Putnam added to state’s offering of college savings programs

CARSON CITY — Putnam Investments was selected Thursday by state Treasurer Kate Marshall and the College Savings Plans Board to offer a new savings program starting Oct. 1.

Under the so-called “529” program, parents, grandparents and friends can contribute money that is invested and then used to help pay for a child’s college education.

Marshall expects $2 billion will be invested in the Putnam program within five years and the state will secure $1 million to $2 million in fees a year.

Putnam is one of the top-rated investment firms in the nation.

The fees in the other college savings accounts have been used to advertise the programs and for other state purposes, including the state’s Millennium Scholarship.

Unlike college savings programs in other states, Nevada’s are open to people in all states. But Marshall said Nevadans who participate in the new program will not be charged annual fees by Putnam.

Currently the state operates several other college savings programs with assets of more the $5 billion. About 450,000 people have accounts in these programs, of which only about 15,000 are Nevada residents.

“We are honored to be chosen by the State of Nevada to help advisers and their clients — across America — confront the enormous college savings challenge that exists,” said Robert L. Reynolds, president and chief executive officer of Putnam Investments.

“Given the rising costs of higher education, competing personal financial needs and the unprecedented market volatility we’ve seen recently, families and individuals need advisers’ help and financial services firms’ best new ideas to reach their college savings goals,” he said.

Marshal, a Democrat, is seeking re-election.

For more information about how to begin a college savings program, visit the website nevadatreasurer.gov or call 702-486-2025.

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