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Facts About Indiana's 529 Plans

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 11:28 AM

Saving for college can be a daunting task with the escalating costs of higher education, but Indiana is looking for ways to help with its three 529 programs. According to Savingforcollege.com, the Indiana 529 programs are CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan, CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan and the CollegeChoice Advisor 529 Savings Plan.

The 529 tax-advantaged savings plan is authorized by the IRS and legally known as "qualified tuition plans," are sponsored by states, state agencies or educational institutions, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

They may differ from one state to the next on what they offer and entail. Additionally, 529 plans come in two forms: pre-paid tuition plans and college savings plans. Every state and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one type of 529 plan as do private colleges and universities.

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Here are some facts about Indiana 529 plans to consider.

1. The Savingforcollege.com website's highly rated CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan has an age-based option that uses Vanguard funds along with seven individual options. Its features include an age-based option using Vanguard index and Loomis Sayles Funds, seven portfolio options with several investment managers, and an FDIC-insured savings account from SallieMae Bank. Accounts also can be linked to the Upromise rewards service, which forwards earnings directly to the 529 account.

2. Also available is the SALLIE MAE 529 REWARDS World Elite MasterCard issued by Sallie Mae Bank that, like the Upromise service, earns rewards on qualified retail purchases that are automatically transferred into the 529 plan. Anyone can own an Indiana 529 plan if they are at least 18 years old, and a United States citizen, resident alien, a custodian or legal entity. Contributions to this plan cap at $298,770 per beneficiary and have a minimum periodic contribution of $25.

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3. Fees involved with the CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan include a $20 annual maintenance fee that is waived for Indiana residents or beneficiaries and for accounts with $25,000. This plan offers seven portfolios in its age-based program, and seven options with its static investment choices that use different investment managers for Active Bond, International, Bond Index, Money Market, Short Term Bond Index, U.S. Equity Index, and Inflation-Protected.

4. There are no state matching dollars for this savings plan, but there is a 20 percent tax credit on up to $5,000 per year in contributions to an Indiana 529 plan that can be claimed against Indiana income tax with a maximum yearly credit of $1,000.

5. The CollegeChoice Advisor 529 Savings Plan differs in that it uses iShares ETFs in its year-of-enrollment option. It has five investment managers within its 10 individual-fund options. Both of these 529 plans offer an Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured savings account portfolio. New to the Indiana 529 plan is the CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan, which offers FDIC-insured savings options from College Savings Bank.

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Saving for college can be a daunting task with the escalating costs of higher education, but Indiana is looking for ways to help with its three 529 programs.
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Wednesday, 20 May 2015 11:28 AM
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