WHAT OTHERS SAY: Missouri has top college savings plan

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

It's rare when Missouri tops the charts for a positive development.

So we cannot let it go unnoticed that Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan has ranked first in performance in two consecutive surveys., which informs consumers and advisers about the challenges of paying higher education costs, ranks 529 college savings plans.

Named for Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, they offer tax advantages and other incentives for families to put money aside to pay for educational expenses.

Most are sponsored by a state and operate as investment portfolios. When operated well, as Missouri's is, they provide an excellent way for families to plan ahead for the ever-increasing costs of college.

The website has ranked Missouri's tops in performance for the last two quarters.

A similar plan in Kansas, Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program, ranked 12th for the quarter that ended March 31.

Missouri's 529 plan has about 14,500 accounts with nearly $157 million in assets. It is overseen by the state treasurer's office.

A productive savings investment plan, even one considered the nation's best, doesn't mitigate Missouri's overly-high tuition rates and the legislature's long-term neglect of public colleges and universities.

But it's reassuring to know that an important tool is working well under the leadership of state Treasurer Clint Zweifel.

Copyright The Kansas City Star. Reprinted with permission.

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