529 industry group reports upsurge in 529 contributions

Member firms of the College Savings Foundation (CSF) reported $4.1 billion in new (i.e. gross) contributions to their 529 plans in the fourth quarter of 2012, representing a 55% increase over the $2.6 billion in new contributions received in the third quarter of 2012 and a 30% increase from $3.1 billion in the prior year’s (2011) fourth quarter.

CSF members managed $118 billion in overall 529 assets as of December 31, 2012, or approximately 70 percent of the 529 marketplace. Total assets among all 529 savings programs at the end of last year were $168.5 billion as compared to $163.6 billion at September 30, 2012 and $144.4 billion at December 31, 2011, according to Financial Research Corporation, which gathers data for CSF.

CSF members also reported that their “age-based” options account for approximately two-thirds assets invested in their 529 plans, and that half of these assets are invested in portfolios with equities exposure of 61 percent or higher.
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