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For immediate release:
November 20, 2012

Boost College Savings with Holiday Shopping through Upromise Rewards this Year, Urges PA Treasurer McCord
Upromise can help shoppers earn money for college with the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program

Harrisburg – State Treasurer Rob McCord today encouraged shoppers to turn their holiday spending into college savings this season with the help of Upromise.com, where families can shop from more than 900 partners and earn cash back for higher education in the process.

According to Treasurer McCord, participants in the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program can link their accounts with Upromise to earn rewards through online purchases at hundreds of eligible retailers, or by dining out, buying gas, and purchasing other services. 

“Everyone wants a good deal, and today’s shoppers are savvier than ever,” Treasurer McCord said.  “With Upromise, you can find those deals and reward yourself in the process – all without changing your shopping list.”

With Upromise.com, members can earn 5 percent or more cash back on eligible online purchases above and beyond sale prices and online coupons. 

To join Upromise for free, visit Upromise.com.  Rewards earned from everyday spending go directly into a Upromise account, which can be linked to a Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program account.  
There are more than 900,000 Upromise members in Pennsylvania today. Since 2006, PA 529 account owners have earned more than $8 million through Upromise.

The PA 529 College Savings Program provides two ways to save: the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP). Both plans provide flexibility to pay for college expenses at most higher education institutions across the country.  The primary difference between the two plans is the way savings grow.

The PA 529 GSP is designed to help savings grow to meet the future cost of education. When used for qualified higher education expenses, PA 529 GSP contributions grow based on tuition inflation (subject to fees and premiums).  For example, if you save enough for one semester today at a State System of Higher Education university, you will have enough for one semester there in the future, no matter when or how much tuition has increased in the meantime. 

The PA 529 IP features low fees and more than a dozen conservative and aggressive investment options from The Vanguard Group, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies. 

Contributions to a PA 529 plan – including funds earned through Upromise – are deductible from Pennsylvania income taxes (up to $13,000 per beneficiary, or up to $26,000 for married couples provided each individual has income of at least the amount deducted), grow tax free, and when used for qualified educational expenses, earnings are federal and state tax exempt. 

The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program is a tax-advantaged way to help make college more affordable and accessible for Pennsylvania families.   Administered by the McCord Treasury, the program currently serves over 167,000 accounts with more than $2.5 billion in assets.  Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 20,500 students have saved for college with a PA 529 plan and benefitted from over $64 million in earnings. 

A PA 529 plan can be used at a wide range of schools – from The Pennsylvania State University and University of Pittsburgh to trade and career schools like Empire Beauty Academy and McCann School of Business.

Visit www.Upromise.com to join Upromise or link your existing account to a PA 529 account. Learn more about the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program at www.PA529.com, where you can enroll or contribute online.

Media contact: Carrie Fischer Lepore, 717-772-2416 or news@patreasury.gov

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Upromise, an optional service offered by Upromise, Inc., is separate from the Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program, and is not affiliated with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Transfers from Upromise to a PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan account or a PA 529 Investment Plan account are subject to a $25 minimum. Terms and conditions apply to the Upromise service. Participating companies, contribution levels and terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without notice. Go to Upromise.com to learn more.

A withdrawal or a portion of a withdrawal not used to pay for qualified expenses may be subject to federal income tax and a 10 percent federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes.

The Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program sponsors two plans – the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan (GSP) and the PA 529 Investment Plan (IP). The guarantee of the PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan is an obligation of the GSP Fund, not the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any state agency. Before investing in either plan, please carefully read that plan’s disclosure statement (available at www.PA529.com or by calling 1-800-440-4000) to learn more about that plan including investment objectives, risks, fees, and tax implications.

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