Alameda County 529 Plan

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Alameda County Employee 529 Plan

Save for education expenses

The importance of education

If education expenses are in your future, we want to support your goal. Our CFS* Financial Advisor is able to offer you a 529 college savings plan – exclusively for Alameda County employees.

Is a 529 a smart choice for you?

Whether you are saving to help your kids, grandkids, or other family members to attend school, or if you're planning for your own education expenses, a 529 savings plan through American Funds may be a fit for you.

View our video explaining our exclusive 529 plan.

Benefits include:

Investing for any beneficiary
 
Use your 529 account for your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or friends. You can even save for yourself.  There are no age or income limits.

Convenience of automatic investing

Investing is easy and can be done through deductions from your personal bank account or Alameda County payroll deductions.
Flexibility

Use the assets in your account to fund expenses at any U.S. public or private college – undergraduate, graduate, professional or vocational. Qualified expenses include tuition, fees, room and board, and many more.
Low plan costs
 
Never pay a sales commission. You benefit from low operating expenses so more of your money goes toward your goal and not fees.

Control over your account
 
Unlike other college funding vehicles, you control the assets in a 529, even when your beneficiary reaches the age of enrollment.
Frequently asked questions
 
Read our FAQs or contact Rahil Machiwalla at (925) 598-4718 or
Rahil.Machiwalla@cusonet.com.

Use 529 savings at a variety of institutions, including:

  • Colleges & Universities
  • Community Colleges
  • Vocational Schools
  • Some Private Elementary & High Schools


Easy application process

  1. DOWNLOAD application
  2. COMPLETE entirely
  3. SUBMIT by mail or fax  to the address on the form or drop it at any 1st United branch



For more information or questions, please contact the CFS* Financial Advisor located at 1st United Credit Union:

Rahil Machiwalla, CFS Financial Advisor
Rahil Machiwalla, Financial Advisor
CUSO Financial Services, L.P.
CA Insurance Number: 0G20361

Not sure if a 529 is best for you?

Schedule an appointment to talk through your investment plans with 1st United's financial advisor through CUSO Financial Services, L.P.

Frequently asked questions

These and other frequently asked questions can be found at the American Funds website.
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
You can use the assets in your account to pay for the beneficiary’s qualified higher education expenses. Earnings withdrawn for any use other than qualified higher education expenses are subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax.
Most private elementary, high schools, community colleges, public and private four-year colleges, universities and vocational schools in the United States are eligible educational institutions. Some foreign institutions are also eligible. To find out if a school is eligible, go to the Department of Education’s website.
The maximum contribution limit is $500,000 for each beneficiary. Multiple accounts for the same beneficiary will be combined to determine if the maximum contribution amount has been reached. Once the total account balance (including any earnings) reaches $500,000, we will not accept additional contributions or rollovers. If the total account value is below $500,000, you can contribute regardless of how much you have already contributed.
Individuals can take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion by contributing up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) per year per beneficiary without having to file a gift tax return or pay gift taxes.

Contributions made to a 529 plan in excess of the annual gift tax exclusion will not cause gift taxes to be payable unless the contributions (together with all other gifts) also exceed the contributor’s lifetime gift-tax exemption of $5,490,000 in 2017. However, those contributions will reduce the amount of the lifetime exemption.

A special rule applicable only to 529 plans allows an individual to accelerate up to five years’ worth of annual exclusions by contributing up to $70,000 ($140,000 for married couples) in one calendar year. While no gift taxes are payable, the donor can only take advantage of this rule by making an election on a federal gift tax return, IRS Form 709.

If you take full advantage of this special rule, additional contributions or other gifts to the same individual during that calendar year or the next four calendar years may exceed the annual gift tax exclusion.

CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS) does not provide tax or legal advice. For such guidance, please consult your tax and/or legal advisor.
CollegeAmerica accounts can affect a beneficiary’s ability to qualify for federal need-based financial aid.

A 529 account, such as a CollegeAmerica account, is regarded as an asset of the student if the student is an independent student, and an asset of the parent if the student is a dependent student.
With a 529 savings plan, you can leave the money in the account if the beneficiary decides to attend college at a later time. Or you can select a new beneficiary, including yourself or anyone who is a member of the current beneficiary’s family.

If you withdraw money from the account for anything other than educational expenses, the withdrawal will be subject to ordinary federal income tax plus a 10% penalty on the earnings.
You can withdraw the assets if the beneficiary receives a scholarship, becomes disabled or dies. A withdrawal on account of the beneficiary’s death, disability or receipt of a scholarship (to the extent of the scholarship award) is subject to federal income tax but no federal tax penalty.
Yes. You need to use the assets in the account or designate a new beneficiary within 30 years after the beneficiary graduates from high school or within 30 years after opening the account, whichever comes later. (Requests for an extension of this time limit will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)
For your Alameda County employer-sponsored 529 plan, you may invest as little as $25 per fund.
Investments in the plan are not guaranteed, and are not covered by FDIC or NCUA insurance. As an investor in the plan, you will have the ability to determine what type of mutual fund to invest in, and you may change investments as stated in the fund prospectus. Depending on the mutual fund or funds you select, your investments may be subject to stock or bond market risks as stated in the fund’s prospectus. Always review the prospectus prior to investing.
To get started with your Alameda County Employer-Sponsored 529 plan or for more information, please contact theCFS* financial advisor located at 1st United Credit Union:
Rahil Machiwalla, Financial Advisor
CUSO Financial Services, L.P.
CA Insurance Number: 0G20361
(925) 598-4718
Rahil.Machiwalla@cusonet.com

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the Credit Union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to Credit Union members. Please consult a qualified tax advisor for specific tax advice.
If withdrawals are used for purposes other than higher education, the earnings will be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax. Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.
 
Investors should consider investment objectives, risks, and charges associated with Section 529 plans prior to investing. Contact your investment representative or carrier for more information about municipal fund securities which is available in the issuer’s official statement or plan disclosure document which should be read carefully prior to investing. Most 529 plans are sponsored and administered by states. State tax benefits vary among the states, and some offer residents additional tax benefits if they invest in their own state plan. Consult a qualified tax professional for more information.
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