Payroll Deduction and Direct Deposit Plan

Contributing to your Bright Start account through payroll deductions is simple. Whether you are a parent that would like to save for your future scholar or you are an employer that would like to give your employees the ability to save for college with Bright Start, we can assist you.

Become a Face of Bright Start today!

Learn more about the Bright Start Payroll Deduction Plan


Offering your employees an expanded suite of benefits doesn’t have to be difficult. The Bright Start College Savings Payroll Deduction Plan is an easy and cost effective way to upgrade your company’s benefits package.

  • No setup or other plan costs
  • Easy administration
  • Competitive employee benefits that help attract and retain talent
  • Effective December 31, 2009, Illinois employers earn an Illinois state-tax credit when they match an employee’s contributions to an in-state 529 college savings plan, such as the Bright Start College Savings Program.1 The credit received by the employer is 25% of the matching contribution, but may not exceed $500 per employee per year. (Employers may opt out of match option at any time)

How it works—We’ve made the payroll deduction plan easy to start and maintain for employers.

  1. Complete the Bright Start Employer Authorization Form.
  2. Request employees provide a copy of their Employee Payroll Deduction Form for account and contribution information.
  3. Submit money to Bright Start College Savings Program via check, wire or direct deposit (see authorization form for details) for each pay period.

Spread the word—Encourage employees to take more control of their family’s future. It’s a simple and effective way to show that you care about your employees. Here are some ways to spread the word around your company:

  • Add a link to your intranet or human resources page
  • Order Bright Start Savings brochures
  • Place a Bright Start College Savings Payroll Deduction Plan flyer in your staff lounge or pantry

Learn more—To request more information or ask a question, please contact Illinois State Treasurer’s office: 312.814.1700.


The Bright Start College Savings Payroll Deduction Plan is a convenient and flexible method to contribute to a Bright Start account.

  • Contribute as little as $15 automatically from each paycheck
  • State tax deduction for Illinois residents (subject to recapture under certain circumstances)
  • Earnings on withdrawals for qualified for higher education expenses are exempt from federal and state taxes
  • Stop, start or change your deduction amount at any time. (If you leave your employer, contributions will automatically stop)
  • Take advantage of matching contributions if offered from an employer

If you change jobs, you have the option to start a new payroll deduction if your new employer also participates, or you can keep contributing via check, automatic contribution plan or electronic funds transfer.

If your employer offers Bright Start College Savings Payroll Deduction Plan, this is how it works

  • Open a Bright Start account online in as little as 15 minutes or designate an existing Bright Start account to enroll in payroll deduction plan
  • Complete the Payroll Deduction Form
  • Provide a copy of the Payroll Deduction Form to your payroll department
  • Mail copy of the form to:
    Bright Start College Savings Program
    P.O. Box 5288
    Denver, CO 20217
    Or fax it to: 303.768.6529.

If the Bright Start College Savings Payroll Deduction Plan isn’t offered at your job, please guide your employer to our website.

Learn more—To request more information or ask a question, please contact us.

1. Consult your tax advisor for qualifying companies.

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