The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 is federal legislation that allows money to be set aside in an account similar to a Section 529 Education Savings Plan for the benefit of individuals with disabilities. The concept is to allow savings which will not be considered a resource when the individual applies or becomes eligible for public assistance benefits. Although the legislation was enacted at the federal level in 2014, we still await guidance from each state as to how these accounts will be treated for public assistance benefits administered by state or local authorities. The program will allow contributions of up to $14,000 per year, with an aggregate value of no more than $100,000. The details for how these programs are anticipated to work were included in three previous articles (linked at the end of this article) published in December 2016, June 2015 and December 2014. It is now expected that the Minnesota Department of Human Services will issue its guidance sometime this fall. They also recently announced that they have joined an eight-state consortium which will manage an investment portfolio for ABLE accounts set up in any of these states, and allow the pooling of resources to attract quality investment products and lower costs. They are currently seeking public bids for investment services, record keeping and marketing services. The states included in this consortium are Alaska, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
A recent change at the federal level was to allow contributors to establish accounts governed in a state other than where the contributor is domiciled.