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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

New York's 529 College Savings Program Turns 20

Join the celebration by opening account and start saving by Dec. 31

December 6, 2018

New York’s 529 College Savings Program, the popular college savings investment tool, is marking 20 years of helping New Yorkers save for higher education, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. He reflected on the tremendous growth of the plan and urged New Yorkers to sign up before the end of the year and take advantage of the tax benefits that may be available.

"New York State introduced its College Savings Program to the public 20 years ago. That’s 20 years of helping families and loved ones prepare for the costs of obtaining a higher education as the costs continue to rise," said DiNapoli. "It’s never too late to start saving and give a gift that will have lasting meaning. New York’s 529 College Savings Program’s Direct Plan is the largest plan of its kind in the country, our fees are among the lowest in the nation, and we continue to have solid results. We have made it easier for New Yorkers of all income levels to invest in the futures of their loved ones."

NY’s 529 College Savings Program account owners benefit from paying among the lowest fees in the country, and New York taxpayers can deduct annual contributions to the Program of up to $5,000 individually and $10,000 if married filing jointly*.

NY's 529 College Savings Program manages approximately $30 billion in investments with more than one million accounts in both the Direct Plan and the Advisor-Guided Plan. In the last year, the program has simplified the enrollment process, reduced fees, streamlined the age-based investment process, increased the maximum account balance to better reflect college costs, and eliminated the minimum contribution requirements for the Direct Plan.

In September 2018, Direct Plan fees dropped to 0.13 percent, meaning participants now pay only $1.30 in program fees each year for every $1,000 invested in the plan. The national average is more than three times higher, according to Strategic Insights, June 2018. Earnings on investments are free from both federal and state taxes as long as the funds are used to pay for expenses at eligible post-secondary institutions.

New York’s 529 College Savings Program currently includes two separate 529 plans: the Direct Plan sold directly by the program and the Advisor-Guided Plan, sold exclusively through financial advisors. The Advisor-Guided Plan has different investments, fees and expenses from the Direct Plan as well as financial advisor compensation.

DiNapoli and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation are the Program Administrators and are responsible for implementing and administering New York’s 529 College Savings Program.

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC (ABD),serves as Program Manager and, in connection with its affiliates, provides recordkeeping and administrative services and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Direct Plan and the Advisor-Guided Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as the Investment Manager for the Direct Plan. Vanguard Marketing Corporation markets, distributes, and underwrites the Direct Plan.

Read or download the Direct Plan disclosure booklet at:

For more information about New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan go to or call 877-NYSAVES (877-697-2837).

J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc. serves as the Investment Manager for the Advisor-Guided Plan. JPMorgan Distribution Services, Inc. markets and distributes the Advisor-Guided Plan.

Contact your financial advisor for more information about New York’s 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program, or click here to obtain an Advisor-Guided Plan disclosure booklet. You can also call 800-774-2108. 

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*May be subject to recapture in certain circumstances such as rollovers to another state’s plan, nonqualified withdrawals, or withdrawals used to pay expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school.