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START Saving Program
The START Saving Program requires Louisiana residency to participate. It is subsidized by the state, resulting in no costs to the participant above the underlying fund costs. Vanguard funds and the State Treasurer's fixed income fund are utilized in the age-based and static portfolio options.
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)
Did you know?
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.
Enroll directly with the program.
Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority (LATTA)
Louisiana State Treasurer
The account owner or beneficiary must be a Louisiana resident at the time of program enrollment.
U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Refunds requested from the Fixed Earnings fund within 12 months of opening the account will not return any interest.
Accepts contributions until all account balances in Louisiana's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $322,980.
Three Age-Based Options contain 4 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.
Select between the Louisiana Principal Protection Option (100% invested in the state-managed Fixed Earnings Fund), and 6 Vanguard individual fund options.
Vanguard LifeStrategy funds (in the Age-Based Option), the Louisiana State Treasurer's fund, and Vanguard Index Funds.
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
None for the Principal Protection fund. Ranges from 0.14% - 0.17% for the Vanguard LifeStrategy funds (Age-Based options; none for Ages 16+), and from 0.04% to 0.35% for the Vanguard individual fund options.
0.04% - 0.35%. None for the Principal Protection option.
Taxes and other Benefits
The state provides an earnings enhancement equal to 2% to 14% (depending on income) of a Louisiana participant's contributions when the account is used for qualifying expenses.
Contributions to the Louisiana 529 plan of up to $2,400 per account per year by an individual taxpayer, and up to $4,800 per beneficiary per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Louisiana taxable income. Any unused cap amount with an active account may be carried forward to increase the cap in subsequent tax years. Double deductions of up to $4,800 per year may be claimed for an account opened for an eligible needy, non-related beneficiary. Contribution deadline is December 31.
Investment time horizon:
18 yrs (i.e. newborn): 0.26% annualized
10 yrs (i.e. 8-yr old): 0.47% annualized
2 yrs (i.e. 16-yr old): 2.36% annualized
Based on 6% LA tax rate. (For assumptions see 529 State Tax Calculator.)
The principal portion of nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Louisiana taxable income to the extent of prior Louisiana tax deductions. Rollovers are not subject to recapture.
Qualified distributions from Louisiana and non-Louisiana 529 plans are exempt.
Louisiana follows federal tax-free treatment.
Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?
Under Louisiana law, the right of a beneficiary to the assets of an account in the Louisiana 529 plan is not subject to collation, execution, garnishment, attachment, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws or other process of law. Monies paid into or out of the assets and the income of any validly existing 529 plan shall not be liable to attachment, levy, garnishment or legal process in the state in favor of any creditor of or claimant against any program participant, owner, or contributor, or program.
Distributions & Terminations
Qualified withdrawals are made payable to the educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner; nonqualified withdrawals (refunds) are made payable to the account owner.
Account ownership may not be transferred prior to the owner's death or incapacity.
Documents, Access & Reporting