New & Improved 529 Future Scholar Plan Begins Today

Monday, October 1, 2012

(Columbia, SC) – South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced the launch of a new and improved Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan administered by the State Treasurer’s Office. The new plan features lower expenses and fees, an expanded investment lineup and lower investment minimums.

“We’ve worked very hard to make our nationally recognized Future Scholar college savings plan even better and more accessible for families in South Carolina,” Treasurer Loftis said. “Everyone deserves a quality education and I am proud to say that more than 61,000 South Carolinians are taking advantage of Future
Scholar.”

Lower Expenses

The overall plan expenses have dropped by 41%, placing it among the lowest cost 529 plans in the country.

More investment choices

Together, the new plan includes mutual funds from some of America’s most recognized investment managers, including: Columbia Management, The Vanguard Group, Dimensional Fund Advisors, MFS Investment Management, American Century Investments, BlackRock Fund Advisor’s iShares, Nuveen Investments, Winslow Capital, Franklin Templeton Investments and J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Lower investment minimums

There is no longer an investment minimum for the direct plan. The advisor-sold plan investment minimum requirement has been reduced to $100 from $250 to open an account, and $50 for subsequent contributions.

The Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan offers three investment options:

Age-based option – corresponds with the child’s age and the parents’ risk tolerance over time

Target-allocation option – seven target allocation portfolios ranging from aggressive to conservative

Single-fund option – variety of mutual funds from some of the industry’s leading money managers

Future Scholar plans can be purchased either directly by an individual or through a financial advisor. The direct-sold plan, administered by the State Treasurer’s Office, is available only to South Carolina residents and an online application can be accessed at www.futurescholar.com. The advisor-sold plan is available nationally through financial advisors.

As of June 30, 2012 South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 plan had approximately $1.5 Billion in assets and 93,000 accounts. To learn more about the 529 Future Scholar plan, visit www.futurescholar.com.

The new Future Scholar contract is just another step in the Treasurer’s push to streamline and modernize the Treasurer’s office. In the past year, Treasurer Loftis updated the State Treasurer’s Office banking services contract and commissioned the first independent audit of the State Treasurer’s Office since 1988. The audit covered $700 million in assets.

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Interim Media Contact:
Edward Frazier
edward.frazier@sto.sc.gov
803.734.2016

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