Edvest College Savings Plan

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Edvest Surpasses $4 Billion Mark Helping Wisconsin Families Save for College

Lower fees, powerful tax incentives and flexible plan options fuel growth
Nov 12, 2020

Edvest, Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan, has reached an important milestone, surpassing the $4 billion mark in assets as of November 10, 2020. The continued growth of the program reinforces Edvest’s commitment to helping Wisconsin families save for the cost of higher education.

“We know that many families are being extra cautious as they invest their hard-earned dollars during these unprecedented times, which is why we are so grateful for all of those Wisconsin families who trust Edvest to be their savings partner,” said Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “Edvest remains committed to helping families improve their financial wellness by offering the savings tools they need as they plan for their future.”

Edvest is Wisconsin’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan designed for families who want to direct their own 529 college savings accounts. Edvest, which is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI), currently has 194,584 accounts. TFI will reduce its program management fee by .01% to .07% effective December 1, 2020 in recognition of Edvest’s plan assets reaching $4 billion. The plan has no sales charges, enrollment fees, or annual account maintenance fees, making it among the lowest cost 529 college savings plan in the nation.1 This reduction in fees is expected to save Edvest College Savings Plan account owners more than $400,000 annually.

As families consider their college savings strategy, here are a few things to know:

Edvest’s 529 College Savings Plan is flexible. 529 plans remain a wise choice during uncertain economic times. With Edvest you can contribute when you can in whatever amount you can, and as your economic situation changes, it is easy to adjust your contribution amount as needed. Additionally, when it is time to pay for college, savings can be used almost anywhere. Edvest funds can be used to pay for college and university, technical college, professional school, graduate school, certain continuing education courses – as well as at many schools abroad.

Save smarter, not harder. In addition to even lower fees, Wisconsin families that save with Edvest can potentially deduct up to $3,340 per beneficiary from their 2020 Wisconsin taxable income. Wisconsin families with more than one child or grandchild may be eligible for a state tax deduction of up to $6,680 for two children, $10,020 for three children, and so on. Additionally, annual contributions of more than $3,340 may be carried forward to be applied in subsequent tax years. Limitations apply.2

Ask for help. Most parents cannot cover 100 percent of their child’s college education, which is why Edvest makes it easy for friends and family to give at birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc. In addition to helping an account grow faster, in certain cases, the contributor may also be eligible for state tax benefits or to incorporate the gift into their overall estate and legacy planning. Many employers now also offer 529 plans as part of their benefits package, making it even easier to be consistent with saving.

In addition to experiencing significant growth in 2020, Edvest received numerous accolades from industry-leading sources. SavingforCollege.com recently awarded the program a 5-Cap Rating for Wisconsin residents, noting the Plan’s “outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits” (SavingforCollege.com, 8/17/2020). Edvest also received a “Best in Class” rating from Morningstar, Inc., 10/27/2020.3

For more information about Edvest, including live webinars with college savings consultants, or to open an account today, please visit Edvest.com. College savings representatives are available toll-free at 888.338.3789 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time.

About Edvest:
Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. Account owners can choose from 25 investment portfolios, access easy-to-use savings tools, and take advantage of in-state tax benefits for Wisconsin residents.

1A total of 51 plans are ranked by Strategic Insights; 529 College Savings Quarterly Fee Analysis, Second Quarter 2020.

2To learn more about the Wisconsin College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks and costs, please see the Plan Description at Edvest.com. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. If the funds aren’t used for qualified higher education expenses, a 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply. Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protection from creditors for investing in its own 529 plan. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Wisconsin College Savings Plan. Neither TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., nor its affiliates, are responsible for the content found on any external website links contained herein.

3In an annual review (10/27/2020) of the largest 529 college savings plans (61 total), Morningstar identified 35 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2020. These plans offer investment options that Morningstar expects will collectively outperform and exhibit some combination of the following attractive features across four key pillars: a well-researched asset-allocation approach, a robust process for selecting underlying investments, an appropriate set of options to meet investor needs, strong oversight from the state and investment manager, and low fees. The four key pillars used by Morningstar to evaluate college savings plans include – Process, People, Parent, and Price. For more information about Morningstar’s overview of the Edvest College Savings Plan, go to Morningstar.com. Past performance does not predict future results. Source: Morningstar.com. A Morningstar Analyst Rating for a 529 college savings plan is not a credit or risk rating. Analyst ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decision.

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