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Home > News & Events > News Releases > News Release Archive 2007 > Enhancements to the Minnesota College Savings Plan Help Parents Save for Their Children's College Education

 

Enhancements to the Minnesota College Savings Plan Help Parents Save for Their Children's College Education

Archive

10/1/2007


 

Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
(651) 259-3902

Minnesota's 529 Plan Has Three New Investment Options and an Improved Matching Grant for Qualifying Families

Parents concerned about saving for their children's college education now have three additional investment options to choose from in the Minnesota College Savings Plan. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education and TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. have expanded the investment options to help account owners align their investment objectives and risk tolerance. The state of Minnesota has also increased the Minnesota College Savings Plan maximum matching grant award for contributions made in 2007. The plan's investment options are

  • the Balanced Option (new August 1)
  • the 100 percent Fixed-Income Option (new August 1)
  • Money Market Option (New November 1)
  • Managed Allocation Option
  • 100 percent Equity Option
  • Guaranteed Option

All six of Minnesota's 529 plan investment options continue to maintain a low 0.65% total annual asset-based fee. There are no additional sales charges, enrollment or maintenance fees.

"The goal in rolling out the new investments is to provide account owners more opportunities to pursue their college savings goals. Adding new investment options provides account owners more choices for diversification when designing an appropriate investment portfolio for their child's education," said Kerry Alexander of TIAA-CREF.

In addition to the new savings options, the state of Minnesota maximum matching grant award has increased from $300 in 2006 to $400 per beneficiary, per year, for 2007 contributions. The state's Minnesota matching grant requirements include a minimum annual contribution to the Minnesota College Savings Plan and an annual application. In addition, the account beneficiary's family must meet residency and income criteria.

"Minnesota's matching grant is designed to encourage college savings among low and moderate income Minnesotans," said Susan Heegaard, Director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "By expanding the matching grant maximum award, the state's policy makers hope to see more parents and grandparents investing in the future education of a child."

If parents or grandparents haven't opened a Minnesota 529 account yet, they can get started with a $25 initial contribution per investment option. Any earnings can be federal and state tax free if used for qualified higher educational expenses. Plan funds can be used at virtually any eligible college, university, career or graduate school in the United States and even some overseas. The Minnesota College Savings Plan is a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan implemented and administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with more than $425 billion in combined assets under management, as of June 30, 2007, and has been a provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields for more than 90 years.

For more information on the new investment options or to enroll online, please visit www.mnsaves.org or call 1-877-338-4646.


Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Please visit www.mnsaves.org for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that states 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 tax penalties. It was written to support the promotion of the Plan. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

The State of Minnesota, its agencies, the Minnesota State Board of Investment the Minnesota Office of Higher Education), TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America and its affiliates do not insure any Account or guarantee its principal or investment return, except for the guarantee of TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company to the Board on behalf of the Office under the Funding Agreement for the Guaranteed Option. Account value will fluctuate based upon a number of factors, including general market conditions.

© 2007 TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., program manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA, distributes the Minnesota College Savings Plan.