Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board unveiled a proposal Tuesday to create a database of 529 college savings plans, according to a statement from the board.
Data would include total aggregate plan assets, total assets of each plan, and types of underlying investment portfolios available in each plan and total assets invested in each such portfolio. Also in the database would be quarterly contributions to each plan and investment portfolio, and withdrawals from each plan and investment portfolio. The MSRB would make the information, generally updated quarterly, available to the public, calling it “valuable to investors and other market participants,” the statement said.
The MSRB is seeking public comment on its proposal. The board expects to use the information to better understand the market for 529 plans, invested to pay for higher-education expenses of the plans' beneficiaries, and “monitor the growth rate, composition, and size of individual plans and the industry as a whole, to inform our activities as the regulator of dealers in this market,” the statement said. The MSRB's mission includes protecting investors by writing rules governing the activities of dealers who transact business in 529 plans, the statement said.
The plan “would require brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers acting in the capacity of underwriter, or primary distributor, of 529 plans, to submit” the information to the MSRB.
Currently, the MSRB's collects 529 plan disclosure documents, but not the other information.
The comments may be sent to [email protected] or to Ronald W. Smith, corporate secretary, MSRB, 1900 Duke St., Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314.
The comment period closes Aug. 31.
Comments will be publicly available on the MSRB's website, www.msrb.org.
According to the MSRB, the MSRB regulates 529 plans and their distributors because the plans are issued by states and sold to individuals.