The SEC has formed a special committee to help determine whether 529 college savings plans offered through mutual fund companies and brokerage firms are overcharging investors.

In a letter to Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH), SEC Chairman William Donaldson expressed "concern" that expenses of some college savings plans have eroded special tax benefits authorized by Congress for the purpose of helping families accumulate educational savings. In addition, Donaldson noted that some plans have potentially become too complicated for average investors to understand.

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