(b) The Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund shall continue to receive all payments from account owners on behalf of beneficiaries of prepaid tuition contracts or from any other source, public or private. Earnings derived from the investment of moneys in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund shall remain in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund held in trust in the same manner as payments, except as refunded, applied for purposes of the beneficiaries, and applied for purposes of maintaining and administering the prepaid tuition plan.
(c) The corpus, assets and earnings of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund do not constitute public funds of the state and are available solely for carrying out the purposes of this article. Any contract entered into by or any obligation of the board on behalf of and for the benefit of the Prepaid Tuition Plan does not constitute a debt of the state, but is solely an obligation of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund. The state has no obligation to any designated beneficiary or any other person as a result of the Prepaid Tuition Plan. All amounts payable from the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund are limited to amounts available in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund.
(d) Nothing in this article or in any prepaid tuition contract is a promise or guarantee of admission to, continued enrollment in, or graduation from an eligible educational institution.
(e) The requirements of the provisions of chapter thirty-two of this code do not apply to the sale of a prepaid tuition contract by the board, its employees and agents.
(f) The Prepaid Tuition Plan and the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund shall continue in existence until terminated by the Legislature as it determines or by the board upon determining that continued operation is infeasible. Upon termination of the plan and after payment of all fees, charges, expenses and penalties, the assets of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund are paid to current account owners, to the extent possible, on a pro rata basis as their interests may appear, and any assets presumed abandoned are reported and remitted to the unclaimed property administrator in accordance with the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act in article eight, chapter thirty-six of this code. Any assets then remaining in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund shall revert to the State General Revenue Fund.
(g) Effective March 8, 2003, the prepaid tuition plan is closed to new contracts until the Legislature authorizes the plan to reopen. Closing the plan to new contracts does not mean the Prepaid Tuition Plan is closed and does not affect any Prepaid Tuition Plan contracts in effect on March 8, 2003. All contract owners shall continue to pay any amounts due, including without limitation monthly installments, penalties and fees. Earnings derived from the investment of moneys in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund shall continue to accrue to the fund until the fund is closed in accordance with this article.
(h) The board shall continue to have the actuarial soundness of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund evaluated annually.
(i) (1) On or before December 1, 2003, and each year thereafter, the chairperson of the board shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Joint Committee on Government and Finance and the unclaimed property administrator a report certified by an actuary of the actuarial status of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund at the end of the fiscal year immediately preceding the date of the report.
(2) The Prepaid Tuition Trust Escrow Fund is continued in the State Treasury to guarantee payment of Prepaid Tuition Plan contracts. The board shall invest the Prepaid Tuition Trust Escrow Fund in accordance with the provisions of this article in fixed income securities, and all earnings of the escrow fund shall accrue to the escrow fund and be available for expenditure in accordance with this section.
(A) On July 1, 2009, the unclaimed property administrator shall transfer the amount of $8 million from the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund to the Prepaid Tuition Trust Escrow Fund.
(B) On or before December 15 of each fiscal year and continuing until the actuary certifies there are sufficient funds to pay out all contracts, the unclaimed property administrator shall transfer the amount of $1 million from the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund to the Prepaid Tuition Trust Escrow Fund.
(4) In the event the money in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund is insufficient to cover the amount of money needed to meet the current obligations of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund, the board may withdraw from the Prepaid Tuition Trust Escrow Fund the amount of money needed to meet current obligations of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund.
(5) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the Governor, after consultation with the Budget Office of the Department of Revenue, may request an appropriation to the board in the amount of the deficiency to meet the current obligations of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund, in the budget presented to the next session of the Legislature for its consideration. The Legislature is not required to make any appropriation pursuant to this subsection, and the amount of the deficiency is not a debt or a liability of the state.
(6) As used in this section, "current obligations of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund" means amounts required for the payment of contract distributions or other obligations of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund, the maintenance of the fund, and operating expenses for the current fiscal year.
(7) Nothing in this subsection creates an obligation of state general revenue funds or requires any level of funding by the Legislature.
(8) After the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund has been closed and all moneys paid in accordance with this section, any moneys remaining in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Escrow Fund shall be transferred to the General Revenue Fund and the account closed.
(j) To fulfill the charitable and public purpose of this article, neither the earnings nor the corpus of the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund is subject to taxation by the state or any of its political subdivisions.
(k) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, money in the Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund is exempt from creditor process and not subject to attachment, garnishment or other process; is not available as security or collateral for any loan, or otherwise subject to alienation, sale, transfer, assignment, pledge, encumbrance or charge; and is not subject to seizure, taking, appropriation or application by any legal or equitable process or operation of law to pay any debt or liability of any account owner, beneficiary or successor in interest.
(l) The provisions of this section may not be construed to interfere with the operation of the savings plan authorized under this article.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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