Treasurer encourages parents to research Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan options
TULSA – State Treasurer Ken Miller today awarded $5,529 toward an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan (OCSP) account to one lucky Oklahoma baby. As one of more than 51,000 babies born last year in Oklahoma, Hannah Gabel of Jenks, born in September at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, was entered into the Newborn Sweepstakes by her parents Katherine and Brad Gabel.
Started in 2010, the Newborn Sweepstakes is an annual, statewide partnership between the OCSP and participating Oklahoma Hospital Association member hospitals. The sweepstakes offers parents or grandparents of Oklahoma babies the chance to win $5,529 toward an OCSP account. It also gives $1,529 to the participating hospital where the winning baby is born.
Treasurer Miller, who serves as Board Chairman for the OCSP, awarded the 2012 Newborn Sweepstakes winner with $5,529 toward her OCSP account and said saving for college is important at any age but it’s best to begin saving early.
“The Newborn Sweepstakes is a great way to let new parents and grandparents know there are options for saving right from the start for their loved one’s future college education,” said Miller. “Saving for college is important, and starting early helps ensure that there are funds for college expenses. Once an OCSP account is established, family members and even friends can contribute to the account, which goes a long way in achieving a parent’s goal of providing for their child’s college education.”
Hannah’s parents, who opened an account for her, were aware of college savings plans because Hannah’s grandparents, Jesse and Julia Harris, had provided similar accounts for Hannah’s mother, Katherine, and had researched the options in Oklahoma.
“We were familiar with the Oklahoma College Savings Plan because my parents provided the option for me when I was younger and helped research the options when we had Hannah’s older sister,” said Katie Gabel. “Knowing how much help $5,529 will be for her future college tuition, we knew to open the account and enter Hannah into the sweepstakes.”
As part of the promotion and for their dedication to helping increase awareness of the sweepstakes, St. John Auxiliary volunteers received $1,529 cash from the OCSP. Hospital members, along with other participating OHA hospital’s auxiliary members, helped distribute information about the sweepstakes in the “mommy bags” given to new parents before leaving the hospital.
“The St. John Auxiliary is thrilled to receive this $1,529 award from Treasurer Miller and the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan Newborn Sweepstakes for the second year,” said Yvonne Sorrells, St. John Auxiliary president. “Receiving this gift again allows us to continue our efforts at the Auxiliary as we support volunteer programs providing patient and visitor services to St. John hospitals in northeastern Oklahoma. Our commitment to this program allows us to further our progress and outreach to Oklahomans, both young and old.”
Miller said the Newborn Sweepstakes will continue in 2013, with entries already being accepted via the OCSP website – www.ok4saving.org. New parents or grandparents can go to the website to enter for a chance to win. Parents or grandparents of a child born in 2013 will have until April 14, 2014 to enter. Details and official rules also can be found on the OCSP web site. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
Oklahoma taxpayers may deduct from their Oklahoma adjusted gross income up to $10,000 in contributions to the Oklahoma College Savings Plan for individual taxpayers and up to $20,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return with a five-year carry forward.* Amounts deducted may be subject to recapture if a non-qualified withdrawal or rollover is taken (depending on the timing of such transactions), resulting in adverse Oklahoma income tax consequences. Read the Disclosure Booklet carefully.
All contributions and any earnings to an OCSP account are federal and Oklahoma income tax-deferred, and distributions are also federal and Oklahoma income tax-free when qualified withdrawals are made to fund an array of student expenses at most institutions of higher learning. Funds may be used at virtually any private or public university, college or career technology center nationwide, and the savings can be applied to tuition as well as other qualified expenses including fees, books, supplies and certain room and board costs.
For more information about the Oklahoma College Savings Plan or to open an account, visit the website at www.ok4saving.org or call 1-877-654-7284.
The Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan is a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. Introduced in April 2000, the Oklahoma College Savings Plan currently has more than $557 million in total assets and more than 51,500 accounts, as of June 7, 2013.
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For more information contact:
Tim Allen, Treasurer’s Office, (405) 522-4212
Kym Koch, Koch Communications, (405) 831-8668