Washington, D.C. - The Treasury has proposed several improvements in Section 529 college savings plans, including the use of age-based index funds and the elimination of home-state biases.

The Treasury report recommends eliminating a "home-state bias" in the assessment of fees and state taxes that force many families to choose the funds offered in their home state, instead of funds available in other states. The report also recommends putting limits on 529 plan account balances on a per-beneficiary basis, rather than on a state-by-state basis, to help spread education aid to more low- and middle-income families.

The Treasury aims to improve transparency by collecting data via a survey questionnaire on 529 plan participation and investments, and making historical investment return information available directly from the College Savings Plan Network's Web site. In addition, the report recommends that Congress and the states work together to strengthen compliance and monitoring of Section 529 accounts and their disbursements.


San Francisco - Forty-four percent of retired Americans admit to supporting at least one individual financially, according to a new survey by Charles Schwab.

Children (53 percent) and grandchildren (37 percent) top the list of such dependents. An additional 12 percent are contributing to their parents' finances.

Six million more women than men (44 million versus 38 million) are planning to become more mindful of their spending during their retirement than they might have been. The difference extends to current retirement savings.

Close to four in 10 (35 percent) Americans who haven't retired yet plan to delay their retirement. Similarly, some of those who have already retired said that they wish they hadn't stopped working so early. Nearly one in five (17 percent) retired Americans are considering returning to work, at least part-time, due to the economy.

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