With most state contracts for 529 college savings programs already awarded to asset managers, states and the managers that run the programs are now vying to offer design and distribution advantages over other state's plans, according to industry observers.

In the past few months, several states have significantly changed their 529 plan options and contribution limits in an effort to make their products more competitive, said Chris Stack, a managing consultant for Saving for College Educational Services, an affiliate of SavingforCollege.com of Pittsford, N.Y.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.