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TNStars Recognized as College Savings Program With Best Investment Performance Nationwide

Press release from the Tennessee Department of the Treasury; February 19, 2015:

TNStars College Savings 529 plan has just been recognized as the top direct-sold plan in the nation. TNStars™ is a program of the Tennessee Department of Treasury. The number one ranking comes from SavingForCollege.org, who analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst. The latest report released compares one-year investment performance as of December 31, 2014. TNStars™ investment options rank number one in the nation.

TNStars™ is designed to give Tennessee families high quality investment options at a low cost to help them put aside money for higher education expenses, while enjoying certain tax advantages and special incentives. Tennesseans can invest directly with the program, without having to go through a financial advisor. Money can be withdrawn from a TNStars™ account tax-free as long as it is used for qualified post-secondary education expenses.

In a time when there has been much news regarding who benefits from 529 plans, TNStars™ serves families of all income levels. TNStars™ surveyed those who opened new accounts from September through December 2014 and learned more than half of all new accounts were opened by families making less than $100,000 combined annual household income. Fifteen percent of all new accounts in Tennessee in that time frame were actually opened by families making less than $50,000 annually.

“Tennesseans have a viable investment option to set aside money for their children’s post-secondary education,” said State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. “Dollars invested in TNStars accounts are yielding strong returns. Even small amounts invested early will better prepare your child for education after high school.”

Currently, all families who open savings account with TNStars™ can receive up to $375 in incentives. Some families will qualify for a four-to-one match of up to $1500 per child. Money saved in a TNStars 529 account, including any extra incentives, can be used not only for post-secondary education tuition and fees, but also additional related expenses such as course books, room and board, and equipment and supplies required for attendance and enrollment at a qualified institution.

Research shows that children with a college savings account are six to seven times more likely to attend a four-year college, compared to children with no dedicated account. To learn more about opening a TNStars™ account or participate in this nationally top-ranked college savings program, visit www.TNStars.com.

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Press Releases

Metro Nashville Teachers Offered Credit Monitoring Services by Treasury Dept.

Press release from the Tennessee Department of the Treasury; December 18, 2013:

Last Thursday evening, Treasury officials discovered that a former Treasury employee for the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System had downloaded a file that included personal information of active Metro Nashville teachers from a work computer to his personal computer.

The investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is ongoing and a report from the forensic examination of his computer and devices is expected soon. The Treasury Department believes this is an isolated incident and that the information has not been shared.

The Treasury Department is providing free credit monitoring services for all Metro Nashville teachers who wish to enroll. The department is engaging a service to provide written notification to each of the teachers affected.

This notification will contain details regarding the free credit monitoring services and a hotline phone number for teachers to call and receive up-to-date information or discuss concerns.

State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr. met on Monday with the director of Metro Nashville Public Schools and continues to meet with school leaders and teacher organizations to seek their input and to assure all steps are taken to assist affected teachers.

The department has competently handled sensitive personal information in the retirement system since 1945. During Treasurer Lillard’s tenure he has heavily emphasized compliance and security of information and the department has taken numerous steps to continuously and substantially improve security of personal data in Treasury operations.

“Our main concern at this point is to address concerns of active Metro Nashville teachers,” Treasurer Lillard said. “The initial review clearly indicates this occurred due to the actions of one employee who wrongfully downloaded this information. The Treasury Department is immediately implementing measures to correct this isolated occurrence in personal data security.”