Missouri’s 529 education plan remains one of the best in the country, according to ratings from an investment research firm Thursday.
MOST, Missouri’s 529 Education Plan, is a tax-advantaged savings account designed for education savings and administered by the Missouri Treasurer’s Office.
Contributions to a MOST 529 account are eligible for state tax deductions and increase tax free.
Account holders can use funds from a MOST account to pay for K-12 private schools, tuition fees, business or vocational schools, graduate studies, and most recently apprenticeships. recorded and student loan repayments.
Books and supplies, computers, internet access, and room and board costs are also eligible expenses for a MOST account.
There are over 183,000 active MOST accounts with over $ 4.125 billion in assets.
Morningstar, an investment research firm that has rated 529 education savings plans since 2012, gave Missouri’s MOST a silver rating, placing it in the top quarter of plans across the country.
With most states offering at least one 529 education plan, Morningstar reviewed and rated 62 plans from across the country based on cost, performance, tax benefits, and oversight.
Three plans – offered in Illinois, Michigan, and Utah – received Morningstar Gold ratings.
Missouri’s MOST is on the list of 11 plans that received a silver rating from the investment research firm.
In its review, Morningstar noted the “powerful mix of resourceful and collaborative investment teams, tireless state oversight and tantalizing fees,” and said that the approach of state treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick to oversee the plans provides a beneficial buffer for investors.
“I have worked to make MOST 529 a strong, versatile and profitable education plan for Missourians,” Fitzpatrick said in a press release. “Today’s announcement is an ongoing reflection of this work.
Last year, MOST 529 board members approved a contract extension with program manager Ascensus that included program management fee reductions negotiated by Fitzpatrick.
Fees were reduced by 26% over five years, saving MOST plan members $ 8 million.
“When I took office, plan members had not received a fee reduction for five years,” said Fitzpatrick, a candidate for the post of auditor. “Last year I negotiated a contract extension with our program manager which has already resulted in fee reduction and will reduce fees twice in the next four years.”
Additionally, a law signed by Gov. Mike Parson in July extended eligible expenses for MOST 529 accounts to include up to $ 10,000 for student loan repayments and registered apprenticeships.
The assets of MOST 529 accounts also reached $ 4 billion for the first time earlier this year. Assets have grown by over $ 1 billion since Fitzpatrick took office.
“These improvements mean that the plan is better suited to meet the needs of Missourians and that participants will keep more of their investment income in their 529 accounts, which will make saving for education a bit easier,” a- he declared.
Despite recent developments, Missouri’s MOST 529 plan received the same rating the state received from Morningstar last year.