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Parents with 529 plans want bill to put treasurer in charge of trust

Posted at 5:10 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 17:10:24-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — It's been a long battle for parents with 529 prepaid trusts as they try to recover thousands of dollars.

Today, the legislature is considering a bill to turn over the handling of the situation to the treasurer.

"I want them to honor the contract in 2002, 2003 and the change that they made in 2021," said Eric Marshall who has three accounts with 529.

The worry for many parents is this bill doesn't solve their main issue, confirming their money is returned to their accounts.

"I'm fighting for 50,000," said Marshall.

"Right now, the bill doesn't really address the urgency of the families who are currently in need of the money," said Heather Boley, who also has three accounts.

Maryland 529 has maintained the position that the calculations are correct.

Parents have contracts saying they're entitled to the interest earned by their money.

"I don't think we're anywhere close to getting this finished because even after the bill is passed we have to wait for the treasurer to take over and they have to figure out all the potential data issues they have so I don't think this is anywhere close to being finished," said Marshall.

According to estimates from the parents, it would take between $300 and $500 million to make them whole.

It's unclear if the 529 fund can cover that or if the state would have to provide funds if the parents balances are restored.

WMAR-2 News asked Boley if she thinks she'll have the money when tuition bills are due this fall.

"I am praying for that to happen because I don't know what I do if I don't, but I am not convinced it will happen, no," said Boley.

Most of the parents say they're comfortable with the bill passing, if they get amendments in it to get their money back.