An insurer is cutting rates and making other changes in West Virginia’s 529 college savings plans.

Under a new 10-year agreement with West Virginia, Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, also has agreed to reduce the number of plans it manages to 3, from 5, and to improve customer service.

Hartford reduced fees for participants in West Virginia’s SMART529 program by an average of 20%.

The service improvements promised include easier on-line access to accounts by clients and advisors, and the ability for customers to make automatic contributions from their bank accounts, Hartford says.

The 5-year-old West Virginia 529 plan program now manages about $1 billion in assets.