Compare 529 Plans

Summary

Virginia's CollegeAmerica is an advisor-sold 529 plan that makes available a line-up target date fund portfolios, multi-fund portfolios, individual fund portfolios from American Funds through Class 529-A, 529-C, 529-E, 529-F-1, 529-F-2 and 529-F-3 shares.

Pennsylvania's 529 Investment Plan is available to residents of any state, and offers 15 Vanguard investment options, including a socially responsible equity portfolio. Pennsylvania residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Program type

Savings

Savings

How to enroll

Enroll through a financial advisor.

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation

2002

2002, but substantially changed in November 2006

State agency(ies)

Virginia529

Pennsylvania Treasury Department

Program manager

American Funds Service Company, American Funds Distributors, and Capital Research and Management Company

Pennsylvania Treasury Department, with Ascensus College Savings as record-keeper and servicing agent, and Vanguard as investment manager.

Program distributor

American Funds Distributors

Pennsylvania Treasury Department

State residency requirements

None

None

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

U.S. citizens and resident aliens, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Individuals at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and trusts.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program

The account must be used within 30 years after the beneficiary graduates from high school or within 30 years after opening the account, whichever is later.

None

Maximum contributions

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Virginia's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $500,000.

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Pennsylvania's 529 plans for the same beneficiary reach $511,758.

Minimum contributions

The minimum initial contribution is $250 per fund ($1,000 for U.S. Government Money Market Fund), and the minimum subsequent contribution is $50 per fund. For an employer-sponsored program, the minimum contributions are $25 per fund.

$10 per transaction

Does the program offer an e-gifting platform for receiving gift contributions?

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Yes

Age-based/Enrollment Year investment options

The Target-Based Portfolios contain 7 portfolios of underlying mutual funds. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the number of years to expected enrollment based on the age of the beneficiary or as selected by the account owner. As each fund approaches its target date, it will increasingly emphasize income and preservation of capital by investing a greater portion of its assets in bond, equity-income and balanced funds, eventually investing principally in fixed-income funds and merging into the College Enrollment portfolio.

The Target Enrollment options contain 11 portfolios invested in Vanguard mutual funds and/or the Vanguard Short-Term Reserves Account. Contributions are placed into the portfolio corresponding to the beneficiary's age or anticipated year of enrollment and later reassigned to more conservative portfolios as the beneficiary approaches college age.

Static investment options

Select among various multi-fund objective based portfolios, U.S. Government Money Market or individual mutual funds from American Funds.

Select among 6 multi-fund portfolios (Aggressive Growth, Growth, Moderate Growth, Conservative Growth, Income, and Conservative Income) and 8 individual-fund portfolios.

Underlying investments

American Funds mutual funds.

Vanguard mutual funds

Enrollment or application fee

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

None.

Account maintenance fee

None.

$10 annually, waived for accounts that have elected electronic delivery of all documents.

Program management fees

All options except College Target Date Series and Portfolio Series:
0.25% to 0.80% (includes 0.06%% state administrative fee), plus distribution/servicing fee of 0.22% to 0.30% (Class 529-A), 1.00% (Class 529-C), 0.50% (Class 529-E), 0.25% (Class 529-F-1 including Money Market Fund), 0.00% (Class 529-F-2 and 529-F-3

College Target Date Series:
No management fee, 0.06% state administrative fee, plus distribution/servicing fee of 0.22% to 0.30% (Class 529-A), 1.00% (Class 529-C), 0.50% (Class 529-E), 0.25% (Class 529-F-1), 0.00% (Class 529-F-2 and 529-F-3

Portfolio Series:
No management fee, 0.06% state administrative fee, plus distribution/servicing fee of 0.24% to 0.25% (Class 529-A), 1.00% (Class 529-C), 0.50% (Class 529-E) or 0.25% (Class 529-F-1), 0.00% (Class 529-F-2 and 529-F-3

0.19%, consisting of 0.055% fee to the Commonwealth and 0.13% combined fee to Upromise and Vanguard

Expenses of the underlying investments

Ranges from 0.26% to 0.57% (portfolio weighted average) in the age-based and static multi-fund portfolios, and 0.02% to 0.32% in the individual-fund portfolios.

Ranges from 0.02% - 0.12%

Total asset-based expense ratio

Class 529-A: 0.44% - 1.29%
Class 529-C: 0.45% - 2.07%
Class 529-E: 0.43% - 1.45%
Class 529-F-1: 0.62% - 1.31%
Class 529-F-2: 0.35% - 0.96%
Class 529-F-3: 0.28% - 0.90%

0.205% - 0.305%

Program match on contributions

None.

None., The Pennsylvania Treasury Department invests $100 for every child born in the Commonwealth via the Keystone Scholars program. Parents have until a child's first birthday to claim the $100 Keystone Baby Scholars investment by registering online or calling 1-800-440-4000.

State tax deduction or credit for contributions

Contributions to a Virginia 529 plan of up to $4,000 per account per year are deductible in computing Virginia taxable income, with an unlimited carryforward of excess contributions. Contributions are fully deductible in the year of contribution for taxpayers at least 70 years of age. Contributions from a non-owner are deductible by the account owner and not by the non-owner/contributor. Contribution deadline is receipt by the last business day of the year based on agency calendar.

Contributions to Pennsylvania AND non-Pennsylvania 529 plans of up to the gift-tax annual exclusion amount ($15,000 in 2018) per beneficiary are deductible in computing Pennsylvania taxable income. Spouses filing jointly must each have at least $15,000 in income to claim the maximum $30,000 per-beneficiary deduction. Rollovers from another 529 plan or from qualified U.S. savings bonds are not eligible for the deduction.

State tax recapture provisions

The principal portion of rollovers and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Virginia taxable income to the extent of prior Virginia tax deductions. Nonqualified withdrawals for this purpose do not include withdrawals made as the result of the beneficiary's death or disability or withdrawals made on account of the beneficiary's receipt of a scholarship.

Nonqualified distributions from any 529 plan are included by Pennsylvania taxpayers in Pennsylvania taxable income to the extent they are not a recovery of nondeductible contributions, following rules set forth in PIT Bulletin 2006-04. Rollovers are not subject to Pennsylvania tax.

State definition of qualified expenses

The state conforms with the federal definition of qualified education expenses, which includes expenses for higher education, apprenticeship programs, interest and/or principal on qualified education loans up to a $10,000 lifetime cap, and up to $10,000 per year in tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.

The state's definition of qualified education expenses 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 Virginia and non-Virginia 529 plans are exempt. Virginia also exempts distributions from a Virginia 529 plan attributable to the beneficiary's death, disability, or receipt of a scholarship.

Qualified distributions from Pennsylvania and non-Pennsylvania 529 plans are exempt. Accounts in a Pennsylvania 529 plan are also exempt from Pennsylvania inheritance tax.

State tax treatment of rollovers

Virginia follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions.

Pennsylvania follows federal tax-free treatment.

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

No

Yes

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

No

No

Is there a rewards program or outside scholarship program that works with this 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.

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.

Plan participants who are Pennsylvania residents are also eligible for "Tuition Rewards" - guaranteed tuition discounts at over 330 colleges participating in the privately-run SAGE Scholars program.

To whom are distributions made payable

Account owner, beneficiary, or eligible educational institution

The account owner, designated beneficiary, or an eligible educational institution.

Policy regarding participant/owner changes

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?

Yes

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

No

Yes

Telephone

1-800-421-4225

1-800-440-4000

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