The Nebraska educational savings plan trust is created. The State Treasurer is the trustee of the trust and as such is responsible for the administration, operation, and maintenance of the program and has all powers necessary to carry out and effectuate the purposes, objectives, and provisions of sections 85-1801 to 85-1814 pertaining to the administration, operation, and maintenance of the trust and program, except that the state investment officer shall have fiduciary responsibility to make all decisions regarding the investment of the money in the administrative fund, expense fund, and program fund, including the selection of all investment options and the approval of all fees and other costs charged to trust assets except costs for administration, operation, and maintenance of the trust as appropriated by the Legislature, pursuant to the directions, guidelines, and policies established by the Nebraska Investment Council. The State Treasurer may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the efficient administration, operation, and maintenance of the trust and program. The State Treasurer shall not adopt and promulgate rules and regulations that in any way interfere with the fiduciary responsibility of the state investment officer to make all decisions regarding the investment of money in the administrative fund, expense fund, and program fund. The State Treasurer or his or her designee shall have the power to:
(1) Enter into agreements with any eligible educational institution, the state, any federal or other state agency, or any other entity to implement sections 85-1801 to 85-1814, except agreements which pertain to the investment of money in the administrative fund, expense fund, or program fund;
(2) Carry out the duties and obligations of the trust;
(3) Carry out studies and projections to advise participants regarding present and estimated future qualified higher education expenses and levels of financial participation in the trust required in order to enable participants to achieve their educational funding objectives;
(4) Participate in any federal, state, or local governmental program for the benefit of the trust;
(5) Procure insurance against any loss in connection with the property, assets, or activities of the trust as provided in section 81-8,239.01;
(6) Enter into participation agreements with participants;
(7) Make payments to eligible educational institutions pursuant to participation agreements on behalf of beneficiaries;
(8) Make distributions to participants upon the termination of participation agreements pursuant to the provisions, limitations, and restrictions set forth in sections 85-1801 to 85-1814;
(9) Contract for goods and services and engage personnel as necessary, including consultants, actuaries, managers, legal counsels, and auditors for the purpose of rendering professional, managerial, and technical assistance and advice regarding trust administration and operation, except contracts which pertain to the investment of the administrative, expense, or program funds; and
(10) Establish, impose, and collect administrative fees and charges in connection with transactions of the trust, and provide for reasonable service charges, including penalties for cancellations and late payments with respect to participation agreements.
The Nebraska Investment Council may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to provide for the prudent investment of the assets of the trust. The council or its designee also has the authority to select and enter into agreements with individuals and entities to provide investment advice and management of the assets held by the trust, establish investment guidelines, objectives, and performance standards with respect to the assets held by the trust, and approve any fees, commissions, and expenses, which directly or indirectly affect the return on assets.