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iShares 529 Plan
Arkansas' iShares 529 Plan from BlackRock is comprised solely of iShares ETFs and offers 7 year-of-enrollment portfolios, 4 asset allocation options, and 17 individual portfolios. These 21 portfolios can be mixed and matched or used independently of one another to achieve the investment allocation desired. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service. To find a financial advisor in your area, use the Directory of Financial Professionals.
- Program typeSavings
- Inception2007 (December)
- State agencyThe Arkansas 529 Plan Review Committee, composed of the Director of the Department of Higher Education, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, and the Arkansas State Treasurer
- Tax deduction
- Program ManagerAscensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc.
- Program distributorAscensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. and BlackRock Investments, LLC
- Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO
Ratings & Rankings
Our overall rating for non-residents
This is an excellent program with many benefits for the participant and positive investment attributes. If it has any significant weaknesses then it also has some particularly good things to recommend it.
Each plan's performance score is developed directly from Savingforcollege.com's Quarterly 529 Performance Rankings. A 529 savings plan must have at least one year of performance history before they will be assigned a 5-cap rating. For those plans that are not part of our quarterly performance rankings, such as plans offering a single set of bank-based investment options, we assign a performance score by evaluating the returns currently available on similar types of investments outside of 529 plans.
State residency requirements:None
Who can be a participant/owner in the program?U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 years old or older, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:None
Maximum contributions:Accepts contributions until all account balances in Arkansas' 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $366,000.
Minimum contributions:With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $500, and the minimum subsequent contribution is $50. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $50 per month or $150 per quarter via bank transfer or $25 per pay period via payroll deduction. The minimum contribution drops to $25 for gift contributions made through the Plan's Ugift feature.
Age-based investment options:The seven iShares Year-of-Enrollment Portfolios are based upon the designated beneficiary's anticipated year of enrollment, rather than the designated beneficiary's age. The asset allocation of the money invested in these investment options is automatically adjusted quarterly over time to become more conservative as the number of years to enrollment for the Designated Beneficiary decreases.View more age-based investment options
Static investment options:The four iShares Asset Allocation Portfolios are designed to meet a specific risk profile and are offered in Aggressive, Moderate, Conservative and Fixed Income allocations. The asset allocation is reviewed at least annually and may be updated to take into account changes in risk and correlations of the asset classes and underlying investments. A dollar-cost averaging option provides for automatic monthly reallocations. The Custom iShares portfolio option offers seventeen individual portfolios investing in equity, real estate or fixed-income funds. A savings option invests in an FDIC-insured account.View more static investment options
Underlying investments:iShares exchange traded funds (ETFs).View a full list of this plan's investment options
Underlying fund allocations:UNLOCK PRO
Portfolio Fees & Performance LookupUNLOCK PRO
Fees & Expenses
Enrollment or application fee:None.
Account maintenance fee:$10 annually, waived for accounts with $20,000 or more.
Program management fees:Year-to-Enrollment and Asset Allocation Portfolios:
0.40% manager fee (includes 0.05% state administration fee), plus 0.25% annual sales fee (Class A), 0.60% (Class L), or 0.00% (Class F).
0.35% manager fee (includes 0.05% state administration fee), plus 0.25% annual sales fee (Class A), 0.60% (Class L), or 0.00% (Class F).
Expenses of the underlying investments:Ranges from 0.06% to 0.15% (portfolio weighted average) in the Year-to-Enrollment and Asset Allocation Portfolios, 0.03% to 0.49% in the Custom Portfolios, none for the Savings Portfolio.
Total asset-based expense ratio:Class A: 0.35% - 1.09%
Class L: 0.35% - 1.44%
Class F: 0.35% - 0.84%
Broker loads and commissions:UNLOCK PRO
Does breakpoint pricing include non-529 assets under rights of accumulation policiesUNLOCK PRO
Taxes and other Benefits
- Tax deduction for single filers$5,000/yr
- Tax deduction for joint filers$10,000/yr
Married filing jointly residents contributing $100/month can expect an additional $0 a year in tax savings.