ABLE Program Update

The federal ABLE (“Achieving a Better Life Experience”) Program, signed into law in December, 2014, was created to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities. The Texas ABLE program, enacted a year later and administered by the Texas Comptroller’s Office, is not yet open for enrollment, but the Texas Comptroller announced on February 16, 2018, that significant progress had been made on implementing the program. The program manager is completing the marketing, enrollment, and record-keeping websites and developing program material. No date has yet been announced as to when the Texas program will be open for enrollment.

In the meantime, however, eligible Texas residents can open an account in any state with an active ABLE program that accepts out-of-state residents. Over twenty states currently have active ABLE programs, and most of those programs will accept Texas residents.

Of further note, there have been some recent changes to ABLE programs. The annual contribution limit to ABLE accounts has been increased from $14,000 to $15,000, effective January 1, 2018, and the recently enacted federal tax reform legislation has introduced additional enhancements to ABLE programs (dealing with the aggregate contribution limits to ABLE accounts, and permissible rollovers from a Section 529 account).


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