(15 ILCS 505/16.5)
    (Text of Section from P.A. 91-943)
    Sec. 16.5. College Savings Pool. The State Treasurer may establish and administer a College Savings Pool to supplement and enhance the investment opportunities otherwise available to persons seeking to finance the costs of higher education. The State Treasurer, in administering the College Savings Pool, may receive moneys paid into the pool by a participant and may serve as the fiscal agent of that participant for the purpose of holding and investing those moneys.
    "Participant", as used in this Section, means any person that makes investments in the pool. "Designated beneficiary", as used in this Section, means any person on whose behalf an account is established in the College Savings Pool by a participant. Both in-state and out-of-state persons may be participants and designated beneficiaries in the College Savings Pool.
    New accounts in the College Savings Pool shall be processed through participating financial institutions. "Participating financial institution", as used in this Section, means any financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and lawfully doing business in the State of Illinois and any credit union approved by the State Treasurer and lawfully doing business in the State of Illinois that agrees to process new accounts in the College Savings Pool. Participating financial institutions may charge a processing fee to participants to open an account in the pool that shall not exceed $30 until the year 2001. Beginning in 2001 and every year thereafter, the maximum fee limit shall be adjusted by the Treasurer based on the Consumer Price Index for the North Central Region as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics for the immediately preceding calendar year. Every contribution received by a financial institution for investment in the College Savings Pool shall be transferred from the financial institution to a location selected by the State Treasurer within one business day following the day that the funds must be made available in accordance with federal law. All communications from the State Treasurer to participants shall reference the participating financial institution at which the account was processed.
    The Treasurer may invest the moneys in the College Savings Pool in the same manner, in the same types of investments, and subject to the same limitations provided for the investment of moneys by the Illinois State Board of Investment. To enhance the safety and liquidity of the College Savings Pool, to ensure the diversification of the investment portfolio of the pool, and in an effort to keep investment dollars in the State of Illinois, the State Treasurer shall make a percentage of each account available for investment in participating financial institutions doing business in the State. The State Treasurer shall deposit with the participating financial institution at which the account was processed the following percentage of each account at a prevailing rate offered by the institution, provided that the deposit is federally insured or fully collateralized and the institution accepts the deposit: 10% of the total amount of each account for which the current age of the beneficiary is less than 7 years of age, 20% of the total amount of each account for which the beneficiary is at least 7 years of age and less than 12 years of age, and 50% of the total amount of each account for which the current age of the beneficiary is at least 12 years of age. The State Treasurer shall adjust each account at least annually to ensure compliance with this Section. The Treasurer shall develop, publish, and implement an investment policy covering the investment of the moneys in the College Savings Pool. The policy shall be published (i) at least once each year in at least one newspaper of general circulation in both Springfield and Chicago and (ii) each year as part of the audit of the College Savings Pool by the Auditor General, which shall be distributed to all participants. The Treasurer shall notify all participants in writing, and the Treasurer shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in both Chicago and Springfield, any changes to the previously published investment policy at least 30 calendar days before implementing the policy. Any investment policy adopted by the Treasurer shall be reviewed and updated if necessary within 90 days following the date that the State Treasurer takes office.
    Participants shall be required to use moneys distributed from the College Savings Pool for qualified expenses at eligible educational institutions. "Qualified expenses", as used in this Section, means the following: (i) tuition, fees, and the costs of books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution and (ii) certain room and board expenses incurred while attending an eligible educational institution at least half-time. "Eligible educational institutions", as used in this Section, means public and private colleges, junior colleges, graduate schools, and certain vocational institutions that are described in Section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1088) and that are eligible to participate in Department of Education student aid programs. A student shall be considered to be enrolled at least half-time if the student is enrolled for at least half the full-time academic work load for the course of study the student is pursuing as determined under the standards of the institution at which the student is enrolled. Distributions made from the pool for qualified expenses shall be made directly to the eligible educational institution, directly to a vendor, in the form of a check payable to both the beneficiary and the institution or vendor, or directly to the designated beneficiary in a manner that is permissible under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. Any moneys that are distributed in any other manner or that are used for expenses other than qualified expenses at an eligible educational institution shall be subject to a penalty of 10% of the earnings unless the beneficiary dies, becomes disabled, or receives a scholarship that equals or exceeds the distribution. Penalties shall be withheld at the time the distribution is made.
    The Treasurer shall limit the contributions that may be made on behalf of a designated beneficiary based on an actuarial estimate of what is required to pay tuition, fees, and room and board for 5 undergraduate years at the highest cost eligible educational institution. The contributions made on behalf of a beneficiary who is also a beneficiary under the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Program shall be further restricted to ensure that the contributions in both programs combined do not exceed the limit established for the College Savings Pool. The Treasurer shall provide the Illinois Student Assistance Commission each year at a time designated by the Commission, an electronic report of all participant accounts in the Treasurer's College Savings Pool, listing total contributions and disbursements from each individual account during the previous calendar year. As soon thereafter as is possible following receipt of the Treasurer's report, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission shall, in turn, provide the Treasurer with an electronic report listing those College Savings Pool participants who also participate in the State's prepaid tuition program, administered by the Commission. The Commission shall be responsible for filing any combined tax reports regarding State qualified savings programs required by the United States Internal Revenue Service. The Treasurer shall work with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to coordinate the marketing of the College Savings Pool and the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Program when considered beneficial by the Treasurer and the Director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The Treasurer's office shall not publicize or otherwise market the College Savings Pool or accept any moneys into the College Savings Pool prior to March 1, 2000. The Treasurer shall provide a separate accounting for each designated beneficiary to each participant, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and the participating financial institution at which the account was processed. No interest in the program may be pledged as security for a loan.
    The assets of the College Savings Pool and its income and operation shall be exempt from all taxation by the State of Illinois and any of its subdivisions. The accrued earnings on investments in the Pool once disbursed on behalf of a designated beneficiary shall be similarly exempt from all taxation by the State of Illinois and its subdivisions, so long as they are used for qualified expenses. The provisions of this paragraph are exempt from Section 250 of the Illinois Income Tax Act.
    The Treasurer shall adopt rules he or she considers necessary for the efficient administration of the College Savings Pool. The rules shall provide whatever additional parameters and restrictions are necessary to ensure that the College Savings Pool meets all of the requirements for a qualified state tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 529). The rules shall provide for the administration expenses of the pool to be paid from its earnings and for the investment earnings in excess of the expenses and all moneys collected as penalties to be credited or paid monthly to the several participants in the pool in a manner which equitably reflects the differing amounts of their respective investments in the pool and the differing periods of time for which those amounts were in the custody of the pool. Also, the rules shall require the maintenance of records that enable the Treasurer's office to produce a report for each account in the pool at least annually that documents the account balance and investment earnings. Notice of any proposed amendments to the rules and regulations shall be provided to all participants prior to adoption. Amendments to rules and regulations shall apply only to contributions made after the adoption of the amendment.
    Upon creating the College Savings Pool, the State Treasurer shall give bond with 2 or more sufficient sureties, payable to and for the benefit of the participants in the College Savings Pool, in the penal sum of $1,000,000, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his or her duties in relation to the College Savings Pool.
(Source: P.A. 91-607, eff. 1-1-00; 91-829, eff. 1-1-01; 91-943, eff. 2-9-01.)
 
    (Text of Section from P.A. 91-829, 92-16, 92-439, 92-626, 93-812, 95-23, 95-306, 95-521, 95-876, 97-233, 97-537, 97-813, 99-143, and 100-161)
    Sec. 16.5. College Savings Pool. The State Treasurer may establish and administer a College Savings Pool to supplement and enhance the investment opportunities otherwise available to persons seeking to finance the costs of higher education. The State Treasurer, in administering the College Savings Pool, may receive moneys paid into the pool by a participant and may serve as the fiscal agent of that participant for the purpose of holding and investing those moneys.
    "Participant", as used in this Section, means any person who has authority to withdraw funds, change the designated beneficiary, or otherwise exercise control over an account. "Donor", as used in this Section, means any person who makes investments in the pool. "Designated beneficiary", as used in this Section, means any person on whose behalf an account is established in the College Savings Pool by a participant. Both in-state and out-of-state persons may be participants, donors, and designated beneficiaries in the College Savings Pool. The College Savings Pool must be available to any individual with a valid social security number or taxpayer identification number for the benefit of any individual with a valid social security number or taxpayer identification number, unless a contract in effect on August 1, 2011 (the effective date of Public Act 97-233) does not allow for taxpayer identification numbers, in which case taxpayer identification numbers must be allowed upon the expiration of the contract.
    New accounts in the College Savings Pool may be processed through participating financial institutions. "Participating financial institution", as used in this Section, means any financial institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and lawfully doing business in the State of Illinois and any credit union approved by the State Treasurer and lawfully doing business in the State of Illinois that agrees to process new accounts in the College Savings Pool. Participating financial institutions may charge a processing fee to participants to open an account in the pool that shall not exceed $30 until the year 2001. Beginning in 2001 and every year thereafter, the maximum fee limit shall be adjusted by the Treasurer based on the Consumer Price Index for the North Central Region as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics for the immediately preceding calendar year. Every contribution received by a financial institution for investment in the College Savings Pool shall be transferred from the financial institution to a location selected by the State Treasurer within one business day following the day that the funds must be made available in accordance with federal law. All communications from the State Treasurer to participants and donors shall reference the participating financial institution at which the account was processed.
    The Treasurer may invest the moneys in the College Savings Pool in the same manner and in the same types of investments provided for the investment of moneys by the Illinois State Board of Investment. To enhance the safety and liquidity of the College Savings Pool, to ensure the diversification of the investment portfolio of the pool, and in an effort to keep investment dollars in the State of Illinois, the State Treasurer may make a percentage of each account available for investment in participating financial institutions doing business in the State. The State Treasurer may deposit with the participating financial institution at which the account was processed the following percentage of each account at a prevailing rate offered by the institution, provided that the deposit is federally insured or fully collateralized and the institution accepts the deposit: 10% of the total amount of each account for which the current age of the beneficiary is less than 7 years of age, 20% of the total amount of each account for which the beneficiary is at least 7 years of age and less than 12 years of age, and 50% of the total amount of each account for which the current age of the beneficiary is at least 12 years of age. The Treasurer shall develop, publish, and implement an investment policy covering the investment of the moneys in the College Savings Pool. The policy shall be published each year as part of the audit of the College Savings Pool by the Auditor General, which shall be distributed to all participants. The Treasurer shall notify all participants in writing, and the Treasurer shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in both Chicago and Springfield, any changes to the previously published investment policy at least 30 calendar days before implementing the policy. Any investment policy adopted by the Treasurer shall be reviewed and updated if necessary within 90 days following the date that the State Treasurer takes office.
    Participants shall be required to use moneys distributed from the College Savings Pool for qualified expenses at eligible educational institutions. "Qualified expenses", as used in this Section, means the following: (i) tuition, fees, and the costs of books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution; (ii) expenses for special needs services, in the case of a special needs beneficiary, which are incurred in connection with such enrollment or attendance; (iii) certain expenses for the purchase of computer or peripheral equipment, as defined in Section 168 of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 168), computer software, as defined in Section 197 of the federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 197), or internet access and related services, if such equipment, software, or services are to be used primarily by the beneficiary during any of the years the beneficiary is enrolled at an eligible educational institution, except that, such expenses shall not include expenses for computer software designed for sports, games, or hobbies, unless the software is predominantly educational in nature; and (iv) certain room and board expenses incurred while attending an eligible educational institution at least half-time. "Eligible educational institutions", as used in this Section, means public and private colleges, junior colleges, graduate schools, and certain vocational institutions that are described in Section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1088) and that are eligible to participate in Department of Education student aid programs. A student shall be considered to be enrolled at least half-time if the student is enrolled for at least half the full-time academic work load for the course of study the student is pursuing as determined under the standards of the institution at which the student is enrolled. Distributions made from the pool for qualified expenses shall be made directly to the eligible educational institution, directly to a vendor, or in the form of a check payable to both the beneficiary and the institution or vendor. Any moneys that are distributed in any other manner or that are used for expenses other than qualified expenses at an eligible educational institution shall be subject to a penalty of 10% of the earnings unless the beneficiary dies, becomes a person with a disability, or receives a scholarship that equals or exceeds the distribution. Penalties shall be withheld at the time the distribution is made.
    The Treasurer shall limit the contributions that may be made on behalf of a designated beneficiary based on the limitations established by the Internal Revenue Service. The contributions made on behalf of a beneficiary who is also a beneficiary under the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Program shall be further restricted to ensure that the contributions in both programs combined do not exceed the limit established for the College Savings Pool. The Treasurer shall provide the Illinois Student Assistance Commission each year at a time designated by the Commission, an electronic report of all participant accounts in the Treasurer's College Savings Pool, listing total contributions and disbursements from each individual account during the previous calendar year. As soon thereafter as is possible following receipt of the Treasurer's report, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission shall, in turn, provide the Treasurer with an electronic report listing those College Savings Pool participants who also participate in the State's prepaid tuition program, administered by the Commission. The Commission shall be responsible for filing any combined tax reports regarding State qualified savings programs required by the United States Internal Revenue Service. The Treasurer shall work with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to coordinate the marketing of the College Savings Pool and the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Program when considered beneficial by the Treasurer and the Director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The Treasurer's office shall not publicize or otherwise market the College Savings Pool or accept any moneys into the College Savings Pool prior to March 1, 2000. The Treasurer shall provide a separate accounting for each designated beneficiary to each participant, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and the participating financial institution at which the account was processed. No interest in the program may be pledged as security for a loan. Moneys held in an account invested in the Illinois College Savings Pool shall be exempt from all claims of the creditors of the participant, donor, or designated beneficiary of that account, except for the non-exempt College Savings Pool transfers to or from the account as defined under subsection (j) of Section 12-1001 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/12-1001(j)).
    The assets of the College Savings Pool and its income and operation shall be exempt from all taxation by the State of Illinois and any of its subdivisions. The accrued earnings on investments in the Pool once disbursed on behalf of a designated beneficiary shall be similarly exempt from all taxation by the State of Illinois and its subdivisions, so long as they are used for qualified expenses. Contributions to a College Savings Pool account during the taxable year may be deducted from adjusted gross income as provided in Section 203 of the Illinois Income Tax Act. The provisions of this paragraph are exempt from Section 250 of the Illinois Income Tax Act.
    The Treasurer shall adopt rules he or she considers necessary for the efficient administration of the College Savings Pool. The rules shall provide whatever additional parameters and restrictions are necessary to ensure that the College Savings Pool meets all of the requirements for a qualified state tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 529). The rules shall provide for the administration expenses of the pool to be paid from its earnings and for the investment earnings in excess of the expenses and all moneys collected as penalties to be credited or paid monthly to the several participants in the pool in a manner which equitably reflects the differing amounts of their respective investments in the pool and the differing periods of time for which those amounts were in the custody of the pool. Also, the rules shall require the maintenance of records that enable the Treasurer's office to produce a report for each account in the pool at least annually that documents the account balance and investment earnings. Notice of any proposed amendments to the rules and regulations shall be provided to all participants prior to adoption. Amendments to rules and regulations shall apply only to contributions made after the adoption of the amendment.
    Upon creating the College Savings Pool, the State Treasurer shall give bond with 2 or more sufficient sureties, payable to and for the benefit of the participants in the College Savings Pool, in the penal sum of $1,000,000, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his or her duties in relation to the College Savings Pool.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15; 100-161, eff. 8-18-17.)