FAQs - NY529 Advisor Site
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FAQs

This reference guide clarifies some key questions you may have about New York's 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program.

Getting started >  
Managing my account >  
Beneficiaries >  
Using account assets >  
Fees and expenses >  
Rollovers and transfers >  
Tax benefits >  
Investment options >  
Financial aid considerations >  
Gifting >  
Employees >  

Getting Started

Who can set up an Advisor-Guided Plan account?

The Plan is open to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens, regardless of income level or state of residence. Even entities such as trusts may establish an account.

How do I open an Advisor-Guided Plan account?

You may open an account by contacting your financial advisor or calling 1-800-774-2108 for more information.

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Managing my account

How can I contribute to my account?

You can contribute by check, electronic bank transfer, automatically scheduled contributions, payroll direct deposit, rollovers from another 529 plan or transfers from other education plans.

What is the minimum initial investment to open an account?

$1,000 (there is generally no minimum for Advisor Class units) Your initial investment must be at least $25 montth or $75 per quarter by AIP; $25 per month by Payrolll Direct Depost, or $1,000 by check or EBT.

How much can I contribute to my account?

You can contribute on behalf of a beneficiary until the total balance of all Program accounts held for the same beneficiary reaches an aggregate maximum balance, currently $520,000. If there's more than one account owner contributing for the beneficiary, this is the total for all accounts. Once this limit is reached, you can no longer make additional contributions, but you can continue to accumulate earnings.

Can I fund my account with rollovers from other education plans?

Yes, you can make tax-free rollovers from another 529 plan to the Advisor-Guided Plan for the same beneficiary once every 12 months. Assets also can be transferred from UGMA/UTMA accounts, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and qualified U.S. savings bonds, although taxes and restrictions may apply in some cases. Please consult your financial advisor and tax consultant for more information.

How can I make changes to my account?

We make it easy for you to make changes and updates to your account. Simply set up or log in to make the following changes:

  • Establish, change or delete your Automatic Investment Plan (AIP)
  • Change your investment options
  • Change successor account owner
  • Change address or phone numbers
  • Sign up for eDelivery
  • Add or change bank account information
  • Purchase, redeem or exchange

Alternatively, you can use the appropriate account maintenance forms to update your account. You can find forms in the Forms and Literature section.

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Beneficiaries

Can I contribute for more than one beneficiary?

Yes, you can open a separate account for each beneficiary.'s college education.

Can other people contribute to my account?

Yes, family and friends can contribute to your existing account, or open their own account if they want the tax benefits and control. However, all account balances together for a beneficiary cannot exceed $520,000. After that, accounts can grow only through investment earnings.

Can I change how my contributions are invested?

Federal law allows you to reallocate existing plan assets twice every calendar year or when changing beneficiaries. You can change how future contributions are invested at any time.

Can I change the beneficiary on my account?

Yes, you can typically change the designated beneficiary to another eligible family member1 without tax consequences. If the new beneficiary is not a member of the family of the old beneficiary, however, the change is treated as a nonqualified distribution to the account owner and may trigger taxes and penalties.

1 The Internal Revenue Service defines a family member under Section 529 as a son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter, or a descendant of any such person; a brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister; a father or mother, or an ancestor of either; a stepfather or stepmother; a son or daughter of a brother or sister; a brother or sister of the father or mother; a son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law; the spouse of the designated beneficiary or the spouse of any individual described above; or a first cousin of the beneficiary. Gift or generation-skipping transfer taxes may apply. Please consult your tax advisor before making such a change.

Is it too late to open an account when my child is in high school?

No, you can open a 529 college savings account if your child is in high school since there are no restrictions on the age of the beneficiary.

What if my beneficiary receives a scholarship?

If your beneficiary receives a scholarship for higher education expenses, you can withdraw an amount equal to the value of the scholarship from your account(s). Earnings on the amount you withdraw would be subject to income taxes at the ordinary federal income tax rate but would not be subject to the additional 10% federal tax penalty. You could also choose to change the beneficiary of your account.

What if my beneficiary does not go to college?

If the beneficiary does not attend college, possible options include:

  • Keeping the funds in the account. There are no age restrictions on 529 plan investments, so the funds will be available in the future if the beneficiary decides to attend college at a later time or decides to enroll in graduate school.
  • Changing the beneficiary. You can transfer assets to another beneficiary at any time, provided that your new beneficiary is a qualified family member. You should consult your tax advisor to determine whether this may create a taxable gift.
  • Making a nonqualified withdrawal. Earnings will be subject to federal income taxes and any applicable state income tax including recapture, as well as an additional 10% federal tax penalty.

What if the beneficiary becomes disabled or dies?

If the beneficiary becomes disabled or dies, the money may be returned to the account owner. Earnings are taxed as ordinary income but the 10% penalty would not apply. Another option is to change the beneficiary to another eligible beneficiary.

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Using account assets

How can I withdraw money from my account?

You can request a withdrawal online or send in a withdrawal form.   Payments can be made directly to the educational institution, account owner or beneficiary. For details, please check the Disclosure Booklet.  

What qualifies as a higher education expense?

Eligible expenses can include tuition, fees, certain room and board expenses, books and supplies at any eligible institution of higher education.

What happens if money is withdrawn for non-qualified reasons?

Investment earnings are subject to federal income taxes and an additional 10% federal penalty tax, plus any applicable state and local taxes.

Can I use the Plan to pay for private elementary school or high school?

No, 529 plans are designed specifically for higher education. A Coverdell Education Savings Account can help you prepare for pre-college expenses.

Does my beneficiary have to attend college in New York?

No, the Plan is sponsored by the State of New York but account assets may be used at most public or private institutions in the U.S. and overseas. Click here for more information about qualifying schools.

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Fees and expenses

What are the fees and expenses?

There is a $25 annual account maintenance fee assessed per group of identically registered accounts (i.e., same account holder and beneficiary). Please note the account fee is waived for an account holder whose accounts for a beneficiary total at least $25,000. There is a 0.30% annualized program management fee assessed to each portfolio, plus each portfolio indirectly bears its pro-rata share of the fees and expenses of the underlying mutual funds in which it invests. These fees are already reflected in the portfolios' unit prices that are calculated each business day. Each share class carries its own sales charge, distribution and service fee schedule. Please see the Disclosure Booklet for details.

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Rollovers and transfers

Can I rollover assets from a UGMA/UTMA account into a New York's 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program account?

Yes, you can rollover assets from an UGMA/UTMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) account, but there may be income tax liabilities upon redemption. The custodian of a UGMA or UTMA account is required to sell the assets in the UGMA/UTMA account in order to complete a rollover, which may be a taxable event. Once the UGMA/UTMA proceeds are used to contribute to a 529 plan, the registration of UGMA/UTMA 529 remains the same and the beneficiary of the 529 account cannot be changed. Account owners should consult a legal and tax advisor regarding UGMA/UTMA rollovers.

What if the Account Owner dies or chooses to transfer ownership to a new owner?

Designate a Successor Account Owner on your Enrollment Form or any time after the account is set-up.  In the event the Account Owner dies, the Successor Account Owner can initiate a transfer to a new account.  During the current owner’s lifetime, the owner may transfer an account to a new owner.  The current owner will complete an Account Owner Change Form and the new owner may need to complete a General Enrollment Application.

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Tax benefits

What are the tax benefits of the New York's 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program?

529 plans offer tax-deferred growth of earnings and federal tax-free withdrawals as long as funds are used for qualified higher education expenses.

Can I deduct account distributions from federal income taxes?

No, but investment earnings and withdrawals are tax free when used for qualified higher education expenses.2 Account owners who are New York taxpayers can deduct up to $5,000 in contributions from their state income taxes each year ($10,000 if married filing jointly).3 

2 Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes.
3 Deductions may be subject to recapture in certain circumstances, such as rollovers to another state's plan or non-qualified withdrawals.

Are withdrawals from the account exempt from federal income tax?

Yes, as long as the funds are used for qualified higher education expenses.4

4 No additional gifts can be made to the same beneficiary over a five-year period. If the donor does not survive the five years, a portion of the gift is returned to the taxable estate.

What are the gift and estate tax advantages?

Contributions to 529 plans are considered completed gifts for federal gift and estate tax purposes. Generally, gifts to an individual that exceed $14,000 in a single year are subject to the federal gift tax. However, for 529 plans, gifts up to $70,000 ($140,000 if married filing jointly) can be made in a single year for a beneficiary and averaged over five years to qualify for exclusion from the federal gift tax.5 If you die with money remaining in your account, it will not be included in your taxable estate for federal estate tax purposes.

5 No additional gifts can be made to the same beneficiary over a five-year period. If the donor does not survive the five years, a portion of the gift is returned to the taxable estate.

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Investment Options

How can I monitor the investment performance of my account?

To monitor performance, you may view Performance and Pricing.  

Should your investment goals or needs change, you have the flexibility to rebalance your existing investment options to different portfolios available within the program. Under federal law, you are able to exchange assets in each beneficiary's 529 account up to two times during the calendar year or whenever you name a new beneficiary.

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Financial aid considerations

How do plan assets affect financial aid eligibility?

For federal financial aid purposes, Advisor-Guided Plan accounts are considered to be an asset of the account owner. For example, if a parent is the account owner, currently a maximum of 5.64% of plan assets are factored into financial aid formulas. That rate goes up to 20% for student-owned accounts such as UGMAs/UTMAs.

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Gifting

For Account Owners

What is Ugift®?

Ugift® is a service that lets account owners invite family and friends to celebrate special occasions with the gift of college savings in lieu of traditional gifts. All gift contributions sent in to Ugift are invested into the beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account.

Are there minimum and maximum gift amounts?

Family and friends can contribute as little as $25 per gift. Gift contributions must adhere to the maximum account balance limit rules set forth in the Advisor-Guided Plan Program Brochure.

How do I invite family and friends to participate in Ugift?

Once you decide to participate in Ugift, it's easy. Just log in to your Advisor-Guided Plan account and click on the Ugift logo. You will be taken to the Ugift screen, where you will be given step-by-step instructions.

If you are using Ugift for a specific celebration, type in the celebration's name and date.

You then have two options for inviting friends and family:

  • Email — type in email addresses and an invitation and gift coupon will be sent to family and friends
  • Paper — print out gift coupons to distribute

The coupons are uniquely coded so that any checks sent in with them will automatically be linked to the specific celebration and your Advisor-Guided Plan account. Your invitees can mail in the gift coupon with a check. The gifts received will be transferred into your Advisor-Guided Plan account approximately five business days after the celebration.

Do I have to wait for a special celebration to use Ugift?

No. You can always print out a gift coupon to give to a family member or friend who would like to contribute to your beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account -- just click on the "Print Coupon" button. The gift coupon is important because it is linked by a special code to the event that you create, which is then linked to your Advisor-Guided Plan account. Your invitees should mail the gift coupon with their check to make sure that it is associated with your account.

What is the difference between email and paper gift coupons?

There is no difference in how the coupons look or in how they are processed. The only difference is that when a check is received with a gift coupon, the Plan will check to see if the contributor's email address was entered with the invitation. If it was, a "Thank You" email will be sent to acknowledge receipt of the gift. We cannot send out an email without the gift-giver's email address.

What if I don't have someone's email address?

No problem. You can print and distribute gift coupons and optional gift certificates, which are available on the Advisor-Guided Plan website after you log on and set up a celebration. Please note that people using printed gift coupons will not receive an email from the Plan upon receipt of their gift, since there is no way to capture their email address.

Where can I find a list of family and friends who I have already invited?

All invitation lists that you've typed into the website over the past 12 months are available on the "View Gift Invitations" page of your account online.

What if I want to invite someone new after I have already sent out the original invitation?

Next to each celebration listed on the "View Gift Invitations" page is a link to "Send Additional Invitations." Clicking here will bring you to a new page that lets you send invitations to additional guests. Once you have sent these invitations you can track them (and any gifts associated with them) on the "View Gift Invitations" page. The "Send Additional Invitations" page will no longer be accessible once the celebration's date has passed.

How do I know who has sent in a gift contribution?

Go to the "View Gift Invitations" page. There, you'll see all gift activity over the past 12 months, including the name of the gift giver, the amount of the gift and the gift's status.

How do I know that a gift contribution has gone into my account?

Any gift that appears on the "View Gift Invitations" page with a status of "Funded" has been transferred into your Advisor-Guided Plan account. A status of "Pending" means that it has not yet been transferred into your account. Once a gift contribution has been transferred, it also will be displayed in your account transaction history.

How are gift contributions allocated?

Gift contributions will be allocated according to your standing investment allocation at the time the contribution is transferred into your account.

When are gift contributions invested?

Gift contributions are first deposited into a non-interest-bearing account and then transferred to your Advisor-Guided Plan account approximately five business days after the celebration date. If the gift contribution is received less than two business days before the celebration, or if the gift cannot be tied to a specific celebration, then the gift will be held for approximately seven business days (for clearing purposes) before being transferred into your Advisor-Guided Plan account.

How does the Plan know into which account a gift should be deposited?

The gift coupons sent to family and friends are uniquely coded for your celebration and your Advisor-Guided Plan account. If there is no specific celebration but there is still a coded coupon, the gift is held for approximately seven business days and then transferred into your account.

Do I have to use this process for any contribution from someone other than myself (the account owner)?

No. Family and friends can send in contributions for your beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account at any time, without your setting up a specific celebration and inviting them to contribute. Ugift is designed to provide a framework for gift contributions around milestones in your beneficiary's life; it also includes messaging and tracking around that celebration. Anyone can make a contribution to the account at any time outside the Ugift service, but the account number must be included with the contribution so that it is invested in the correct account.

Will I receive a confirmation of the gifts submitted to my account?

Yes. You will receive a confirmation statement once the gift contributions have been transferred into your account.

For gift givers

What is Ugift®?

Ugift® is a service that lets account owners invite family and friends to celebrate special occasions with the gift of college savings in lieu of traditional gifts. All gift contributions sent in to Ugift are invested into the beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account.

How do I participate in Ugift?

An account owner (the person who set up the college savings account) will send you an invitation via email with a link to a special gift coupon or will provide you a printed gift coupon. If you choose to give a gift contribution, mail the gift coupon, together with a check made out to "Ugift — New York's 529 Advisor-Guided College Saving Program", to the address indicated on the form. The check will be deposited into a non-interest-bearing account and then transferred directly into the beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account approximately five business days after the celebration date. If the gift contribution is received less than two business days prior to the celebration date, then the check will be held for approximately seven business days before being transferred into the beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account. The account owner will be notified of your gift.

Do I need to receive a Ugift invitation to make a contribution?

No. You can send in contributions for a beneficiary's Advisor-Guided Plan account at any time without a specific celebration and invitation. Please note that the account number must be included with your contribution so that it is invested in the correct account.

How do I know if my gift has been received by the Plan?

If you received your original invitation by email, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your gift. If you were handed or mailed a gift coupon, you will not receive an email. However, you can call 1-800-774-2108 to verify that your gift has been received.

How does the account owner know that I sent a gift?

Your emailed invitation includes a link to a printable gift certificate. You can print it, fill it out and present it at the celebration. Your gift also will appear in the account owner's account record with your name, provided you wrote your name on the gift coupon submitted with your check.

For annual gift tax exclusion purposes, when is my gift considered complete?

The gift should be treated as being made in the year in which the money is deposited into the Ugift non-interest-bearing account, not the year (if later) in which the money is transferred into the account owner's account.

Am I eligible for a New York state tax deduction for my Ugift contribution?

No. Contributions to an Advisor-Guided Plan account by a third party are not eligible for a tax deduction.

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Employees

Can JPMorgan Chase employees invest in New York’s 529 Advisor-Guided College Savings Program?

The program is open to all U.S. employees who wish to help loved ones of any age attend college in any state. It could be a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend – or even yourself or another adult. If you live or work in New York, you also gain the added benefit of deducting contributions from New York state income taxes each year.6 To learn more about the program and open your account, please visit our college investing page on the J.P. Morgan Funds intranet.

6 Account owners can deduct up to $5,000 ($10,000 if married filing jointly) in contributions from New York state income taxes each year. Deductions may be subject to recapture in certain circumstances, such as rollovers to another state’s plan or non-qualified withdrawals.

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