529 Plans: Kansas

529 Plans: Kansas

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Ah, but yes we are, Dorothy. Well, kinda. Today, we’ll take a look at the next state in line in our quest to peruse every 529 college savings plan in the country.

Kansas, home to the Jayhawks and a lot of flat, open land, offers up three plans to aid those wanting to save for college: the Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program, the Learning Quest Advisor, and the Schwab 529 College Savings Plan.

Fees, Residency and Contribution Level Info

Learning Quest offers savings programs both in advisor-sold and direct-sold formats. Both Learning Quest programs as well as the Kansas Schwab plan are very similar. All three are managed by American Century Investment Management, Inc. You need not live in Kansas to particpate, and you can contribute to the plans until the account balance(s) for the same beneficiary reach(es) $312,500. Both plans have the same initial contribution levels for lump-sum contributions ($100 for Jayhawkers, $500 for those out of state); for automatic contributions, the plans require $25 monthly for Kansas residents and $50 for out-of-staters.

At this time, there appears to be no enrollment or maintenance fees associated with the savings plans.

Investment Options

All plans also offer age-based and static options for investments. Among differences between the plans, the Schwab plan as well as the Learning Quest Advisror program can be linked to Upromise (the direct-sold Learning Quest version cannot). Also a difference, the Learning Quest 529 (direct-sold) offers up a line of LIVESTRONG portfolios under its static investment options; these portfolios do not invest in companies with ties to the tobacco industry and also help contribute to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (American Century Investments makes donations to the foundation based on assets within the LIVESTRONG portfolios).

Matching Program and Tax Info

For low income families (more specifically, those whose incomes are at 200% below the federal poverty level), the Learning Quest plans offer a matching program in which contributions above $100 will be matched up to $600 per year. This program is only offered for a maximum of 300 participants in each of Kansas’ congressional districts. The Schwab plan does not appear to participate in this program.

In addition, contributions to Kansas’ 529 plans can be deducted when figuring out taxable income. Up to $3,000 per beneficiary per year for individuals and $6,000 per beneficary per year by those married-filing-jointly contributed to Kansas and non-Kansas state-sponsored 529 plans can be deducted from Kansas taxable incomes.

That's it for Kansas! Join us next time as we continue to move eastward.

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Michelle's picture

Michelle wrote:

Tue, 05/08/2012 - 15:12 Comment #: 1

I wonder if my Kansas native friend Jason from worksavelive knows about all this! I will have to send him over and you can compare notes.