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Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella on Monday announced that the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Investment Plan (IP) is now ranked 8th in SavingForCollege.com’s 529 one-year performance rankings for the first quarter of 2020.
“This high ranking of the PA 529 Investment Plan is another accolade that highlights the plan’s capability to help families save their hard-earned money successfully for their children’s future education,” said Torsella in a press release. “Pennsylvania’s college graduates enter the workforce with some of the most crushing debt loads in the nation. Saving early can help alleviate that need to borrow, and the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program continues to offer exceptional tools to help families meet their savings goals.”
SavingForCollege.com compared the performance of direct-sold 529 plans by looking at seven asset-allocation categories to determine performance scores, according to the release, which went on to say:
The PA 529 IP includes 17 different investment options through Vanguard. This variety allows families to choose the level of investment risk they are most comfortable with. The IP also has some of the lowest fees when compared with similar plans in other states.
The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program also offers the Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP). While IP account owners’ investment returns are based on market performance, the GSP is a lower-risk option where returns are based on tuition increases. GSP account owners save for future tuition rates at today’s prices.
Account owners also receive numerous tax benefits including federal and Pennsylvania tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, contributions that are deductible from PA state income taxes and account balances that are exempt from state inheritance tax. Assets in PA 529 accounts do not count against families when determining state financial aid eligibility, a benefit that is exclusive to PA 529.
Families currently have more than $5.3 billion in assets invested in PA 529 accounts, $3.3 billion of that invested in the IP. Over the life of the PA 529 program, it has paid out more than $4 billion in qualified education expenses.
In 2019, the IP was recognized with a Morningstar Bronze RatingTM. This rating puts the IP plan among an elite group of Top 529 College Savings Plans for 2019 analyzed and rated by Morningstar.