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ScholarShare Enhances Online Experience with New Website
California’s 529 College Savings Plan Updates Design, Adds Security and Personalization

PR15:39
October 27, 2015

Contact: Marc Lifsher
916-653-2995

SACRAMENTOScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Plan, launched a new website with intuitive visual design, personalized performance reporting, and enhanced security to meet the growing needs of its account holders.

“ScholarShare’s top priority is to help California’s families save for college and we developed a new website to ensure they have the best tools to do so,” said Treasurer John Chiang. “The new website also offers us the opportunity to better educate families that are considering saving for college with California’s 529 plan.”

A major focus of the new website was improved visual design to enhance the online experience. To that end, the website now features a contemporary look with enhanced, intuitive functionality, which offers a simpler overall user experience. Each page includes navigation links across the top which highlight the topics and features that matter most to account holders. Account holders will now have the opportunity to view personalized monthly performance reports.

Another priority for the new website was improved security. Account owners now have the option to better protect their information with new safeguards when creating user names, passwords and security questions. A real-time verification process was also implemented to offer account holders a way to securely and instantly move money between their 529 account/s and their bank.

Functionality improvements were also made to ScholarShare’s e-gifting options. Now account holders will have a simpler way to inform their friends and family about their child’s 529 plan and invite them to contribute.

The new website is optimized to accommodate any device, giving account holders the freedom to access their accounts seamlessly on their smart phones, tablets or personal computers. ScholarShare offers a diverse set of investment options, and provides tax-deferred growth and withdrawals free from state and federal taxes when the funds are used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, books or certain room and board costs. Any U.S. citizen, or resident alien with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, can open a new account, for as little as $25.

Considered one of the most competitively priced 529 plans in the country, ScholarShare asset based fees average 31 basis points (bps) across all 19 active and passive investment portfolios. The passive investment lineup averages 16 bps. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limitations, and offers a maximum account contribution limit of $371,000.

About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan:

To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit www.scholarshare.com. For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB), visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Like ScholarShare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scholarshare529 and follow us on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

Named for the section of the IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans offer valuable tax advantages. Contributions are made with money that has already been taxed. Once funds are placed in the account, investment earnings, if any, are not federally or state taxed, if withdrawn to pay for qualified higher education costs.

The ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan Twitter and Facebook pages are managed by the State of California.

For more news, please follow the Treasurer on Twitter at @CalTreasurer, and on Facebook at California State Treasurer's Office.