CollegeCounts 529 Fund Advisor Plan NEW! PDF ReportPRO


The manager for Alabama CollegeCounts 529 Fund Advisor Plan changed from Van Kampen to Union Bank and Trust Company in August 2010. It features age-based, static and individual fund portfolio options using mutual funds from multiple fund firms. To find a financial advisor in your area, use the Directory of Financial Professionals.

5-Cap Rating


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. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
2.32 3.10 3.93 4.40 0.35

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Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll through a financial advisor. Find a Professional

Initial year of operation:

2002, but substantially changed in August 2010.

State agency(ies):

Board of Trustees of College Counts 529 Fund, chaired by the State Treasurer

Program manager:

UBT 529 Services, a division of Union Bank & Trust Company

Program distributor:

Northern Trust Securities, Inc.

Manager contract term:

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State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 19 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:



Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Alabama 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $475,000.

Minimum contributions:

No minimum.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

The Age-Based Portfolios option is offered in 3 different risk levels (Aggressive, Moderate, and Conservative) each containing 9 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the risk level selected and based on the age of the beneficiary, and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.

Static investment options:

Select among 6 multi-fund Target portfolios and 25 Individual-fund portfolios.

Underlying investments:

T. Rowe Price, BlackRock, DFA, Northern Funds, MainStay, Fidelity, American Century, William Blair Funds, Lazard, Neuberger Berman, Templeton, Touchstone, Voya, Credit Suisse, PIMCO, and State Street

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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See Investment Options

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None, but contributions may be subject to a sales charge depending on share class.

Account maintenance fee:

$12 annually, waived if either the account owner or designated beneficiary is an Alabama resident.

Program management fees:

0.40% (includes 0.10% state administrative fee), plus distribution/servicing fee of 0.25% (Class A), 0.50% (Class C), or 0.00% (Class F). The State Street U.S. Government Money Market option has no state administrative, distribution, or servicing fee.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.28% to 0.50% (portfolio weighted average) in the age-based and static multi-fund portfolios, and 0.10% to 1.25% in the individual-fund portfolios.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

Class A: 0.42% - 1.90%
Class C: 0.42% - 2.15%
Class F: 0.42% - 1.65%

Broker loads and commissions:

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Breakpoint pricing:

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Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions, including rollover contributions, to an Alabama 529 plan of up to $5,000 per year by an individual, and up to $10,000 per year by married taxpayers filing jointly who each make their own contributions, are deductible in computing Alabama taxable income.

State tax recapture provisions:

A nonqualified withdrawal from an Alabama 529, plus 10 percent of the amount of the withdrawal, is included in Alabama taxable income to the extent of prior Alabama tax deductions. Outbound rollovers are also 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:

Alabama law exempts qualified distributions from an Alabama 529 plan but does not exempt distributions from a non-Alabama 529 plan.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Inbound rollovers are not subject to Alabama tax. The full amount rolled over can be deducted subject to the $5,000 or $10,000 annual maximum. Outbound rollovers are treated as nonqualified withdrawals.

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?


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

Yes, CollegeCounts 529 Rewards Visa Card, you can earn 1.529% on your everyday purchases.

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?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


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

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