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Federal Changes to Your 529 Plan: SECURE Act

On December 20, 2019, the SECURE Act was signed into law as part of the federal spending bill. This bill includes new 529 plan-specific provisions that allow 529 plan account owners to withdraw assets to pay for certain expenses associated with apprenticeship programs, and to pay principal and interest on qualified higher education loans for the beneficiary or any of the beneficiary’s siblings. The loan repayment provisions apply to repayments up to $10,000 per individual. This $10,000 is a lifetime amount, not an annual limit. 

These provisions contain language that allows 529 account holders to request a reimbursement from their GET account, for student loan payments made after December 31, 2018. Reimbursement requests must be made within the calendar year in which the expense was incurred. Because the SECURE Act was not signed into law until December 20, 2019, this creates an extremely short window to request 2019 reimbursements. Note: this limited window only pertains to 2019 student loan reimbursement requests. Future year reimbursements may be requested in the year in which the student loan payments are made. 

We encourage you to read more about these new provisions here.

Full text of the SECURE Act: link

If you wish to be reimbursed for any qualified student loan payments made during the 2019 calendar year, we must receive your reimbursement request no later than 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, December 23, 2019. You can submit reimbursement requests to GET electronically by logging in to your GET account and navigating to the “Using Units” section; by fax to 360.704.6200;  or by email to getinfo@wsac.wa.gov. You may also hand deliver or send via FedEx or UPS a printed form to our office at 917 Lakeridge Way SW, Olympia, WA 98502. Forms can be found online on our forms page.

It is our understanding that the withdrawals described above will not be considered taxable distributions by the IRS. As always, we encourage account owners to consult a qualified tax professional about these new developments and how they relate to their personal situation.

If you have questions about your GET account, you can reach our Contact Center by phone at 800.955.2318 or you may email us at getinfo@wsac.wa.gov. We are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Pacific Time), excluding state holidays. 

PLEASE NOTE: Our office will be closed December 24-27 and again on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.