On February 27, Vermont became the 17th state to launch a qualified ABLE Program. This program is currently only open to Vermont residents. The plan has five investment options. There is a monthly fee of $5 and annual asset-based fees that range from 0.19% to 0.34% depending on the investment option. Additionally, there is a minimum initial deposit of $50. More information about state implementation the ABLE Act can be found here. General information about ABLE programs can be found in the National Policy Matters: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities here.
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, and North Carolina have recently launched qualified ABLE programs, bringing the total number of states with ABLE programs to 16. These programs are open to all eligible individuals nationwide. They are all part of the National ABLE Alliance, which offers six different investment options. The investment options have asset-based fees ranging from 0.34% to 0.38%. Additionally, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, and North Carolina charge a quarterly account maintenance fee of $15, which is discounted by $3.75 for those who receive statements electronically. Kansas, Minnesota, and Nevada all offer an additional $1.25 discount for state residents. Iowa charges an annual account maintenance fee of $40 and an additional $15 fee for those choosing to receive statements by mail. The minimum initial deposit in all six states is $25. More information about state implementation the ABLE Act can be found here.
In December, Kentucky opened its Qualified ABLE Program. The Program, called STABLE Kentucky, is currently only open to Kentucky residents. It has five investment options. An account requires an initial $50 deposit and costs $5 per month. Additionally, beneficiaries will be charged asset-based fees between 0.19% and 0.34% depending on their investment choices.
Alaska, Rhode Island, and Virginia have recently launched Qualified ABLE Programs, bringing the total number of states with ABLE Programs to eight. All three programs are open to eligible individuals nationwide. The Alaska ABLE Plan and “RI’s ABLE” plan are both part of the National ABLE Alliance, which offers six different investment options. The investment options have asset-based fees ranging from 0.34% to 0.38%. Additionally, there is an annual account maintenance fee of $40 and an annual paper fee of $15 if individuals choose to receive statement by mail. Virginia’s ABLEnow program offers four investment options. Investment options have asset-based fees ranging from 0.37% to 0.40%. There is also a $3.25 monthly account service fee. Additional fees can be found here.
On December 6, Oregon opened two ABLE programs, the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan for residents, and ABLE for ALL for non-residents. This makes Oregon the sixth state to open a Qualified ABLE Program. Both plans require a minimum deposit of $25. Both have a cash option and three investment options. The investment options have asset-based fees ranging from 0.30% to 0.38% per year. There is an annual fee of $55 for ABLE for ALL and a $45 annual fee for the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan. Those who sign up for the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan by December 31, 2017 will save 50% on the annual fee.
Last week, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved H.R. 5204, the Stop Taxing Death and Disability Act. The bipartisan bill would end federal taxation of federal student loans discharged under the “Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)” standard or in the event of the death of a borrower. Under current law, discharged student debt assumed after the death or permanent disability of the student is counted as income by the Internal Revenue Service, and is therefore subject to federal taxation. The Committee on Ways and Means cleared the bill with an amendment by Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) that would delay the bill’s date of effectiveness until after the end of calendar year 2016. H.R. 5204 has also been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which has not yet taken action on the bill. The Arc supports H.R. 5204 as well as a Senate companion bill, S.2800.
On September 21, 2016, the Senate Finance Committee approved the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2016 with amendments to include the concepts from the ABLE to Work Act (S.2702/H.R.4795) and the ABLE Financial Planning Act (S.2703/H.R.4794). The ABLE to Work Act allows individuals who work to deposit earnings up to the poverty level ($11,770) annually in addition to the standard annual contribution limit (set at $14,000 in 2016). The ABLE Financial Planning Act allows individuals to transfer funds from a (Section 529) Qualified Tuition Plan into an ABLE account.
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 June 13, Tennessee became the second state to open a Qualified ABLE Program. Like Ohio’s STABLE program, this program is open to qualified individuals nation-wide. The account has 14 different investment options. Annual fees depend upon the investment option selected and range from 0% to 0.63% of the value in the account. More information about state implementation the ABLE Act can be found here.