College Foundation, Inc. recently announced that assets held by North Carolina 529 college savings plan participants have now reached a record $1 billion, with over $40.8 million of those assets in State Employees’ Credit Union’s (SECU’s) Federally-Insured Deposit Account. Established and maintained by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA), North Carolina’s National College Savings Program was launched in December 200l, and today maintains over 106,000 active accounts, of which 94% are owned by NC residents. The National College Savings Program allows participants to choose from a variety of NC 529 Plan investment options available from Vanguard, the State Treasurer, and SECU.
SECU’s Federally-Insured Deposit Account provides protection of principal and earnings, offers a competitive interest rate, and is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Added to the College Savings Program in April 2010, the account has been well-received by conservative investors and those with students nearing college age. Branch employees at all 244 SECU offices across the State can help Credit Union members open an NC 529 account online. In addition, non-commissioned representatives of Credit Union Investment Services (CUIS), a Registered Investment Advisor and service organization of SECU, can assist members with choosing an NC 529 investment option to best suit their tolerance for market risk and objectives of saving for future educational expenses.
Senior Vice President of SECU’s IRA & Investment Services department Joan McCool, comments, “State Employees’ Credit Union is delighted that our Credit Union’s members and non-members are investing in their family or friends’ educational future through the NC National College Savings Program. The continued growth of the NC 529 Plan assets is a great indication of the importance being placed on the benefits of receiving a higher education.”
Shera Hube, Vice President for marketing and savings at College Foundation, Inc., which administers the NC 529 Plan, says “Starting an NC 529 account requires as little as a $25 investment, and regular or periodic contributions at the same low minimum or more can be made based on your financial situation and preferences. There are also federal and state tax advantages of saving in the NC 529 Plan. Of particular benefit to NC taxpayers, annual NC 529 contributions of up to $2,500 per individual (or $5,000 married, filing jointly) can be deducted from your state taxable income. And this benefit is available not just to the account owner, but to any NC taxpayer such as grandparents or others who choose to make an NC 529 contributions as holiday, birthday or other special occasion gifts for a future college student.”