529s Shed 12.4% of Assets in Q408

The combined assets of all Section 529 college savings plans fell 12.4% in the fourth quarter to $104.9 billion.

At the end of December 2008, prepaid plans accounted for $15.6 billion, while savings plans held another $89.4 billion, according to data gathered by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

The number of Section 529 plan accounts increased 1.3% to about 11.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. There were 2.3 million prepaid plan accounts and 8.9 million savings plan accounts. The average 529 savings plan account size was about $10,000 in December 2008.

The largest such program nationally was the Virginia Savings Plan, which, as of December 2008, had 1.89 million accounts and $19.7 billion in assets, according to the data.

Meanwhile, the Florida Prepaid program had 1.3 million accounts and $7.2 billion in total assets.

More information and state-by-state data is available here.