Kansas City, Mo. (April 5, 2004) -- Even if they're not currently saving for a child's college education, the overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed support making the tax-free withdrawal benefit of 529 college savings plans permanent, according to a poll by American Century Investments.

Among the 2,023 people surveyed, 36 percent have children under the age of 18. Eighty-one percent of those with children support extending the tax benefits of withdrawals. But even among those respondents with no children under 18, support stands at 73 percent, ACI reported. And, of the 11 percent of parents currently participating in 529 plans, 92 percent favor making the tax benefits permanent.

Additional survey findings showed that support for extending the tax benefits of 529 plans also spanned the political spectrum, with self-described Democrats (75 percent), Republicans (80 percent) and independents (77 percent) overwhelmingly positive in their support for extending the tax benefits.

Also, 95 percent of parents surveyed said they believe their children will pursue education beyond high school. Of these parents, 71 percent are currently saving for this post-secondary education, with 11 percent utilizing 529 plans. Almost two-thirds of these parents, or 63 percent, are concerned about their children having to go into debt to pay for post-secondary education, and a near-equal amount fear not saving enough for their children's education.

-- WebCPA staff

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