Franklin Templeton Investments of San Mateo, Calif. and Mercury Funds of New York have formed a partnership in which Franklin Templeton will distribute one of Mercury Funds' 529 college savings plans, the two firms announced last week.

The deal will allow Franklin Templeton to include different investment options in the plan and will give the plan distribution through Franklin Templeton's national network of broker-dealers, banks and insurance companies, the companies said.

The plan, which is administered by Mercury on behalf of the state of Arkansas, will also be distributed in the state through Merrill Lynch, the companies said. Mercury is a unit of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

The plan includes an age-based portfolio, which adjusts asset allocations based on a child's age, and a risk-adjusted portfolio, which allows investors to adjust asset allocations based on their risk tolerance, according to Mercury.

Mercury Funds also administers a 529 college savings plan for the state of Wyoming.

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