Earlier this year, we announced a new program manager for your Bright Start Advisor-Sold College Savings Plan, which resulted in lower costs and additional investment diversity and choice. Now, we’re happy to announce more positive changes, as your Bright Start account will soon become a Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 account.
Bright Directions is a highly respected 529 plan administered by Union Bank, the same program manager who took over your Bright Start account earlier this summer. Bright Directions is the recipient of three consecutive Morningstar silver medals1, the highest rating given to an advisor-sold 529 plan. Here’s why we’re excited to introduce you to Bright Directions:
- Lower Fees. Over the years, my office has negotiated the removal of account setup and quarterly account fees, reduced the program management fee by 53%, and cut our own administrative fees be 40%, all to help college savers keep more dollars in their accounts.
- Additional Investment Diversity and Choice. The transition to Bright Directions adds more quality fund families and a variety of new investment options to fit each investor’s needs.
- Big Tax Advantages. Bright Directions assets are tax deferred while in the plan, and are free from federal and Illinois income tax when used for qualified higher education expenses. Plus, Illinois taxpayers’ contributions are eligible for a generous Illinois state income tax deduction2.
- $10,000 Per Year
- $20,000 Per Year if Married Filing a Joint Return
- Versatile Spending. 529 funds can still be used for tuition and fees, room and board (if enrolled at least 1/2 time), books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment, computers and required software. Funds can also be used at one-year, two-year, four-year, public, private, graduate, technical, and vocational schools nationwide, along with select foreign schools.
We have include links to our Program Disclosure Statement Supplement and Bright Directions Investment Policy Statement for your review and records. In addition, in early November you will be receiving a Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program Disclosure Statement dated November 6, 2017, for your review and records.
Your account will automatically transition from Bright Start to Bright Directions the weekend of November 3-6, 2017. In the meantime, this Transition Guide will detail the new underlying investments offered, how your existing accounts will transition, and all the benefits of your new plan. No action is required by you. If you have any questions, contact your financial advisor, call us at 866.722.7283, or visit BrightDirections.com.
Thank you again for your continued investment in the future of Illinois. We look forward to helping you save and build funds to help offset the future costs of college.