Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced that her office has recently partnered with several counties across the state to offer automatic payroll deductions for PA 529 College and Career Savings Program accounts as a benefit for county employees.
“Giving employees the option to save directly for their children’s education is an easy step for employers to take – but it will have a dramatic impact,” Treasurer Garrity said. “Setting up automatic payroll deductions is a fantastic way to save, and I’m thankful that these county officials are dedicated to helping families set some money aside for their children and grandchildren. I’m excited to work with any employer who wants to offer this great benefit to their employees.”
The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program helps families steadily and strategically save for future educational expenses like tuition, fees, books, equipment, room and board and more at qualifying technical, collegiate and apprenticeship programs. PA 529 plans offer significant state and federal tax advantages and saving with PA 529 does not impact Pennsylvania state financial aid eligibility.
In 2023 alone, Treasury connected with eight counties who have either started or renewed their commitment to offer PA 529 account contribution payroll deductions to county employees. These counties include Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Potter, Tioga, Union and Westmoreland.
“Centre County believes in the power of education and investing in our employees’ futures,” said Mark Higgins, Chair of the Centre County Commissioners. “By offering an easy way to contribute to a PA 529 plan, we aim to support our employees in saving for their children’s higher education expenses. We understand that education is crucial for personal and professional growth, and we want to foster an environment that encourages lifelong learning. The PA 529 plan not only offers tax advantages but also provides a convenient and accessible way for our employees to save for their children’s educational needs. We believe that by investing in education, we are investing in the success and well-being of our employees and their families, ultimately strengthening our community as a whole.”
“We’re proud to offer all Union County employees the opportunity to save for future educational expenses through PA 529,” said Jeffrey P. Reber, Union County Commissioner. “Education is critical to the future success of many people and having the ability to invest funds in a tax-advantaged manner to help our children and grandchildren further their training is a practical way that we can support this effort. Regardless of the type of education one chooses to pursue, PA 529 will assist our future leaders in achieving their respective dreams. We thank Treasurer Garrity for promoting the program and educating all counties on the options available to them.”
“In May, the Tioga County Board of Commissioners passed a Resolution partnering with the PA Treasury Department in an effort to improve postsecondary education rates throughout the County,” said Erick Coolidge, Chairman of the Tioga County Commissioners said. “Research shows that a child with education savings is three times more likely to enroll in postsecondary education, and four times more likely to graduate. PA 529 accounts are designed to be accessible to all persons, regardless of income, and can be used for tuition and related qualified expenses at universities, colleges, trade schools, and technical schools, as well as qualified apprenticeships. As a Board of Commissioners, we saw the benefit of and welcomed an opportunity to offer our employees a chance to invest, if they so choose, in their children’s educational future. We applaud this action presented by Treasurer Stacy Garrity. This is very much forward thinking in regard to the next generation’s financial and educational future.”
Treasury’s outreach team will also help county employees with young children learn about Keystone Scholars, which provides $100 to newborns for postsecondary education as well as PA ABLE, which is a savings account for disability-related expenses.
There are two PA 529 plans available, the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP), which allow families to save at today’s tuition rates to meet tomorrow’s tuition costs, and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP), which allows families to choose from a variety of investment portfolios. PA 529 GSP plan earnings are tied to tuition inflation rates. PA 529 IP earnings are dependent upon financial market performance.