2011-09-16 / School News

Open 529 College Account

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli joined other states in declaring September “College Savings Month” in an effort to increase awareness among families about the importance of saving for their children’s higher education expenses.

“Our children deserve the brightest future,” said DiNapoli. “That is why it’s so important for families to start saving for higher education with a program like New York’s 529 College Savings Plan. The 529 Plan enables families all over New York State to put money toward their children’s future education.”

College Savings Month is a time for families all over New York and nationwide to consider the value of higher education. According to College Board: Trends in College Pricing 2009, the median family income in 2008 for Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher was $101,099, compared to $49,414 for those with only a high school diploma.

DiNapoli also urged companies around the state to consider offering New York’s 529 College Savings Plan as a voluntary benefit for employees during the next open enrollment period. Payroll direct deposit lets employees save for higher education with every paycheck. This benefit can also make a company stand out from its competitors.

New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan currently has 530,000 accounts and more than $8.3 billion in assets. The Direct Plan is designed to provide a number of benefits for families saving for college, including federal income tax advantages, such as the ability to grow assets deferred from federal and New York State income tax and to make tax-free qualified withdrawals. Any New York taxpayer can invest in New York’s 529 College Savings Plan and deduct up to $5,000 (up to $10,000 for married couples filing jointly) from their 2010 state taxable income.

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