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The Arkansas Brighter Future 529 Plan is a simple, flexible way to save and invest for college – and save on your state income tax!
Proudly offered by the office of Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan, your savings into an Arkansas Brighter Future 529 Plan can grow tax-deferred through a wide variety of investment options. Later, the money can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for qualified education expenses like tuition, room and board, and supplies at nearly any two- or four-year college, university, vocational, or trade school.
In 2018, Congress expanded the 529 provision to include tuition at public, private and parochial k-12 institutions. In 2021, the 529 provision was again expanded to include apprenticeship program expenses and student loan repayments.
ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families. They are a type of 529 account that offers tax-free savings for a wide range of disability-related expenses. A unique feature of ABLE accounts is that they offer the account owner the ability to save and invest without losing federal needs-based benefits.
ABLE accounts were created as a result of the passage of the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (better known as the ABLE Act). The beneficiary of the account is the account owner, and income earned by the accounts is not taxed. Contributions to the account made by any person (the account beneficiary, family, friends, etc.) are made using post-tax dollars and are not tax-deductible. However, Arkansas allows for a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 per taxpayer for contributions made to an ABLE account.
Treasurer Milligan is passionate about financial education. The AR Finance AR Future program works to bring financial awareness and education across the state.
During his first term in office he implemented a free financial education program for schools that teaches students in grades fourth- through sixth about how to manage money.
In October 2019, Treasurer Milligan announced a statewide partnership with the Arkansas Division of Higher Education and the Arkansas Student Loan Authority to introduce an online college planning center. ARCollegeSaver.org is a one-stop-shop for parents planning for their children’s higher education experience!
Treasurer Milligan has also partnered with the State Financial Officers Foundation to offer Smart Women Smart Money conferences each year. The first conference was held in 2019 in Rogers and the second and third conferences were held in Little Rock in 2020 and 2021.
In 2021, Milligan worked with Sen. Missy Irvin and Rep. Bruce Cozart on Act 1025 of 2021 creating the Arkansas Financial Education Commission. Its mission is to provide a unified effort to improve financial awareness throughout the state.