MSRB Requests Comment on Proposal to Collect Additional Information on 529 College Savings Plans

Date: August 6, 2012

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today issued a request for public comment on a proposal to collect and analyze market information on 529 college savings plans – investment programs established by states to assist families in saving for future higher education expenses.

The proposed MSRB rule would require securities firms that act as 529 plan underwriters, commonly referred to as primary distributors, to submit information on a quarterly basis to the MSRB about the plans, including basic identifying information about each 529 plan; total plan assets, contributions and distributions; percentage of automatic contributions; types of strategies and underlying portfolios; fees and expenses; and performance data, among other information.

The MSRB would review and analyze this information to gain a better understanding of the size, growth, characteristics and risks of the 529 plan market and of specific plans. 

“Gathering additional market information will help the MSRB evaluate whether further safeguards are necessary for the families who use 529 plans to save for college expenses,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly.

Currently, the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) system displays 529 plan disclosure documents.

Comments should be submitted no later than September 14, 2012.

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.