MSRB Amends Proposal to Collect 529 College Savings Plan Information

Date: November 23, 2012

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – Following public comments received on an earlier proposal, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) has amended its proposal to collect comprehensive data from dealers on 529 college savings plans.

The new proposal modifies the timing and scope of information to be collected from the financial firms that underwrite 529 plans to allow the MSRB to monitor more effectively the plans’ growth and changes while not creating unnecessary administrative burdens for underwriters.

The regulatory data would be used by the MSRB to evaluate state plans and the overall 529 plan market in light of its obligation to protect investors in municipal securities. 529 plans are investment programs established by states to assist families in saving for future higher education expenses. The MSRB regulates the entities that underwrite 529 plans.

The proposal would require plan underwriters to provide the MSRB with data semiannually, rather than quarterly as previously proposed, and to report performance data annually, rather than quarterly. Other changes to the proposal relate to the details to be submitted on 529 plan investments and the effective date of reporting requirements.

The MSRB is seeking public comment on the revised proposal. Comments, which can be submitted here, are due December 21, 2012.

The MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website displays 529 plan disclosure documents to provide investors with free, electronic access to information to make informed investment decisions.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.