NASHVILLE — As another school year winds down, the Path2College 529 Plan and SONIC®, America’s Drive-In® are teaming up to offer Tennessee elementary school students a reward for their hard work and a reminder of the importance of planning ahead for college.
The Path2College 529 Plan is an investment program offered by the State of Georgia and promoted by the State of Tennessee as a way for Tennessee residents to provide families with a tax-advantaged method for saving money for college expenses. The name is derived from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows tax-advantaged investment plans to be set up for college savings.
On May 29 (5/29), which has been designated as National College Savings Day, SONIC® will provide free vanilla cones to pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students throughout Tennessee. In addition to providing a treat for the students, the promotion is intended to remind parents, relatives and friends how important it is to begin saving for children’s college education while they are young.
“The time is now, for families to take action by preparing for their children’s future education by saving for college,” said Tennessee State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. “Starting to save for college early and saving regularly—even if it’s a little bit at a time--can greatly help Tennessee families prepare for their children’s future.”
National College Savings Day was established to raise awareness of 529 plans and educate all families around the country about the importance of saving for college.
“We hope that inspiring our students at a young age will help encourage a lifetime of learning, which is not only essential for their success in life, but it is important for our communities, our state and our nation to have a well-educated workforce,” said Chuck Penuel, director of the Path2College 529 Plan. “We hope the partnership with SONIC will provide students with a reward for their hard work this year, but more importantly, we hope celebrating 5-29 Day will get parents thinking about a plan to help their children achieve their goals.”
The free vanilla cone coupon can be downloaded from the Path2College web site throughout the month of May, but is only redeemable on May 29 at participating SONIC Drive-Ins in Tennessee. The coupon can be found at www.path2college529.com.
“This is SONIC’s second year to partner with the College Savings Plan,” said Dominic Losacco, vice president of marketing for SONIC Corp. “Celebrating a child’s educational success with a free vanilla cone from SONIC® is a great way to spend quality time together as a family while reminding parents that it’s never too early to start saving for college.”
With the cost of college steadily increasing, Penuel said it’s important for families to start planning ahead if they want their children to reach the milestone of a college education.
The Path2College 529 Plan is a professionally managed and tax-advantaged way for families to save for college expenses. It can be used to pay for college tuition and other qualified expenses, such as books, fees and certain room and board costs at colleges in Tennessee and nationwide. The plan offers seven investment options, no sign-up, maintenance or third-party sales fees - only an annual asset-based management fee of less than 1 percent. Accounts can be opened online with as little as $25. Any earnings in the Path2College 529 Plan are federal income tax-deferred and withdrawals for qualified expenses are also tax-free.*
Penuel said that you can go online to learn more about the options and enroll at www.Path2College529.com, or you can call toll-free, 877-424-4377, to speak with a college savings specialist who can walk you through the process.
“Once an account is established, additional contributions can be made to the account by check, periodic electronic funds transfer, or by using our Automatic Contribution Plan that allows parents to schedule regular monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly contributions,” said Penuel.
In addition to the Automatic Contribution Plan, many participating employers offer payroll deductions as a way to make regular contributions. Account owners should contact their benefits or payroll office to determine if their employer offers payroll deductions.
The Path2College 529 Plan is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., which is part of the TIAA-CREF group of companies. TIAA-CREF was founded by Andrew Carnegie and is one of the largest financial services firms in the U.S. with $414 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2009
For more information on the Path2College 529 Plan, visit: www.path2college529.com or call (877) 424-4377.
Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Path2College 529 Plan. Please visit www.path2college529.com for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.
Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan.
We are required to notify you that the tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. It was written to support the promotion of the Path2College 529 Plan. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
*Non-qualified withdrawals are subject to income taxes and the federal additional 10% tax.
Account value for the Investment Options is not guaranteed and will fluctuate based upon a number of factors, including general market conditions.
2010 TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager.