UESP Sets Itself Apart
Innovation is a hallmark of the Utah Educational Savings Plan’s (UESP) 20 years of helping families save for college.
UESP prides itself on its 14 investment options, but it all began in 1996 with one—a partnership with the Utah State Treasurer’s Office connected account owners with the Public Treasurers’ Investment Fund. Within two years, UESP branched out to feature funds managed by prestigious industry force Vanguard. The addition of Vanguard gave account owners access to passive index funds that featured lower fees. UESP was the second 529 plan to offer Vanguard funds.
The following year, UESP included age-based and static investment options, providing account owners more choices for their savings.
Continuing to diversify its offerings, UESP added a cash-equivalent investment option in 2009 that included a federal guarantee through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). UESP was the first 529 plan to incorporate FDIC-insured accounts into age-based investment options, and was the first—and remains the only—plan to offer a customized age-based option.
More Investment Options and Gifting
Seeking another significant fund manager to pair with Vanguard, UESP added Dimensional Fund Advisors in 2013. Dimensional is an enhanced passive index fund manager. Account owners can blend Vanguard and Dimensional funds in the customized age-based option, a portfolio option only found at UESP.
UESP also has worked to make the plan more dynamic by increasing and simplifying ways account owners can contribute—electronically, scheduled contributions, payroll deduction, even allowing a direct deposit of Utah state income tax refunds.
UESP continued to innovate in 2014 when it launched its Gift Program. Account owners can share a secure gifting code via social media to encourage family and friends to contribute.
An Industry Leader
Investors and advisors alike find UESP attractive because of innovation.
“UESP leads the industry by proactively developing solutions to better meet clients’ needs,” said Edward Alter, former Utah state treasurer. “Other plans look to UESP to see what’s next.”