Learn about the West Virginia SMART529 savings program and the details behind its administration
The SMART529 family of college savings plans grew out of the desire of the West Virginia State Treasurer and West Virginia Legislature to provide an attractive program for college savings that would help families prepare financially for the costs of college attendance.
SMART529 college savings plans are issued by the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees, which was established by the West Virginia Legislature in 2001. Even though issued by a West Virginia state agency, SMART529 offers savings plans that are open to investors nationwide. All of the plans are operated as qualified tuition plans under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The nine-member Board of Trustees consists of the WV State Treasurer, the WV Secretary of Education and the Arts, two representatives of the WV Higher Education Policy Commission, and five members appointed by the Governor of West Virginia. The Treasurer is the chairman and presiding officer of the board and also administers the Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees conducts its business at quarterly meetings.
Through a competitive bidding process, the Board of Trustees selected Hartford Life Insurance Company to administer and market SMART529 savings plans. The Hartford, Hartford Life's parent company, has provided insurance and other financial management services for its clients since 1810.
The management agreement between the Board of Trustees and Hartford Life currently has a term running through June 30, 2017. The Board of Trustees and Hartford Life may from time to time agree to extend the term of the agreement, and each have the right to terminate it prior to its expiration date under certain circumstances. If the management agreement were terminated, the Board of Trustees could continue to provide the SMART529 Program on its own or through other third party administrators. Termination of the management agreement would not terminate the operation of the Program.
Hartford Life maintains all general administrative services for SMART529 through its offices in Simsbury, CT. You may contact SMART529 by writing to SMART529 Customer Service at P.O. Box 55362, Boston, MA, 02205 or calling toll-free 1-866-574-3542. You may write to the Board of Trustees at: Board of Trustees of the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program, c/o West Virginia State Treasurer's Office, 1900 Kanawha Blvd East, Charleston, WV 25305-0860.