The overall goal of the changes to both the direct and advisor plan is to enhance consumer choice, diversify fund managers, lower investment fees, and improve the overall program value to account owners
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(Vocus) February 12, 2009
Columbus, OH - The Ohio Tuition Trust Authority has announced the addition of six new investment options to Ohio's 529 direct plan, CollegeAdvantage. Beginning February 17, 2009, the CollegeAdvantage direct plan will offer additional investment options managed by leading investment firms such as PIMCO, Oppenheimer Funds, and GE Asset Management. The popular, low-cost investment options from The Vanguard Group and the FDIC-insured Fifth Third Bank savings accounts and Certificate of Deposits will continue to be offered. The new options are designed to offer greater diversity of fund managers, lower investment fees, and enhance overall program value to investors.
With the addition of the six new options, CollegeAdvantage will offer 23 investment choices providing a range of options in each major asset category to allow account owners the opportunity to diversify their investments in order to best manage investment risk. The choices also provide a variety of passively-managed index funds as well as actively-managed funds which seek to outperform major market benchmarks. The popular age-based options do the investment planning for account owners as the investment allocation automatically shifts to more conservative investments as the beneficiary gets closer to college age.
The Advantage Age-Based Option* - a multi-managed approach
Vanguard Conservative Age-Based Option
Vanguard Moderate Age-Based Option
Vanguard Aggressive Age-Based Option
Bank Options (100% Cash)
Fifth Third 529 Savings Account
Fifth Third 529 Certificate of Deposit
Balanced Options (Mix of Stocks and Bonds)
Vanguard Conservative Growth Index Portfolio
Vanguard Moderate Growth Index Portfolio
Vanguard Wellington Option*
Vanguard Growth Index Portfolio
Capital Preservation (Cash) and Fixed-Income (Bond) Options
Vanguard Prime Money Market Option
Vanguard Inflation-Protected Bond Option
Vanguard Income Portfolio
PIMCO Total Return Option*
PIMCO High Yield Option*
Equity Options (100% Stocks)
Vanguard Aggressive Growth Index Portfolio
Vanguard 500 Index Option
Vanguard Windsor II Option
Vanguard Morgan Growth Option
Vanguard Extended Market Index Option
Oppenheimer Main Street Small Cap Option*
Vanguard Developed Markets International Stock Index Option
GE Institutional International Equity Option*
*New investment options as of February 17, 2009
"Over the past year, the Tuition Trust staff, board and investment consultants have reviewed the investment choices and have worked to develop a diverse range of options to provide families with access to quality investments with low investment fees," said Jacqueline Williams, Executive Director of the Tuition Trust.
The CollegeAdvantage direct plan was recently recognized by savingforcollege.com, a leading analyst of 529 plans, as one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the country. They also provide Ohio's direct plan with their highest rating, a five out of five cap-rating.
The Tuition Trust sponsors two 529 plans, the direct plan, which is offered directly from the Tuition Trust, and the advisor plan, which is available to investors through professional investment advisors and managed by Putnam Investments. The Putnam advisor plan underwent enhancements in December 2008. Included in the enhancements to the advisor plan were changes to the underlying investments of the age-based and goal-based portfolios managed by Putnam. The changes include using a custom global asset allocation strategy that invests directly in a variety of stocks, bonds, and/or money market instruments. Enhancements also included the addition of several non-Putnam funds from leading fund managers.
"The overall goal of the changes to both the direct and advisor plan is to enhance consumer choice, diversify fund managers, lower investment fees, and improve the overall program value to account owners," Williams said.
As one of the largest 529 college savings plans in the country, the CollegeAdvantage direct-and advisor plans have more than $4.5 billion in total assets as of 12/31/08. Funds invested in Ohio's 529 plans can be used at any college in the country to pay for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. In addition, Ohio families can take advantage of state and federal tax benefits, including a $2,000 state income tax deduction. Families pay no taxes on their funds as they grow, and withdrawals that are used for qualified higher education expenses are exempt from both federal and state income taxes.
For more information on CollegeAdvantage or to enroll, call 1-800-AFFORD-IT (1-800-233-6734) or visit us on line at http://www.collegeadvantage.com
Contact: Judy Cunningham
Ohio Tuition Trust Authority