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Do You Know What A 529 Is?

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar Reminds Families to Start Saving for Higher Education on “529 Education Savings Day.”

(AUSTIN) — Today is “529 Education Savings Day,” and Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is encouraging families to save for their children’s higher education expenses using the state’s 529 college savings and prepaid tuition plans.

“It’s never too late for Texas families to start saving for the future education of a loved one,” Hegar said. “One way to get a head start is by opening a new 529 plan or contributing to an existing one.”

Texas offers three tax-advantaged 529 plans: the Texas College Savings Plan® (TCSP) and the LoneStar 529 Plan® (LS529), both college savings plans, and the Texas Tuition Promise Fund® (TTPF), a prepaid tuition plan. The programs are known as 529 plans because they are authorized by Internal Revenue Code Section 529.

The TTPF is designed to help families, and individuals prepay and lock in today’s rates for all or some future undergraduate tuition and schoolwide required fees at any two- or four-year Texas public college or university.

The TCSP and LS529 college savings plans allow families to work toward building college savings by investing in one or more professionally managed portfolios, either by enrolling in TCSP directly or in LS529 through a financial advisor. In addition to paying for higher education costs, college savings plans such as TCSP and LS529 now can be used to pay K-12 tuition expenses.

The Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board administers all three 529 plans through the Comptroller’s office. To lock in undergraduate tuition and schoolwide required fees at 2017-18 prices, TTPF enrollment for newborns is available through July 31; for 2018-19 costs, open registration begins Sept. 1. Texas residency requirements apply.

The TCSP and LS529 plans are open for enrollment year-round.

Texas Tuition Promise Fund® purchasers should carefully consider the risks, administrative fees, service and other charges and expenses associated with the contracts, including plan termination and decreased transfer or refund value. Purchasers should read the Texas Tuition Promise Fund Plan Description and Master Agreement carefully before purchasing. Neither a contract nor any return paid with a refund is insured or guaranteed.

Before investing in the direct-sold Texas College Savings Plan® or the advisor-sold LoneStar 529 Plan®, investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, administrative fees, service and other charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities. Investors should read each Plan Description and Savings Trust Agreement carefully before investing. No part of an account, the principal invested, nor any investment return is insured or guaranteed.

As stated in the current Plan Description and Savings Trust Agreement for the Texas College Savings Plan, total fees for the Texas College Savings Plan portfolios ranged from 0.60% to 1.00%. As stated in the current Plan Description and Savings Trust Agreement for the LoneStar 529 Plan, total fees for the LoneStar 529 Plan portfolios ranged from 0.68% to 2.47% with a maximum sales charge of 5.75%. Prices are subject to change.

You may forward your comments or complaints to the Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Program, Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts, P.O. Box 13407, Austin, Texas 78711-3407 or by calling 512-936-2064.