2018 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 3 - Postsecondary Education
Article 11 - Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan
§ 20-3-635. Administration of fund; types of accounts; office location; record maintenance; form of contribution; earnings; preservation
(1) There is created the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan Trust Fund as a separate fund in the state treasury. The trust fund shall be administered by the state treasurer. The state treasurer shall credit to the trust fund all amounts transferred to such fund. The trust fund shall consist of money remitted in accordance with savings trust agreements and any moneys acquired from other governmental or private sources and shall receive and hold all payments, contributions, and deposits intended for it as well as gifts, bequests, or endowments; grants; any other public or private source of funds; and all earnings on the fund until disbursed as provided under this Code section. The amounts on deposit in the trust fund shall not constitute property of the state. Amounts on deposit in the trust fund shall not be commingled with state funds, and the state shall have no claim to or interest in such funds other than the amount of reasonable fees and charges assessed to cover administration costs. Savings trust agreements or any other contract entered into by or on behalf of the trust fund shall not constitute a debt or obligation of the state, and no account owner or account contributor shall be entitled to any amounts except for those amounts on deposit in or accrued to the account of such contributor.
(2) The trust fund shall continue in existence so long as it holds any funds belonging to an account owner or otherwise has any obligations to any person or entity and until its existence is terminated by law and remaining assets on deposit in the trust fund are returned to account owners or transferred to the state in accordance with unclaimed property laws.
(b) (1) The following three separate accounts are created within the trust fund:
(A) The administrative account;
(B) The endowment account; and
(C) The program account.
(2) The administrative account shall accept, deposit, and disburse funds for the purpose of administering and marketing the program. The endowment account shall accept, deposit, and disburse amounts received in connection with the sales of interests in the trust fund or other contributions, other than amounts for the administrative account and other than amounts received pursuant to a savings trust agreement. Amounts on deposit in the endowment account may be applied as specified by the board for any purpose related to the program. The program account shall receive, invest, and disburse amounts pursuant to savings trust agreements.
(c) The official location of the trust fund shall be the Office of the State Treasurer, and the facilities of the Office of the State Treasurer shall be used and employed in the administration of the fund, including without limitation the keeping of records, the management of bank accounts and other investments, the transfer of funds, and the safekeeping of securities evidencing investments. These functions may be administered pursuant to a management agreement with a qualified entity or entities.
(d) Payments received by the board on behalf of beneficiaries from account contributors, other payors, or from any other source, public or private, shall be placed in the trust fund, and the board shall cause there to be maintained separate records and accounts for individual beneficiaries as may be required under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or other applicable federal law.
(e) Account contributors shall be permitted only to contribute cash or any other form of payment or contribution as is permitted under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and approved by the board. The board shall cause the program to maintain adequate safeguards against contributions in excess of what may be required for qualified higher education expenses. The trust fund, through the state treasurer, may receive and deposit into the trust fund any gift of any nature, real or personal property, made by an individual by testamentary disposition, including without limitation any specific gift or bequest made by will, trust, or other disposition to the extent permitted under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The trust fund may receive amounts transferred under Article 5 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, "The Georgia Transfers to Minors Act"; under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, Uniform Gift to Minors Act, or other substantially similar act of another state, subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of Code Section 44-5-112; or from some other account established for the benefit of a minor if the trust beneficiary of such an account is identified as the legal owner of the trust fund account upon attaining majority age.
(f) Earnings derived from investment of the contributions shall be considered to be held in trust in the same manner as contributions, except as applied for purposes of the designated beneficiary and for purposes of maintaining and administering the program as provided in this article. Amounts on deposit in an account owner's account shall be available for administrative fees and expenses and penalties imposed by the board for the plan as disclosed in the savings trust agreement.
(g) The assets of the trust fund shall be preserved, invested, and expended solely pursuant to and for the purposes of this article and shall not be loaned or otherwise transferred or used by the state for any other purpose.