* AMERIPRISE SETTLES ON SALES OF 529 PLANS: Ameriprise Financial Inc. will pay $1.25 million to settle an enforcement action brought by regulators over its sales of Section 529 college savings plans, the company said. Ameriprise neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.Brokerage regulator NASD said that the action against broker and insurer Ameriprise was its first in a probe into Section 529 plan sales practices at 20 securities firms. Other investigations are ongoing.

Section 529 plans - named after the federal tax rules under which they were created - were rolled out in 1997 and offer tax breaks for setting aside college savings. With more than 80 plans now marketed across the country, and assets in the accounts nearing $60 billion this year, according to consulting firm Financial Resources Corp., NASD has been looking into possible abuses by plan brokers.

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