Montana Family Education Savings Program
The Montana Family Education Savings Program, or MFESP, is a state sponsored 529 savings plan. Named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, 529 plans are tax advantaged savings vehicles, designed to encourage saving money for higher education purposes.
With a 529, contributions are allowed to grow tax-free, while at the same time allowing for tax-free disbursements when assets are utilized at a qualified educational institution world-wide. An account can be opened for as little as $250 for CDs and $25 for mutual funds through the Vanguard Group, Inc. Plus, account holders may sign up for a direct deposit from payroll of as little as $25 per pay period to your bank account. For Montana residents, contributions up to $3,000 ($6,000 if married, filing jointly) may be deducted annually from Montana adjusted gross income, with no recapture on withdrawals from accounts opened at least three years when they are used to pay qualified higher education expenses.
The MFESP currently offers two avenues for saving; the MFESP Bank Plan and the MFESP Investment Plan. The MFESP Bank Plan offers unique savings options including the CollegeSure® CD, the InvestorSure® CD, a series of Fixed Rate CDs, and a savings account from College Savings Bank. The MFESP Investment Plan offers five portfolios featuring underlying funds managed by Vanguard. Portfolio models range from Conservative to Aggressive and can be purchased directly from the MFESP Investment Plan.
The MFESP offers low fees ranging from 0% for the CollegeSure, InvestorSure CDs, and Fixed Rate CDs, which are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor. The following table provides a list of fees for each investment option offered through MFESP:
|Fixed Rate CD||0%|
|Honors™ Savings Account||0%|
|Vanguard LifeStrategy® Growth Portfolio||0.89%|
|Vanguard LifeStrategy® Moderate Growth Portfolio||0.88%|
|Vanguard LifeStrategy® Conservative Growth Portfolio||0.87%|
|Total Stock Market Index Portfolio||0.82%|
|Total International Stock Index Portfolio||0.88%|
Montana investors may purchase options directly from the MFESP Bank Plan or the MFESP Investment Plan without incurring a front end sales charge. Although the MFESP Investment Plan options cannot be purchased through an advisor, the MFESP Bank Plan options can be, free of fees.
College Savings Bank - MFESP Bank Plan
P.O. Box 3769
Princeton, NJ 08543-9964
MFESP Investment Plan
P.O. Box 219448
Kansas City, MO 64141-9448
or see the Montana 529 F.A.Q.
For general questions, please contact:
Education Savings Analyst
Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program