529 College Savings Program To Offer New Investment Options
Beginning in September, New York’s 529 College Savings Program will offer more investment options, lower costs, raise the maximum allowable balance and eliminate the $25 minimum contribution.
“Now’s the time to take advantage of the improvements we’re making to New York’s 529 College Savings Program,” said Thomas DiNapoli, state comptroller. “We’re making it easier for New Yorkers of all income levels to invest in their loved one’s future, as the cost of obtaining a college education continues to rise. NY’s 529 College Savings Program can help offset some of those costs.”
Six new investment portfolios are being added to the Direct Plan’s three age-based options. This will smooth the transition steps from more aggressive to more conservative investments as the beneficiary nears college age. More information can be found in the plan’s brochure here.
In addition to the new investment options, DiNapoli said program fees will be reduced. The total asset-based fee for all Direct Plan portfolios will drop to 0.15 percent, meaning participants will pay $1.50 in program fees each year for every $1,000 invested in the plan. The maximum account balance will be increased from $375,000 to $520,000 for both the Direct and Advisor Plans to more accurately reflect rising college costs.
Another significant enhancement is that the minimum contribution of $25 will be eliminated for Direct Plan participants so individuals of all incomes can open accounts and contribute as much as they can afford.
New York’s 529 College Savings Program currently includes two separate 529 plans: the Direct Plan sold directly by the program and the Advisor Plan, sold exclusively through financial advisors. The Advisor Plan has different investment options and higher fees and expenses as well as financial advisor compensation.
The state comptroller and the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. are the program administrators and are responsible for implementing and administering New York’s 529 College Savings Program.