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Information for Financial Planners

Saving for college is a vital component of a family’s financial portfolio. State-sponsored 529 plans are a popular and beneficial way for families to put away for higher education expenses. GET is Washington’s 529 plan, and like all 529 plans, features tax-free growth and withdrawals. Additionally, GET has a unique added benefit: the value of a GET account is guaranteed to keep pace with tuition costs, no matter how much they change between the time a family opens an account and the time their child is ready for school.

We understand that every family has different savings and investment goals, so rather than replacing any of the methods your clients are already using, GET is designed to complement these efforts. By sharing your knowledge of this program with your clients, you will be expanding their range of savings options while reinforcing your reputation and commitment to helping them create the best financial portfolios that meet their families’ unique needs. Below are resources to help you learn more about the program and materials that you can share with your clients.

To share with your clients:

Our Enrollment Guide, Program Details Booklet, and Enrollment Form are available on our forms page.

Estate Planning

A 529 college savings plan isn't only for parents! Family members – including grandparents, aunts and uncles – can open a GET account to help fund a child's future higher education AND enjoy important tax benefits.

  • You can make a dream come true. A student with a dedicated college savings account is seven times more likely to attend college than someone without such an account. Create a lasting legacy!
  • Retain control. Assets in your GET account are excluded from your federal taxable estate, but you maintain complete control over them. If an unforeseen need arises, you can access your account – at any time, for any reason (taxes and penalties may apply). The beneficiary never gains ownership – at any age. Custodial accounts and trusts don't have this flexibility.
  • Control also means that you can change the beneficiary; the only restriction is that the new beneficiary must be a "family member" of the old beneficiary (as defined by the IRS; see the appropriate disclosure statement for more information). You may voluntarily give up control by transferring ownership of the account to any other person.
  • Accelerated gifting*.  A special federal gift tax exclusion allows you to contribute a large sum in a single year. The IRS code allows for a five-year acceleration of the annual federal gift tax exclusion. That means that you can contribute up to $75,000 per taxpayer ($150,000 for married couples) per beneficiary in one year without incurring federal gift tax consequences. To take advantage of this opportunity, you simply elect to prorate a contribution of more than $15,000 evenly over five years on IRS Form 709. Of course, you can contribute any amount at any time, up to the maximum allowable account value subject to normal federal gift tax rules.

Enjoy tax advantages**

  • Contributions of up to $15,000 per beneficiary per taxpayer are deductible from your Pennsylvania taxable income. For married couples filing jointly, $30,000 per beneficiary may be deducted if each spouse has taxable income of at least the amount deducted. There is no limit on the number of accounts to which you can contribute.
  • Earnings on your contributions are federal and state income tax free. You pay no state or federal income tax while the contributions in your account are growing. And, when used for qualified higher education expenses, you pay no federal or state income tax even when you make a withdrawal.
  • You can take advantage of these great federal and state tax benefits no matter your income.
*In the event the donor does not survive the five-year period, a pro-rated amount will revert to the donor's taxable estate.
**The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements. Only the earnings portion of a withdrawal not used to pay for qualified expenses may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax; the entire amount of the withdrawal may be subject to state and local income taxes.