By Mary Anne Busse
Managing Director, Great Disclosure LLC
August 13, 2015

Last week, representatives from 35 states, the District of Columbia and 19 private sector firms gathered in Chicago to discuss the most effective ways to implement Achieving a Better Life Experience programs (ABLE programs). The two day Forum, hosted by Illinois State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs, was an overwhelming success!  State agencies and disability experts are working together to ensure that, when opened, ABLE programs across the country will offer easily accessible and cost-effective investment choices for participants.

ABLE programs are authorized under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act). ABLE accounts are designed to ease the financial burden for individuals with disabilities by creating tax-advantaged accounts that can be used to save for qualified disability-related expenses.

ABLE programs will be administered by states.  Any earnings in ABLE accounts will grow tax deferred and any distributions will be treated for federal tax purposes the same way as distributions are treated for 529 college savings programs.  In particular, distributions, if used for qualified expenses, are made tax free.

CSPN and the National Association of State Treasurers will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to develop ABLE programs across the country.  The first programs are expected to be open sometime in 2016.

About the Author
Mary Anne Busse is the Managing Director of Great Disclosure LLC, a full service consulting firm dedicated to the 529 Plan marketplace.  Great Disclosure represents 529 Plan administrators on all aspects of 529 Plan administration, marketing, and operations.  Ms. Busse also serves as coordinator of the CSPN ABLE Implementation Task Force.