CSF is a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to help American families achieve their higher education savings goals. CSF does this by working with public policy makers, media representatives and financial services industry executives in support of education savings programs.
CSF builds public awareness of and provides public policy support for 529 college savings plans. CSF’s members include states and state agencies that establish and maintain these plans and firms that provide services to the plans. CSF members include investment managers, broker/dealers, program administrators, law firms, and accounting and consulting firms. CSF focuses on promoting, protecting and enhancing 529 plans.
CSF brings together the industry, states, and consumers to address policy questions, and provides a means for unified action on issues of concern to 529 plan investors and others involved with the plans. CSF provides a framework for its members to formulate industry policies, to develop issues of common concern to all plans, and serves as a resource for policymakers who share CSF’s objective of helping families realize their education savings goals.
CSF conducts extensive outreach to the public, policymakers and the media about the importance of establishing and maintaining a proactive plan for savings for higher education, using a variety of investment opportunities.
CSF provides its members with a steady stream of timely information on legislative, regulatory, media and market development affecting 529 plans and college savings generally. On behalf of the industry, states, consumers and policymakers, CSF is also building an extensive database that serves as a trusted source for detailed and reliable analysis and background information on all aspects of 529 plans.
Key policy concerns for CSF include the need for consistent federal tax rules for 529 plans. This includes promoting tax policies that provide equal treatment to all 529 savings programs, working to ensure that financial aid policies practices do not undercut the incentive to save for higher education, and pursuing other policies that will encourage and protect education savings. CSF was able to include in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 provision making permanent tax advantages of 529 plans provided on a temporary basis by 2001 Federal legislation.
Joining the College Savings Foundation offers many educational and industry-related benefits, as well as several levels of membership.
Board Membership – Organizations that act as 529 Plan Program Managers, 529 Plan Investment Managers, State 529 Plan Sponsors and firms that offer enrollment in 529 college savings programs as a broker-dealer or otherwise. This level of membership sets direction for CSF, has voting rights and may serve as a committee chair. Board members are invited to attend all high level meetings with key public policy makers including leadership in Congress and the Administration. In addition, CSF Board members have access to Industry Reporting, Surveys and Publications.
General Membership – These levels of membership participate in CSF activities and serve on committees, but cannot serve as a committee chair or vote at Board meetings. These members are invited to attend and participate in general meetings with public policy makers.
Sustaining Membership – Organizations or individuals that provide legal or other services, including but not limited to general consulting and information technology, with respect to 529 plan and broker dealer firms with financial advisor headcount between 1,000 and 4,999.
Associate Membership – States and non-profit organizations, sole proprietors and small businesses (less than 10 employees), educational institutions, banks, credit unions, asset managers, accounting firms and broker dealer firms with financial advisor headcount of less than 1,000 organizations that are supportive of the foundation and its mission.