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Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan


The Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan features age-based and static options using TIAA-CREF mutual funds and a principal-protected account.

5-Cap Rating

Non-Resident:'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)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
2.98 3.21 2.50 4.20 0.30


Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):

Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC)

Program manager:

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.

Program distributor:

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC

Manager contract term:

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State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Vermont's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $352,800.

Minimum contributions:

$25, or $15 per pay period via payroll deduction.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Managed Allocation Option contains 6 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.

Static investment options:

Choose from among 4 multi-fund options (the Diversified Equity Option, the Equity Index Option, the Balanced Option, and the Fixed Income Option), and the Principal Plus Interest Option which guarantees principal and a stated rate of interest.

Underlying investments:

TIAA-CREF institutional mutual funds; the Principal Plus Interest Option is issued by TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company.

Underlying fund allocations:

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Investment performance link:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Account maintenance fee:


Program management fees:

0.45% management fee includes underlying mutual fund expenses; 0.40% manager fee for static fund options does not include underlying fund expenses; no fee for the Principal Plus Interest Option.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Included in the program manager fee for the age-based option. For the static fund options, underlying expenses range from 0.08% to 0.36%.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.45% - 0.76%. None for the Principal Plus Interest Option.

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to the Vermont 529 plan of up to $2,500 per beneficiary per year by an individual, and up to $5,000 per beneficiary per year by married taxpayers who each make their own contributions, are eligible for a 10% tax credit against Vermont income tax. Only contributions made by the account owner, and by a non-account owner who files a joint return with the account owner, are eligible for the credit. The principal portion of a rollover from another 529 plan is eligible for the credit, provided the funds remain in the account for the remainder of the taxable year. Contribution deadline is December 31.

Value of in-state tax benefits:

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State tax recapture provisions:

Nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are subject to recapture, to the extent of Vermont tax credits previously claimed. Outbound rollovers are not subject to recapture.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from Vermont and non-Vermont 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Vermont follows federal tax-free treatment.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?

No, however the account is treated as an asset of the student's parent and not as an asset of the beneficiary

Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?


Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?


Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible education institution or account owner, as directed by the account owner.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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Web site:

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