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Wednesday, October 2, 2002

AIM Upgrades Its 529 Plan

by: Ki Kim

AIM Management Group has upgraded its College Savings Plan by adding 14 individual fund portfolios to its slate of investment options. The Houston-based firm will also target employers for distribution with a corporate automatic investment program, effective on October 8, 2002.

AIM's existing lineup includes three fixed-allocation portfolios - Aggressive Growth, Growth and Balanced - and seven enrollment-based portfolios. The new investment options run the gamut of investment styles and include money-market and fixed income portfolios.

Moreover, the new corporate automatic investment program will allow employers to offer AIM's 529 plan via a convenient online enrollment process. The Houston-based firm is also eliminating the $50 fee for non-qualified withdrawals.

"The marketplace for 529 plans has become increasingly competitive and we believe these new features give AIM and the State of Nebraska a program that provides investors easier access to a 529 plan and ample options to meet their investment objectives," said Michael J. Cemo, president and chief executive officer of AIM Distributors, Inc., AIM's retail-marketing subsidiary, in a release.

A company spokesman said the timing is also opportune with respect to year-end gift giving under estate planning, which could translate into more contributions into 529 plans.

The nation-wide AIM 529 plan, which holds some $43 million in assets under management, is sponsored by the state of Nebraska; the Nebraska State Treasurer, Lorelee Byrd, serves as Trustee; and Union Bank & Trust Company serves as the program manager, according to the company. 

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