SALEM, Ore., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Oregon families continued to save for college education at a significant pace in 2016, according to the Oregon College Savings Plan, which grew to more than $1.4 billion in assets as of December 31, 2016. A record $189.2 million in contributions was made to the Plan in 2016, an increase of 10.3 percent over the previous year.
Also in 2016, the Plan added 10,482 new accounts, an increase of 10.1 percent from the previous year, for a total of 93,110 accounts. Additionally, account owners withdrew more than $81.7 million to pay for higher education expenses in 2016, with $22.5 million being directed to institutions in Oregon. This is a 13 percent increase over dollars withdrawn to pay for college last year.
"Oregon families have fixed their sights on their children's future," explained Michael Parker, executive director of the Oregon College Savings Plan. "These numbers demonstrate that families not only understand the value of a college education, but also the need to plan for it; saving early and often may greatly reduce future student loan debt."
Currently, there is approximately $1.3 trillion of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. affecting 44 million borrowers who have an average outstanding loan balance of $37,172, up six percent from last year.* Total student loan debt is increasing at a rate of about $2,726 per second, an amount that can be seen in real time on the Student Loan Debt Clock.
One of the most effective ways to save for college is through a 529 college savings plan, which offers a wide range of market–based investment options to help account owners find a portfolio that meets their needs. All contributions are after-tax, but any investment earnings are federal and state income tax free when withdrawals are used for qualified expenses. Additionally, Oregon offers a 2016 state income tax deduction on contributions of up to $4,620 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $2,310 for single filers. (Recapture provisions apply; refer to the Disclosure Booklet and consult a tax advisor.) Oregon taxpayers are eligible for the 2016 tax deduction as long as the contribution is made prior to filing a 2016 state tax return or April 15, 2017, whichever comes first.
About The Oregon College Savings Plan
The Oregon College Savings Plan, which is part of the Oregon 529 Savings Network, launched in January 2001. The plan is managed by TIAA‐CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. For more information about the Oregon College Savings Plan, its investment options and how to enroll, visit OregonCollegeSavings.com or call toll free 866‐772‐8464. Follow the Oregon College Savings Plan on Facebook.com/OregonCollegeSavings and Twitter.com/OregonCSP; all social media platforms are managed by the State of Oregon.
Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Oregon College Savings Plan. Please visit OregonCollegeSavings.com for a Plan Disclosure Booklet with this and more information. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.
The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax.
TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., program manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Oregon College Savings Plan.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/oregon-families-made-saving-for-college-a-priority-in-2016-invested-significant-contributions-to-oregon-college-savings-plan-300397555.html
SOURCE Oregon College Savings Plan