HARTFORD, CT – Today, February 8, 2021, Connecticut State Treasurer and Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), Shawn T. Wooden, relaunched the State’s 529 college savings plan under new program manager, Fidelity Investments.
“CHET is dedicated to helping families save for their children’s future education, and we are proud to offer a number of enhanced benefits to make the CHET plan more accessible than ever before,” said State Treasurer Shawn Wooden. “Fidelity’s focus on providing an unparalleled customer experience and their strong investment heritage will help Connecticut families meet their future education savings goals.”
Effective today, existing CHET Direct Plan account owners should visit Fidelity.com/CHETactivate to activate their accounts. The CHET Advisor Plan will be effective on March 22, 2021.
As the cost of education rises, a recent study by Fidelity shows 78% of parents nationwide have started saving for higher education, with Connecticut parents just above the national average at 79%. Nearly all Connecticut parents surveyed (92%), said they hope to cover at least some of the cost of higher education for their children. The reason to start saving early and often has never been clearer, as Americans currently owe an estimated $1.67 trillion in student debt.
New enhancements to the CHET plan include no minimum amount to open a CHET Direct 529 account, no annual account fees, and free planning and guidance for families in their college savings journey.
“Connecticut families need effective solutions to save for the future, including how to continue or start to take meaningful steps to save for their children’s education. I’m optimistic that this next chapter of the CHET program will provide even greater opportunity to make the dreams of Connecticut’s children a reality and lessen the financial burden for working families,” added Treasurer Wooden.
“We are proud to serve the education savers of Connecticut,” said Melissa Ridolfi, Senior Vice President, Retirement and College Leadership, Fidelity Investments. “We hope to bring greater value and a seamless customer experience to Connecticut families through our investment capabilities, planning and guidance resources, and dedicated college planning teams.”
CHET continues to be the only 529 plan with a Connecticut state income tax deduction of up to $10,000 for Connecticut residents. Funds in a CHET account can be used at traditional two-year and four-year colleges and universities, technical and vocational schools as well as at some schools abroad for a variety of education-related expenses.
For more information, visit AboutChet.com.
The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) direct-sold college savings plan was established in 1997 and has grown to more than $3.5 billion in assets and 132,000 accounts. Over $2.1 billion has been withdrawn from CHET accounts to help more than 57,000 students pay for college expenses. The State of Connecticut offers CHET to help families save for future college costs. Funds deposited into a CHET account have tax advantages and can be used at accredited colleges and universities across the country, including vocational and technical schools, and some colleges abroad. Connecticut residents are allowed to deduct 529 contributions from their state income taxes – up to $5,000 for an individual or up to $10,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Investment earnings are exempt from state and federal taxes if used for qualified educational expenses.
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About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $9.8 trillion, including discretionary assets of $3.8 trillion as of December 31, 2020, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 35 million people invest their own life savings, 22,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 13,500 institutions with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for more than 70 years, Fidelity employs more than 47,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/our-company.
About the Fidelity Investments 2020 College Savings Indicator Study
As part of the study, Fidelity conducted a survey of parents with college-bound children of all ages. Parents provided data on their current and projected household asset levels including college savings, use of an investment advisor and general expectations and attitudes toward financing their children's college education. Using Fidelity's proprietary asset-liability modeling engine, the company was able to calculate future college savings levels per household against anticipated college costs. The results provided insight into the financial challenges parents face in saving for college. Data for the Indicator (number of children in household, time to matriculation, school type, current savings and expected future contributions) was collected by Boston Research Technologies, an independent research firm, through an online survey from June 5 – July 2, 2020 of 1,790 families nationwide with children aged 18 and younger who are expected to attend college. The survey respondents had household incomes of at least $30,000 a year or more and were the financial decision makers in their household. College costs were sourced from the College Board's Trends in College Pricing 2019. Future assets per household were computed by Fidelity Personal and Workplace Advisors LLC (FPWA), a registered investment adviser and a Fidelity Investments company. Within Fidelity’s asset-liability model, Monte Carlo simulations were used to estimate future assets at a 75 percent confidence level. The results of the College Savings Indicator may not be representative of all parents and students meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for the study.
The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 529 College Savings Plans - Direct Plan and Advisor Plan are offered by the State of Connecticut. Effective February 8, 2021 and March 22, 2021, Fidelity Investments will become the program manager for the Direct Plan and Advisor Plan, respectively. If you or the designated beneficiary is not a Connecticut resident, you may want to consider, before investing, whether your state or the beneficiary's home state offers its residents a plan with alternate state tax advantages or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds and protection from creditors.
Please carefully consider the plan's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information on any 529 college savings plan managed by Fidelity, contact Fidelity for a free Fact Kit or Offering Statement, or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
Units of the portfolios are municipal securities and may be subject to market volatility and fluctuation.
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