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The Montana Family Education Savings Program -- Investment Plan was renamed Achieve Montana with a new suite of investments added in October 2015. Ascensus College Savings continues to serve as program manager for this direct-sold plan. Five investment options are offered featuring Vanguard and DFA funds as underlying investments and an FDIC-insured savings option is also available. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.
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.
2002, but substantially changed in December 2010 and October 2015.
Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education
Ascensus College Savings, with The Vanguard Group and Dimensional Fund Advisors LP as investment managers.
Ascensus College Savings
Expires in 2020.
U.S. citizens and resident aliens of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities. Joint ownership by spouses is permitted.
Qualified withdrawals from this plan within three years of establishing the account are subject to Montana tax at the highest Montana marginal rate to the extent of prior Montana tax deductions, but only after removal of non-deducted contributions.
Accepts contributions until all account balances in Montana's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $396,000.
$25 or $15 through payroll deduction.
An age-based option, comprised of five portfolios, moves investments automatically from one portfolio to progressively more conservative investments as the beneficiary approaches college age.
Select among six portfolios, Aggressive, Growth, Moderate, Conservative, Income and an FDIC-insured savings option.
Vanguard and DFA 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
$25 annually, waived for accounts with a Montana resident as beneficiary and for accounts with balances of $25,000 or more and for account with automatic bank deposits or by payroll deduction.
0.52%; 0.47% for the savings option, plus 0.20% administrative fee.
Ranges from 0.0% to 0.11%
0.67% - 0.83%
Taxes and other Benefits
Contributions to Montana AND non-Montana 529 plans of up to $3,000 per year by an individual, and up to $6,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Montana taxable income. Only contributions made by the account owner, the account owner's spouse, or the account owner's custodian/parent are deductible. Contribution deadline is December 31.
At the maximum Montana rate of 6.9% the tax deduction is worth as much as $207 ($414 joint) in Montana tax savings. Because Montana has made the deduction available to contributions to any 529 plan, this value does not have to be factored in when comparing plans.
The principal portion of rollovers, qualified withdrawals within three years of establishing the account, and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are subject to Montana tax at the highest Montana marginal rate to the extent of prior Montana tax deductions, but only after removal of non-deducted contributions.
Qualified distributions from Montana and non-Montana 529 plans are exempt.
Montana follows tax-free treatment for rollovers into a Montana 529 plan. Montana tax treatment of rollovers out of a Montana 529 plan is unclear, as Montana law may require that the rollover be treated as a nonqualified withdrawal.
Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?
Yes, with the Upromise rewards service.
Distributions & Terminations
Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner.
Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.
Documents, Access & Reporting