IHMM/PCC Endorses Bill to Expand 529 Savings Accounts

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 16:24

IHMM is a member of the Professional Certification Coalition and we have endorsed a bipartisan bill introduced Dec. 6 to expand individuals’ use of “529” education savings accounts to cover the costs of professional certification and credentialing programs. The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act was introduced by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA) to help students and individuals already in the workforce advance their career development through training, certification and credentialing programs.A 529 plan is an investment account that offers tax-free earnings growth and tax-free withdrawals when the funds are used to pay for qualified education expenses. For college, university and other eligible post-secondary educational institutions , this includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, computers and sometimes room and board. The legislation we are endorsing now expands the permissable uses of 529 plans to include acquiring and maintaining professional certifications.Under the Spanberger-Wittman bill,  tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required to enroll in or attend a program that prepares individuals for professional certification, as well as any fees charged by certification programs would be eligible expenses.“How do we ensure that we are culturally respecting and affirming through legislation that the jobs that drive our communities and economies are really important?,” Spanberger said. “The basic element of letting people save for those sorts of [training and credentialing] programs is a piece of it.”