New York 529 Plan Fees and Expense Ratios
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By Mark Kantrowitz

October 22, 2018

New York 529 plans offer some of the lowest fees of any direct-sold 529 college savings plans.

The total asset-based expense ratio for the direct-sold New York Saves 529 plan portfolios are a flat 0.13%.

Asset-based expense ratios for the New York advisor-sold 529 plan portfolios are higher. The expense ratio for Class A shares ranges from 0.58% to 1.30%. The expense ratio for Class C shares ranges from 1.33% to 2.05%. The expense ratio for the Advisor Class ranges from 0.33% to 1.05%. There may also be a sales charge of up to 5.0%, depending on the share class. There is a $25 annual account maintenance fee for advisor-sold 529 plans with less than $25,000 in assets.

Among the Class A shares, the SSGA 529 Portfolio Total Stock Market ETF has the lowest fees at 0.58%, followed closely by SSGA 529 Portfolio Developed World ex-US ETF at 0.59% and SSGA 529 S&P 600 Small Cap ETF at 0.70%.

Based on the Savingforcollege.com’s 529 Fee Study, the 10-year costs on a $10,000 investment in the direct-sold New York Saves 529 plan are a flat $192. Although some states have direct-sold 529 plans with a lower cost for some of their portfolios, New York’s direct-sold 529 plan has the lowest cost for all of its portfolios. Each other state has at least one portfolio that costs more than the NY Saves 529 plan.

Minimizing costs is the key to maximizing net returns. Investors should aim to keep total asset-based fees under 1%. The New York direct-sold 529 plan uses Vanguard mutual funds, which have some of the lowest fees among all 529 plan portfolios. This saves money for investors in the New York direct-sold 529 plan.

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