Harrisburg, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced today that the PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Investment Plan (IP) has received a Morningstar Silver Rating for the second consecutive year. The honor comes as part of Morningstar’s review of the Top 529 Education Savings Plans of 2021, and designates the PA 529 IP as a best-in-class plan nationwide.
“This high ranking by Morningstar really shows what a valuable savings tool the PA 529 program is. I’ve spent a lot of time this year talking to families across the state, and paying for education is a big concern. I’m proud of our efforts to make sure more Pennsylvanians have access to a top-notch savings tool. Many of the great jobs in our state require specialized technical training, and PA 529 accounts can be used to help pay for that education. The result is less debt for the future workforce – and more skilled workers staying right here in Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Stacy Garrity
The PA 529 IP was recognized specifically for its design and affordability. Morningstar commended Treasury’s plan for its well-constructed glide path (target enrollment portfolio) implementation and excellent plan oversight, especially during a change in administration.
PA 529 IP account owners can choose from multiple investment options, including target enrollment date portfolios. These portfolios automatically adjust asset allocations to become more conservative as a child reaches the anticipated date of enrollment.
Treasurer Garrity recently eliminated the initial deposit to open a PA 529 account, and minimum contributions are just one dollar. This gives every family the opportunity to start saving.
The PA 529 IP was upgraded to a Silver Rating in 2020, after receiving its first Morningstar Bronze Rating in 2019. Nationwide, only fourteen plans received a Silver (11) or Gold (3) Rating this year.
PA 529 accounts offer generous tax benefits, including a state income tax deduction for contributions (up to $15,000 per beneficiary per year; $30,000 for married couples), no federal or state income taxes on investment growth, tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses, and gift and inheritance tax benefits. PA 529 account assets also have no effect on Pennsylvania state financial aid eligibility.
Savings in PA 529 accounts can be used to help pay for tuition, fees, equipment, books, room and board and other qualified higher education expenses at most schools nationwide, including community colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship programs and four-year colleges and universities.
Families of children born in 2019 or later also have a free $100 Keystone Scholars investment that is automatically started for their child at birth. Keystone Scholars accounts can be accessed online and linked to PA 529 accounts for easy access.
The PA 529 College and Career Savings Program also offers the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP). The GSP is a lower-risk account where earnings are tied to college tuition inflation, so families can pay for tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices.
PA 529 account owners currently have more than $6.8 billion invested in the PA 529 program.