Regular readers have heard me rave before about the 529 plan here in Utah, the Utah Education Savings Plan. I recommend it for all Utah residents as well as those who don't get much of a state tax deduction for using their own state plan. I was pleased to see a neutral website http://savingforcollege.com seems to agree with me. It ranks all the plans in every state, both for residents and non-residents.
There are other good plans, of course, and Utah is not the only one to receive the highest “5-Cap Rating.” But if you eliminate the advisor-sold plans, there are only 21 other states who get the 5 Caps for their plan for residents. It is far more rare for non-residents, with only 7 other states getting the full 5 Caps.
So if you don't like your state plan, here's the states who got the 5 Cap non-resident rating:
- New York
They use objective and subjective factors to make their rankings including performance, costs, features, and reliability. It's not that hard to figure out which 529 plans are good though. All you really have to do is check if they have Vanguard (Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and Utah) or TIAA-CREF (California, Michigan, and Oregon) funds available. If the plan administrators are smart enough to pick Vanguard as the provider, they're probably smart enough to design the rest of the plan well.