Each child born in Nebraska in 2022 will receive a one-time $50 seed contribution, as directed by the Meadowlark Act.
Families of eligible babies will receive a letter from the State Treasurer announcing their qualification for the Meadowlark Savings Pledge. When it’s time to continue their education after high school, students can use the contribution toward education expenses. In addition to Nebraska colleges and universities, funds can be used for technical, trade, and vocational schools.
Established in 2020, the Meadowlark Program was designed to help Nebraska families get a head start on future educational expenses. Eligible Nebraska babies born in 2020, 2021, or 2022 are eligible to receive this one-time Meadowlark seed contribution. It is an automatic enrollment that does not require families to pay extra costs or complete any time-consuming paperwork.
College tuition and costs continue to increase at, and above, the rate of inflation. From 2010 to 2021, average in-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges increased by 10 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.1
For those families who welcomed a baby in 2022, the Meadowlark Program is the beginning of their child’s educational savings journey, setting them up to soar. It is important for families to start saving sooner rather than later, and Meadowlark, combined with a NEST 529 account, is an easy way to help loved ones take flight toward their dreams.
NEST 529 College Saving Plan
Meadowlark is an important beginning on your savings path. But, families should open their own NEST 529 account to start building for their children’s futures today. A NEST 529 account gives families the ability to make routine contributions that can be put to work helping a child achieve their aspirations.
Key features include:
The State Treasurer serves as the Program Trustee. All investments, including the portfolio structure offered through the NEST 529 Plan, are vetted and approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.
About NEST 529
NEST 529 is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, Bloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan, and State Farm 529 Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. Union Bank and Trust serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have close to 300,000 accounts. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About Union Bank and Trust
Founded in 1917 with over 50 years of family ownership, Union Bank and Trust offers complete banking, lending, investment, and trust services. The bank has 38 full-service and loan production offices in Nebraska and Kansas. It is the third largest privately owned bank in Nebraska, with bank assets of $7.6 billion and trust assets of $43.6 billion as of December 31, 2022. Voters have chosen Union Bank and Trust as Best Bank, Best Customer Service, Best Work Environment, and Best Financial Planner in Lincoln for eleven years running.
Important Legal Information
An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and the NEST Direct College Savings Plan Program Disclosure Statement (issuer’s official statement), which should be read carefully before investing. You can lose money by investing in an Investment Option. Each of the Investment Options involves investment risks, which are described in the Program Disclosure Statement.
An investor should consider, before investing, whether the investor’s or beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s 529 plan. Investors should consult their tax advisor, attorney, and/or other advisor regarding their specific legal, investment, or tax situation.
The NEST Direct College Savings Plan (the “Plan”) is sponsored by the State of Nebraska, administered by the Nebraska State Treasurer, and the Nebraska Investment Council provides investment oversight. Union Bank and Trust Company serves as Program Manager for the Plan. The Plan offers a series of Investment Options within the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (the “Trust”), which offers other Investment Options not affiliated with the Plan. The Plan is intended to operate as a qualified tuition program.
Except for any investments made by a Plan participant in the Bank Savings Static Investment Option up to the limit provided by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurance, neither the principal contributed to an account, nor earnings thereon, are guaranteed or insured by the State of Nebraska, the Nebraska State Treasurer, the Nebraska Investment Council, the Trust, the Plan, any other state, any agency or instrumentality thereof, Union Bank and Trust Company, the FDIC, or any other entity. Investment returns are not guaranteed. Account owners in the Plan assume all investment risk, including the potential loss of principal.
1 National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Price of Attending an Undergraduate Institution. Condition of Education. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/cua
2 Withdrawals used to pay for qualified higher education expenses are free from federal and Nebraska state income tax. Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance; certain room and board expenses incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time; the purchase of computer or peripheral equipment, computer software, or Internet access and related services, if used primarily by the beneficiary during any of the years the beneficiary is enrolled at an eligible educational institution; certain expenses for special needs services needed by a special needs beneficiary; apprenticeship program expenses; and payment of principal or interest on any qualified education loan of the Beneficiary or a sibling of the Beneficiary (up to an aggregate lifetime limit of $10,000 per individual). However, earnings on all other types of withdrawals are generally subject to federal and Nebraska state income taxes, and an additional 10% federal tax.
Nebraska law does not treat the following Federal Qualified Higher Education Expenses as Nebraska Qualified Expenses: K–12 Tuition Expenses. If a withdrawal is made for such purposes, although it is a Federal Qualified Withdrawal, it will be treated as a Nebraska Non-Qualified Withdrawal and may result in the recapture of a previously claimed Nebraska state income tax deduction, and the earnings portion will be subject to Nebraska state income tax. Please consult your tax professional about your particular situation.
3 Account owners may deduct for Nebraska income tax purposes contributions they make to their own account (and any other accounts they own in the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust) up to an overall maximum of $10,000 ($5,000 if married, filing separately). Contributions in excess of $10,000 cannot be carried over to a future year. For a minor-owned or UGMA/UTMA 529 account, the minor is considered the account owner for Nebraska state income tax deduction purposes. The minor must file a Nebraska tax return for the year their contributions are made to be eligible for a tax deduction for their own contributions. In the case of a UGMA/UTMA 529 account, contributions by the parent/ guardian listed as the Custodian on the UGMA/UTMA Plan account are also eligible for a Nebraska state tax deduction.
NOT FDIC INSURED*| NO BANK GUARANTEE | MAY LOSE VALUE
(*Except the Bank Savings Static Investment Option Underlying Investment)