October 27, 2017


RE: Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program

End of year is quickly approaching. Be sure to make your 2017 contributions as soon as possible to avoid missing the December 31st contribution deadline. Illinois taxpayers can deduct contributions from their taxable income up to $10,000 ($20,000 if married filing jointly)1 . Making a tax-deductible contribution to Bright Directions is an excellent way to save for college and generate a 2017 Illinois tax benefit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: As you may be aware, the Illinois 529 programs were enhanced in July and there is a final, upcoming change to draw your attention to. The other Illinois advisor-sold program (Bright Start Advisor-Sold Program) will transition and become part of the Bright Directions Program during the weekend of November 3 – 6, 2017. Please note with system and plan changes that weekend you will be able to view your accounts at BrightDirections.com however, you will not be able to request transactions or make changes to your contact information online. If you need to contribute, request a withdrawal, make an investment change, or complete other account maintenance please complete the request prior to 3pm CT on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Online transaction capability will resume on Monday, November 6, 2017. Other than the brief, one-day timeframe that transactions will be restricted, there is no other impact or change to your Bright Directions account.

Transaction requests received prior to 3pm CT on Thursday, November 2, 2017 will be processed as normal on November 2, 2017. No transactions will be processed on Friday, November 3rd. Any transaction requests (including automatic investment plan contributions) received or scheduled after 3pm CT on November 2, 2017 through November 6, 2017 will be processed on Monday, November 6, 2017 utilizing Monday, November 6, 2017 closing prices.

image timelineAs we head into the busy holiday season, don’t forget to make any final contributions for 2017 right away. If you have any family or friends looking for gift ideas for your future student suggest they consider a contribution to your Bright Directions account.

We have enclosed a Bright Directions Investment Policy Statement for your review and records.

If you have any questions on the transition timeframe outlined above or if we can assist with anything further, please feel free to call on us (866.722.7283). Thank you for investing with Bright Directions!

Bright Directions Advisor-Guided 529 College Savings Program


An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other important information is contained in the Bright Directions Program Disclosure Statement, which can be obtained from your financial professional or at BrightDirections.com and should be read carefully before investing. You can lose money by investing in a portfolio. Each of the portfolios involves investment risks, which are described in the Program Disclosure Statement. Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state’s 529 plan.

The Bright Directions College Savings Program is sponsored by the State of Illinois and administered by the Illinois State Treasurer, as Trustee. Union Bank & Trust Company serves as Program Manager and Northern Trust Securities, Inc., acts as Distributor. Investments in the Bright Directions College Savings Program are not guaranteed or insured by the State of Illinois, the Illinois State Treasurer, Union Bank & Trust Company, Northern Trust Securities, Inc., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or any other entity.

1 An individual who files an individual Illinois state income tax return will be able to deduct up to $10,000 per tax year (up to $20,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint Illinois state income tax return) for their total, combined contributions to the Bright Directions College Savings Program, the Bright Start College Savings Program, and CollegeIllinois! during that tax year. The $10,000 (individual) and $20,000 (joint) limit on deductions will apply to total contributions made without regard to whether the contributions are made to a single account or more than one account. The amount of any deduction previously taken for Illinois income tax purposes is added back to Illinois taxable income in the event an Account Owner takes a Nonqualified Withdrawal from an Account or if such assets are rolled over to a non-Illinois 529 plan. If Illinois tax rates have increased since the original contribution, the additional tax liability may exceed the tax savings from the deduction.