State college savings plans top $1 billion in assets

More than 153,000 Hoosiers participating in program
2009-12-17T00:00:00Z State college savings plans top $1 billion in assetsBy Dan Carden - dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
December 17, 2009 12:00 am  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Total assets in Indiana's college savings plans topped $1 billion for the first time in November, the state treasurer announced Wednesday.

As of Nov. 30, the CollegeChoice Direct and CollegeChoice Advisor 529 college savings plans had a combined total of $1.02 billion in assets under management in 153,000 accounts.

"Surpassing this milestone reinforces my belief that Indiana’s 529 college savings plans are on the right track and are helping prospective Hoosier students fulfill their dreams of a higher education," state treasurer Richard Mourdock said.

The Indiana Education Savings Authority operates the savings funds in conjunction with Upromise Investments, the program's manager.

"We feel this milestone is a testament to Indiana’s commitment to making the CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan accessible to all families," said Mark Chapleau, president of Upromise Investments. "Together, by keeping fees and minimum contributions low, we have been able to offer low- and moderate-income families a pathway to saving for the future."

The CollegeChoice plans allow Hoosiers to save and grow money for college in a tax deferred account. If the money is used for college expenses the earnings are distributed free from federal income taxes.

Indiana taxpayers can also claim a state income tax credit of 20 percent on contributions made to the 529 plans, up to a $1,000 credit.

The "529" refers to section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code where the plans are detailed.

Indiana's plans have been recognized as among the best in the nation, Mourdock said.

In November, Bankrate's SavingforCollege.com rated the plans 5-Cap for Indiana residents, the organization's highest possible rating. In April, the CollegeChoice Direct Savings Plan was also rated a Top 5 Best college savings plan in the country by Morningstar, an independent investment research firm.

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