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The Florida 529 College Savings Plan

The Florida 529 plan is a state-run college savings plan of the state of Florida. There are two versions of this plan here – the Florida College Investment Plan and the Florida Prepaid College Plan. This article provides information on the basic features of these two Florida 529 plans.

The Florida College Investment Plan

The Florida College Investment Plan is a savings plan that allows the accountholder to make an educational investment plan up to the tune of $341,000 for a single beneficiary from all Florida accounts. Installments are allowed for the investment, where accountholders must make an initial contribution of at least $250 and then manage the later installments as they wish. However, the amount must not go below $25 in a month.

This plan has three kinds of investment options:

1. Static Investment Options – There are four portfolios in these plans – the US equity, balanced, fixed income and money market.

2. Age-based Investment Options – This contains five age bands within the fixed income and the US equity portfolios. The beneficiary has to be allocated to one of these five age bands.

3. Underlying Investments – Here investments can be made in privately managed portfolios such as the US Trust Company, Northern Trust Investments, State Board of Administration, Trusco Capital Management and Deutsche Asset Management.

The person investing in the plan, i.e. the accountholder, is free to direct the benefits of this Florida 529 plan in his or her own name, or in the name of the beneficiary, or in the name of a particular educational institution. The name of the beneficiary can be transferred at any time.

The Florida Prepaid College Plan

The Florida Prepaid College Board runs this prepaid program. Account holders can make a plan as soon as the kids are born. A contract for a child below one year would range from $3,511 for two years at community college to about $35,740 for four years at the university. People can purchase credit hours for their children’s future education. These packages are in the form of 120 credit hours for a four year university plan, 60 credit hours for a two year community college plan and a combined plan of 60 hours for both community college and university.

The account holder can direct the benefits to public universities in Florida, or to a regionally accredited nonprofit institution. The payments are done in a lump sum amount or in 55 installments that must end in October one year prior to that of seeking admission in college.