AUSTIN — Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reminds Texas families that, starting today, investors in Texas’ 529 College Savings Plan will see changes implemented by new plan manager OFI Private Investments Inc., a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds Inc.
“The changes start with two new plan names — the direct sold Texas College Savings Plan for do-it-yourself investors and the advisor sold LoneStar 529 Plan for investors who prefer working with a financial professional,” Combs said. “Both plans offer broader investment options and more competitive fees than in the past.”
The 20,000 account holders in the state’s previous 529 plan, known as Tomorrow’s College Investment Plan, will transfer automatically to one of the new plans today, depending on whether they originally enrolled directly or through an investment advisor. OFI has sent current account holders information about the new plans and the new investment options now available to help families meet their college savings goals.
As of Monday, college savers can find information about Texas’ new 529 College Savings Plans on two new Web sites. Both the Texas College Savings Plan Web site at www.texascollegesavings.com and the LoneStar 529 Plan Web site at www.lonestar529.com provide plan details and useful account management tools to help college savers plan their investment strategy; assess their progress; and make contributions, withdrawals and other account transactions and updates online.
“I believe current account holders will be as excited about the changes as I am,” Combs said. “And I hope families that have not yet chosen a college savings plan or have chosen to invest in other states’ 529 plans will see what our own state’s plans offer and will choose to invest in Texas. Through the Texas College Savings Plan and the LoneStar 529 Plan, we want to make it easier for families to save for college and ensure that our children and our state have a bright and prosperous future.”
The new plans are convenient, flexible and affordable. Investors can open an account for $25, and future contributions can be as little as $15. Assets in the plans may be used to pay tuition and fees, plus other college expenses such as room and board, books and supplies.
Money invested in the plan earns tax-free returns and account withdrawals are also tax free if the money is spent on qualifying college expenses.
To open a Texas College Savings Plan account directly through the state, call (800) 445-GRAD (4723) or visit the Texas College Savings Plan Web site www.texascollegesavings.com. College savers may wish to contact an investment adviser to enroll in the LoneStar 529 Plan or visit the plan Web site at www.lonestar529.com for more information.
Participants are advised to read the plan description before investing, according to a disclaimer from the comptroller’s office, which notes that principal contributions to and investment returns on an account are not guaranteed by the state and that investments involve risks, including the possible loss of principal invested.