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SMART529 Select

The West Virginia SMART529 Select 529 savings program is managed by Hartford Funds and features age-based and static portfolio options utilizing Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual funds. Although DFA funds are typically available only through financial advisers, this 529 plan is direct-sold. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

Our Ratingx

3 of 5

Fee Scorex

3 of 5

Performancex

0.5 of 5

  • Program typeSavings
  • Inception2004
  • State agency
    State Treasurer's Office under the authority of the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees
  • Tax deduction
  • Program Manager
    Hartford Funds Management Company, LLC
  • Program distributor
    Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC
  • Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO

Ratings & Rankings

Our overall rating for WV 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.


1.67of 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?

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:

None

Alternative 529 Plans

Other great plans you should consider

You are not limited to opening your own state's 529 plan, so shop around. We encourage you to consider the highly rated options below:

Plan
Our Rating
Fee Scorex
Performancex
Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
4.5 of 5
Performancex
5 of 5
enroll now
61,616 clicked to enroll
CollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
4.5 of 5
Performancex
N/A
enroll now
13,930 clicked to enroll
Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
4.5 of 5
Performancex
N/A
enroll now
54,578 clicked to enroll
Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
4.5 of 5
Performancex
5 of 5
enroll now
61,616 clicked to enroll
New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
5 of 5
Performancex
5 of 5
enroll now
163,135 clicked to enroll
ScholarShare 529
Our Rating
4.5 of 5
Fee Scorex
4.5 of 5
Performancex
5 of 5
SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
5 of 5
Performancex
5 of 5
Restricted to West Virginia residents
New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan
Our Rating
5 of 5
Fee Scorex
5 of 5
Performancex
5 of 5
enroll now
163,135 clicked to enroll
Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP)
Our Rating
4.0 of 5
Fee Scorex
5 of 5
Performancex
4 of 5

Contributions

Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in West Virginia's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $400,000.

Minimum contributions:

With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $250 per fund ($50 per fund for West Virginia residents), and the minimum subsequent contribution is $25 per fund (no minimum for West Virginia residents). With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month per fund ($15 per month per fund for West Virginia residents).

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Portfolios option consists of 7 portfolios of underlying mutual funds with varying risk tolerances. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.View more age-based investment options

Static investment options:

Select among 10 multi-fund portfolios with varying risk tolerances.View more static investment options

Underlying investments:

Dimensional Fund Advisors Inc.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:

$25 annually, deducted at end of each year. Waived for accounts over $25,000, for WV residents, and for accounts in the automatic investment program.

Program management fees:

0.40% management fee (includes 0.05% to the state).

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.17% to 0.27% (portfolio weighted average).

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.57% - 0.67%

Taxes and other Benefits

  • Tax deduction for single filersNo limit
  • Tax deduction for joint filersNo limit

Example

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

Program match on contributions:

The SMART529 Bright Babies Program (effective 8/1/15) provides a one-time incentive contribution in the amount of $100 per designated beneficiary born or adopted on or after 1/1/15. The designated beneficiary must be a resident of West Virginia and the account must be opened within one year of the birth/adoption date.

The SMART529 Matching Grant Program (discontinued for new applications as of 8/31/15) provides matching grants to eligible West Virginia families in an amount up to $500 per designated beneficiary per year, up to a lifetime maximum of $2,500 per designated beneficiary, with a dollar for dollar match.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to West Virginia's 529 plans are fully deductible in computing West Virginia taxable income.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in West Virginia taxable income to the extent of prior West Virginia tax deductions. Rollovers apparently are not subject to recapture.

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 West Virginia and non-West Virginia 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

West Virginia follows federal tax-free treatment.

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

Yes

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.

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Upromise Helps Families Save for College

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, 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?

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes, including subsequent contributions.

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

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Contact

Website:

https://www.smart529select.com/plan-details.html

Telephone:

1-866-574-3542