在FAFSA新规则下,祖父母529计划得到提升

529 plans are a favored way to save for college due to the tax benefits and other advantages they offer when funds are used to pay a beneficiary’s qualified college expenses. 直到现在, the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) treated grandparent-owned 529 plans more harshly than parent-owned 529 plans. This will change thanks to the FAFSA Simplification Act that was enacted in December 2020. 新 law streamlines the FAFSA and makes changes to the formula that’s used to calculate financial aid eligibility.



当前FAFSA规则

Under current rules, parent-owned 529 plans are listed on the FAFSA as a parent asset. 母公司的资产以5的比率计算.64%,这意味着5.64% of the value of the 529 account is deemed available to pay for college. 晚些时候, 当分配用来支付大学费用时, the funds aren’t counted at all; the FAFSA ignores distributions from a parent-owned 529 plan.

By contrast, grandparent-owned 529 plans do not need to be listed as an asset on the FAFSA. 这听起来像是一种福利. 然而, the catch is that any withdrawals from a grandparent-owned 529 plan are counted as untaxed student income in the following year and assessed at 50%. This can have a negative impact on federal financial aid eligibility.

例子: Ben is the beneficiary of two 529 plans: a parent-owned 529 plan with a value of $25,000美元和祖父母拥有的价值50美元的529计划,000. 一年级的时候,本的父母提交了FAFSA. They must list their 529 account as a parent asset but do not need to list the grandparent 529 account. FAFSA的公式是1美元,410 of the parent 529 account as available for college costs ($25,000 x 5.64%). 然后本的父母取了10美元,从他们的账户中取出000, 本的祖父母取了10美元,从他们的账户中拨出1万美元来支付大学第一年的学费.

二年级的时候,本的父母向FAFSA申请了续期. 同样,他们必须将其529账户列为父资产. 假设现在价值是15美元,000, so the formula will count $846 as available for college costs ($15,000 x 5.64%). 除了, 本的父母还必须列出这10美元,000 distribution from the grandparent 529 account as untaxed student income, 公式是5美元,大学学费为10美元,000 x 50%). In general, the higher Ben’s available resources, the less financial need he is deemed to have.

新的FAFSA规则

根据FAFSA的新规定, grandparent-owned 529 plans still do not need to be listed as an asset, and distributions will no longer be counted as untaxed student income. 除了, the new FAFSA will no longer include a question asking about cash gifts from grandparents. This means that grandparents will be able to help with their grandchild’s college expenses (either with a 529 plan or with other funds) with no negative implications for federal financial aid.

然而, there’s a caveat: Grandparent-owned 529 plans and cash gifts will likely continue to be counted by the CSS Profile, an additional aid form typically used by private colleges when distributing their own institutional aid. Even then it’s not one-size-fits-all — individual colleges can personalize the CSS Profile with their own questions, 所以他们对待祖父母529计划的方式是不同的.


使用529储蓄计划

Use of 529 Savings plans: In 2019 the total number of accounts was 13.400万美元,账户总资产为3460亿美元. 2020年,账户总数为13个.900万美元,账户总资产3,980亿美元.

Source: ISS Market Intelligence, 529 Market Highlights, 2019 and 2020


新的FAFSA何时生效?

新, 简化后的FAFSA将于10月1日开放, 2022, 并将于2023-2024学年生效. 然而, grandparents can start taking advantage of the new 529 plan rules in 2021. That’s because 2021 is the “base year” for income purposes for the 2023–2024 FAFSA, and under the new FAFSA a student’s income will consist only of data reported on the student’s federal income tax return. Because any distributions taken in 2021 from a grandparent 529 account won’t be reported on the student’s 2021 tax return, they won’t need to be reported as student income on the 2023–2024 FAFSA.

考虑投资目标, 风险, 指控, 以及投资前与529计划相关的费用. This information and more is available in the plan’s official statement and applicable prospectuses, 包括投资选择的细节, 潜在的投资, and the 投资 company; read it carefully before investing. Also consider whether your state offers a 529 plan that provides residents with favorable state tax benefits and other benefits, 比如经济援助, 奖学金基金, 以及对债权人的保护. 和其他投资一样, there are generally fees and expenses associated with participation in a 529 plan. There is also the risk that the 投资s may lose money or not perform well enough to cover college costs as anticipated. 不用于高等教育费用的提款, earnings may be subject to taxation as ordinary income and a 10% federal income tax penalty.