Guest Editorial from State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald
In September of 1998, I launched the College Savings Iowa 529 plan to offer families a tax-advantaged way to save and pay for the rising costs of education. The plan has since grown at an exponential rate, recently reaching over $6.3 billion in assets across 276,500 active accounts. Our past and present participants have also withdrawn more than $3.6 billion to pay for education expenses at eligible institutions around the country and abroad.
While these milestones are a great testament to how much families trust the plan and how well the plan has performed for our savers, second generation savers are proof that College Savings Iowa made a real impact on all families. Children and grandchildren who grew up with their loved ones saving for them with College Savings Iowa accounts are now opening accounts for their own children. These were the first students who experienced the power of saving through a 529 plan like College Savings Iowa. The plan helped them afford their education expenses and cut down on their student loans. Now, they’re back to do the same for their next generations and show the same love and support they received through a 529 account.
Not only are these second generation savers excited about the opportunity to invest with the plan, but now they get to enjoy even more tax benefits as a College Savings Iowa participant. If an Iowa taxpayer is a College Savings Iowa participant, they can deduct up to $3,474 per beneficiary account from 2021 state taxable income.* Plus, fees have decreased as the plan has grown, and savers are benefitting from the plan’s lowest annual asset-based fee of 0.19%, which means investors only pay $1.90 for every $1,000 saved in their accounts.
It’s never too early or too late to start saving for the future of your loved ones. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend, I encourage you to learn more about saving for education with College Savings Iowa. Your College Savings Iowa account can grow right along with your loved ones. If you or someone you know might benefit from a College Savings Iowa account, encourage them to visit our website at CollegeSavingsIowa.com or call (888) 672-9116.
About the author: Michael L. Fitzgerald is the State Treasurer of Iowa. He serves as the State’s banker, coordinates bonding and invests Iowa’s money. Under Treasurer Fitzgerald’s leadership, Iowa launched important programs including the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt unclaimed property program, College Savings Iowa 529 education savings plan and IAble, Iowa’s ABLE plan for individuals with disabilities. To learn more about the Treasurer, visit IowaTreasurer.gov. For more information on College Savings Iowa, visit CollegeSavingsIowa.com.
*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.