RCW 28B.95.032

Washington college savings program.

(1) The Washington college savings program shall be administered by the committee, which shall be chaired by the director of the office. The committee shall be supported by staff of the office.
(2) The Washington college savings program shall consist of the college savings program account and the individual college savings program accounts, and shall allow an eligible purchaser to establish an individual college savings program account for an eligible beneficiary whereby the money in the account may be invested and used for enrollment at any institution of higher education that is recognized by the internal revenue service under chapter 529 of the internal revenue code. Money in the account may also be used to pay for dual credit fees.
(3) The Washington college savings program is open to eligible purchasers and eligible beneficiaries who are residents or nonresidents of Washington state.
(4) The Washington college savings program shall not require eligible purchasers to make an initial minimum contribution in any amount that exceeds twenty-five dollars when establishing a new account.
(5) The committee may contract with other state or nonstate entities that are authorized to do business in the state for the investment of moneys in the college savings program, including other college savings plans established pursuant to section 529 of the internal revenue code. The investment of eligible contributors' deposits may be in credit unions, savings and loan associations, banks, mutual savings banks, purchase life insurance, shares of an investment company, individual securities, fixed annuity contracts, variable annuity contracts, any insurance company, other 529 plans, or any investment company licensed to contract business in this state.
(6) The governing body shall determine the conditions under which control or the beneficiary of an individual college savings program account may be transferred to another family member. In permitting such transfers, the governing body may not allow the individual college savings program account to be bought, sold, bartered, or otherwise exchanged for goods and services by either the beneficiary or the purchaser.
(7) The governing body shall promote, advertise, and publicize the Washington college savings program.
(8) The governing body shall develop materials to educate potential account owners and beneficiaries on (a) the differences between the advanced college tuition payment program and the Washington college savings program, and (b) how the two programs can complement each other to save towards the full cost of attending college.
(9) In addition to any other powers conferred by this chapter, the governing body may:
(a) Impose limits on the amount of contributions that may be made on behalf of any eligible beneficiary;
(b) Determine and set age limits and any time limits for the use of benefits under this chapter;
(c) Establish incentives to encourage participation in the Washington college savings program to include but not be limited to entering into agreements with any public or private employer under which an employee may agree to have a designated amount deducted in each payroll period from the wages due the employee for the purpose of making contributions to a participant college savings program account;
(d) Impose and collect administrative fees and charges in connection with any transaction under this chapter;
(e) Appoint and use advisory committees and the state actuary as needed to provide program direction and guidance;
(f) Formulate and adopt all other policies and rules necessary for the efficient administration of the program;
(g) Purchase insurance from insurers licensed to do business in the state, to provide for coverage against any loss in connection with the account's property, assets, or activities;
(h) Make, execute, and deliver contracts, conveyances, and other instruments necessary to the exercise and discharge of its powers and duties under this chapter;
(i) Contract for the provision for all or part of the services necessary for the management and operation of the Washington college savings program with other state or nonstate entities authorized to do business in the state for the investment of moneys;
(j) Contract for other services or for goods needed by the governing body in the conduct of its business under this chapter;
(k) Contract with financial consultants, actuaries, auditors, and other consultants as necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter;
(l) Review advisor sold 529 college savings plan programs used by other states to supplement direct-sold channels, provide additional program access and options, increase overall college savings by residents, and if deemed appropriate, establish an advisor sold option for the Washington college savings program;
(m) Solicit and accept gifts, bequests, cash donations, and grants from any person, governmental agency, private business, or organization; and
(n) Perform all acts necessary and proper to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the Washington college savings program under this chapter.
(10) It is the intent of the legislature to establish policy goals for the Washington college savings program. The policy goals established under this section are deemed consistent with creating a nationally competitive 529 savings plan. The Washington college savings program should support achievement of these policy goals:
(a) Process: To have an investment manager design a thoughtful, well-diversified glide path for age-based portfolios and offer a robust suite of investment options;
(b) People: To have a well-resourced, talented, and long-tenured investment manager;
(c) Parent: To demonstrate that the committee is a good caretaker of college savers' capital and can manage the plan professionally;
(d) Performance: To demonstrate that the program's options have earned their keep with solid risk-adjusted returns over relevant time periods; and
(e) Price: To demonstrate that the investment options are a good value.
(11) The powers, duties, and functions of the Washington college savings program must be performed in a manner consistent with the policy goals in subsection (10) of this section.
(12) The policy goals in this section are intended to be the basis for establishing detailed and measurable objectives and related performance measures.
(13) It is the intent of the legislature that the committee establish objectives and performance measures for the investment manager to progress toward the attainment of the policy goals in subsection (10) of this section. The committee shall submit objectives and performance measures to the legislature for its review and shall provide an updated report on the objectives and measures before the regular session of the legislature during even-numbered years thereafter.
[ 2016 c 69 § 5.]