Hartford Financial Services Group
is plugging an online college planning calculator
aimed at financial intermediaries. By offering the tool, Hartford hopes to raise the profile of its new Cornerstone SMART529 plan that it is sponsored by West Virginia.
The insurance company now offers three programs with the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Plan Board of Trustees, including SMART529, Leaders SMART529, and Cornerstone SMART529.
The new plan is also being distributed through 8,000 reps employed by broker-dealer Edward Jones, according to Clif Helbert
, principal of Retirement Plan Marketing at Edward Jones. The college savings program features investment options from American Funds, Federated Investment, Goldman Sachs, Lord Abbett, Putnam Investments, Van Kampen Investments and Wellington Management. It also offers a stable value option managed by Invesco Institutional and proprietary funds managed by Hartford.
All counted, savers are able to invest in any of 22 fund options or they may invest in eight asset allocation portfolios.
Hartford and Edward Jones modeled their 529 partnership on a similar alliance they created to reach the 401(k) market. In that case, Hartford created its custom small-market plan called 401 Cornerstone to be distributed exclusively through Edward Jones.
"The Hartford and Edward Jones have been great partners for a long time. We are thrilled to build on our great history together with the introduction of Cornerstone SMART529," said Mary Jane Fortin
, senior vice president for The Hartford Mutual Funds and 529 programs.
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