NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plans Lower Program Management Fees

TRENTON, NJ and SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 21, 2014) - The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) and Franklin Templeton Investments have lowered the program management fees for NJBEST, the 529 college savings plan offered solely to New Jersey residents, and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, offered to investors nationwide.1 The program management fees have been reduced by 50 percent for NJBEST (from 0.20% to 0.10%) and by 38 percent for Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan (from 0.40% to 0.25%).

"This is good news for the individuals and families who are saving for higher education expenses," said Gabrielle Charette, Executive Director of HESAA. "This most recent reduction in fees allows for more of investors' savings to go toward college savings goals, with fewer dollars going to administrative costs. I would encourage those who plan to start saving for college costs to compare the overall value, features and performance of NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan to that of other plans."

Assets under management in NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan now exceed $4 billion, with accounts established for more than 228,000 beneficiaries to date.

"As assets have grown, we have been able to achieve significant economies of scale and are pleased to pass these savings along to our plan participants," said Roger Michaud, Senior Vice President of Franklin Templeton Distributors.2 "We are committed to helping families in New Jersey and across the country save for the increasing costs of higher education by offering a college saving program that provides strong investment capabilities and performance, outstanding service and support and now an even better value for investors."

While fees are important, it is essential to consider all program features and investment management capabilities. Savingforcollege.com ranked the New Jersey plans among the top three in the nation for one-year performance as of December 31, 2013 and recently upgraded the NJBEST program to five caps -- its highest rating.3

Offered by the New Jersey HESAA, with Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. serving as the program manager since 2003, the plans offer low minimum initial contributions of $25 for NJBEST and $50 for Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, and provide an affordable way for families in New Jersey and across the nation to save for college expenses through a variety of investment strategies that can be tailored to their specific needs.

NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan investors can choose from objective-based or age-based asset allocations to structure plans to suit their needs and risk tolerance, or with Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, they can work with a financial advisor to customize an asset allocation mix that suits their specific college investing goals. Franklin Templeton's funds can be used to build truly diversified portfolios because the Franklin Templeton investment management groups -- Franklin, Templeton and Mutual Series -- work independently, adhere to different investment approaches and manage distinct portfolios.

New Jersey residents interested in the NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan may visit NJBEST.com. For more information on the Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, please visit franklintempleton.com/529.

Investors should carefully consider 529 Plan and/or mutual fund investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. To obtain the Investor Handbook or mutual fund prospectuses, which contain this and other information, talk to your financial advisor or call Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., the manager and underwriter for the Plan at (866) 362-1597. You should read the Investor Handbook and/or mutual fund prospectuses carefully before investing and consider whether your, or the beneficiary's, home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in its qualified tuition program.

Each plan account is currently subject to an annual program management fee of 0.10% for the direct plan and 0.25% for the advisor-sold plan of assets and underlying fund expenses, currently up to 0.84% of assets, which may vary. See the Investor Handbook for more complete information.

New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority's (HESAA) mission is to provide students and families with the financial and informational resources for students to pursue their education beyond high school. For more information about NJBEST and other education programs offered through the State of New Jersey, contact 1-800-792-8670 or visit hesaa.org.

Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management and K2 investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $886 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2014. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.

Connect with NJBEST on Twitter (@NJBEST529).

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1. Offered and administered by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA); managed and distributed by Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. No federal or state guarantee. Principal value may be lost, and investing in the plan does not guarantee admission to college or sufficient funds for college. Please refer to the Investor Handbook for more complete information.
2. The plan is managed by Franklin Mutual Advisers, LLC, an affiliate of Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. Plan portfolios generally invest in mutual funds managed by affiliates of Franklin Mutual Advisers, LLC. An investment in Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan is an investment in a municipal security that may invest in one or more underlying mutual funds. It is not an investment in shares of the underlying mutual fund(s).
3. Source: Savingforcollege.com, as of December 31, 2013. Rankings of #2 for NJBEST and #3 for Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan are based on a universe of 55 direct and 30 advisor-sold plans, respectively, for Class A share performance (including maximum sales charges and fees). 5-Cap Ratings are assigned to each state-sponsored 529 program and range from one cap (least attractive) to five caps (most attractive). The factors examined and scored for each 529 plan are grouped into four categories: Performance, Costs, Features, and Reliability. For more information please visit http://www.savingforcollege.com/5_cap_ratings/index.php?page=ratings_criteria .

Copyright © 2014. Franklin Templeton Investments. All rights reserved.

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