Maryland 529 to stay with T. Rowe Price

Maryland 529, Baltimore, will keep T. Rowe Price as administrator of the Maryland College Investment Plan, following a competitive bidding process that resulted in lower fees and program enhancements.

Maryland 529 also has a prepaid college trust that is managed internally.

T. Rowe Price has managed the plan since it began in 2001. The plan had assets of $4.7 billion as of Dec. 31, T. Rowe spokeswoman Kylie Scott said in an email. The new contract, which begins July 1, goes through 2024.

T. Rowe Price will lower overall program fees to five basis points from the current 13 basis points, and eliminate a $10 annual account holder fee. Enhancements include an online payroll deduction program for employers and other online options for account holders.

Treasurer Nancy Kopp, who chairs the Maryland 529 board, said in a statement that T. Rowe Price “has done an excellent job of managing the plan through diversified investment strategies and high-quality customer service. We are pleased that T. Rowe Price has made a concerted effort to reduce fees and introduce new offerings.”

Maryland 529 previously was the College Savings Plans of Maryland. Its name changed July 1, after the Legislature approved creating a third savings plan, for people with disabilities, which is still being developed, spokeswoman Michelle Winner said in an interview.