The Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP), Utah’s official 529 college savings program, received the highest stamp of approval from Morningstar Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, for the fifth consecutive year. Of 63 plans Morningstar analyzed, UESP was one of only four to receive a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Gold in 2015, indicating that the gold-rated plan is more likely to outperform the benchmark over the long term on a risk-adjusted basis.
Morningstar released its annual rating of the nation’s 529 college savings plans on Tuesday.
UESP is one of the nation’s fastest-growing 529 plans, with more than 295,000 accounts and $8.36 billion in assets under management as of October 20, 2015.
“Morningstar continues to recognize UESP for its plan simplicity, low fees, and solid investment offerings,” says Lynne Ward, UESP executive director. “These benefits attract account owners from every state, not just Utah.”
Morningstar evaluates 529 plans based on five key pillars—Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price—that its analysts believe are fundamental to building and maintaining a strong plan. The criteria enable the investment research firm to assess 529 plans’ governance and management, investment offerings, fees, and returns over time.
Based on those pillars, UESP stood out as one of the best 529 college savings plans in the nation.
UESP charges no fees to open an account, and requires no minimum or ongoing contributions. Earnings on UESP accounts grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals are free from federal and Utah state income taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses, including tuition and fees; books, supplies and required equipment; and certain room and board expenses.
UESP is the fourth-largest direct-sold 529 plan in the country, drawing account owners from every state in the union. But the Utah Legislature made UESP’s college savings plans especially attractive for Utahns by creating state tax credits for residents who value saving for higher education.
For the 2015 tax year, Utah taxpayers may claim a 5 percent tax credit on UESP contributions up to $1,900 per qualified beneficiary for single filers and trusts, and up to $3,800 per qualified beneficiary for joint filers. Utah-based corporations that own UESP accounts may claim a tax deduction up to $1,900 per qualified beneficiary. Account funds may be used at any technical school, college, or university that participates in federal financial aid programs for students, not just at institutions in Utah.
For more information about the Utah Educational Savings Plan, visit uesp.org, call 800.418.2551,
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
# # #
Read the Program Description for more information and consider all investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. Call 800.418.2551 for a copy of the Program Description or
Investments in UESP are not guaranteed by UESP, the Utah State Board of Regents, the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, or any other state or federal agency. However, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance is provided for the FDIC-insured accounts. Please read the Program Description to learn about the FDIC-insured accounts. Your investment could lose value.
Non-Utah taxpayers and residents: You should determine whether the state in which you or your beneficiary pays taxes or lives offers a 529 plan that provides state tax or other benefits not otherwise available to you by investing in UESP. You should consider such state tax treatment and benefits, if any, before investing in UESP.