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Facts About Idaho's 529 Plan

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:49 PM

For anyone living in Idaho who is considering saving for a higher education for themselves or their children, a 529 plan may be a great option. As higher education is becoming harder to afford, the 529 plans offer an alternative to regular savings accounts.



According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the 529 tax-advantaged savings plans are authorized by the IRS to encourage people to save for future college costs. These plans, legally known as "qualified tuition plans," are sponsored by states, state agencies or educational institutions and differ from one state to the next on what they offer and entail. While Idaho has just one plan (other states offer multiple types of 529 plans with different options), its "IDeal" plan is worth a look. Here are some facts about Idaho's 529 plan.

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  1. The IDeal plan is managed by Ascensus College savings. The earnings grow tax deferred, so your money works harder and qualified withdrawals are tax free.


  2. Idaho taxpayers can claim a state income tax deduction of up to $4,000 of their IDeal contributions (or $8,000, if married.) The plan covers withdrawals for tuition, fees, books, equipment and certain room and board costs.


  3. It can be used at any eligible higher education facility in the nation including community colleges, four- to seven-year institutions, vocational or technical schools, career retraining schools and dual credit courses.


  4. Anyone with a Social Security number can be a beneficiary. Gift contributions are accepted from family and friends and it offers 10 investment options.


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  6. The IDeal plan has three age-based options offered at three risk levels: aggressive, moderate and conservative, which each contain four to five portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Whatever contributions you make are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the appropriate risk level and are later reassigned to a more conservative portfolio as the beneficiary reaches college age.


  7. It has six fixed portfolios using Vanguard mutual funds. IDeal offers a savings portfolio invested in the Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings account. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise (by SallieMae) reward service.

  8. There is direct enrollment. You don't have to be a resident of Idaho to enroll in these plans. Anyone who is a citizen of the United States, resident alien or at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities can enroll.


  9. The Maximum contribution allowed to a single beneficiary is $350,000 with minimum startup investments of $25, or $15 per pay period via payroll deduction.


  10. There are fees involved that include a $20 annual maintenance fee and program management fees. There are no matching dollars offered by the state.

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For anyone living in Idaho who is considering saving for a higher education for themselves or their children, a 529 plan may be a great option. As higher education is becoming harder to afford, the 529 plans offer an alternative to regular savings accounts.


529 plan, Idaho, facts
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2015-49-20
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:49 PM
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