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Fidelity Investments® Cuts Program Management Fees for 529 College Saving Plan Index Portfolios by 40 Percent
Fidelity 529 Index Portfolio offering now among most affordable in industryBOSTON – Fidelity Investments® has announced a reduction in the program management fees for direct-sold 529 Index Portfolios, from 0.15% to 0.09%. This 40 percent decrease makes Fidelity 529 Index Portfolio fees among the lowest in the 529 industry.
This fee reduction is part of Fidelity’s ongoing effort to help families save and plan for college, understand savings options and determine savings strategies that are right for their individual situation.
“Parents are working hard to save for college, and Fidelity is committed to providing college savings plans that offer great value alongside trusted guidance, to help families reach their college goals,” said Keith Bernhardt, vice president of college savings at Fidelity. “Lowering our fees means that more of our customers’ money can go directly toward their children’s education. Combined with Fidelity’s investment expertise, customer-focused planning guidance, online tools and educational resources, this reduction can help families with Fidelity-managed accounts feel more confident that they are on the right track to achieve their college savings goals.”
The index portfolio fee reduction applies to all Fidelity-managed direct-sold plans including The UNIQUE College Investing Plan, Fidelity’s nationally distributed plan, offered by the State of New Hampshire; the Massachusetts’ U.Fund® College Investing Plan; the Delaware College Investment Plan; and the Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan. Total fees for the 529 Index Portfolios, including underlying mutual fund expenses, now range from 0.19 percent to 0.29 percent of assets, down from 0.25 percent to 0.35 percent. Unlike several competitor plans, all Fidelity direct-sold 529 college savings plans continue to have no annual account fees, low-balance fees, or fees to receive paper statements.
Fidelity Study Finds Families Utilizing 529 College Savings Plans at an All-Time High
New research from Fidelity finds that the number of families saving for college is at an all-time high (69 percent), but keeping up with the rising cost of college costs remains a challenge. According to Fidelity’s 2013 College Savings Indicator Study, the typical American family is currently on track to cover just 34 percent of their college savings goals.
While parents are still behind when it comes to saving to meet their college goals, the 7th annual study found a number of positive steps being taken. Sixty-one percent of families report having a financial plan in place to help reach their college goals. Use of 529 college savings plans is at an all-time high (33 percent), increasing five percent from last year, and 37 percent of 529 plan owners say they have increased their regular, monthly contributions since opening their accounts (up from 34 percent last year).
Fidelity’s business data supports the positive behaviors reported in this year’s study. The firm has seen a 22 percent increase in the number of new retail 529 college savings accounts opened during the first half of 2013, compared with the same period last year.
“With college costs continuing to rise, the best step a family can take is to start saving early and systematically,” said Bernhardt. “Contributions add up over time, and saving in a dedicated account, like a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan, can help stretch their dollars further when it comes time to pay for college expenses. Taking time now to think about college priorities, consider savings strategies and establish a plan can help put them on the right track to achieve future college savings goals.”
College Savings Month is a Great Time to Revisit Savings Strategies
September is known as College Savings Month -- a good reminder and time for families to talk about college goals, evaluate existing savings habits and make adjustments to better prepare to meet those future college costs. For families looking for assistance at any stage of their college saving process, Fidelity’s College Savings Resource Center provides a range of online planning tools and calculators, a broad overview of savings options and strategies, as well as resources to learn more about how to search and apply for financial aid and scholarships.
Also available in the College Savings Resource Center is a series of Viewpoints articles focused on college savings strategies and decision making, providing expert points of view and actionable steps that families can take to stay focused on their college goals. Examples include:
• The ABC’s of 529 college savings plans, outlining the range of investment options and potential tax advantages of 529 College Savings Plans
• How much college can you afford?, providing topics to explore as a family with budgeting for college
• Student loan guide, offering insights to help families better understand college funding options and the intricacies of student loans
Fidelity offers complimentary access to dedicated college planning representatives, as well as in-person guidance and college planning seminars at 182 investor centers nationwide.
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