Oregon 529 College Savings Plan

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Oregon College Savings Plan

Oregon offers a program that allows you to save for a college education with the earnings being state and federal tax deferred and as long as disbursements are made for eligible educational costs, they will also be federal and state tax free. Oregon taxpayers have a further incentive. Contributions made can be deducted from their Oregon taxable income up to $2,090 ($4,180 for those filing jointly). That number is for 2010. The allowable limit is matched to the inflation rate, so may increase from year to year.

The Oregon College Savings Plan offers 15 different investment portfolios, so from the conservative to the aggressive, you will be able to find a comfortable investment. For the very conservative investor or those saving over a very short window of time, the Principal Protection Portfolio is available. This plan will provide for the return of your principal plus a guaranteed rate of interest which may change over time.

There are six age-based portfolios, beginning with the 0-3 years which includes investments of 70% equities and 30% bonds (these are invested in mutual funds which invest in these securities) and ending with the 18+ years which are invested in 65% bonds and 35% money-market instruments. You don't need to actively manage these as the funds will be rolled over to the next as the benficiary grows older.

For those who may want to more actively take part in the investment process, the Oregon 529>/b> plans offer seven multi-fund and six single fund portfolios. Unlike the aged-based, if you want the funds moved to more conservative investments as time goes on, then you will need to move them yourself. You may make changes to these once per calendar year, though if the benficiary is changed, you may also move the funds at that time.

The multifund investments include a conservative, moderate and aggressive portfolio which invest in funds with varying percentages in equities, bonds and moneymarket funds. Additional funds include the choice of Diversified U.S. Equity, Diversified International Equity, Diversified Fixed Income and Balanced Index. Single fund portfolios include U.S. Equity Index, International Equity Index, Inflation-linked Bond, Fixed Income Index, Money Market and Social Choice.

Investments in the Oregon 529 Plan are not federally insured and the principal and earnings may vary over time. You get more information on the various investment choices at the Oregon Colege Savings Program website. You should also check with a financial advisor and tax advisor to see if a 529 investment is right for you.

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