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The leading voice for excellence in public finance

Thought Leadership Thursday

Spreading the Word About ABLE

Hon. Beth Pearce

Thought Leadership Thursday Article

Spreading the Word About ABLE
January 23, 2020
State of Vermont

Dear Colleagues,

Since the passage of the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act in 2014, NAST has been at the forefront of both advocacy and education for ABLE accounts. Nationally, over 51,000 individuals with disabilities and their families are utilizing an ABLE account to ensure a better financial future. This is, in large part, due to the efforts of ABLE administrators in Treasurer’s Offices across the country.

In Vermont, we have seen steady growth in our program – over the summer we reached $1,000,000 in assets under management held in VermontABLE accounts. We are proud of the success of our small state program, but we also know that that there is more work to be done because there are individuals in all of our states who have not yet heard of ABLE and the ways in which these accounts are so helpful.

My office participated in a seminar at the Treasury Management Training Symposium (TMTS) in Providence, Rhode Island last year. During the workshop, representatives from some of the smaller ABLE programs expressed that they struggle with ABLE outreach and communications due to limited supporting appropriations and staff capacity. After the conference, I began working with NAST staff to put together a high-quality outreach video that can be customized for each state ABLE program.

We often hear from program participants that it takes the confidence gained from a personal connection to convince them to enroll in an ABLE account. I want to thank everyone who was featured in this video when it was filmed at the Annual Conference in Naples, Florida, as well as those who worked to produce and share this outreach video. We have begun circulating Vermont’s video with a press release and on our social media accounts. You can view the video here:

I want all Vermonters to benefit from a lifetime of financial well-being and am proud to be part of NAST, an organization of ABLE account leaders. This effort highlights our ability to achieve more for our states by working together.


Beth Pearce
Vermont State Treasurer

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