NEW YORK, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ING U.S. Investment Management (ING U.S. IM) announced that effective in March it became program manager for the advisor-sold portion of the state of Iowa's IAdvisor 529 Plan. In this role, the firm handles all investment, product, marketing, sales and distribution, customer service and recordkeeping for the program. ING U.S. IM assumed a similar role for the $1.3 billion Wisconsin Advisor-Sold Program, Tomorrow's Scholar, in November 2012. "We are extremely pleased to have been selected to manage the IAdvisor 529 Plan," said Mark Spina, head of Intermediary Distribution at ING U.S. IM. "This strategic win builds on our momentum in the advisor-sold 529 marketplace, which commenced when we were named program manager of the advisor-sold Wisconsin Tomorrow's Scholar 529 Program last November. We believe that, given our expertise managing retirement assets, we are well suited to serve the needs for college savings, which surveys indicate is the biggest concern of investors. Our mission is to help advisors and their clients meet their investment objectives with confidence." Spina added that effective support and education is important for financial advisors seeking to initiate and build 529 client relationships. To that end, ING U.S. IM's 529 website showcases the customized tools that empower advisors to better assist clients and prospects in understanding and embracing 529 plans as effective vehicles for college savings. "We want to make it easier for advisors to utilize 529 solutions with their client base," added Spina. "We believe there is significant opportunity for advisors to introduce college savings programs in the years ahead. 529s have not yet been tapped by a significant portion of the population, and we believe the combination of more favorable demographics, rising college costs and the plan's intrinsic tax and estate planning advantages will make it increasingly important for advisors to guide investors to utilize 529s for this significant long-term investment objective."