529 PLANS

PA ABLE

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania ABLE Savings Program is offered through the National ABLE Alliance. The program is a tax-advantaged savings program offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to assist individuals with disabilities and their families in saving for disability-related expenses without jeopardizing their government benefits.

General

Program type:

ABLE Savings plan

How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program

Initial year of operation:

2017

State agency(ies):

PA Treasury

Program manager:

Ascensus

Manager contract term:

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Investment Manager

Underlying mutual funds at ETFs provided by BlackRock, Schwab, and Vanguard. The high yield savings account is provided by Sallie Mae. The checking account option is provided by Fifth Third Bank.

Eligibility

State residency requirements:

No

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

An account owner must be an eligible individual under Section 529A as well as a U.S. Citizen or resident alien with a SSI/TIN number and valid permanent U.S. street address.

Program restrictions:

To be eligible for an ABLE savings plan, an individual must have been diagnosed with a disability before age 26, and be eligible to receive benefits under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Individuals who are not receiving SSI and/or SSDI may still be eligible if they meet the age requirement and have been diagnosed by a licensed physician and received a letter of certification.

Contributions

Maximum contributions:

$14,000 Annual Contribution Limit

Minimum contributions:

The initial and additional contribution minimum is $25.

Investment Options

Target-Risk Options:

Select among 6 portfolio options: Aggressive Option, Moderately Aggressive Option, Growth Option, Moderate Option, Moderately Conservative Option, or Conservative Option.

Bank Money Market Investment Option:

The Checking Account Option invests 100% of its assets in FDIC-insured checking accounts held at Fifth Third Bank.

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None

Account maintenance fee:

$15 quarterly, $11.25 for those who receive account information electronically. $2 monthly, waived for those who receive account information electronically or who have an average monthly balance of $250 or more; other customary banking fees apply

Program management fees:

0.32% for all investment options

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.02% to 0.06%, depending on the selected investment option

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.34% - 0.38%, depending on the selected investment option

Fees or restrictions on the number of disbursements

None, but there is a $25 fee on all outgoing wires and overnight delivery

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:

None

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

None

State tax recapture provisions:

None

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

When withdrawn, earnings are exempt from Pennsylvania income tax if they are used for qualified disability expenses.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

When withdrawn, earnings are exempt from Pennsylvania income tax if they are used for rollovers into another state's ABLE plan or transfers to another PA ABLE account.

Medicaid eligibility

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not yet provided guidance on how account funds will be treated for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility.

Medicaid recapture provisions

Pennsylvania's Enabling Law prohibits the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the state agency responsible for administering Medical Assistance (Medicaid), from filing a claim against a PA ABLE account or its proceeds. However, federal Medicaid regulations override the state law's prohibition on filing a claim against the proceeds once they are transferred to the account owner's estate. Repayment may be postponed if the account owner is survived by a spouse or a child under the age of 21 or who has a disability.

Is there a debit card/ purchasing card available, and if so, at what cost?

Yes, a Debit Mastercard with no annual fee is available

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Qualified withdrawals may be paid directly to the account owner or to a designated third party.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

The account owner may be changed if the new account owner is an eligible individual and is a sibling of the current account owner. If the new account owner is not a sibling of the current account owner, the change will be considered a non-qualified withdrawal, any account earnings may be subject to federal and state taxes and a federal penalty and the contribution into the new account will be subject to the annual account contribution limit (currently $14,000). Additionally the amount in the account may be considered an asset of the former account owner and could impact that individual's means-tested benefits.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?

Yes

Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?

Yes

Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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Contact

Website:

Click here to visit

Email:

info@paable.gov

State News

 

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