing:*
Food is an example of a qualified disability-related expense.Transportation is an example of a qualified disability-related expense.Legal fees are an example of a qualified disability-related expense.Education is an example of a qualified disability-related expense.Assistive technology is an example of a qualified disability-related expense.Housing is an example of a qualified disability-related expense.

*Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state income taxes.

Tax Benefits

IAble offers tax incentives for IAble account owners and their family and friends. Savings in an IAble account grow federally and state tax deferred. Plus, any Iowa taxpayer contributing to an IAble account, not just the account owner, can deduct up to $3,439 from their 2020 state taxes.**