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529 PLANS

SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan

West Virginia

The West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan, available on a direct basis to those who meet certain West Virginia residency requirements, features a stable value option along with a menu of age-based and static portfolio options utilizing index funds from Vanguard. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

5-Cap Rating

Resident:
Non-Resident:

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)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
4.32 4.32 3.37 4.20 0.60

General

Program type:

Savings

How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:

2002

State agency(ies):

State Treasurerís Office under the authority of the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees

Program manager:

Hartford Life Insurance Company

Program distributor:

Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC

Manager contract term:

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Eligibility

State residency requirements:

The account owner or designated beneficiary must have a West Virginia mailing address or be a West Virginia resident on active duty in the U.S. armed forces.

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

None

Contributions

Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in West Virginia's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $265,620.

Minimum contributions:

With lump-sum contributions, there is no minimum initial or subsequent contribution. With the automatic investment plan, there is no minimum initial contribution but the minimum monthly contribution is $15.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Portfolios option consists of 5 portfolios of underlying mutual funds with varying risk tolerances. 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:

Select among 5 multi-fund portfolios (Aggressive Growth, Growth, Balanced, Conservative Balanced, and Conservative Bond), the SMART529 Stable Value portfolio and the SMART529 500 Index Fund.

Underlying investments:

Vanguard index funds, INVESCO stable value.

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:

None.

Account maintenance fee:

None.

Program management fees:

Ranges from 0.03% to 0.25%, none for Stable Value. State fees are waived for participants in the direct plan.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.04% to 0.40%.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.29% to 0.40%

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:

Beginning June 15, 2011, the program provides matching grants to eligible West Virginia families in an amount up to $500 per Designated Beneficiary per year, up to a lifetime maximum of $2,500 per Designated Beneficiary, with a dollar for dollar match. Account Owners who are residents of West Virginia are eligible to apply. The Account Owner must meet family income guidelines that are subject to the number of related dependents under the age of 18, e.g., AGI less than or equal to $50,000 with one dependent; AGI less than or equal to $80,000 with four dependents. The Designated Beneficiary must be 12 years old or younger at the time the first Matching Grant application is made and a new application must be submitted each year for each Designated Beneficiary.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to West Virginia's 529 plans are fully deductible in computing West Virginia taxable income.

Value of in-state tax benefits:

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State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in West Virginia taxable income to the extent of prior West Virginia tax deductions. Rollovers apparently are not subject to recapture.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from West Virginia and non-West Virginia 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

West Virginia follows federal tax-free treatment.

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

Yes

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

No

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

Yes, with the Upromise rewards service.

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, 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?

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes, including subsequent contributions.

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

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Contact

Web site:

Click here to visit

Telephone:

1-866-574-3542