State Treasurers Mark 3rd Anniversary of ABLE Act Passage With a Call To Increase Access And Expand Scope
December 4, 2017
Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, Co-Chair of NAST’s ABLE Committee, unveils proposal during Congressional briefing to improve and expand ABLE programs nationwide
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) released the following statement today in response to the third anniversary of Congress passing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act—landmark legislation that allows Americans to establish tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities.
Over the past three years, state treasurers have worked diligently to implement, administer, and expand ABLE programs across the country to help individuals with disabilities and their families save for costly medical expenses,” said NAST’s ABLE Committee Co-Chair and Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. “Since Congress passed the legislation in 2014, 30 states have successfully launched ABLE Programs, which have changed the lives of thousands of families across the country. NAST looks forward to working with Congress to help increase access to these important investment accounts so more Americans can benefit from ABLE programs and begin saving for their future.”
Treasurer Frerichs participated in a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill today to unveil the NAST ABLE Committee’s federal policy proposal, which outlines how Congress can increase the breadth and reach of ABLE accounts across the country. The briefing, hosted by the ABLE National Resource Center, featured a series of presentations and panel discussions from Members of Congress, ABLE administrators and a number of NAST corporate affiliate members.
The NAST ABLE Committee’s federal policy priorities are listed below and a fact sheet on ABLE program implementation can be found here. To learn more about NAST’s federal policy proposals, click here.
- Age of Onset: We support the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (H.R. 1874/S. 817), which would raise the age of onset of disability from 26 to 46, enabling individuals who become disabled later in life to open ABLE accounts.
- Worker Benefits: We support the ABLE to Work Act (H.R. 1896/S. 818), which would permit ABLE beneficiaries who work and earn income to save additional amounts in their ABLE accounts.
- Account Rollovers: We encourage Congress to pass the ABLE Financial Planning Act (H.R. 1897/S. 816), which allows rollovers from 529 college savings accounts into ABLE accounts.
- Medicaid Recovery: We urge Congress to change the ABLE Act to no longer require or give states the option to seek recovery from an ABLE account of Medicaid funds disbursed to the deceased ABLE account owner. Under current law, funds that have become part of the estate of certain deceased beneficiaries are subject to recovery under section 1917(b) of the Medicaid Act. The lump sum would be prorated over the number of years necessary.
- Annual Contribution Limit: We urge Congress to raise the annual contribution limit to an ABLE account from $15,000, and to allow annual contributions of lump sum payments above $15,000 in specific circumstances.
- Flexible Transfers: We urge Congress to allow transfers from any investment in an ABLE plan, into a checking or savings option within the same ABLE plan, to be exempt from the twice per calendar year limit.
- Beneficiaries: We advocate for allowing more than one account per beneficiary, and allowing a person other than the ABLE account beneficiary to open a custodial ABLE account.
- Married Couples: We support allowing married couples with disabilities to hold joint ABLE account ownership for up to $30,000 in annual contributions and allowing an ABLE account to be rolled over to a disabled spouse.