January 24, 2024

Senior living advocates ask Congress to expand college savings plans to fund career-related expenses

McKnights Senior Living

A coalition of almost 800 nonprofit organizations, businesses and associations — including several in senior living — is urging Congress to include a bipartisan bill expanding eligible uses of college savings plans to workforce programs in a $78 billion tax package.

HR 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024, was introduced last week. The legislation primarily addresses limited expansions of the child tax credit, reinstatement of lapsed business tax deductions, and additional incentives for affordable housing development and disaster victims.

Several senior living organizations that are part of the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalitionjoined a letter last week to congressional leaders to urge inclusion of HR 1477 / S 722 — the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act — in the bill.

“The bill would shift the paradigm for 529 plans, transforming them from college savings plans to career savings plans,” according to the letter. “It would provide valuable tax-advantaged resources for students and workers — with or without a college degree — who pursue career growth, mid-career changes or career pathways that diverge from a typical academic degree.”

Argentum, the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living and several state-level senior living industry advocates signed onto the letter. 

The senior living industry is throwing its support behind the effort following the loss of more than 100,000 positions during the pandemic. According to projections, the field will have 3 million job openings to fill by 2040.

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