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The Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan Named a Best in Class 529 Plan by Morningstar1

Plan maintains rating from one of America’s leading financial services firm
Nov 10, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota College Savings Plan (MNSAVES) is excited to announce that the plan has once again been named a best-in-class 529 plan by Morningstar, an independent investment research and management firm. MNSAVES has maintained its rating, noted by Morningstar for its low fees, high-quality investment strategies and the state’s strong oversight of the plan. According to the analyst report, “The Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan offers one of the least expensive and most straight forward options for college savers.”

“We are thrilled to have been recognized by Morningstar as a best-in-class plan”, said Dennis Olson, Commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. “MNSAVES remains committed to ensuring Minnesota families have the financial tools they need to make college a reality. Whether you are new to the plan, or have been saving for years, MNSAVES has an option for everyone – regardless of investment experience or budget.”

Low fees equal more money to invest

For nearly 20 years, MNSAVES’ goal has been to make college or higher education more accessible for Minnesota families. In October 2019, families saving for college through MNSAVES saw a greater percentage of their contributions invested for future higher education expenses when total asset-based fees were reduced resulting in an overall 30% reduction in average fees. The average plan fee decreased to 0.15 percent; about four times lower than today’s national average for 529 plans.2 As one of the nation’s lowest cost 529 plans, MNSAVES makes your goal of saving for your loved one’s education more attainable.

Variety of investment options and flexible savings tools

MNSAVES offers a menu of investment options designed to meet your needs at any given time. You can contribute whatever dollar amount is feasible to your account ($25 minimum), and when it comes time to pay for college, funds can be used for colleges, universities, technical colleges, professional schools, graduate schools, as well as certain continuing education courses – nationwide and at many schools abroad.

MNSAVES also offers the option to schedule automatic contributions from your bank account or by payroll direct deposit, making regular contributions hassle free.

Additionally, MNSAVES is a tax-advantaged 529 plan. Meaning that Minnesota residents, regardless of their relationship to a child, can claim a state income tax deduction of up to $3,000 for joint filers and $1,500 for all other filers. Limitations apply.*

For more information about the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan, including live webinars with college savings specialists, available tax benefits and the impact of student loans, please visit mnsaves.org or call 1-877-338-4646.

About the Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan

The Minnesota 529 College Savings Plan (MNSAVES), Minnesota’s official 529 college savings plan, makes it easier for families to save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 and 15 minutes to open a MNSAVES account and funds saved can be used at colleges, technical schools and graduate schools nationwide and many abroad. In addition to tuition, funds may be used for certain room and board expenses, books, supplies or other qualified expenses.

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1 In an annual review (10/27/2020) of the largest 529 college savings plans (61 total), Morningstar identified 35 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2020. These plans offer investment options that Morningstar expects will collectively outperform and exhibit some combination of the following attractive features across four key pillars: a well-researched asset-allocation approach, a robust process for selecting underlying investments, an appropriate set of options to meet investor needs, strong oversight from the state and investment manager, and low fees. The four key pillars used by Morningstar to evaluate college savings plans include – Process, People, Parent, and Price. For more information about Morningstar’s overview of the Minnesota College Savings Plan, go to Morningstar.com. Past performance does not predict future results. Source: Morningstar.com. A Morningstar Analyst Rating for a 529 college savings plan is not a credit or risk rating. Analyst ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions.

2 ISS Marketing Intelligence 529 College Savings Fee Analysis Q3 2020. MNSAVES average annual asset-based fees are 0.15% for all portfolios compared to 0.57% for all 529 plans.

*To learn more about the Minnesota College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks, and costs please see the Plan Description at mnsaves.org. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protection from creditors only available for investing in its own 529 plan. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice. If the funds aren’t used for qualified higher education expenses, a 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply.

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Minnesota College Savings Plan.

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