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VSAC announces improvements to 529 College Savings Program

first_imgThe Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) has renewed its agreement with TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) to manage the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan (VHEIP) — Vermont’s official 529 college savings plan — and is offering several enhancements to benefit Vermont families.The number of VHEIP investment options has expanded from three to six to provide families a wider range of choices with varying strategies and degrees of risk. Investors may choose options that range from conservative to aggressive, selecting those that best fit their college savings objectives and investment philosophy.In addition, program management fees have been restructured to help account owners put more of their investments toward their college savings goals. Of particular note, fees have been reduced for the Managed Allocation Option, a popular choice for many families because the underlying investments automatically adjust as the student beneficiary ages.As of September 30, the investment lineup is as follows:· Managed Allocation Option — fees decrease from 80 to 53 basis points (50 basis points equals one-half of a percent)· Interest Income Option — continues as a zero-fee option· 100% Equity Option — fees remain at 80 basis points· Equity Index Option (new) — fees set at 53 basis points· Balanced Option (new) — fees set at 70 basis points· Fixed Income Option (new) — fees set at 78 basis pointsEffective November 30, two options will change:· The Interest Income Option will be renamed the Principal Plus Interest Option with a guaranteed principal investment strategy — continues as a zero-fee option· The 100% Equity Option will be renamed the Diversified Equity Option with an active management strategy — fees increase to 89 basis pointsIn addition to those changes, plans are under way to make managing a VHEIP account online much easier. Account owners will be able to view electronic quarterly and annual statements online, rebalance existing assets to new or existing investment options, and make withdrawals to the bank account on record.Vermont Higher EducationThe Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan launched in December 1999 and has grown to an asset value of $100 million in about 9,600 accounts. VHEIP is the only 529 plan for which Vermont taxpayers can claim a state income tax credit of up to $250 per taxpayer per beneficiary (up to $500 for married couples filing jointly) on contributions in each taxable year. Also, contributions and any earnings grow free from federal and Vermont income taxes; withdrawals remain tax-free as long as they are used for qualified expenses, including tuition, room and board, books, and fees at most colleges nationwide and some abroad.A VHEIP account can be opened for as little as $25 per investment option, and individuals can make periodic or regular contributions to the account with a minimum of $25 (or $15 per pay period by payroll deduction, if offered).The program Web site — www.vheip.org(link is external) — provides complete information and online enrollment. Information and applications can also be obtained by calling toll-free 1-800-637-5860. There are no income or residency restrictions on who can open an account.VSAC is a public, nonprofit corporation established by the Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters plan and pay for education or training beyond high school. TFI, a national leader in managing 529 college savings plans, is part of the TIAA-CREF group of financial services companies, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields.***last_img read more

Pierluigi Collina uses Luke Shaw injury to highlight the need for safety first

first_img “We want to have the players playing and not players recovering from long-term injuries. “We certainly reminded our referees to be very, very careful with this matter. “We would like also to remind players to be very careful when they make challenges. We would like to convince them that getting the football is not everything. “If a player hits the ball and then endangers the opponent, he is convinced that the job was done correctly.” UEFA chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina has reminded officials of their responsibility to player safety after Luke Shaw’s nasty leg break. A little more than three weeks have passed since the 20-year-old left-back’s fine start to the season was brought to an abrupt halt in Manchester United’s Champions League clash against PSV Eindhoven. Shaw suffered a double leg break in a tackle by Hector Moreno, leading to two operations and a lengthy spell on the sidelines that could end extinguish his Euro 2016 hopes. Press Association Collina found it “tough” it to watch and was disappointed by the reaction of referee Nicola Rizzoli as well as the players. “If you see the clip in PSV v Man United when Shaw was heavily injured and (had his) leg broken, the defender played ball and legs,” the UEFA refereeing chief said, speaking at the Leaders in Sport Business Summit 2015. “On the field, nobody reacted because what was perceived, even by players on the field of play, was that the ball was played. “This is the thought of many: if the ball is played, it is not even a foul. “We need to make people, even the football community, aware that if you want to protect the safety of the player, even challenges on the ball but risking in terms of endangering safety of an opponent can be punished, should be punished. “Football is not everything, safety comes more than the football itself.” Collina said Moreno’s challenge “should have been punished” and that incident, along with one which saw Barcelona’s Rafinha seriously hurt, led UEFA to contact its officials. “We immediately reminded all of our referees how it is important to be careful in assessing those challenges that can be rated as reckless or even a serious problem,” he said. last_img read more