(LINCOLN, Neb.) Today, State Treasurer John Murante encouraged Nebraskans to consider opening a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST 529) Direct College Savings account for a loved one this holiday season.
“Now is a great time to invest in the educational future of your child, grandchild, or other family members. Gifts such as a NEST529 account can make a difference for a lifetime,” Murante said.
As the holiday season approaches, Murante encouraged Nebraskans to take advantage of NEST 529’s state income tax benefits. Account Owners in Nebraska are eligible for an annual state income tax deduction of up to $10,000 for NEST 529 contributions, or $5,000 per spouse if filing separately.
To take advantage of the Nebraska state income tax deduction this year, contributions must be submitted online or postmarked by December 31 before 11:59 pm CT. Contributions are reported on your Nebraska state income tax return.
For individuals new to Nebraska, funds rolled over into a NEST 529 account from an out of state 529 plan are also eligible for the Nebraska state income tax deduction, so consider transitioning your current 529 accounts to NEST 529 to maximize your savings.
“Now is the best time to set the youth of Nebraska up to soar by investing in a 529 plan,” said John Murante, State Treasurer. “The transition to a new program manager empowered us to negotiate lower program fees while adding more investment options – all while achieving attractive tax benefits. In other words, when you invest in a NEST 529 account, Nebraska account owners can receive a state income tax deduction for the year, and that money will go to work for your child’s future educational goals. It’s a win-win.”
NEST 529 gives families the ultimate college savings plan. The transition to the new program manager gives account holders these added benefits through family owned and focused UBT:
- Lower Fees – The NEST Direct Plan has no annual account fees or set up fees, and program management fees are being reduced by 68 percent. This retains more investment dollars that can be applied toward future education.
- Investment Improvements – Additional Age-Based Investment Options will be added to the NEST Direct Plan, along with modified and updated asset allocations of the existing Age-Based and Static Investment Options.
- Valuable Tax Benefits – The newly enhanced NEST Direct Plan will continue to provide exceptional tax perks, including a Nebraska state tax deduction for contributions (up to $10,000 for contributions by account owners and $5,000 if married, filing separately.)
These new improvements and the program manager transition garnered the NEST 529 Direct Plan a 2020 Bronze Morningstar rating. Morningstar, a Chicago-based investment research firm specializing in analyzing fund, stock and general market data, evaluates 529 college savings plans and assigns qualitative Morningstar Analyst Ratings based on their assessment of the plan’s investment merits. This Bronze rating shows that Morningstar has identified Nebraska’s NEST 529 Direct Plan as a best-in-class offering.
“Our highly qualified team is ready to work with Treasurer Murante and his team to set families up to soar toward their educational goals,” said Jason Muhleisen, vice president of Union Bank & Trust.
Also taking effect in 2021 is the Meadowlark Program. Enacted in 2019, the Meadowlark Program ensures every baby born on or after January 1, 2020, that is a resident of Nebraska at the time of birth, is automatically enrolled in a NEST account.
“Next year will be the first funding year under the new program,” said Murante. “I’m proud that lawmakers passed this program. It’s another proof point that we are committed to helping families set their children up to soar toward their dreams and future.”
Families’ NEST accounts and investments have been transferred to UBT, with no action required on their part. Account holders will receive an updated Program Disclosure Statement dated December 4, 2020, for their review and records. For additional information regarding the changes, contact your financial advisor or visit the Plan’s website.
Visit NEST529.com to learn more about the benefits of a NEST 529 college savings plan.
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan designed to make saving for college simple and affordable. As State Treasurer, Murante serves as the Program Trustee. All investments, including the portfolio structure offered through the NEST 529 program, are vetted and approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.