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THE EDUCATION PLAN

Employers can offer education savings to staff

Posted

For New Mexico businesses, the state’s 529 college savings plan, also called the Education Plan, is a way to enhance employee-benefit offerings at no cost to the employer, although matching contributions are optional.

There is no government reporting, contributions can be made directly from payroll and employees can start saving with as little as $1 to open an account.

“Including the Education Plan as part of a company benefits package is way to score high marks and loyalty from employees,” said Jamie Dickerman, vice president of public relations for Sunny505, a marketing firm based in Albuquerque.

 The Education Plan® also provides tax advantages for New Mexicans, she said, adding that contributions are tax deductible from state income tax, and the funds grow tax-free. She said employees can open accounts for loved ones or even for their own continuing education.

The 529 accounts, she said, can help employees and their families to cover the escalating costs of higher education, regardless of age, career path or financial situation. Withdrawals are tax-free, she said, if used to cover education expenses including tuition, housing, meal plans, books, supplies, computers and fees. 

“In today’s workplace, many employees are stressed by the fear of accumulating student loan debt either for themselves or loved ones,” said Ted Miller, executive director of the Education Trust Board of New Mexico, the organization that sponsors the Education Plan. “Offering a 529 savings account as part of a competitive employee benefits package can provide a tax-favored way to reduce student loan debt and is a great way to attract and retain good employees.”

The Education Plan, Dickerman said, offers employees “a seamless and sensible way to cover education expenses. It gives employers another valuable benefit to offer, making it a win-win for everyone.”

To learn more about adding the Education Plan as part of an employee benefits package, visit TheEducationPlan.com, call Dickerman at 505-720-2195 or call 877-337-5268.