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The Hartford SMART529
While a similar program (SMART529 WV Direct) is available to West Virginia residents on a direct basis, this advisor-sold version is available nationally. The Hartford SMART529 program features a menu of age-based, static, and individual portfolio options utilizing Hartford Funds, two iShares (BlackRock) funds, one MFS fund, and a stable value portfolio managed by Invesco. 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
- State agencyState Treasurer's Office under the authority of the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees
- Tax deductionTax deduction for single filers No limitTax deduction for joint filers No limit
- Program ManagerHartford Funds Management Company, LLC.
- Program distributorHartford Funds Distributors, 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 at least 18 years old, 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 West Virginia's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $400,000.
Minimum contributions:With lump-sum contributions, the minimum initial contribution is $250 ($50 for West Virginia residents), and the minimum subsequent contribution is $25 (no minimum for West Virginia residents). With the automatic investment plan, the minimum contribution level is $25 per month ($15 per month for West Virginia residents).
Age-based investment options:The Age-Based Portfolios option consists of 9 portfolios of underlying 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 5 multi-fund portfolios (Aggressive Growth, Growth, Balanced, Conservative Balanced, and Checks and Balances), 13 individual-fund portfolios, and a stable value portfolio.View more static investment options
Underlying investments:Hartford Funds mutual funds, two iShares (BlackRock) mutual funds, one MFS mutual fund, and an Invesco Stable Value portfolioView 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:$25 annually, deducted at the end of each year, waived for accounts over $25,000, for WV residents, and for accounts in the automatic investment program. No annual maintenance fee for Class E fee structure.
Program management fees:0.17% management fee (includes 0.07% to the state) except Stable Value has 0.15% management fee (includes 0.05% to the state), plus distribution/servicing fees of 0.25% (Class A), 0.80% (Class B), 0.99% (Class C), or 0% (Class E).
Expenses of the underlying investments:Ranges from 0.14% to 0.92%.
Total asset-based expense ratio:Class A: 0.54% - 1.34%
Class B: 1.09 - 1.89%
Class C: 1.28% - 2.08%
Class E: 0.29% - 1.09%
Broker loads and commissions:UNLOCK PRO
Breakpoint pricing:UNLOCK PRO
Does breakpoint pricing include non-529 assets under rights of accumulation policiesUNLOCK PRO
Taxes and other Benefits
- Tax deduction for single filersNo limit
- Tax deduction for joint filersNo limit
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.