ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recent changes made to the Minnesota College Savings Plan have led to an upgrade in its rating from Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
Minnesota’s official 529 plan now has a neutral rating, the same rating as 31 other states. “We are very glad Morningstar has recognized the efforts we have gone to in order to improve the program for our account holders,” said Robert Stern, Sr. Marketing Manager, TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., and the program manager for Minnesota’s 529 plan.
This past August, Minnesota renegotiated its contract with program manager TIAA-CREF and as a result plan fees were reduced by more than 0.50%. At the same time, the plan smoothed out the rolldown in equities of its age-based options as they approach college age. Morningstar says this more gradual shift in allocation should help college savers lessen the effect of moving out of equities just after a market dip when there's the potential to lock in losses.
Also new as of Aug. 12, a change in the investment options lineup. Account owners now have access to four new Investment Options: a conservative option, an aggressive option, a large cap fund option and an equity plus interest option. In addition, the overall contribution limit for each account has been raised from $235,000 to $350,000.
Families can open an account with as little as $25. For employers offering payroll deduction, the minimum contribution is just $15. Plus, there are no sales charges, start-up or maintenance fees. Any earnings in the plan’s investments can grow tax-free as long as the funds are used for qualified expenses at any college, university, trade or career school in the nation and some foreign countries.
To learn more about the Minnesota College Savings Plan, visit www.mnsaves.org or call 952-830-3127 to speak with a local tuition financing consultant. The Minnesota College Savings Plan is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI). TFI is part of the TIAA-CREF group of companies, with $613 billion in combined assets under management as of 6/30/14.
Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Please visit www.mnsaves.org for a Plan Disclosure Booklet with this and other information. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. Before investing in a 529 plan, consider whether the state where you or your designated Beneficiary resides has a 529 plan offering favorable state tax benefits available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.
The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding federal or state taxes or tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek tax advice from an independent tax advisor based on their own particular circumstances. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc., Plan Manager C10116