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KY Saves 529

The manager for KY Saves 529 (previously known as The Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust) changed from TIAA-CREF to Ascensus College Savings in February 2019. The plan features a school enrollment based option, four asset allocation options, and an FDIC-insured option.

Our Ratingx

3.5 of 5

Fee Scorex

3 of 5


3.5 of 5
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  • Program typeSavings
  • Inception1990, substantially changed in 2019
  • State agency
    Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Tax deduction
  • Program Manager
    Ascensus College Savings
  • Program distributor
    Ascensus College Savings
  • Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for KY residents

This is a very good program that offers valuable benefits but may have some limitations or concerns that investors need to know.

Our overall rating for non-residents

This is a very good program that offers valuable benefits but may have some limitations or concerns that investors need to know.'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.

3.43of 5

Each plan's performance score is developed directly from'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:


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:


Did you know?

  • 529 plan contributions grow tax-free.

    Withdrawals are tax-free when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses.

  • You can contribute as much as you want, as often as you want.

    The key is to get started. Enroll today by completing a quick form online.

KY Saves 529 logo
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Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Kentucky's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $350,000.

Minimum contributions:

$25, or $15 per pay period via payroll deduction.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

Seven Year of Enrollment portfolios are based upon the beneficiary's anticipated year of enrollment. The asset mix (or allocation) of the selected option will adjust on a recurring fixed schedule automatically over time, becoming progressively more conservative as the target year of school enrollment approaches. During the calendar year mentioned in the name of the selected Year of Enrollment Option, all assets will transfer out of the selected option and into the In School Enrollment Option (the most conservative option of the Year of Enrollment Options), and the selected Year of Enrollment Option will be closed.View more age-based investment options

Static investment options:

Select among four asset allocation options. A mix of equity and fixed income, and active or index-based allocations is available. An FDIC-insured option is also available.View more static investment options

Underlying investments:

Mutual funds and ETFs from American Funds, Baird Advisors, BlackRock, Cohen & Steers Capital Management, Inc. (Cohen & Steers), Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), NexBank, PGIM Investments LLC (PGIM Investments), Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (Schwab), State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), and TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (TIAA)View a full list of this plan's investment options

Underlying fund allocations:


Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup


Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Account maintenance fee:


Program management fees:

0.36% manager fee for the Year of Enrollment Options; 0.40% manager fee for the Asset Allocation Options; 0.20% for the Capital Preservation Option; none for the Guaranteed Option.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

0.02% to 0.38%; none for the Capital Preservation and Guaranteed options

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.20% - 0.85%; None for the Guaranteed Option.

Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNone
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNone


Kentucky doesn't offer tax deductions

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:


State definition of qualified expenses

The state conforms with the federal definition of qualified education expenses, which includes expenses for higher education, as well as up to $10,000 per year in tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from Kentucky and non-Kentucky 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Kentucky follows federal tax-free treatment. The intent of the Kentucky statutes that govern the KY Saves 529 is to conform with the IRS 529 tax code. The recent federal tax reform law, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" signed into law on December 22, 2017, made changes to the IRS 529 tax code which will require that the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) change specific statutory provisions to maintain this conformity. Among other changes, the tax reform law expands the use of 529 savings accounts to include tuition costs for K-12 education, up to $10,000/year. This will apply prospectively only for costs incurred in or after 2018. Rules and definitions for this change are still being determined on the federal level. KHEAA's 529 plan will continue to conform with the IRS tax code, and we will make any needed changes once the specific provisions are determined.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?


Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?

Yes, beneficiaries with eight years of program participation and $2,400 in total contributions who move out-of-state remain eligible for resident tuition rates at Kentucky public institutions

Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?

Yes, the Upromise Rewards program can be linked to any 529 college savings plan. Upromise Rewards is free to join and offers members cash back for college.

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:


Did you know?

  • Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's 529 plan.

    Another state may offer a plan that performs better and has lower fees.

  • The 529 plan chosen does not affect which state the student enrolls in.

    You can live in New York, open a plan from Nevada and send a student to college in Florida.

  • The best way to maximize your college savings?

    Start early and save often. You can get started today with easy online enrollment.

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution 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?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:





Start saving for your child's future today

Step 1

Click the blue Enroll Now button to the right

Step 2

Complete the online application and make your first deposit

KY Saves 529 logo
enroll now
19,946 clicked to enroll