Oregon College Savings Plan embarks on new era

Oregon families can look forward to an array of changes in 2018 that will make it even easier and cheaper to save, according to a press release.

The Oregon College Savings Plan is building on its success to make sure that all Oregonians are empowered to save for their higher education goals. Among the advancements: A redesigned and mobile friendly website, an enhanced gift-giving interface, a variety of new, low-cost investment funds, a new set of target-date-funds, and enhanced outreach to promote saving in underserved communities statewide.

“The Oregon College Savings Plan helps Oregonians to invest in themselves and a brighter future for their families, and we are thrilled to announce these advancements that will enhance choices and make it easier to save,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read, who chairs the Oregon 529 Savings Board.

The Oregon 529 Savings Board put several of the changes in motion on Jan. 24, when it unanimously voted to enter into negotiations with a new financial partner to administer the Oregon College Savings Plan. Sumday Administration, LLC, a division of BNY Mellon, was selected following a competitive bid process that allowed the board to survey competitors in today’s marketplace. Sumday will replace current partner TIAA.

The shift will be seamless and will occur by the end of the year, said a press release. Because most of the work will be done behind the scenes, everything will be business as usual for the plan. People who are saving for education through the Oregon College Savings Plan will maintain full access to accounts, and will be able to make deposits and withdrawals as they have in the past. New accounts can be opened anytime.

Account owners don’t need to do anything at this time and will be given plenty of notice before the website enhancements go live, said a press release.

Some of the other coming changes to the Oregon College Savings Plan, such as making it easier to open accounts and focusing additional attention on underserved communities in urban and rural areas, are priorities for the treasurer and will be introduced over the course of the year. Already announced is the new statewide Baby Grad program that provides $25 to all Oregon babies’ accounts before their first birthday.

The new platform will include a target-date fund option that will allow savers to tailor investments and risk exposure based on the year the beneficiary is expected to enter higher education or job training programs.

“In higher education, we’re seeing more adult learners and those who are returning after a break from their education,” said Board Member Brent Wilder. “Having the flexibility of an enrollment-date portfolio will make it easier for them to invest to meet their goals.”

The Oregon College Savings Plan is the state’s direct-to-the-public option for tax-advantaged higher education saving. To learn more and to open an account, visit www.oregoncollege-savings.com.

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