Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE)

ABLE accounts allow individuals with disabilities and their families to establish tax-advantaged savings and investment plans.

ABLE accounts ease financial strains by making withdrawals tax-free when used to cover qualified disability expenses such as medical and dental care, education, housing, and transportation. Since the passage of the ABLE Act in December of 2014, more than half of all states have passed ABLE legislation and 30 states have launched ABLE programs. Individuals are not tied to their state’s plan, giving Americans the opportunity to consider different plans throughout the country.

States with an ABLE program. Residents can join another state’s ABLE program, 30 states have launched ABLE programs. Based on data collected by NAST’s Corporate Affiliate Members AKF Consulting Group and Strategic Insight, as of September 30, 2017


The National Association of State Treasurers has supported key legislative initiatives to increase the breadth and reach of ABLE accounts. NAST’s recently launched ABLE Committee has identified a number of federal legislative priorities to increase access and expand the scope of ABLE programs across the country:

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.

National Association of State Treasurers

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