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Montana Family Education Savings Program -- Bank Plan logo

Montana Family Education Savings Program -- Bank Plan

The Montana Family Education Savings Program -- Bank Plan was closed to new enrollments and investments as of July 31, 2015. College Savings Bank, a Division of NexBank SSB continues to provide services to the plan including investment management, customer service and recordkeeping. Account owners invested in CD options will receive notification prior to the maturity date and given the option to rollover matured funds to Achieve Montana or another 529 plan account, or take a qualified or non-qualified distribution of funds.


  • Program typeSavings
  • Inception1998
  • State agency
    Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education
  • Tax deduction
    Tax deduction for single filers $3,000/yr
    Tax deduction for joint filers $6,000/yr
  • Program Manager
    College Savings Bank, a Division of NexBank SSB
  • Program distributor
    College Savings Bank, a Division of NexBank SSB

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for MT 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.

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.


4.00out of 5

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.

Eligibility

State residency requirements:

None

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

Individuals of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, state/local governments, and 501(c)(3) organizations. Joint ownership by spouses is permitted.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

CollegeSure® CDs have maturities ranging from one year to 22 years. InvestorSure CDs have a five-year maturity. Fixed-rate CDs have one- or three-year maturities. The CDs are subject to early redemption penalties ranging from 1% to 10% of principal for withdrawals prior to maturity.

Contributions

Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Montana's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $396,000.

Minimum contributions:

CollegeSure CD:
With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $250. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month via electronic funds transfer, or $25 per payroll via payroll deduction. Deposits under $250 are held in an interest bearing savings account, and each time the balance reaches $250, a CD purchase is made.

InvestorSure CD:
With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $250. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month via electronic funds transfer, or $25 per payroll via payroll deduction. Deposits under $250 are held in an interest bearing savings account, and each time the balance reaches $250, a CD purchase is made on the next CD issue date.

Fixed Rate CDs:
With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $250. With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month via electronic funds transfer, or $25 per pay period via payroll deduction. Deposits under $250 are held in an interest bearing savings account, and each time the balance reaches $250, a CD purchase is made.

Honors Savings Account:
The minimum contribution is $250 and must be contributed by electronic check through the state 529 program website or the College Savings Bank website.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

None.View more age-based investment options

Static investment options:

The interest rate on the CollegeSure CD is pegged to a private-college tuition index, less a margin percentage assigned at the time of purchase. The maximum rate in future years is set at a specified percentage over the first-year's rate. The InvestorSure CD has a five-year maturity, and earns interest tied to a percentage of the increase in the S&P 500 Index. Fixed-rate CDs earn interest at the rate posted at the time of purchase, and posted rates may change at any time. The Honors Savings Account earns interest at a variable rate which is reviewed periodically and published online.View more static investment options

Underlying investments:

FDIC-insured certificates of deposit and a high-yield savings account from College Savings Bank, a Division of NexBank SSB.View a full list of this plan's investment options

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None.

Account maintenance fee:

None.

Program management fees:

None

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Not applicable, interest rate on CD is tied to a formula.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

None

Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filers$3,000/yr
  • Tax deduction for joint filers$6,000/yr

Example

Married filing jointly residents contributing $100/month can expect an additional $0 a year in tax savings.

Program match on contributions:

None.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to Montana AND non-Montana 529 plans of up to $3,000 per year by an individual, and up to $6,000 per year by a married couple filing jointly, are deductible in computing Montana taxable income. Only contributions made by the account owner, the account owner's spouse, or the account owner's custodian/parent are deductible. Contribution deadline is December 31.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of rollovers, qualified withdrawals within three years of establishing the account, and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are subject to Montana tax at the highest Montana marginal rate to the extent of prior Montana tax deductions, but only after removal of non-deducted contributions.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

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

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Montana follows tax-free treatment for rollovers into a Montana 529 plan. Montana tax treatment of rollovers out of a Montana 529 plan is unclear, as Montana law may require that the rollover be treated as a nonqualified withdrawal.

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

No

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

No

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.

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Want to Boost your Savings?

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Alternative 529 Plans

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NextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series

The Maine NextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series is available through Merrill Edge. The plan utilizes BlackRock (including iShares) funds in its age-based and static options. In addition, the Principal Plus Portfolio and the NextGen Savings Portfolio are available.

Our rating for residents
Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.53%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.69%
7.82%
9.61%
6.92%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Matching Grants for qualifying accounts
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T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan

T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan, the nationally-branded version of Alaska's direct-sold 529 savings program mirrors the University of Alaska College Savings Plan but lacks the ACT Portfolio found in the UA program. The enrollment-based and static portfolios available in this program utilize T. Rowe Price mutual funds.

Our rating for residents
Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.7%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
12.2%
9.5%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Protection from creditors
enroll now
146,216 clicked to enroll
New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan

New York's direct-sold 529 college savings plan is available to residents of any state. It offers low fees and diverse investment options featuring Vanguard mutual funds. New York residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Our rating for residents
Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents

Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Account owner or beneficiary.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership (but only to the beneficiary, or to the owner's spouse as part of a divorce proceeding).

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?

Yes and the program also offers Social Gifting.

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes

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

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Contact

Website:

https://www.collegesavings.com/csbcms/529-Plans/Montana-Residents

Telephone:

1-800-888-2723