Treasurer Stacy Garrity joined Senator John Yudichak, Representative Eddie Day Pashinski, and Luzerne County Community College President Thomas P. Leary at LCCC’s Wilkes-Barre Campus to promote the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program.
September is College Savings Month, the perfect time to highlight the many benefits that PA 529 accounts offer families who are saving for higher education.
“More families than ever before are saving with PA 529 accounts, and I’m excited to be here at Luzerne County Community College to emphasize how useful they are. Pennsylvania needs skilled workers, and those workers need the kind of quality education and training offered by LCCC. The PA 529 program is a tremendous tool to help families save for education – and opening a PA 529 account can help make sure our next generation isn’t burdened by debt when they enter the workforce”, said Treasurer Garrity.
“Student debt continues to be one of the main concerns that both students and parents have about attending college. We’ve done everything possible to reduce the financial burden for our students and I’m pleased we were able to continue to offer an affordable education and not increase tuition for this year”, said LCCC President Leary.
The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program has been helping families save and pay for higher education for nearly three decades. In fiscal year 2020-21, more families than ever before opened PA 529 accounts, saving the most money ever in a single year.
Families can choose between two plans, the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which received a Silver Rating by Morningstar, or the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP). PA 529 IP account earnings are based on financial market performance. IP account owners can choose from various options including target enrollment date portfolios which rebalance investments automatically as a child approaches an anticipated enrollment date. PA 529 GSP account earnings are tied directly to college tuition inflation and allow families to save at a designated tuition level at today’s prices to cover future tuition costs.
PA 529 account tax benefits include:
- State income tax deductions on contributions (up to $15,000/beneficiary/year, $30,000 for married couples)
- Contributions grow free of federal and Pennsylvania income taxes
- No income tax is paid on account growth when used for qualified expenses
- Gift and inheritance tax benefits
Importantly, when it comes to financial aid, PA 529 account assets do not affect eligibility for Pennsylvania state financial aid.
PA 529 accounts can be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, equipment, books, room and board, and more. Accounts can be used at most schools nationwide including community colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and four-year colleges and universities.