Complete Story


ASAE Endorses Bill to Expand 529 Savings Accounts

The bill was introduced Dec. 6, 2019

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) 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. Currently, 529 accounts can only be used to pay for tuition at colleges and universities, vocational schools and other post-secondary institutions.

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.”

ASAE and the PCC, which includes more than 100 associations and nonprofits that run certification programs, said the bill would benefit the association community and the workforce.

“The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act will greatly expand the reach of 529 benefits to support additional opportunities for training and credentialing for individuals seeking to enter the workforce or advance in their occupations.  The legislation will reach a broader and more diverse group than just the 50 percent of Americans who attend college,” said Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE, ASAE’s vice president for public policy. “Certifications and other postsecondary credentials are pathways to employment and to career growth across fields, from entry level service jobs to mid-career job changes to leadership positions in professions that require highly specialized knowledge.”

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

Printer-Friendly Version