Now that children are back in school and school activities are in full swing, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg is encouraging parents and grandparents to begin saving for children’s higher education through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST), Nebraska’s state-sponsored college savings program.
To encourage families to learn more about NEST, Treasurer Stenberg has announced a drawing for a $529 contribution to a NEST college savings account in recognition of College Savings Month, which is celebrated in September in Nebraska and across the United States. Nebraska residents 18 and older are eligible to enter the drawing at the Treasurer’s Office booth Sept. 10-12 at Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island. The winner will be announced Sept. 19.
This drawing is a wonderful opportunity for a family to get started saving for a child or grandchild or for an adult to begin saving to resume his or her education,” Treasurer Stenberg said. He encouraged families to stop by the State Treasurer’s booth at Husker Harvest Days to learn more about NEST and sign up for the drawing. The Treasurer’s booth will be in the Diversified Industries East Building at Husker Harvest Days.
“We have an excellent college savings program in Nebraska, and we want all Nebraskans to be aware of how they can save responsibly and effectively for their children’s higher education through our Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, which we call NEST,” Stenberg said.
“We appreciate all the families in Nebraska and across the nation who have put their trust in Nebraska’s excellent 529 college savings program. We work hard every day to make sure our plans are worthy of that trust,” he said. “The growth of the program over the past 12 months tells us that account owners are pleased with the program and that our ongoing efforts to make more Nebraskans aware of the tax benefits of the savings program have been successful.”
State-sponsored 529 programs take their name from Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, which governs the state programs. The Nebraska Educational Savings Trust maintains more than $3 billion in assets for more than 206,600 accounts across the United States. More than 58,000 accounts are in Nebraska.
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged investment plan designed to encourage saving for the future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. Withdrawals from 529 plans for qualified education expenses, including tuition, books and some board and room expenses, are free from federal and state income tax. In Nebraska’s program, account holders who are Nebraska taxpayers are eligible for up to $5,000 a year in state tax deductions.
Assets in the accounts can be used at four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, technical schools, and graduate schools in the United States and in some other countries.
The Nebraska Educational Savings Trust is made up of four savings plans to match investors’ preferences and savings strategies – the NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. First National Bank of Omaha is the program manager, and the State Treasurer is the program trustee. All investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.