15-62-203. Selection of financial institution as account depository and manager -- contract -- termination. (1) The board shall implement the program through the use of one or more financial institutions to act as the depository and manager. Under the program, a person may establish accounts at the depository.
(2) The committee shall solicit proposals from financial institutions to act as the depositories and managers of the program. Financial institutions that submit proposals shall describe the financial instruments that will be held in accounts.
(3) On the recommendation of the committee, the board shall select as program depositories and managers the financial institution or institutions from among bidding financial institutions that demonstrate the most advantageous combination, both to potential program participants and to this state, of:
(a) financial stability and integrity;
(b) the safety of the investment instruments being offered, taking into account any insurance provided with respect to these instruments;
(c) the ability of the investment instruments to track estimated costs of higher education as calculated by the board and provided by the financial institution to the account holder;
(d) the ability of the financial institutions, directly or through a subcontract, to satisfy recordkeeping and reporting requirements;
(e) the financial institution's plan for promoting the program and the investment that it is willing to make to promote the program;
(f) the fees, if any, proposed to be charged to persons for maintaining accounts;
(g) the minimum initial deposit and minimum contributions that the financial institution will require and the willingness of the financial institution or its subcontractors to accept contributions through payroll deduction plans and other deposit plans; and
(h) any other benefits to this state or its residents contained in the proposal, including an account opening fee payable to the board by the account owner to cover expenses of operation of the program and any additional fee offered by the financial institution for statewide program marketing by the board.
(4) The board shall enter into a contract with a financial institution or, except as provided in subsection (5), into contracts with financial institutions to serve as depositories and program managers.
(5) The committee may select more than one financial institution to serve as depository and program manager. The committee may select more than one kind of investment instrument to be offered through the program. Any decision on the use of multiple financial institutions or multiple investment instruments must take into account:
(a) the requirements for qualifying as a qualified state tuition program under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 529);
(b) differing needs of contributors regarding risk and potential return of investment instruments; and
(c) administrative costs and burdens that may be imposed as the result of the decision.
(6) A program manager or its subcontractor shall:
(a) take action required to keep the program in compliance with its contract or the requirements of this chapter to manage the program so that it is treated as a qualified state tuition plan under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. 529;
(b) keep adequate records of each account, keep each account segregated from each other account, and provide the board with the information necessary to prepare statements required by 15-62-201(12) through (14) or file these statements on behalf of the board;
(c) compile and total information contained in statements required to be prepared under 15-62-201(12) through (14) and provide these compilations to the board;
(d) if there is more than one program manager, provide the board with the information to assist the board in determining compliance with rules adopted by the board pursuant to 20-25-902;
(e) provide representatives of the board, including other contractors or other state agencies, access to the books and records of the program manager to the extent needed to determine compliance with the contract. At least once during the term of any contract, the board, its contractor, or the state agency responsible for examination oversight of the program manager shall conduct an examination to the extent needed to determine compliance with the contract.
(f) hold all accounts in trust for the benefit of this state and the account owner.
(7) A person may not circulate any description of the program, whether in writing or through the use of any media, unless the board or its designee first approves the description.
(8) A contract executed between the board and a financial institution pursuant to this section must be for a term of at least 3 years and not more than 7 years.
(9) If a contract executed between the board and a financial institution pursuant to this section is not renewed, at the end of the term of the nonrenewed contract:
(a) accounts previously established and held in investment instruments at the financial institution may not be terminated;
(b) additional contributions may be made to the accounts in existence at the time of nonrenewal of a contract; and
(c) new accounts may not be placed with that financial institution unless a new contract is executed.
(10) The board may terminate a contract with a financial institution at any time for good cause on the recommendation of the committee. If a contract is terminated pursuant to this subsection, the board shall take custody of accounts held at that financial institution and shall seek to promptly transfer the accounts to another financial institution that is selected as a program manager and into investment instruments as similar as possible to the original investments.
History: En. Sec. 8, Ch. 540, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 468, L. 2001.