What is the Oregon 529 College Savings Network?
The Oregon 529 College Savings Network was created to increase the ability of Oregonians to save for future higher education expenses. It is a unique investment tool that provides state and federal tax advantages and more flexibility than many other college savings vehicles.
Oregon currently offers two 529 plans: the Oregon College Savings Plan, which is the state’s flagship plan sold directly to investors, and the MFS 529 Savings Plan. The MFS plan is sold exclusively through financial advisors. Both plans operate independently of each other but are governed by the same state and federal laws. Each Oregon plan is comprised of a specific set of mutual funds, and each has its own unique features that offer participants a variety of investment choices and contribution options.
Both of the Oregon plans are administered by the Office of the State Treasurer, are overseen by the Oregon 529 College Savings Board, and are qualified under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Benefits of Oregon’s 529 plans
· Annual Oregon state tax deduction on contributions of up to $4,455 for tax year 2013. (The deduction amount is adjusted each year for inflation.)
· Tax deduction roll-forward provision, which allows investors to take advantage of the tax deduction in subsequent years when they make a large contribution that exceeds the annual deduction amount.
· All earnings and withdrawals are free from state and federal taxes if used for qualified college expenses.
· Control of the funds remains with the person who establishes the account.
· Funds can be used nationwide at any eligible school of higher education, including technical, vocational and graduate school.
· Funds can be used for tuition, room and board, books and other required fees.
· Investment options range from aggressive to principal protected.
· Low fees.
· Accounts can be opened for as little as $15 per month.
· Beneficiaries can be changed without penalty or tax consequences.
· Assets are held in trust by the State of Oregon.
· Assets are protected from bankruptcy.