All children born or adopted in Massachusetts in 2020 and beyond will be eligible for the BabySteps Savings Plan program, previously known as SeedMA Baby. This program deposits $50 to the Massachusetts 529 plans of newborn and recently adopted children in the state. A Massachusetts 529 plan must be opened by the baby’s first birthday or within one year of the child’s adoption.
The BabySteps Savings Plan program expands a 2016 pilot program for kindergarteners in Worcester and Monson to the entire state.
Funding for the $50 contributions is provided by private donors through the state’s Economic Empowerment Trust Fund (EETF).
Massachusetts joins the states of Maine, North Dakota and Rhode Island and the City of Boston and the City of San Francisco in offering a birthday grant program to encourage parents of newborn children to open 529 plans. The birthday grants range from $50 to $500, depending on the state.
Other states, including Kansas, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Virginia, match 529 plan contributions for low- and moderate-income children.
Research has demonstrated that low- and moderate-income children who have 529 plans are much more likely to enroll in and graduate from college.