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Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)


Similar to other TIAA-managed 529 savings programs, the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) features three age-based options along with eight static investment options.

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
2.61 4.16 3.93 4.30 0.30


Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):

Connecticut State Treasurer

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?

A state or local government agency or instrumentality, 501(c)(3) organizations, corporations, trusts, and certain other types of entities with a Taxpayer Identification Number.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Connecticut's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $300,000.

Minimum contributions:

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

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

Three age-based options, the Moderate Managed Allocation Option, Conservative Managed Allocation Option and the Aggressive Managed Allocation Option, are offered, each containing 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:

8 options are offered: the Equity Index Option, the Active Equity Option, the High Equity Option, the Active Fixed-Income Option, the Social Choice Option, the Index Fixed-Income Option, the Principal Plus Interest Option, and the Money Market Option.

Underlying investments:

TIAA-CREF institutional mutual funds and funds from six outside mutual fund families, GMO, DFA, GE, T Rowe Price, Templeton & Thornburg. The Principal Plus Interest Option is invested in a funding agreement with TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company that guarantees principal and a minimum annual rate of interest (actual rate is declared annually).

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:

0.18% manager fee and a 0.01% fee to the state. None for the Principal Plus Interest option; curretnly waived for the Money Market Option.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.18% to 0.24% for the age-based options, and from 0.10% to 0.68% for static options. None for the Principal Plus Interest option.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.29% - 0.87%; 0.13% for the Money Market option with waiver. None for Principal Plus Interest Option.

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:

Connecticut will provide $100 to families that open a 529 college savings account by their child's first birthday or within the first year after an adoption. Families that save an additional $150 in the first four years will receive a state match of $150, for a total of $250 in state funds.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to a Connecticut 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 Connecticut taxable income, with a five-year carryforward of excess contributions. Rollover contributions are not deductible. Contribution deadline is December 31 postmark if by mail, or final business day of the year if by electronic payment.

Value of in-state tax benefits:

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State tax recapture provisions:


State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from Connecticut and non-Connecticut 529 plans are exempt. Nonqualified distributions from Connecticut 529 plans made to the account beneficiary are also exempt (i.e. income reported for federal purposes may be subtracted on the CT tax return).

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Connecticut follows federal tax-free treatment.

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


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 educational 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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