Administrators, program managers, advisors and distributors may find the following resources helpful in navigating the many components of 529, ABLE and state-run retirement plans.
College Savings Resources
The Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, applies the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Code. Publication 970 is the most fundamental guide to all Education Tax Benefits.
This website provides information on the federal financial aid process, including eligibility requirements and the list of Federal School Codes where 529 funds can be used. The FAFSA application, which must be completed to qualify for federal and state student grants, work-study, and other loans, is also the basis for determining the Expected Family Contribution.
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association composed of more than 5,400 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. In college savings, the College Board is best known for its reports on college costs.
The College Savings Plans Network is the largest association of 529 state administrators and private sector firms in the college savings industry. The CSPN website provides information on all 529 savings and prepaid plans and has a useful tool to compare 529 plans.
The College Savings Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works with public policy makers, the media and the financial services industry to promote education savings programs. Its membership includes the majority of private sector administrators and distributors of 529 as well as a growing number of state administrators and professional services firms that support the college savings industry. The website provides useful and important research and industry data.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is the rulemaking entity for dealers of municipal securities, including 529 plans (as municipal fund securities). While it does not have jurisdiction over state administrators of 529 or ABLE plans, its principles provide a useful guide for the public sector when determining the best way to operate and distribute 529 plans. The MSRB website through the Electronic Municipal Market Access provides access to disclosure documents for most 529 and ABLE Plans.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States, including nearly 4,800 brokerage firms, about 172,000 branch offices and approximately 646,000 registered securities representatives. FINRA enforces the rules set by the MSRB and its website provides useful information for advisors and investors alike under “Saving for College.”
Disability Savings Resources
The United States Social Security Administration administers Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance. The website provides information about the criteria for determining disability and statistics on individuals with disability nationwide.
The mission of the National Disability Institute is to drive social impact to build a better economic future for people with disabilities and their families. The National Disability Institute operates with the following priorities: (i) improve collaboration across federal agencies to advance a better economic future for individuals with disabilities, (ii) align public policy to promote work, saving, and asset accumulation and (iii) develop and document pathways to improved economic self-sufficiency for youth and adults with disabilities.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc encompass all ages and more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities. The website provides program implementation information.
The ABLE National Resource Center is a collaborative that brings together the investment, support and resources of some of the country's largest and most influential national disability organizations in an effort to accelerate the design and availability of ABLE accounts to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. Founded and managed by the National Disability Institute, this website provides information on plan features and plan comparison tools. Additionally, the website provides educational materials for beneficiaries and their families, state administrators and financial institutions.
Retirement Savings Resources
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families — such as health care, employment and income security, and protection from financial abuse. This webpage provides tools, articles and guides on planning for retirement.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The webpage provides an open platform to exchange ideas and address challenging problems such as the America’s family financial security crisis.
The Center serves as a trusted public policy center, recognized for rigorous research, technical assistance, and effective advocacy, to develop and promote State retirement solutions. The Center (i) connects state policymakers, scholars and industry experts, (ii) analyzes legislative and regulatory developments and assisting with program design, (iii) shares research, best practices and success stories with state policymakers, and (iv) serves as a resource to all states and stakeholders in addressing the challenge of achieving retirement security for more Americans and promoting policies that will strengthen the economy. The website provides various resources and research including a snapshot of state-run retirement industry developments and comparison of plan features.
Pew Retirement Center’s retirement savings project studies the challenges and opportunities for increasing retirement savings. The initiative examines barriers to retirement savings that affect workers, employers, and taxpayers; policies aimed at eliminating those barriers; and the fees associated with retirement plans. The project strives to foster policy debate and action on how best to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to save a sufficient amount for retirement.