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iShares 529 Plan
Arkansas' iShares 529 Plan from BlackRock is comprised solely of iShares ETFs and offers 7 year-of-enrollment portfolios, 4 asset allocation options, and 17 individual portfolios. These 21 portfolios can be mixed and matched or used independently of one another to achieve the investment allocation desired. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service. To find a financial advisor in your area, use the Directory of Financial Professionals.
Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)
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Enroll in iShares 529 Plan through a financial advisor. Search our directory of qualified financial professionals to find one near you.
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Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's plan. Another state may offer a plan that performs better and has lower fees. If there is no tax break offered for in-state investors ... shop around!
Also, the plan chosen does not affect which state the student enrolls in. An investor can live in NY, invest in a plan from NV and send a student to college in FL.
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The Arkansas 529 Plan Review Committee, composed of the Director of the Department of Higher Education, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, and the Arkansas State Treasurer
Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc.
Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. and BlackRock Investments, LLC
U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 years old or older, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Accepts contributions until all account balances in Arkansas' 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $366,000.
With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $500, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $50. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $50 per month or $150 per quarter via bank transfer or $25 per pay period via payroll deduction. The minimum contribution drops to $25 for gift contributions made through the Plan's Ugift feature.
The seven iShares Year-of-Enrollment Portfolios are based upon the designated beneficiary's anticipated year of enrollment, rather than the designated beneficiary's age. The asset allocation of the money invested in these investment options is automatically adjusted quarterly over time to become more conservative as the number of years to enrollment for the Designated Beneficiary decreases.
The four iShares Asset Allocation Portfolios are designed to meet a specific risk profile and are offered in Aggressive, Moderate, Conservative and Fixed Income allocations. The asset allocation is reviewed at least annually and may be updated to take into account changes in risk and correlations of the asset classes and underlying investments. A dollar-cost averaging option provides for automatic monthly reallocations. The Custom iShares portfolio option offers sixteen individual portfolios investing in equity, real estate or fixed-income funds. A savings option invests in an FDIC-insured account.
iShares exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Click here, you need Microsoft Excel to open this document.
Click here to visit, link to the program website containing most current performance data.
Fees & Expenses
$10 annually, waived for accounts with $20,000 or more.
Year-to-Enrollment and Asset Allocation Portfolios:
0.40% manager fee, including 0.05% state administration fee
0.35% manager fee, including 0.05% state administration fee
Ranges from 0.11% to 0.26% (portfolio weighted average) in the Year-to-Enrollment and Asset Allocation Portfolios, 0.08% to 0.68% in the Custom Portfolios, none for the Savings Portfolio.
0.35% - 1.03 %
Taxes and other Benefits
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.
Investment time horizon:
18 yrs (i.e. newborn): 0.30% annualized
10 yrs (i.e. 8-yr old): 0.54% annualized
2 yrs (i.e. 16-yr old): 2.75% annualized
Based on 7% AR tax rate. (For assumptions see 529 State Tax Calculator.)
The principal portion of rollovers and non-qualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Arkansas taxable income to the extent of prior Arkansas tax deductions.
Qualified distributions from Arkansas and non-Arkansas 529 plans are exempt.
Arkansas follows federal tax-free treatment for rollovers except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.
Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?
Under Arkansas law, an account in the Arkansas 529 plan, or any legal or beneficial interest in an account, shall not be subject to attachment, levy, or execution by any creditor of an account owner or designated beneficiary.
Distributions & Terminations
Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner.
Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.
Documents, Access & Reporting