Do 529 plan expenses vary among states?


Yes. There are great differences in the amount and types of fees and expenses that 529 plans charge in various states. Pay close attention to those charges when choosing a plan. In some cases, fees and expenses can significantly affect your account’s return.

Fees commonly charged include enrollment fees, annual account maintenance fees, expenses charged for making changes to your account, and investment management fees (for a college savings account). Some fees and expenses apply only to out-of-state residents, and some fees may be higher for nonresidents. Some fees may be waived altogether under certain circumstances (e.g., if you set up a payroll deduction plan for automatic contributions to 529 plan).

Keep in mind that plans that contain the lowest fees and expenses aren’t necessarily the best plans. Be sure to weigh these charges along with other factors, including investment performance and program management. In addition, before investing in a 529 plan outside of your state of residency, find out what state tax benefits (if any) you might lose if you do so. Your state may offer tax benefits only to residents who invest in their in-state 529 plan.

Note: Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with 529 plans before investing. More information about 529 plans is available in each issuer’s official statement, which should be read carefully before investing. Also, before investing, consider whether your state offers a 529 plan that provides residents with favorable state tax benefits.