Nebraska babies born in 2020 gifted Meadowlark Savings Pledge funds

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:38 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - Every baby born in Nebraska in 2020 will be getting some money from the state to help with their future.

In April, the Nebraska State Treasurer’s office will give a $50 Meadowlark Savings Pledge account contribution. Families will receive a letter from the State Treasurer announcing their qualification for the Meadowlark Program.

“The Meadowlark Program is a starting point for families as they begin their child’s educational savings journey to set them up to soar,” said John Murante, Nebraska State Treasurer. “Research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that a child with an education savings account between $1 to $499 before reaching college age is roughly four times more likely to graduate from college than a child with no savings account. Meadowlark and NEST savings accounts are an easy way to put them on the right track now.”

Meadowlark Program

Enacted by the State Legislature and signed into law by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts in 2019, the Meadowlark Program is designed to help Nebraska families pay for future educational expenses. Funds will be contributed the year following a child’s birth. Each child is automatically enrolled in Meadowlark, and there are no extra costs or paperwork required of families. Beneficiaries under the age of 30 who pursue higher education within the state will have access to these funds for qualified higher education expenses.

“Families wanting to continue investing in their child’s future should open and contribute to a NEST 529 account. These accounts give families the opportunity to consistently contribute funds, which can be tax-deductible and can grow over time,” said Murante.

NEST 529 College Saving Plan

While the Meadowlark contribution is one piece to helping children reach their goal, the NEST 529 College Saving Plan helps families take matters into their own hands to start building their child’s future today.

NEST 529, awarded a 2020 Bronze Morningstar rating, is one of the nation’s most attractive 529 programs because it offers many benefits to families. Key features include:

  • Flexibility—A NEST 529 account can be opened in 10 minutes, families can manage everything easily online, contribute, reallocate funds, and make their investment selections.
  • Tax Benefits—Tax-advantaged savings include a Nebraska state tax deduction, tax-deferred growth, and tax-free qualified withdrawals.
  • Investment Options—Families can customize their investment portfolio to fit risk tolerance, time frame, and savings goals. Saving is made even easier with automatic contributions from bank accounts or paychecks.

“Whether it’s a four-year university or a technical school, children deserve the opportunity to achieve their dreams,” said Murante. “A college savings account lets you begin building their tomorrow, today. And it all starts with one little piece—opening a NEST 529 account.”

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