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Franklin Templeton Investments Selected by New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to Continue as Program Manager for New Jersey College Savings Plans

Accounts Established for Over 158,000 New Jersey Beneficiaries to Save for Higher Education Costs to Date

TRENTON, NJ and SAN MATEO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/20/14 -- The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) and Franklin Templeton Investments today announced that Franklin Templeton has been selected to continue as the program manager for NJBEST, the 529 college savings plan offered solely to New Jersey residents, and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan,(1) offered to investors nationwide. Together, the plans exceed $4 billion in assets under management.

"HESAA is very pleased to continue our partnership with Franklin Templeton as program manager for our 529 college savings program. Together, we are dedicated to helping New Jersey families' with their continued interest in and commitment to college savings. To date, NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan accounts have been established for more than 158,000 New Jersey beneficiaries. Special features, including flexible investment options and the scholarship opportunity, continue to drive the plans' popularity," said Gabrielle Charette, Executive Director of HESAA.

Offered by the New Jersey HESAA, with Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. serving as the program manager since 2003, the plans offer low minimum initial contributions of $25 for NJBEST and $50 for Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, and provide an affordable way for families in New Jersey and across the nation to save for college expenses through a variety of investment strategies that can be tailored to their specific needs.

"I would encourage individuals and families who plan to start saving for college to compare the overall value, features and performance of NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan to that of other plans. The number of NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan accounts has increased dramatically since we first associated with Franklin Templeton in 2003," said Gene Hutchins, Chief Financial Officer at HESAA. "Ten years later we have seen more than 82,000 promising New Jersey students access the funds necessary to make their higher education a reality, with more than $1 billion in total distributions to date."

NJBEST and Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan investors can choose from objective-based or age-based asset allocations to structure plans to suit their needs and risk tolerance, or with Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, they can work with a financial advisor to customize an asset allocation mix that suits their specific college investing goals. Franklin Templeton's funds can be used to build truly diversified portfolios because the Franklin Templeton investment management groups -- Franklin, Templeton and Mutual Series -- work independently, adhere to different investment approaches and manage distinct portfolios.

Roger Michaud, Senior Vice President of Franklin Templeton Distributors, said, "We are excited about our continued relationship with New Jersey. We are committed to helping families save for the increasing costs of higher education by providing a college saving program that provides New Jersey families good value, strong investment capabilities and performance, and outstanding service and support. For the past decade, our successful collaboration with the State of New Jersey has allowed us to offer 529 college savings plans to investors nationwide. As interest in our 529 plans continues to flourish, we look forward to bringing the breadth and perspective of Franklin Templeton's professional investment management expertise to college savers across the country."(2)

Of note, Savingforcollege.com ranked the New Jersey plans among the top three in the nation for one-year performance as of December 31, 2013.(3)

New Jersey residents interested in the NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan may visit NJBEST.com. For more information on the Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, please visit franklintempleton.com.

Investors should carefully consider 529 Plan and/or mutual fund investment goals, risks, charges and expenses before investing. To obtain the Investor Handbook or mutual fund prospectuses, which contain this and other information, talk to your financial advisor or call Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., the manager and underwriter for the Plan at (866) 362-1597. You should read the Investor Handbook and/or mutual fund prospectuses carefully before investing and consider whether your, or the beneficiary's, home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in its qualified tuition program.

Each plan account is currently subject to an annual program management fee of 0.20% for the direct plan and 0.40% for the advisor-sold plan of assets and underlying fund expenses, currently up to 0.84% of assets, which may vary. See the Investor Handbook for more complete information.

New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority's (HESAA) mission is to provide students and families with the financial and informational resources for students to pursue their education beyond high school. For more information about NJBEST and other education programs offered through the State of New Jersey, contact 1-800-792-8670 or visit hesaa.org.

Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN), a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary Trust, Darby, Balanced Equity Management and K2 investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $857 billion in assets under management as of January 31, 2014. For more information, please call 1-800/DIAL BEN® or visit franklintempleton.com.

Connect with Franklin Templeton on Twitter (@FTI_US), Facebook and YouTube (FranklinTempletonTV).

1. Offered and administered by the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA); managed and distributed by Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. No federal or state guarantee. Principal value may be lost, and investing in the plan does not guarantee admission to college or sufficient funds for college. Please refer to the Investor Handbook for more complete information.

2. The plan is managed by Franklin Advisers, Inc., an affiliate of Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc. Plan portfolios generally invest in mutual funds managed by affiliates of Franklin Advisers, Inc. An investment in Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan is an investment in a municipal security that may invest in one or more underlying mutual funds. It is not an investment in shares of the underlying mutual fund(s).

3. Source: Savingforcollege.com, as of December 31, 2013. Rankings of #2 for NJBEST and #3 for Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan are based on a universe of 55 direct and 30 advisor-sold plans, respectively, for Class A share performance (including maximum sales charges and fees).

Copyright © 2014. Franklin Templeton Investments. All rights reserved.

Franklin Templeton Investments
Corporate Communications:
Stacey Coleman
(650) 525-7458

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