General InformationDownload PDF Report
California's ScholarShare 529 is available to residents of any state. It offers a variety of investment options from TIAA-CREF, T. Rowe Price, and others.
- Program typeSavings
- State agencyThe ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB) chaired by the State Treasurer
- Tax deduction
- Program ManagerTIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI)
- Program distributorTIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI)
- 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 at least 18 years old, emancipated minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:None
Alternative 529 Plans
Other great plans to consider
You are not limited to opening your own state's 529 plan, so shop around. Here are some highly rated options to consider:
Maximum contributions:Accepts contributions until all account balances in California's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $529,000.
Minimum contributions:With lump-sum contributions and non-payroll automatic contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $25 per investment portfolio. The minimum subsequent contribution of $25 per investment portfolio has been waived. With the payroll deduction plan, the minimum contribution level per portfolio is $15 per payroll period.
Age-based investment options:Choose between 2 age-based options, one invested in actively-managed mutual funds and the other invested in index mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age. The portfolios automatically shift to a more conservative investment allocation over time.View more age-based investment options
Static investment options:Select among 12 multi-fund portfolios, 4 individual-fund portfolios (including the Social Choice Portfolio), and a principal-protection portfolio.View more static investment options
Underlying investments:Actively-managed portfolios: T. Rowe Price, TIAA-CREF, DFA, PIMCO. Index-fund portfolios: TIAA-CREF. The Principal Plus Interest Option is provided through a funding agreement with TIAA-CREF Life.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:None.
Program management fees:0.08% (includes 0.05% state fee); 0.03% for Passive and Single Fund Portfolios (no state fee); None for the Principal Plus Interest Portfolio.
Expenses of the underlying investments:Ranges from 0.05% to 0.12% annualized in the index fund portfolios, from 0.23% to 0.49% annualized in the actively managed fund portfolios, 0.08% to 0.17% in the passive portfolios, 0.18 in the Social Choice Portfolio, and none for the Principal Plus Interest Portfolio.
Total asset-based expense ratio:0.08% - 0.57%. None for the Principal Plus Interest Portfolio.
Taxes and other Benefits
- Tax deduction for single filersNone
- Tax deduction for joint filersNone
California doesn't offer tax deductions