529 Plans: Wyoming

529 Plans: Wyoming

They say there is a first time for everything, and today's post on college savings 529 plans is no exception. The "first" here is that our post's state, Wyoming, chose to close its 529 plans back in 2006. At that time, the state settled up the account balances with account owners, and since then, it has partnered up with Colorado to offer its residents the opportunity to participate in a college savings plan.

Basic Info

With that being said, the options open to those in Wyoming are the Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan WY and the Stable Value Plus College Savings Plan. All information I can find indicates that there are no state residency requirements, but the plan is a Wyoming version of the neighboring and similar Colorado plans. Program managers are MetLife for the Stable Value and Upromise and the Vanguard Group for the Direct Porfolio.

Both plans accept contributions into all Colorado accounts for one beneficiary up to $280,000 (remember, Wyoming is basically sharing Colorado's plans as it does not administer its own). Minimum contributions are $25 for either plan; the Direct Portfolio plan has a subsquent deposit amount of $15.

Fees, Programs and Deductions

As far as fees go, the Stable Value Plus plan comes out on top with no maintenance or enrollment fees plus a 0.75% administration fee that goes to the state of Colorado. The second plan, Directo Portfolio, has no enrollment fee but does administer a $20 maintenance fee for accounts under $10,000 and/or those who are not Wyoming or Colorado residents. This fee can be waived if the participant elects to receive all communication electronically.

Neither plan offers any matching or incentive program and neither plan offers any state tax deduction or credit for Wyoming residents.

Stable Vs. Static

For those electing to opt into one of the plans, the Stable Value plan has no age-based option while the Direct Portfolio offers three risk levels of age-based option each with at least four portfolios of underlying mutual funds. As far as static options, the Stable Value plan offers one option that invests funds into a MetLife investment. On the other hand, the Direct Portfolio plan has five multi-fund and three individual-fund options to choose from.

So there you have it: Wyoming's – er, Colorado's – er, Wyoming's via Colorado's plans for college savings. Keep watching for more posts as we start moving out of the west and into the heartland of our great nation.

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