PA’s 529 Savings Program gets high praise from national experts

02 July 2024- Morningstar, a financial services company that rates 529 plans across the country, recently reinforced the reasons it awarded the Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s PA 529 College and Career Savings Program Investment Plan (IP) its Gold Rating in November – making it one of only two plans in the nation to receive Morningstar’s highest rating.

In a recent article (“Morningstar’s Top-Ranked 529 Plans”), Morningstar praised Treasury’s “aggressive negotiations for lower fees and additional fee breakpoints” which “led to a more positive investor experience.” It also highlighted the department’s “effective and steadfast advocacy on behalf of its investors [which] puts the plan a notch above peers.”

“My team and I are proud of the fact that we earned Morningstar’s Gold Rating because it means that we’re doing a great job for the hardworking Pennsylvania families who use the PA 529 IP to save for education. Our focus is always on the people who are saving every dollar they can to give their children and grandchildren the education they want and deserve. We will continue working day in and day out to give Pennsylvania families even more reasons to save for their child’s bright future with PA 529.”
 Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity

The PA 529 IP allows families to choose from a variety of investment portfolios, including target enrollment date options, which automatically adjust asset allocations to become more conservative as a child reaches the anticipated date of enrollment in post-high school education. PA 529 IP earnings are dependent upon financial market performance.

Since taking office in 2021, Treasurer Garrity has overseen several changes to PA 529 plans, making them more accessible and affordable for Pennsylvania families, including eliminating the minimum deposit to open an account and reducing the minimum contribution to one dollar, on top of multiple fee reductions that have saved more than $11.5 million for families across the whole PA 529 program, which also includes the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP).

There are nearly 301,000 combined PA 529 IP and GSP accounts with more than $7.7 billion in assets.