Support the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow's Workforce Act

Advocate for Funding for Certification

Published on Thursday, January 23, 2020

BCSP and the Professional Certification Coalition (PCC) need your help! Using the language below, we are asking you to email your state representative to inform them of the importance of supporting H.R. 5339, the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow's Workforce Act.

This bipartisan bill, introduced by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA), would amend the tax code to permit beneficiaries to use funds in 529 savings plans for expenses associated with obtaining or maintaining post-secondary credentials, which include professional certificates or certifications.

The 529 savings program, which is sponsored in every U.S. state, was created to encourage savings for higher education. The program allows people to establish tax-free savings accounts for certain educational expenses, either through an education savings plan or a prepaid tuition plan. Currently, these tax-free earning accounts do not include professional certification.

If passed, the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow's Workforce Act will open 529 savings plans to include:

  • Tuition for certification programs
  • Examination and testing fees
  • Books, study sources, practice exams, and associated costs of certifications
  • Tuition for continuing education and/or recertification expenditures
  • Credential renewal fees
  • Other fees associated with maintaining certifications

The PCC's position paper on H.R. 5339 can be read and downloaded here. The name and contact information for your state representatives can be found here.

BCSP and the PCC appreciate your help in building continued governmental recognition of your BCSP certification. If you have any questions, please contact Tiera Robinson, BCSP's Strategic Advancement Manager, at [email protected].

Provided Text:

Dear Representative [Rep's name],

As a [insert profession and certification designation], I am writing to express my strong support for H.R. 5339, the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, and encourage you to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation. H.R. 5339, introduced in December 2019 by Reps. Spanberger and Wittman, will allow individuals like me to have greater flexibility in pursuing educational and career opportunities, which will help more people enter and thrive in the workforce.

H.R. 5339 would amend the tax code to permit beneficiaries to use funds in 529 savings plans for expenses associated with obtaining or maintaining post-secondary credentials, which include professional certificates or certifications. In particular, individuals would be able to use their 529 funds to pay for costs related to certification exams and certification maintenance, such as practice exams, test prep materials, exam fees, continuing education fees, and renewal dues.

By enabling people to use 529 funds to cover these expenses, H.R. 5339 would greatly expand the reach of 529 plans to cover people like me, who are seeking to advance in their occupations, or people who are entering the workforce. These benefits would be available to individuals who are not pursuing a college degree and those who have already earned a degree and entered the workforce but need a professional certification to progress in their field or to change career paths. H.R. 5339 would ease barriers to these opportunities by covering expenses necessary to achieve this career advancement.

Therefore, I encourage you and your colleagues to cosponsor H.R. 5339 and push for its advancement through the legislative process. Thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely,
 
[Your name]