On June 30 and July 1, Nebraska and Florida, respectively, opened Qualified ABLE Programs. Nebraska’s program (Enable Savings Plan) is open to qualified individuals nation-wide, while Florida’s (ABLE United) is currently only open to state residents. Nebraska’s program charges a $45 annual account fee as well as asset-based fees ranging from 0.5 to 0.56%. Florida’s program charges a $2.50 monthly fee and asset-based ranging from 0.035 to 0.29%. More information about state implementation the ABLE Act can be found here.
On March 17, the six lead sponsors of the original ABLE Act introduced three bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to increase the age of onset for eligibility for the ABLE Act and to make other improvements to the ABLE program. They are: Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). Each has sponsored or co-sponsored all three bills in their respective chambers.
The ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 2704, H.R. 4813) would raise the age limit for eligibility for ABLE accounts to individuals disabled before age 46. Currently, only individuals with a severe disability prior to the age of 26 are eligible to open an ABLE account. Many disabling conditions can occur later in life. Increasing the age limit for ABLE accounts will allow more individuals to save for disability related expenses in ABLE accounts. Sponsors: Senator Casey and Rep. Van Hollen.
The ABLE Financial Planning Act (S. 2703, H.R. 4794) would allow families to rollover savings from a Section 529 college savings plan to an ABLE account. Many families save for a child’s college education by opening a 529 account, sometimes before their child is born. They face taxes on their withdrawals for anything other than college expenses. The ABLE Financial Planning Act would allow them to rollover the funds from their 529 account into an ABLE account for their child. Sponsors: Senator Casey and Rep. Crenshaw.
The ABLE to Work Act (S. 2702, H.R. 4795) would allow individuals and their families to save more money in an ABLE account if the beneficiary works and earns income. Specifically, an ABLE beneficiary who earns income from a job could save up to the Federal Poverty Level, which is currently at $11,770. The bill would also allow ABLE beneficiaries to qualify for the existing Saver’s Credit when they put savings in the account. Sponsors: Senator Burr and Rep. Crenshaw.
The Arc will work with Members and their staffs to secure passage of ABLE improvement legislation, particularly with a goal toward a significant increase in the age of eligibility for ABLE accounts.
Since the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, states have been enacting enabling legislation, Congress has amended the law, and federal agencies have been promulgating regulations and issuing guidance.
With these latest developments in mind, The Center for Future Planning™ is hosting two webinars during March to review the basics of the ABLE Act, discuss these developments, and explore what will come next. To register, click on “Registration” next to Not Started on the session status line.
- Tuesday, March 15 at 2:00 pm EDT: Marty Ford, Senior Executive Officer for Public Policy at The Arc, will review the basics of the ABLE Act; the recent IRS and SSA decisions and their implications for chapter staff of The Arc and other disability professionals; state program launch information; and major differences between ABLE accounts and specials needs trusts (SNTs).
- Thursday, March 17 at 2:00 pm EDT: Marty Ford will be joined by Samantha Crane, Legal Director and Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). These two experts on the ABLE Act will explore the basics of the ABLE Act; IRS/SSA’s recent decisions and their implications for people with I/DD and their families; state program launch information; as well as the major differences between ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs).