New Mexico selects Ascensus and Principal® to manage the state’s 529 program

Principal enters 529 investment space in partnership with Ascensus, the nation’s leading 529 program manager, to offer savers solutions to meet their education goals

After a competitive Request for Proposals process, The Education Trust Board of New Mexico has selected Ascensus and Principal as managers for The Education Plan® and the Scholar’s Edge® 529 plans. This marks the entrance of Principal into the 529 savings account market.

Ascensus, whose technology and expertise helps millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare, will provide program management, recordkeeping, administrative services, and investment oversight for The Education Plan.

Principal Global Investors, which leads asset management at Principal, will provide all aspects of investment management services for the Scholar’s Edge plan. Principal Funds Distributor will provide marketing and distribution services for the Scholar’s Edge plan, highlighting the new investment capabilities. Principal will leverage its robust retirement and investment expertise to support participants in achieving their educational savings goals.

“The New Mexico Education Trust Board selected Ascensus and Principal as partners not only because of their compelling proposal but also because it believed that these firms share the Board’s vision that higher education improves the lives of our children and ultimately benefits the citizens and the economy of New Mexico,” said Sandy Liggett, chairwoman.

“All of us at Ascensus are thrilled to have been selected to support the State of New Mexico and its 529 plan savers,” said David Musto, president of Ascensus. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with our colleagues at Principal to deliver best-in-class user and service experiences that can help the program’s participants—along with their families and beneficiaries—achieve their educational savings goals.” 

“We understand that funding education can weigh on the minds of many, so we are pleased to be selected by the State of New Mexico to work with Ascensus and support 529 plan participants through this critical planning milestone,” said Dan Houston, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Principal. “Our mission is to help investors save enough, have enough, and protect enough throughout their life, so it is a natural fit for us to be able to help individuals with yet another life goal: education. Our extensive retirement and asset allocation foundation will allow us the ability to assist families and individuals in achieving their financial educational goals regardless of their timeline.”

News Release Contact

Investment Management

Jane Slusark, 515-362-0482
Teresa Thoensen, 515-878-0800

About the New Mexico Education Trust Board

The Board administers New Mexico’s 529 college savings program. The program consists of two plans. The Education Plan is sold directly to investors. Scholar’s Edge is sold through financial advisors. The combined program has 125,000 accounts and nearly $2.4 billion in assets.

About Ascensus

Ascensus is the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. The firm delivers technology and expertise to help millions of people save for what matters most—retirement, education, and healthcare. For more information about Ascensus, visit View career opportunities at

About Principal Global Investors®

Principal Global Investors® leads global asset management at Principal®. As a multi-boutique firm, we bring a focused perspective and offer expertise across a host of asset classes.

At our core, we are driven by our purpose to help investors and businesses achieve their financial goals. Our global investment professionals deliver investment solutions for public and private pension funds, foundations and endowments, central banks, insurance companies, sub-advisory arrangements, sovereign wealth funds and individual portfolios.

Principal Global Investors manages approximately $442.4 billion in assets on behalf of over 800 institutional clients located in over 80 countries as well as retirement plans and individual clients, reflecting our worldwide market reach and experience and our commitment to high-quality research and service (as of March 31, 2019).

To find out more, visit us at or