MEFA is proud to serve as the state sponsor of Attainable, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Plan. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, enacted on December 19, 2014, permits the establishment of ABLE savings accounts under Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code. MEFA’s Attainable provides a new way of saving for the current and long-term expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities.

The Attainable Savings Plan is advantageous because it:

  • Fosters and supports the health, independence, and quality of life of individuals with disabilities
  • Offers various investment options
  • Provides federal tax benefits
  • May be used without affecting other disability-related benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (up to accounts of $100,000)
  • Professionally managed by Fidelity Investments

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  • Attainable Savings Plan accounts will not be considered when assessing SSI disability benefits eligibility (for account amounts up to $100,000), and entire account balance is disregarded in assessing eligibility for Medicaid and other federal means-tested benefits
  • Annual aggregate contributions to an account cannot exceed the federal gift tax limit ($15,000 as of 2018)
  • An account balance can grow without limit, but no additional contributions can be made that cause the balance to exceed $400,000
  • Earnings in the account are tax deferred and qualified distributions are not federally taxed
  • Qualified disability expenses are broadly defined and include those related to the beneficiary’s education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and related services, personal support services, health, and basic living expenses
  • Provided that the beneficiary is the same individual on both accounts (or one beneficiary is a family member of the other), it is now allowable to transfer funds from a 529 college savings plan into an ABLE account without incurring any tax or penalty. The funds rolled over from the 529A plan are subject to the annual contribution limit of $15,000 into an ABLE account. The rollover may originate from any state’s 529A plan.
  • ABLE account owners who meet certain criteria can receive a non-refundable Saver’s Credit on their federal taxes for contributions into an ABLE account. Individuals are eligible if they are age 18 or older, not a full-time student, and not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.
  • The ABLE to Work legislation specifies that ABLE account beneficiaries who work and earn income may now contribute over the annual limit of $15,000 into their ABLE account. The additional permissible contribution amount equals the lesser of the individual’s gross income or the amount equal to the federal poverty line set for one person, currently $12,140. This additional contribution over $15,000 is only permitted if the beneficiary is not participating in his or her employer’s work retirement plan.
  • Get all the details in our overview webinar here
  • Eligible individuals are those entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability under title II or XVI of the Social Security Act, and such blindness or disability occurred before the date on which the individual turned age 26.

    The Attainable Savings Plan does not require submission of documentation regarding the disability, but the IRS or Social Security Administration reserves the right to request this documentation and thus eligible individuals must retain proof in their personal records. Individuals saving in an Attainable account will be required to certify and attest on the Attainable account application that they meet and comply with the eligibility requirements as set forth under IRC Section 529A, including the annual re-certification requirements.

    Each beneficiary may have only one Attainable Savings Plan account, and the account owner must be the beneficiary. If necessary, a parent or other eligible representative can provide instructions relating to the account.

    It’s easy to open an Attainable Savings Plan account. To get started, visit the Fidelity Investments website. OPEN AN ACCOUNT

    We offer free Attainable seminars across the Commonwealth to local and state organizations as well as employers to spread awareness on the benefits of an ABLE account.

    To request a seminar about Attainable for your organization or group, please complete the Attainable Seminar Request Form.

  • ABLE National Resource Center
    The ABLE National Resource Center is managed by the National Disability Institute and is a resource for ABLE education. The site offers frequent webinars, overall basic information on ABLE accounts, and a state program comparison tool.
  • SSA Program Operations Manual System (POMS) for ABLE
    The Social Security Administration has substantial information on ABLE accounts and how they relate to Social Security.
  • Project Impact
    Project Impact through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission offers benefits counseling for those employed or looking for a job who receive SSI or SSDI. This service is offered in Essex, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties. Project Impact has three designated student benefits counselors who work throughout the entire state with students up to age twenty-two.
  • Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling
    If you live in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex or Worcester Counties, you may contact the UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling to receive help understanding how your wages may affect your benefits.
  • The Arc
    The Arc is a nationwide disability organization that serves those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are local chapters located throughout the Commonwealth.
  • The Arc of Massachusetts
    The Arc of Massachusetts raises awareness for programs and legislation in Massachusetts for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC)
    The MA Down Syndrome Congress offers information, networking opportunities, and events for the Down Syndrome community.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Massachusetts
    The Massachusetts chapter of NAMI offers education and support groups for both individuals and families with mental health conditions.
  • Massachusetts Office on Disability
    The MA Office on Disability advocates to advance the legal rights, accommodations, and accessibility for those with disabilities across all aspects of life.
  • IRS Publication 907
    IRS Publication 907 is published annually by the IRS and is specifically for individuals with disabilities filing tax returns.
  • Please carefully consider the Attainable Savings Plan’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information, contact Fidelity for a free Disclosure Document or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.