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529 PLANS

SMART529 Select

West Virginia

The West Virginia SMART529 Select 529 savings program is managed by Hartford Life and features age-based and static portfolio options utilizing Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual funds. Although DFA funds are typically available only through financial advisers, this 529 plan is direct-sold. 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)

General

Program type:

Savings

How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:

2004

State agency(ies):

State Treasurer's 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:

None

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, the minimum initial contribution is $250 per fund ($50 per fund for West Virginia residents), and the minimum subsequent contribution is $25 per fund (no minimum for West Virginia residents). With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month per fund ($15 per month per fund for West Virginia residents).

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Portfolios option consists of 7 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 10 multi-fund portfolios with varying risk tolerances.

Underlying investments:

Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc.

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:

$25 annually, deducted at end of each year. Waived for accounts over $25,000, for WV residents, and for accounts in the automatic investment program.

Program management fees:

0.47% management fee (includes 0.05% to the state).

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.22% to 0.31% (portfolio weighted average).

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.64% - 0.78%

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