SC Babies Born on 529 DAY Celebrated with $529 College Saving Grant

Thursday, May 15, 2014

SC BABIES BORN ON 529 DAY CELEBRATED WITH $529 COLLEGE SAVINGS GRANTS
State Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced PalmettoBaby Grant Program at
East Cooper Medical Center

(Columbia, SC) – State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. was at East Cooper Medical Center on Thursday, May 15 at 2:00 PM to promote the second annual Future Scholar 529 PalmettoBaby grant program. The privately funded PalmettoBaby grant program celebrates the success of South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Program, administered by the Office of State Treasurer. In celebration of National 529 day, every baby born in South Carolina on May 29, 2014 will be eligible to receive a one-time $529 college savings grant into an existing Future Scholar account or when the parent or guardian of the newborn opens a new Future Scholar 529 account.  Each year, approximately 200 babies are born in South Carolina on May 29th.  The Office of State Treasurer has invited hospitals across the state to participate in delivering news of the PalmettoBaby grants to the new parents.

 “I’m delighted that my office can play a role in jumpstarting college savings accounts for these PalmettoBabies and their families as well as encouraging other families to open Future Scholar plans of their own,” Treasurer Loftis said.

“East Cooper Medical Center looks forward to working with the Office of State Treasurer again this year on the PalmettoBaby Program to bring awareness to South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan,” Jason Alexander, CEO of East Cooper Medical Center added. “This is an important and valuable program for South Carolinians, and East Cooper Medical Center is happy to be involved in this effort.  As the cost of college tuition increases, we are fortunate to have access to an investment option that offers tax advantages to help families save money for college.”
In 2012, the Office of State Treasurer re-negotiated the Future Scholar plan’s program management contract to expand investment options, create a marketing campaign that uses no funds from the public treasury, and reduce the management fees. The new and improved Future Scholar 529 plan showed an increase of 46% for new accounts in 2013 over 2010’s figures, and families increased their investments in the plan by 44% during the same time.

The Wall Street Journal has recognized South Carolina’s Future Scholar plan as having the highest state tax deduction of any 529 plan in the country. Money Magazine called Future Scholar a leader in low fees and praised the contract re-negotiation, saying, “South Carolina eliminated program management fees and dropped investment expenses for in-state residents.” Savingforcollege.com, an organization that evaluates 529 plans, gave South Carolina’s Future Scholar plan its highest rating of five CAPS.

 “Investors in Future Scholar can be proud of their decision to save with SC’s 529 plan,” Treasurer Loftis said. “Since becoming State Treasurer in 2011, it’s encouraging to know that more than 34,000 families have begun saving for college with a Future Scholar 529 plan.  That’s something to celebrate because a better future for these children means a better future for South Carolina,” Treasurer Loftis added.
529 Day is dedicated to raising awareness of 529 college savings plans. 529 plans offer opportunities for tax deductible contributions, tax-deferred growth and tax-free distributions for qualified education-based purposes. South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 plan does not require students to attend college in South Carolina, and no minimum amount is necessary to open an account.
No funds from the public treasury are used in the marketing of the Future Scholar plan or PalmettoBaby Grant Program. For more information on the PalmettoBaby Grant Program, visit www.futurescholar.com/news-events/palmettobaby/

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

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