Nebraska State Treasurer John Murante announced today that Union Bank & Trust (UBT) of Lincoln will be the new program manager for the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) program, starting in December 2020. The announcement came after the Nebraska Investment Council voted unanimously to accept UBT’s proposal as recommended by Treasurer Murante.
Throughout this year, Treasurer Murante’s office has conducted a request for proposals (RFP) process to determine the best manager for the NEST program. Treasurer Murante appointed an advisory committee of experts to provide professional guidance and recommendations. After thorough review and discussion, the committee unanimously recommended UBT as the new program manager.
“The trust NEST account owners have in the program was paramount in our decision-making process. The proposal submitted by UBT will make NEST among the most competitive 529 programs in the nation and includes a substantial reduction of fees for our account owners. Reducing the program management fee for the NEST Direct Plan by 68 percent, in addition to lower investment expenses, means more money contributed to a NEST account will go towards kids’ education,” Murante said.
NEST 529 provides four plans: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and State Farm 529 Savings Plan. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have $5.6 billion in assets, more than 275,000 accounts, including nearly 90,000 in Nebraska.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to assist Nebraska families with their educational savings goals,” said Angie Muhleisen, president and chief executive officer for UBT. “As a Nebraska-based bank, we are eager to share the expertise we’ve gained through managing more than $14 billion in 529 savings plans accumulated by college savers across the nation.”
UBT will assume program management responsibilities from First National Bank of Omaha, which has managed the plan since December 2010. First National Bank of Omaha declined the opportunity to participate in the State Treasurer’s Office RFP process seeking a program manager for the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust. After much consideration, the bank decided to focus on other areas of its business. First National Bank of Omaha expressed to State Treasurer Murante that it has been honored to serve as program manager for NEST for the past decade and is committed to providing a smooth transition to the next program manager.
“I want to thank First National Bank of Omaha for their years of service to NEST. Their efforts have improved lives and have made NEST a premier college savings plan for many people across the country. I am truly grateful for their work,” Murante said.
As the transition to UBT develops throughout 2020, a variety of improvements and new programs will be announced, all designed to help Nebraska families better save for future college costs.
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan designed to make saving for college simple and affordable. As the State Treasurer, Murante serves as the Program Trustee. All investments, including the portfolio structure offered through the NEST 529 program, are vetted and approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.