EDUCATION PRECEDENT? – Section 529 Plans May Offer "New" Benefit

August 22, 2000 ( - Plan sponsors might want to consider a fresh look at an "old" benefit - automatic payroll deduction for education savings under Section 529 plans.

State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) has been selected by the Education Trust Board of New Mexico to launch two educational financial planning programs for eligible residents of that state, marking SSgA’s formal entrance into this market. 

The plans allow consumers to “lock in” and prepay tuition costs, or invest to pay for young children’s college bills and expenses.

And while it can be as straightforward as setting up a convenient payroll deduction, “the more forward-looking corporations will be looking at matching dollars to pay for education,” SSgA principal Ralph Constantino told .
New Mexico joins 22 other states that currently offer higher education financing programs, including California, Illinois, New York and Kansas. 

New Mexico’s two programs will be launched next month, and will include:

  • A prepaid tuition program that allows New Mexico residents to buy contracts at current tuition rates that will cover future tuition costs at New Mexico’s public colleges and universities and
  • A college savings program that will allow families to set aside funds for the full range of college expenses, including room/board, tuition, fees and books. 
    The programs can be used in tandem, or on a stand-alone basis.

Section 529 refers to the part of the Internal Revenue Code that established these programs in 1996. The existence and specific conditions of each must be evaluated on a state-by-state basis. A good starting point for state program information is .

SSgA’s selection comes on the heels of its new alliance with E*Trade (NewsDash – 08/07) to offer an expanded range of services to Section 529 programs.