NU Online News Service, Oct. 18, 11:45 a.m. – The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund, New York, says it is preparing to introduce financial advisor or commission-based versions of several of the section 529 college savings programs it manages.
The decision marks the first time that TIAA-CREF will offer any of its products to broker-dealers, although technically, the college savings plans are products of the states that sell them, a company spokesperson notes.
“Relative low cost will prevail, as there will be a downward sliding up-front load beginning at 5%, with no trailer,” says the spokesman, Jim Tolve. “Each plan’s annual management fee will be the same as its corresponding direct-sold plan, and there will be no proprietary selling agreements, so all broker-dealers will have access to it.”
TIAA-CREF manages 13 of the state-sponsored college savings programs and has been selling them directly to consumers to date. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., which manages TIAA-CREF’s advisor programs, will now begin to make them available to broker-dealers, investment advisor firms, and banks throughout the country, the company says.
For starters, the company has introduced the 529 programs offered by Mississippi and Missouri.
Its advisor programs extend the marketing strategy behind its corresponding direct-sold programs in that each follows a state-centric sales approach, the company says.