529 College Plans
A college education is typically the second largest family expense you will face – second only to the purchase of your home. And the costs of a college education continue to increase every year.
Now there is a convenient and valuable financial tool that allows you to begin saving for higher education – whether it’s your child’s, your grandchild’s or your own.
529 College Savings Plans are an innovative and effective way to save.
- Tax Free Earnings Growth – There is no federal income tax due on any earnings while they are in your account.
- No Income Limits – Everyone can invest in 529 Plans because there are no income limits restricting who is eligible to contribute.
- No Age Limits – The beneficiary may be any age, from newborn to adult.
- Changing Beneficiaries – You can change the designated beneficiary of your account to any other member of the original beneficiary's family, once per 12-month period with no penalty.
- Low Investment Minimums – It’s easy to get started investing in a 529 College Savings Plan with minimums on some plans as low as $250. Additional investments may be as little as $50 per month.
- School Selection – Assets can be used to pay for qualified expenses at any accredited institution of higher education in the country and some foreign institutions, including colleges, universities, graduate schools and most community colleges and vocational-technical schools.
- Special Gift and Estate Tax Treatment – Contributions are considered completed gifts for federal gift and estate tax purposes and can be excluded from the participant’s taxable estate. You can contribute up to $65,000 for a beneficiary in a single year ($130,000 for married couples) without federal gift tax consequences, provided you do not make any additional gifts to that beneficiary for a five-year period.
The key to funding higher education is to start saving early and regularly. Contact an Investment Representative at First Commonwealth Advisors to begin the process of developing and implementing a solid, personalized investment strategy.
As with all tax-related decisions, consult your tax advisor. Withdrawals for expenses other than qualified education expenses are subject to income tax and an additional 10% penalty on earnings. You should consider a 529 Plan’s fees and expenses such as administrative fees, enrollment fees, annual maintenance fees, sales charges and underlying expenses, which will fluctuate depending on the 529 Plan invested in and investments chosen within the plan. You should also consider the inherent risks associated with the investing in 529 Plans such as investment return and principal fluctuation, which will also vary based on the investments made within the plan. More information is available in each plan’s official statement. The official statement should be read carefully before investing.
First Commonwealth Advisors is a registered trademark of First Commonwealth Bank for investment management, trust and fiduciary services and for investment advisory services provided by First Commonwealth Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisory affiliate. Certain insurance products are offered through First Commonwealth Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance affiliate. Securities, insurance products and certain other advisory services are offered through Essex National Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and an SEC registered investment advisor. Essex is not affiliated with First Commonwealth Bank.