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Treasurer McCord Says National Report Ranks PA 529 Investment Plan in Top-Tier for Performance


HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord today hailed a recent report that puts the Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan among the best in the nation for programs of its type.

According to, the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP) ranked among the top 10 for one-, three-, and five-year investment performance categories as of December 31, 2011. Pennsylvania is one of only two state-sponsored plans to be a top-10 performer in all three rankings. 

Treasurer McCord said the strong ranking comes just weeks after the PA 529 IP reached the $1 billion in total assets milestone for the first time. The news also caps an exceptional year for Pennsylvania's 529 College Savings Program, which is important to help students and families save for the seemingly ever-rising costs of higher education.

"We are delighted and encouraged by this important industry ranking," Treasurer McCord said. "We at the McCord Treasury work hard to make the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program one of the best programs of its kind in the country, and I am happy to report we are meeting that goal.

"Experts suggest continued state budget cuts to higher education will make large tuition increases at colleges and universities increasingly probable," McCord continued. "I am deeply pleased that more Pennsylvania families acknowledge the critical role the PA 529 College Savings Program can play to help successfully address the steep costs of higher education."

Last year, families invested over $341 million in Pennsylvania's 529 College Savings Program – more money than in any preceding calendar year.

With 163,305 open accounts, the PA 529 College Savings Program provides two ways to save: the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the PA 529 Investment Plan. The primary difference between the two plans is the way savings grow.

Growth in the PA 529 GSP is based on tuition inflation.  For example, if you save enough for a semester at one of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education universities today, you will have enough for a semester there in the future – no matter when or how much tuition has gone up in the meantime.

Contributions to the PA 529 GSP in 2011 were up over 14% from 2010, and PA 529 GSP qualified withdrawals reached the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2011, which means since the plan's inception, Pennsylvania families have paid for over $1 billion in higher education expenses using their PA 529 GSP accounts.

Returns in the PA 529 IP are based on financial market performance.  The PA 529 IP features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options from Vanguard, one of the nation's largest financial services companies. Contributions to the PA 529 IP in 2011 were up over 6% from 2010. 

In 2011, total program assets grew by nearly $142 million for both plans, which totaled $2.3 billion – the highest year-end amount in the program's history. To learn more about either program, or to open and contribute to a PA 529 account, visit or call 1-800-440-4000.

The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program sponsors two plans-the Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the Investment Plan (IP).  The guarantee of the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan is an obligation of the GSP Fund, not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any state agency.  Before investing in either plan, please carefully read that plan's disclosure statement (available at or by calling 1-800-440-4000) to learn more about that plan including investment objectives, risks, fees, and tax implications.

The Pennsylvania Treasury logo is available at

CONTACT: Media contact: Carrie Fischer Lepore 717-772-2416 or

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