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Bright Start College Savings Program -- Advisor-sold Plan
The Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Advisor-sold Plan launched in 2007 as part of the state's change in program manager to OFI Private Investments, an affiliate of OppenheimerFunds Inc. It offers its menu of investment options at lower cost than many other advisor-sold 529 plans. To find a financial advisor in your area, use the Directory of Financial Professionals.
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)
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Enroll in Bright Start College Savings Program -- Advisor-sold Plan through a financial advisor. Search our directory of qualified financial professionals to find one near you.
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.
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Illinois State Treasurer
OFI Private Investments, Inc., a subsidiary of OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc.
Through July 19, 2017, or earlier under certain conditions.
U.S. resident individuals, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Accepts contributions until all account balances in Illinois' 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $350,000.
The minimum initial contribution is $25, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $15. Minimums may be lowered for employer-sponsored plans.
The Age Based Portfolios contain 6 portfolios of underlying equity, fixed, income, and money market investments. 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.
Select among 5 Static Portfolios: Equity, Balanced, Fixed Income, Conservative Fixed Income and a Money Market Portfolio.
OFI-managed investment strategies and mutual funds and an American Century bond fund.
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
None, but contributions may be subject to a sales charge depending on share class.
0.18% (includes 0.03% state administrative fee), plus distribution/servicing fees of 0.25% (Classes A and G), 0.50% (Class C), or 0.00% (Class H). No state administrative, distribution/servicing fee for the Money Market portfolio.
Ranges from 0.23% to 0.54% (portfolio weighted average); 0.16% for Money Market Portfolio.
Class A: 0.31% - 0.97%
Class C: 0.31% - 1.22%
Class G: 0.31% - 0.97%
Class H: 0.31% - 0.72%
Maximum initial sales charge: 3.50%
Dealer: 3.00% commission and 0.25% annual trail beginning immediately
CDSC: 0.50% within the first 12 months only
Dealer: 0.50% commission and 0.50% annual trail beginning in month 13
Class G (grandfathered accounts):
Dealer: 0.75% commission and 0.25% annual trail beginning in month 13
Class H (grandfathered accounts):
Dealer: 0.50% commission and no annual trail
A share sales load (dealer commission):
Less than $250,000 - 3.50% (3.00%)
$250,000 - $499,999 - 2.50% (2.00%)
$500,000 - $999,999 - 2.00% (1.60%)
$1 million and over - 0.00% (1.00%), 1.00% CDSC imposed when redeemed within 18 months
Taxes and other Benefits
Contributions to an Illinois 529 plan of up to $10,000 per year by an individual, and up to $20,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Illinois taxable income. For a rollover contribution, only the principal portion is eligible for the deduction. Contribution deadline is December 31 postmark. For tax years ending on or between 12/31/09 and 12/31/20, employers may claim a credit against Illinois tax for 25% of matching contributions made to an employee's account in an Illinois 529 plan, with a maximum annual credit of $500 per employee. Unused credits may be carried forward for five years.
Investment time horizon:
18 yrs (i.e. newborn): 0.22% annualized
10 yrs (i.e. 8-yr old): 0.39% annualized
2 yrs (i.e. 16-yr old): 1.97% annualized
Based on 5% IL tax rate. (For assumptions see 529 State Tax Calculator.)
Effective January 1, 2007, rollovers from this plan to an out-of-state program are included in Illinois taxable income to the extent of prior Illinois deductions. Effective January 1, 2009, nonqualified distributions from this plan are included in Illinois taxable income to the extent of prior Illinois deductions.
Qualified distributions from an Illinois 529 plan are exempt. Qualified distributions from a non-Illinois plan are exempt provided the plan meets certain disclosure requirements.
Illinois follows federal tax-free treatment except that, beginning in 2007, outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.
Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?
Under Illinois law, effective June 1, 2008, moneys held in an Illinois 529 account shall be exempt from all claims of the creditors of the participant, donor, or designated beneficiary of that account, except for certain fraudulent conveyances, for contributions during the 365 day period prior to filing for bankruptcy that in the aggregate are in excess of the amount of the annual gift tax exclusion, and for contributions during the 730 to 366 day period prior to filing for bankruptcy that in the aggregate are in excess of the ammount of the annual gift tax exclusion.
Distributions & Terminations
Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner
Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.
Documents, Access & Reporting