FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Treasurer Clint Zweifel announces largest drop in costs ever for Missouri’s college savings plan
Plan now 5th lowest cost in nation – expected to save investors $18.5 million over five years
KANSAS CITY – State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) visited the University of Missouri-Kansas City today
to announce Missouri’s college savings plan is now the 5th lowest cost in the nation.
A new five-year management agreement with Upromise Investments slashes costs of the do-it-yourself
MOST 529 Plan by 44 percent. The announcement also included a $500,000 financial assistance package.
Standing with UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton, Vice Chancellor Mel Tyler,
students and Upromise and Vanguard representatives, Treasurer Zweifel said the public-private
partnership is estimated to save investors $18.5 million.
"This is the largest cost reduction in history and guarantees every single Missourian
substantial savings with this elite plan. College saving is up 50 percent since I took office –
Missourians expect lower costs because of this commitment," Treasurer Zweifel said.
"This announcement makes the best choices at the best prices available to all Missourians.
Lower costs and only $25 to open an account increases access to affordable higher education –
whether a four-year, two-year or technical school. Missourians will save millions of dollars and
Upromise is showing its commitment to our state."
Upromise’s presence in the state includes a downtown Kansas City office, which opened in June.
The office employs 35 people and is expected to grow to 80 financial services jobs by mid-2011.
The 44 percent price cut is effective June 6 and is on the heels of a 10 percent cost reduction in July. Currently,
113,000 account owners have invested $1.47 billion with the direct-sold MOST 529 Plan.
The direct-sold MOST 529 Plan features low-cost Vanguard investments,
including three age-based options, 10 index-based portfolios and four actively managed portfolios.
Costs will range from 0.29 percent to 0.38 percent for age-based and index-based options,
previously 0.55 percent. Actively managed portfolios will range 0.53 percent to 0.60 percent;
previously ranging 0.87 percent to 1.58 percent.
The total asset weighted cost of the direct-sold plan is now 0.32 percent – fifth lowest in the nation.
Treasurer Zweifel also announced a new five-year $500,000 financial assistance package for Missourians saving
for college with MOST 529.
Details will be announced later.
"I combined savings, scholarships and part-time jobs to be the first in my family to graduate from college,"
Treasurer Zweifel said. "Missouri families are steadfast college savers and I want to reward that commitment.
It is a commitment to save early, often and at historic all-time highs."
Missourians preferring to save through a financial advisor now have expanded world-class options through DWS Investments,
the world’s eighth largest mutual fund company. The advisor-sold MOST 529 Plan will be distributed solely
through DWS Distributors, while continuing to provide access to other investments including American Century,
American Funds, BlackRock, Columbia, Franklin Templeton, Invesco, PIMCO and T. Rowe Price. Investors will
continue to have access to the Scout International Terror-Free portfolio from UMB Bank.
The advisor-sold plan has 13,500 accounts with more than $133 million.
No account owner will see a fee increase and 27 percent will see fees decrease.
"This public-private partnership with DWS is another sign that in the global economy,
Missourians are gaining greater access to global economic leaders based both in the Show-Me
State and throughout the world," Treasurer Zweifel said.
"We are proud to continue our partnership with Treasurer Zweifel and MOST 529,"
said Jeff Howkins, president of Upromise. "We are committed to helping Missouri families
save more for higher education with enhanced features: low-cost investments from Vanguard,
a new suite of advisor-sold investments distributed and marketed through
DWS and popular Ugift and Upromise rewards services."
As a result of changes to some of the underlying funds in the direct and advisor-sold
MOST 529 Plans, some account owners will be directed into new portfolios unless they choose on their
own in advance. Owners will receive formal communication in advance of June.
About the Agreement
The cost cutting and financial assistance comes as a result of a
competitive bid administered by the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program Board,
which governs the direct-sold and advisor-sold MOST 529 Plans and is chaired by Treasurer Zweifel.
Treasurer Zweifel provides sponsorship of MOST 529 and all board staff at no cost to investors. On February 7,
the board voted unanimously to select a proposal from Upromise Investments to continue as program manager
of the direct-sold and advisor-sold MOST 529 Plans. The competitive bid process began August 26.
This is the third program management contract for the MOST 529 Plans. The first was entered into in
1999 and the second in 2006. This agreement will expire June 6, 2016.
About the MOST 529 Plans
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel chairs the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program Board which governs the direct-sold
and advisor-sold MOST 529 Plans. He sponsors the tax-advantaged program that enables families
to save for a child’s higher education. MOST 529 is an affordable, low-cost, tax-deferred way to
save for higher education expenses. Investments in the plans can be used towards many qualified
higher education expenses, including tuition, certain room and board expenses, books and mandatory
fees at most four-year colleges and universities, many two-year institutions and vocational schools
and some schools abroad. In addition, savings in MOST 529 can be used towards associate's, bachelor's
and advanced degrees. Account owners may deduct up to $8,000 in contributions each year in computing their
state income tax and married couples filing jointly may deduct up to $16,000 annually. Contributions to MOST
529 in a tax year are deductible from Missouri state income tax, but may be subject to recapture in subsequent
years if an account owner makes a nonqualified withdrawal. More than 127,000 people have invested more than
$1.5 billion in MOST 529, which is an all-time high.
To open a MOST 529 direct-sold account, visit www.MissouriMost.org or call
1-888-414-MOST. An account can be started for $25.
To open a MOST 529 advisor-sold account contact your
financial advisor, call 1-800-617-5097 or visit www.most529advisor.com.
About Upromise Investments
Upromise Investments is the leading administrator of 529 college savings plans,
dedicated to meeting the needs of its clients, their plans and all families saving for
college across the country. The company provides a range of service models, from recordkeeping
and administration to full-service program management. It currently provides program management
and administration services across 32 direct-sold, advisor-sold and prepaid plans in 16 states,
with over $34 billion in assets as of December 31, 2010.
Headquartered in Newton, Mass., Upromise Investments is a registered broker-dealer, a member of
FINRA, and is registered with the MSRB.
About Vanguard Group Inc.
Vanguard, headquartered in Valley Forge, Penn., is one of the world’s largest investment management
companies and a leading provider of 529 college savings plans. Vanguard manages nearly $1.4 trillion
in U.S. mutual fund assets, including nearly $28 billion in 529 plan assets invested in 26 plans in 25 states.
Vanguard offers more than 170 funds to U.S. investors and more than 50 additional funds in non-U.S. markets.
About DWS Investments
DWS Investments is the U.S. retail brand of Deutsche Bank’s global asset management division.
DWS is the leading mutual fund brand in Germany and one of the most respected in Europe and Asia.
With access to the expertise of a powerful global network in 16 countries, DWS Investments strives
to make innovative investment strategies and solutions, traditionally reserved for institutions and high
net worth individuals, available to the U.S. retail investor.
DWS Investments manages over $128 billion in retail and retirement assets in more
than 146 mutual funds and variable insurance portfolios across all major asset categories
in the U.S. Organizations under the DWS brand manage approximately $338 billion globally.
If you are not a Missouri taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's
home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's
qualified tuition program.
For more information about MOST--Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan, download a
Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in
this document; read and consider it carefully before investing. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor and Underwriter.
For more information about MOST - Missouri’s 529 Advisor Plan, contact your financial advisor, call 1-800-617-5097,
or visit www.most529advisor.com to obtain a Plan Description.
Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Plan Description;
read and consider it carefully before investing. DWS Investments Distributors, Inc., will serve as Distributor and Underwriter.
The Missouri Higher Education Savings Program (the "Program Trust") is a trust created by the State of Missouri.
When you invest in MOST--Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (the "Plan") or MOST — Missouri’s 529 Advisor Plan
(the "MOST 529 Advisor Plan"), you are purchasing portfolio units issued by the Program Trust.
Portfolio units are municipal securities.
The Plan and the MOST 529 Advisor Plan have been implemented and are administered by the Missouri Higher
Education Savings Program Board (the "Board"). Upromise Investments, Inc., and Upromise Investment Advisors,
LLC, serve as the Program Manager and Recordkeeping and Servicing Agent, respectively, with overall responsibility
for the day-to-day operations. The Vanguard Group, Inc., will serve as Investment Manager for the Plan. Vanguard Marketing Corporation,
an affiliate of The Vanguard Group, Inc., markets and distributes the Plan. The Plan's portfolios, although they invest in mutual funds,
are not mutual funds. DWS Investments Distributors, Inc. will be responsible for marketing and distribution of the MOST 529 Advisor Plan.
American Century Investment Services, Inc.; American Funds; BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A.; Columbia Management Group,
LLC, and its affiliates; DWS Investments, Inc.; Franklin Templeton Investments; Invesco Advisers Inc.; Pacific Investment Management
Company LLC (PIMCO); Scout Investment Advisors, Inc.; and T. Rowe Price will provide underlying investments for the MOST 529 Advisor Plan.
Investment returns are not guaranteed, and you could lose money by investing in the Plan or the MOST 529 Advisor Plan.
Participants assume all investment risks, including the potential for loss of principal, as well as responsibility
for any federal and state tax consequences.
Not FDIC-Insured. No Bank, State, or Federal Guarantee. May Lose Value.