Periodically, the Ohio College Advantage 529 Plan offers a sign up bonus when you use their “Refer a Friend” program. This is a great deal for several reasons – first, even though it is an Ohio based program, it is open to residents of any state. The second, is the Ohio College Advantage 529 Savings Plan is rated as one of the best 529 college savings plans in the US. And if you needed a third reason, the referral program is set up in such a way that you can easily earn several hundred dollars in referral bonuses by opening multiple accounts for each member of your family.
But there is a downside. Opening several 529 accounts to take advantage of incentives such as the “Refer a Friend” program may leave you with too many accounts to keep track of. The accounts can be consolidated using a New Beneficiary/Transfer Form. This six page form can be requested by mail or downloaded from College Advantage Forms.
How to Transfer Your College Advantage 529 Savings Plan
You will need the following information to transfer your 529:
- The College Advantage account number
- Owner’s full name, social security number, date of birth, and relationship to beneficiary
- The owner’s mailing address, residential address, and telephone number(s)
- Additional information needed for owner identity verification includes the owner’s name, driver’s license or state-issued I.D. card number and the owner’s mother’s maiden name
- Current beneficiary’s full name and social security number
You will also need the following information for the new beneficiary (the person whom you are transferring the account to):
- Current CollegeAdvantage account number (if existing)
- Relationship of new beneficiary to current beneficiary
- New beneficiary’s full name, social security number, date of birth, and mailing address
Completing the Transfer
Once you obtain the forms and fill out all required information, you will be asked several questions concerning the amount of money to transfer. You have three options: (1) entire account while keeping current investment options, (2) partial while keeping investment options, or (3) transfer of all or partial while changing the investment options.
NOTE: If you are transferring from a CD you must also include the certificate number.
You will also have the option to keep Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) as they are, transfer to the new account, or stop the transfers.
Finalizing the 529 transfer
In order to finalize the transfer, your signature and the signature of the beneficiary (if over 18 and the account was opened before 10/1/96) are required. The signatures must carry a signature guarantee. According to the form, “A signature guarantee is a stamped or typed assurance by a financial institution that indicates a signature is valid. A Notary signature and stamp ARE NOT acceptable for this form.” Give yourself ample time to take the forms to a financial institution to get the signature guarantee. Do not sign the forms until you are in front of the witness at the bank.
Once the signature guarantee has been placed on the form, make copies for your records and mail the originals to the address indicated on the first sheet of the form.
That’s it! There may be rules concerning the transfer of the 529 to include early withdraw fees for CDs, penalties, and guaranteed savings funds, so consult your tax advisor before proceeding.