Patty Manko Wed, Jun 29, 2016 @ 07:00 AM 5 min read

New England States Discuss Offering the ABLE Account

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team at Shepherd Financial Partners
Cynthia Haddad, CFP® | John Nadworny, CFP® | Alex Nadworny, CFP® 

John__VTstatehouse1.jpgAttendees included (partial list L to R): Teresea Hayes, Maine State Treasurer; Tom Graff, MEFA; John Nadworny, MA Down Syndrome Congress; Chris Rodriguez, National Disability Institute; Bill Dwyer, New Hampshire Sate Treasurer; Beth Pearce, Vermont State Treasurer.

Earlier this month, John Nadworny attended a meeting of State Treasurers and representatives from the 6 New England states, (MA, ME, VT, CN, RI, NH) to discuss the possibility of forming a consortium to offer the ABLE account to their constituents. This meeting was a first step toward crafting a platform for regional collaboration, as the New England states with smaller populations are concerned with achieving the critical mass necessary to effectively administer a program on their own. The consortium approach involves one state taking the lead and working together with the other states to develop a program that would provide meaningful benefits to the families in their state. 

Collaboration on the ABLE account is occurring in other areas in the country as well. On June 1st, Ohio became the first state to enact their “STABLE account” program. Ohio’s national program offers benefits to individuals with disabilities in Ohio and across the country. The program allows for out of state individuals to hold accounts in Ohio for slightly higher fees without risking their eligibility for federally-funded means tested benefits. For the first time, individuals living with a disability can save more than $2,000. while maintaining their current benefits such as social security, medicaid, and other publicly funded programs. Tennessee was quick to follow Ohio’s lead on June 14th putting their own national program (ABLE TN) into place. Tennessee’s program is nearly identical with slight differences coming in it’s fee structure. Currently ABLE TN and the STABLE Account are the only two states enrolling beneficiaries, however others are expected to follow soon. Nebraska and Florida are the closest to launching programs currently, with Nebraska offering like benefits to ABLE TN and the STABLE Account, and Florida offering an in state only program.

Important disclosures:

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
Prior to investing in a ABLE account investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's ABLE program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with the ABLE account carefully before investing. The issuer's official statement contains this and other information about the investment. You can obtain an official statement from the state's ABLE program administrator. Read carefully before investing.