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Get familiar with the basics of the 529 Plans and your options for investing for your child’s college education.

Understanding the Basics

529 Plans are state-sponsored, tax-deferred savings accounts that allow investors to save for the costs of higher education, regardless of income. The plan gives investors the opportunity to invest in predetermined investment portfolios across multiple asset classes. Most plans have rules on how you can allocate your assets based on your child’s age-generally getting less aggressive as he or she approaches college age.

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Benefits of the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan

In comparison with other tax-deferred college savings accounts, 529 Plans offer investors with more flexibility.

  • Investment Choices -The TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan offers a range of investment choices, including age-based and static investment choices, as well as individual investment choices covering a variety of asset classes.
  • Straightforward Pricing -There are no enrollment, annual maintenance, withdrawal/transfer, or investment change fees.*
  • No Proprietary Funds -Find comfort in knowing that your plan’s investment comes from objective, professional third-party research.
  • Tax-Deferred Growth -Money in your account grows tax-deferred while in the account and are free from federal and state taxes when withdrawn for qualified higher education expenses.1
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The TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan Investment Options

When you open a TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, you’ll have access to a range of investment choices to choose from, including portfolios with funds from some of the most well-known fund families. TD Ameritrade offers three different investment options:

  • Age-Based Investment Option -These options are designed to reduce your portfolio’s exposure to loss of principal as the beneficiary nears college age. Choose from conservative, index, growth, or aggressive asset allocations.
  • Static Investment Option -These options allocate  your assets into a set domestic equity, real estate, international equity, fixed income, or money market funds over the life of the account. Choose from growth, balanced index, or conservative asset allocations.
  • Individual Investment Option -You can allocate your investments among 17 different individual investment choices among different asset classes. With each individual fund subject to some risk exposure, your overall portfolio performance may be more volatile than Age-Based and Static Investment Options.
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Developing a Strategy

Like any other investment, 529 Plans are subject to market risks, and returns are not guaranteed. So it’s important to consider more conservative investments if you have a short time to save, especially if your child is near the beginning of his or her college education. To protect your investment and your child’s education, consider your investment goals and objectives, as well as your tolerance for market volatility and investment risk when selecting your investments.

In addition to 529 Plans, there are several other college savings choices you may want to explore. These include Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and UGMA/UTMA Custodial Accounts.

Download and print important TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan forms, agreements, PDF applications, and disclosures from the list below. To view and print files properly, please be sure to install Adobe® Reader . Our Web-based forms can be completed online and submitted via mail after signing.

Account Features Form

Account Information Change Form

Additional Contribution Form

Beneficiary Change Form

Cancel/Modify Account Features

Enrollment Form

Incoming Rollover Form

Investment Option Change

Organization Resolution Form

Payroll Direct Deposit

Program Disclosure Statement

Withdrawal Request

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Market volatility, volume and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Educational resources are provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or advice.

TD Ameritrade does not provide tax advice.

The TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan (the “Plan”) is one of four college savings plans sponsored by the State of Nebraska and Administered by the Nebraska State Treasurer.  The Plan offers a series of investment Portfolios within the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (the “Trust”), which offers other investment Portfolios not affiliated with the Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Trustee and First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager. TD Ameritrade, Inc. markets the Plan. The Plan is intended to operate as a qualified tuition program, pursuant to Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

*Before investing in the Plan, carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses involved. This and other information regarding the plan is included in the Program Disclosure Statement and Participation Agreement and each prospectus on the underlying funds, which may be obtained by emailing us at or by calling 877-408-4644. Please read each prospectus, the Program Disclosure Statement, and Participation Agreement carefully prior to investing. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s units, when withdrawn, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

You should be aware that other states may sponsor their own qualified tuition plans and may offer a state tax deduction or other benefits that are limited to residents who invest in that plan. You should consult with your financial, tax or other advisor about state and local tax benefits or limitations based on your specific situation. Favorable tax treatment by your state of residence should be one of many appropriately weighted factors you should consider in making an investment decision.

Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust, Issuer. Nebraska State Treasurer, Administrator. First National Bank of Omaha, Program Manager. First National Capital Markets, Inc., Primary Distributor, Member FINRA, SIPC. First National Capital Markets, Inc. and First National Bank of Omaha are affiliates.

Participation in the Plan does not guarantee that contributions and the investment return on contributions, if any, will be adequate to cover future tuition and other higher education expenses or that a beneficiary will be admitted to or continue to attend an eligible educational institution.

The material is provided for general and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal, tax, or investment advice, or for use to avoid penalties that may be imposed under U.S. federal tax laws. This material is not an offer or solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. Any offer to sell units within the Plans may only be made by the Program Disclosure Statement and Participation Agreement relating to the Plan.

The investments in the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan are not guaranteed or insured by the State of Nebraska, the Nebraska Investment Council, the Nebraska State Treasurer, the State Investment Officer, First National Bank of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, or their authorized agents or any of their affiliates, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

1Withdrawals used to pay for qualified higher education expenses are free from federal and state income tax. These expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment at a qualified institution of higher education. Room and board is considered a qualified education-related expense if the student is enrolled on at least a half-time basis. The earnings portion (if any) of a Non-Qualified Withdrawal will be treated as ordinary income to the recipient and may also be subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty.

Investment Products: Not FDIC Insured – No Bank Guarantee – May Lose Value

Every individual’s tax situation is different, and it is important to consult a qualified tax advisor regarding the application of the Plan’s benefits to your own individual situation.

There is no guarantee that any investment portfolio will achieve its investment goals. The value of an account will go up or down based on the performance of the Portfolio in which the account is invested. When funds are withdrawn, they may have more or less value than the total contributions made to the account. Past investment performance is no guarantee of future results.

TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC / NFA.  This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2014 TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission