3Q 2018 529 and ABLE Market Sizing Highlights

By Paul Curley, CFA | paul.curley@strategic-i.com | November 22, 2018

What was the 529 and ABLE market sizing as of 3Q 2018?

September 2018 Quarterly 529 and ABLE Market Sizing Data
– 13.7 million accounts invested $333 billion in assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans
– 12.7 million accounts invested $310 billion in assets in 529 savings plans
– 1.0 million accounts invested $23 billion in assets in 529 prepaid plans
– 29,707 accounts invested $144.0 million in assets in ABLE (529A) accounts

June 2018 Quarterly 529 and ABLE Market Sizing Data
– 13.7 million accounts invested $329 billion in assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans
– 12.6 million accounts invested $305 billion in assets in 529 savings plans
– 1.1 million accounts invested $24 billion in assets in 529 prepaid plans
– 25,181 accounts invested $120.0 million in assets in ABLE (529A) accounts

Net Flows (contributions minus withdrawals):
– Estimated 529 savings plan net outflows were $1.1 billion in 3Q 2018 compared to net outflows of $2.3 billion in 3Q 2017 and net outflows of $1.8 billion in 3Q 2016, which aligns with steady demand for 529s and more parents successfully using 529s for their intended purpose of qualified higher education expenses (tuition, books and room & board).


From an industry asset level and account perspective, 529 saving plans continue to reach year-over-year highs. Therefore investor interest in 529 college savings plans and saving for education in an efficient manner in terms of tax, financial aid and estate planning continues to rise, and especially as part of year-end tax planning and college financial planning.

Top 10 529 Savings Plans by 3Q 2018 Assets
Source: Strategic Insight

Top 5 529 Savings Plan Program Managers by 3Q 2018 Assets
Source: Strategic Insight

 For questions, commentary or feedback on the data, please contact Paul Curley at paul.curley@strategic-i.com.