A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle (typically sponsored by states or state agencies) designed to encourage saving for the future education expenses of the plan’s beneficiary. A 529 plan can be used to pay for qualified education expenses at most accredited colleges and universities, as well as tuition expenses at both public and private elementary and secondary schools (K-12). 529 plans can also be used for certain apprenticeship programs or to pay principal or interest on a qualified education loan. There is no cap for qualified college expenses. For K-12 tuition there is an annual cap of $10,000. For apprenticeship programs or loan payments, there is a lifetime cap of $10,000 per beneficiary.
- Named for section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code
- Typically sponsored by state or state agency
- Open to anyone regardless of income level
- Investments grow tax-deferred
- Assets are the property of the account owner
- Qualified withdrawals (withdrawals of funds used for education purposes) are not subject to federal (and some state) income taxes
- Account owner decides when to withdraw funds, and for what purpose
- Account owner may change the account’s beneficiary at any time
Not only can you use the 529 plan but also the Prepaid College Tuition plan. Prepaid Plans are designed to work where, how and when you need them. The future is unpredictable, but you can count on your Prepaid Plan whatever your child’s needs might be. There are several different types of education savings accounts that can also be used to save for your child’s future education expenses. The two main education savings account vehicles are Coverdell Education Savings Account and a 529 College Savings Plan. Many individuals also create Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) custodial accounts and provide funds directly.