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Prudential To Market BabyMint Program

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NU Online News Service, March 31, 2003, 4:01 p.m. EST – Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., has agreed to market the BabyMint Inc. affinity savings program.

The program rewards members who shop at Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Macy’s, Gap and other stores by putting a small percentage of the dollars the members spend at those stores in tax-free college savings accounts.

VESDIA Corp., Atlanta, the company that organizes the BabyMint program, lets members put the cash in any U.S. college savings plan, but the company will now list Prudential on its Web site as a “preferred financial provider.”

Consumers who invest in Prudential’s 529 college savings programs will be able to join the BabyMint program for free.

Prudential will also market the BabyMint program to its financial advisors, and BabyMint will give Prudential advisors a discount on joining its preferred advisor program.

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The preferred advisors will get a packet of BabyMint marketing materials and a listing on the BabyMint Web site.

Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code gives states the authority to set up 529 college savings programs.

The federal government exempts contributions from federal income taxes, and most beneficiaries who use the money to pay for college can withdraw the plan assets without paying any federal income taxes on the distributions.

Prudential markets the Arrive Education Savings Plan, a plan sponsored by the state of New Mexico.