Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier announced Wednesday that, after a competitive bid process, she has selected The Hartford Financial Services Group to launch and manage CHET Advisor, a new advisor-sold 529 college savings program for state residents.
CHET Advisor will be the first advisor-sold 529 college savings plan sponsored by the state. TIAA-CREF, a New York-based financial services provider, will continue to manage the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), a direct-sold 529 college savings plan first launched in 1998.
As part of CHET Advisor, The Hartford will support a new $100,000 annual scholarship program for Connecticut children. The Hartford’s corporate headquarters are located in Hartford, Conn.
Nappier and The Hartford Chairman, President, and CEO Liam McGee announced the new program at the Connecticut State Capitol, also located in Hartford.
Joe Hurley, 529 guru and founder of www.savingforcollege.com, said many other states already offer advisor-sold 529 college savings programs.
“People in states that offer an income tax deduction for direct-sold 529 plans but that don’t have an advisor-sold program often push for advisor-sold programs in the state. Some people don’t feel comfortable buying those 529 investments directly, and they prefer going through an advisor,” Hurley said.
“The launch of CHET Advisor is an exciting opportunity for those saving for college in our state,” Nappier said in a statement. “Financial advisors in Connecticut now have a home state 529 plan to use when helping families plan for college, and we’ve provided this important option by partnering with The Hartford, a company with a longstanding commitment to its Connecticut roots.”
The CHET Advisor 529 plan offers state tax benefits to Connecticut taxpayers:
- A Connecticut income tax deduction for contributions of up to $5,000 per year ($10,000 for married couples filing jointly)
- Tax-free accumulation of earnings
- Tax-exempt distributions for eligible education expenses
"We are honored that Connecticut has chosen The Hartford to manage CHET Advisor,” McGee said in a statement. “We look forward to working with financial advisors across our home state to help Connecticut families send their children and grandchildren to college.”
Read College Savings: Do Your Homework from the archives of AdvisorOne.com.