State Treasurer Curtis Loftis announcing 2nd annual PalmettoBaby Grant Program on 5/29/14

(Columbia, SC) – State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr. is announcing the second annual privately funded Future Scholar 529 Palmettobaby grant program on National 529 College Savings Day, Thursday, May 29, 2014.  The Palmettobaby program was designed to celebrate 529 Day and the success of South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Program, administered by the Office of State Treasurer.  Recognized as PalmettoBabies, every baby born in South Carolina on May 29, 2014 will be eligible to receive a one-time privately funded $529 college savings grant in 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.

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

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.”, 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 privately funded PalmettoBaby Grant Program. For more information on the PalmettoBaby Grant Program, visit