MSRB Seeks Comment on Refining Data Collected about 529 Plans and ABLE Programs

Date: August 22, 2017

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway


Washington, DC – To support its oversight responsibilities, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is seeking comment on a draft plan to refine data elements the MSRB collects relating to the investment options offered in 529 college savings plans and Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE) programs.

The MSRB aims to clarify data it collects from dealers acting as underwriters to 529 plans and data it will collect from dealers acting as underwriters to ABLE programs, and collect additional information on investment plan options.

“Essentially, our goal is to be able to more precisely compare apples to apples,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “Fine-tuning the data we collect will allow the MSRB to make more accurate comparisons across 529 plans and ABLE programs, enhancing our ability to understand and monitor the market.”

These investment vehicles are municipal fund securities. The MSRB regulates dealers that are underwriters to and dealers that sell interests in 529 plans and ABLE programs. The MSRB first began collecting data about 529 plans in 2015 and will begin collecting data about ABLE programs in 2018. Data collected on MSRB Form G-45 allows the MSRB and other regulators that are charged by statute with examining dealers to analyze and compare 529 plans and ABLE programs and monitor the market for potential risks and wrongful conduct. The data as collected by the MSRB currently is not available to the public.

Comments on the MSRB’s draft changes to Form G-45 should be submitted no later than September 21, 2017. Read the request for comment.

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.