New investment options added to help encourage more students and families to save for higher education
New York, March 30, 2015 — TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI), announced today a new five-year contract renewal to manage the Connecticut Higher Education Trust 529 College Savings Plan (CHET). CHET has $2.37 billion in assets across 99,000 accounts and has distributed more than $1 billion in qualified withdrawals on behalf of 30,000 students as of February 2015.
The CHET plan now will offer three additional investment options, bringing the total to 14. These vary in their strategy and degree of risk and include new index-based options.
“We hope this broad menu of options will encourage even more families to take advantage of the benefits of the CHET 529 College Savings Plan,” said Michael Noone, president, TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. “Though saving for college can seem daunting, 529 programs like CHET can make it possible for families of prospective students to start and continue saving throughout the childhood years.”
The CHET 529 College Savings Plan is an easy-to-use account that can be opened with as little as $25 and offers many tax advantages. Any account earnings have the opportunity to grow federal and Connecticut income tax-deferred, and withdrawals are free from Connecticut income and federal taxes if used for qualified higher education expenses. The amount contributed by a Connecticut taxpayer to a CHET account during a tax year is deductible from Connecticut adjusted gross income up to $5,000 for a single return or $10,000 for a joint return for that tax year. (Amounts transferred from another 529 college savings plan are not eligible for the Connecticut income tax deduction.)
“Our commitment to CHET and our overall 529 business is a natural extension of TIAA-CREF’s mission – to provide financial solutions for all stages of one’s life,” Noone said. “TFI works closely with each of the state 529 plans we manage to develop an approach to plan management that meets the needs of the state and its 529 plan account holders.”
Parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens and at least 18 years of age may open and contribute to a CHET account on behalf of a beneficiary. Connecticut residency is not required.
TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. is one of the largest and longest-tenured 529 program managers in the country, offering low-cost, high-value, direct-sold 529 programs since 1998. Through TFI, the firm manages 11 state-sponsored 529 college savings plans with total assets under management of $19.6 billion.
For more information about 529 College Savings Plans, visit the TIAA-CREF website.
TIAA-CREF (www.tiaa.org) is a national financial services organization with $851 billion in assets under management (as of 12.31.14) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.