The team of Ascensus College Savings and The Vanguard Group manages the Arkansas' GIFT College Investing Plan, featuring age-based and static portfolio options utilizing Vanguard mutual funds, and an FDIC-insured savings option. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.
- Summary: The team of Ascensus College Savings and The Vanguard Group manages the Arkansas' GIFT College Investing Plan, featuring age-based and static portfolio options utilizing Vanguard mutual funds, and an FDIC-insured savings option. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.
- Program type: Savings
- Program manager: Ascensus College Savings
- State residency requirements: None
- Maximum contributions: Accepts contributions until all account balances in Arkansas' 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $366,000.
- Minimum contributions: With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $25, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $10. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $10 per month or $30 per quarter via bank transfer or $5 per pay period via payroll deduction.
- Age-based investment options: The Age-Based option is offered in 3 different risk levels (Aggressive, Moderate, and Conservative) each containing 4 or 5 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the risk level selected and the number of years to expected enrollment, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.
- Static investment options: Select among 5 multi-fund portfolios with varying risk tolerances, a money-market portfolio, and an FDIC-insured savings option.
- Underlying investments: Vanguard mutual funds, Sallie Mae
- Enrollment or application fee: None.
- Account maintenance fee: $20 annually, waived for Arkansas residents.
- Program management fees: 0.50% manager fee; fee includes underlying fund expenses and a 0.07% fee to the state; 0.36% for the Savings Portfolio
- Expenses of the underlying investments: Not applicable, included in the program management fee.
- Total asset-based expense ratio: 0.57%; 0.43% for the Savings option
- Program match on contributions: Beginning in 2008, the program provides matching grants of up to $500 annually to eligible Arkansas families, based on household income level. For adjusted household income of $30,000 or less, the matching rate is $2 for each $1 contributed. For income of $30,001 to $60,000, the matching rate is $1 for each $1 contributed. Limit one matching grant account per beneficiary. Applications for matching grants are accepted each year between January 1 and April 30.
- State tax deduction or credit for contributions: Contributions to an Arkansas 529 plan of up to $5,000 per year by an individual, and up to $10,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Arkansas taxable income. Contribution deadline is December 31, and state must receive it by a specified date following December 31.
- Web site: Click here to visit
- Telephone: 1-800-587-7301