Salem, OR—The Oregon State Treasury and MFS Investment Management® (MFS®) are pleased to announce enhancements to the MFS® 529 Savings Plan, Oregon’s advisor-sold 529 savings plan. The changes that went into effect in late 2022 were designed to enhance the participant experience and better meet the needs of investors saving for future educational expenses.
“Offering investors, and their financial advisors, a best-in-class college savings plan has always been a top priority for the state of Oregon,” said Michael Parker, Executive Director of the Oregon Treasury Savings Network. “Working in conjunction with our longtime partner, MFS, we believe current and future savers should see significant benefits regarding costs, plan design and the potential for a more comfortable glidepath as each member gets closer to their enrollment date.”
“Saving for your child’s education today positions them for long-term success in the future,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “The benefits of the newly modernized MFS 529 Savings Plan are unmistakable. The streamlined plan provides clearer options, making investment choices easier for Oregonians in pursuit of their higher education dreams.”
A significant enhancement involved shifting the plan structure from an age-based model to one based on enrollment year. Similar to target-date funds, participants can now invest based on a future event — in this case, the expected year of college enrollment, or the date when money will be needed for educational expenses.
The refreshed enrollment year approach provides a smoother glide path, while minimizing the effect of incremental allocation changes. Participants now have 25 enrollment year options as a result of this shift in strategy. In addition, the number of risk-based options was expanded to accommodate a greater diversity of objectives and risk tolerances, ranging from aggressive growth to more conservative options.
Pricing for the MFS 529 Savings Plan has also been simplified to benefit investors and align with other advisor-sold 529 plans using industry-leading Class R6 shares to provide the lowest-cost underlying MFS mutual funds.
In addition, plan participants and advisors now have improved online access through a new portal provided by recordkeeper BNY Mellon. The portal provides expanded online functionality and control over individual 529 accounts, including account maintenance, transaction processing, tuition payment automation, expanded gifting options and more.
“By switching from age-based to enrollment year investment options, the plan now offers a smoother glide path for investors, designed to try to help reduce the impact of market volatility. Combined with the use of underlying Class R6 shares, revamped pricing and other enhancements, education savers now have access to what we believe to be a top-tier advisor-sold plan,” added Justin Hansen, Managing Director for Global Strategic Accounts at MFS.
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The Oregon State Treasury improves the financial well-being of all Oregonians. We provide low-cost banking, debt management, and investment programs for governments and empower Oregonians to invest in themselves and their loved ones through the Oregon College Savings Plan, the MFS 529 Savings Plan, the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan and OregonSaves.
About MFS Investment Management
In 1924, MFS launched the first US open-end mutual fund, opening the door to the markets for millions of everyday investors. Today, as a full-service global investment manager serving financial advisors, intermediaries and institutional clients, MFS still serves a single purpose: to create long-term value for clients by allocating capital responsibly. That takes our powerful investment approach combining collective expertise, thoughtful risk management and long-term discipline. Supported by our culture of shared values and collaboration, our teams of diverse thinkers actively debate ideas and assess material risks to uncover what we believe are thebest investment opportunities in the market. As of January 31, 2023, MFS manages US$579.6 billion in assets on behalf of individual and institutional investors worldwide. Please visit mfs.com for more information.