The Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Select Series broker-sold 529 plan consists of age-based, static multi-fund, and individual-fund options from a number of money managers: Allianz/PIMCO, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton, MainStay, MFS, and Thornburg. In addition, the Principal Plus Portfolio and NextGen Savings Portfolio are offered. For complete details, see a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor or, for Maine residents, a participating Maine Distribution Agent.
- Summary: The Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Select Series broker-sold 529 plan consists of age-based, static multi-fund, and individual-fund options from a number of money managers: Allianz/PIMCO, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton, MainStay, MFS, and Thornburg. In addition, the Principal Plus Portfolio and NextGen Savings Portfolio are offered. For complete details, see a Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor or, for Maine residents, a participating Maine Distribution Agent.
- Program type: Savings
- Telephone: 1-877-463-9843
- Web site: Click here to visit
- Program manager: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
- State residency requirements: None
- Maximum contributions: Accepts contributions until all account balances in 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $380,000.
- Minimum contributions: With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $250 ($25 per portfolio), and the minimum subsequent contribution is $50 ($25 per portfolio), may be waived for Maine residents eligible for certain Maine grants. With the automatic investment plan, there is no initial contribution amount required but subsequent automated contributions must be at least $50 ($25 per portfolio) per month.
- Age-based investment options: 5 age-based options are offered, each using a different investment manager. The Franklin Templeton Age-Based Portfolios option contains five portfolios of underlying mutual funds. The AllianzGI Age-Based Portfolios, MFS Age-Based Portfolios, the BlackRock Age-Based Portfolios, and the iShares Age-Based Portfolios each contain 6 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary?s age and desired investment manager, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.
- Static investment options: Select among 3 multi-fund and 4 individual-fund portfolios using Franklin Templeton funds, 2 multi-fund and 2 individual-fund portfolios using MFS funds, 3 multi-fund and 4 individual-fund portfolios using BlackRock funds, 2 multi-fund and 3 individual-fund portfolios using Allianz/PIMCO funds, 2 multi-fund and 3 iShares individual portfolios, a MainStay large cap growth portfolio, a Thornburg international equity portfolio, the Principal Plus Portfolio, and the NextGen Savings Portfolio.
- Underlying investments: Allianz/PIMCO, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton, MainStay, MFS and Thornburg mutual funds. The Principal Plus Portfolio consists of one or more guaranteed investment contracts issued by one or more insurance companies, deposits in an interest-bearing FDIC-insured bank account at Bank of America, N.A., and to the extent approved by FAME, corporate fixed-income investments and/or similar instruments.. The NextGen Savings Portfolio is comprised of an interest-bearing bank deposit account with Bank of America, N.A.
- Enrollment or application fee: None, but contributions may be subject to a sales charge depending on share class.
- Account maintenance fee: $50 annually on accounts less than $20,000, waived when the account owner or beneficiary is a Maine resident, for employees of the program manager, for anyone making at least $2,500 in contributions during the year, and for Merrill Lynch employees. The annual account maintenance fee is reduced to $25 if an employer has arranged for an employee payroll direct deposit relationship with the program manager.
- Program management fees: For the Principal Plus Portfolio:
0.46%, includes 0.11% fee to the state
None for the NextGen Savings Portfolio.
For iShares Portfolios:
0.50% distribution/servicing fee (Class A), or 1.25% distribution/servicing fee (Class C) with additional 0.09% fee to the state.
For all other portfolios:
None (Class A), or 0.75% distribution/servicing fee (Class C) with additional 0.11% fee to the state
- Expenses of the underlying investments: Ranges from 0.10% to 1.04% (portfolio weighted average) in the age-based and static multi-fund portfolios and from 0.30% to 1.02% in the individual-fund portfolios. None for the Principal Plus Portfolio and NextGen Savings Portfolio.
- Total asset-based expense ratio: Class A: 0.00% - 1.40%
Class C: 0.00% - 2.15%
- Program match on contributions: New accounts opened for Maine residents are eligible for three one-time grants: a NextGen Initial Matching Grant of $200 if the account is opened since January 1, 2011 with at least $50; a NextStep Matching Grant which provides a 50% match on contributions up to $100 per year with a lifetime maximum of $1,000; and a NextGen Automated Funding Grant of $50 by choosing the automated funding option and making six consecutive contributions no less frequently than quarterly, and no less than $50 monthly.
Separately, the Harold Alfond College Challenge makes a one-time $500 grant available to all Maine babies to start a NextGen account, regardless of family income.
- State tax deduction or credit for contributions: Contributions to Maine AND non-Maine 529 plans of up to $250 per beneficiary per year are deductible in computing Maine taxable income for taxpayers with federal adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less (single or married filing separate) or $200,000 or less (joint or head of household).