The START Saving Program requires Louisiana residency to participate. It is subsidized by the state, resulting in no costs to the participant above the underlying fund costs. Vanguard funds and the State Treasurer's fixed income fund are utilized in the age-based and static portfolio options.
- Summary: The START Saving Program requires Louisiana residency to participate. It is subsidized by the state, resulting in no costs to the participant above the underlying fund costs. Vanguard funds and the State Treasurer's fixed income fund are utilized in the age-based and static portfolio options.
- Program type: Savings
- Telephone: 1-800-259-5626
- Web site: Click here to visit
- Program manager: Louisiana State Treasurer
- State residency requirements: The account owner or beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident at the time of program enrollment.
- Maximum contributions: Accepts contributions until all account balances in Louisiana's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $289,900.
- Minimum contributions: $10
- Age-based investment options: 3 Age-Based Options contain 4 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary?s age, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.
- Static investment options: Select between the Louisiana Principal Protection Option (100% invested in the state-managed Fixed Earnings Fund), and 6 Vanguard individual fund options.
- Underlying investments: Vanguard LifeStrategy funds (in the Age-Based Option), the Louisiana State Treasurer's fund, and Vanguard Index Funds.
- Enrollment or application fee: None.
- Account maintenance fee: None.
- Program management fees: None
- Expenses of the underlying investments: None for the Principal Protection fund. Ranges from 0.13% - 0.17% for the Vanguard LifeStrategy funds (Age-Based options; none for Ages 16+), and from 0.10% to 0.47% for the Vanguard individual fund options.
- Total asset-based expense ratio: 0.10% - 0.47%. None for the Principal Protection option.
- Program match on contributions: The state provides an earnings enhancement equal to 2% to 14% (depending on income) of a Louisiana participant's contributions when the account is used for qualifying expenses.
- State tax deduction or credit for contributions: Contributions to the Louisiana 529 plan of up to $2,400 per account per year by an individual taxpayer, and up to $4,800 per beneficiary per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Louisiana taxable income. Any unused cap amount with an active account may be carried forward to increase the cap in subsequent tax years. Double deductions of up to $4,800 per year may be claimed for an account opened for an eligible needy, non-related beneficiary. Contribution deadline is December 31.