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If enacted, proposed legislation would allow 529 plans to be used for postsecondary skills training and credentialing, such as IBPSA’s certification programs.

For American families seeking to set aside funds for their children’s future education expenses, investment accounts known as 529 plans offer a multi-beneficial option. However, these plans are currently subject to a significant limitation: they do not cover expenses related to postsecondary credentials and skills training, such as government-issued licenses, nongovernmental certifications, registrations, and other specializations. Fortunately, a group known as the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition is dedicated to changing this by advocating for enactment of the bipartisan Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (S. 722 / H.R. 1477).

At IBPSA, we are proud to join over 760 organizations nationwide in supporting the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition. We believe that S. 722 / H.R. 1477 and the Coalition’s goal of shifting the 529 paradigm from “college savings plans” to “career savings plans” would benefit many of our Members and their workforces.

What is a 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is a state-sponsored education savings vehicle that is exempt from federal taxes, as long as funds are used to pay for the qualified education expenses of a designated beneficiary. Under current law, qualified education expenses include those related to:

  • College, graduate, or professional degrees
  • Programs from Title IV-accredited institutions (higher education institutions that process federal student aid)
  • Registered apprenticeships
  • K-12 tuition
  • Certain student loan repayments

What is the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act?

With broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and House of Representatives, the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (S. 722 / H.R. 1477) would expand qualified expenses under 529 savings plans to include both obtaining and maintaining postsecondary skills training and credentialing programs, thereby extending the benefits of the plans to Americans of various ages, educational backgrounds, and skillsets. The legislation would also help industries and professions—including the pet care services industry—access a more qualified talent pool by increasing the number of potential employees with specialized training and credentials.

IBPSA Training and Certification Programs

At IBPSA, we understand that qualified staff members are integral to the success of any pet care services business. To help our Members ensure that their employees have the skills and education necessary to excel in their roles, we offer a variety of training and certification programs, including:

By allowing pet care professionals to use their 529 savings plans for training and certification programs relevant to their career paths, the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act would help promote vocational choice and, ultimately, a higher level of excellence in the pet care industry and many other fields. To learn more about the Act and the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, visit https://powerofassociations.org/members/.