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July 8, 2002

New plan offers tax-free savings for higher ed

Wynell Lauver is communications consultant for Human Resources

Effective Sept. 1, Emory will offer employees an opportunity to participate in Georgia’s 529 College Savings Plan (also known as the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan). The plan is managed by TIAA-CREF, and contributions can be made through payroll deduction.

The new plan allows employees to save for college for themselves or for other family members by investing in a variety of funds, including managed allocation, aggressive managed allocation, 100% equity, balanced fund and a guaranteed option. These choices vary in their investment strategies and degrees of risk, allowing participants to select an option, or a combination of options, that best fits their needs and investment philosophy.

Parents, grandparents, relatives and friends at any income level may open a Georgia 529 account or contribute to an already established 529 plan for a beneficiary. If the original beneficiary decides not to continue his or her education, funds may be transferred in to other family members of the original beneficiary.

Investment earnings grow free of federal and state taxes. In addition, the funds are exempt from federal and state income taxes upon withdrawal provided they are used to pay for qualified educational expenses. These expenses include tuition, room and board, books, required supplies, and equipment.

Funds in Georgia’s 529 Plan can be used to pay for these qualified higher education expenses at thousands of colleges, universities, vocational and technical schools, or graduate schools in Georgia or anywhere in the U.S., even at some schools abroad.

Human Resources is sponsoring three Saving for College workshops:

• Wednesday, July 31, noon–2 p.m., Business School Auditorium
• Thursday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m.–noon, Grady Hospital, Oppenheimer Room.
• Monday, Aug. 12, 2–4 p.m., Oxford Colege, Library Seminar Room.

Brochures detailing the 529 College Savings Plan brochure will be mailed. For more information, contact the benefits department at 404-727-7613.