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Prepaid 529 plan assets up 7.2 percent since 4Q 2013

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Prepaid 529 plan assets totaled an estimated $23.6 billion at year-end 2014, according to a new report.

Strategic Insight unveils this finding in a fourth quarter update on prepaid college savings plans. Based on primary information provided by asset managers and state agencies, the report aggregates data for 18 out of 19 prepaid 529 plans.

The fourth quarter result compares with $23.2 billion (up 2.3 percent) and $22.4 billion (up 7.2 percent) in pre-paid 529 plan assets reported in 3Q 2014 and 4Q 2013, respectively.

Active accounts for 529 prepaid plans in 4Q 2014 totaled 1,358,907, up 1.37 percent from the year-ago period. Open 529 prepaid plans increased by 2.83 percent during the same period, the report shows.

Gross contributions for 16 prepaid plans that provided detailed data were $0.24 billion at the close of the fourth quarters. Net sales (gross contributions minus gross distributions) were a negative $0.23 billion, and thus reported as net outflows of$0.23 billion.

In comparison to other dedicated college savings investment options, total 529 savings plan assets were an estimated $224.3 billion as of 4Q 2014, reflecting a 3.3 percent increase from 3Q 2014 assets of $217.2 billion and a 9.7 percent increase from 4Q 2013 assets of $204.5 billion.

Active accounts for 529 college savings plans increased 5.1 percent from 4Q 2013 to 4Q 2014. In comparison to other investment

products, long-term mutual fund and ETF assets (excluding fund-of-fund affiliated) increased 2.1 percent during the past quarter to $13,681 billion from $13,396 billion; and increased 8.7 percent over the past year from $12,585 billion.

See the charts on the following page for additional highlights from the report.