529 PLANS

LA ABLE

Louisiana

The Louisiana Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Account Program allows individuals and families to save private funds to support persons with disabilities in endeavors to maintain health, independence, and quality of life.

General

Program type:

ABLE Savings plan

How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program

Initial year of operation:

2017

State agency(ies):

Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority (LATTA)

Program manager:

Louisiana Tuition Trust Authority and Louisiana State Treasurer

Manager contract term:

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Investment Manager

The Vanguard Group

Eligibility

State residency requirements:

Yes

Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

Louisiana ABLE Accounts are available to eligible U.S. citizens and legal residents of the State of Louisiana with a valid Social Security number.

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:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Louisiana's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $500,000.

Minimum contributions:

An initial deposit is not required to open an ABLE Account; however, a deposit of $10 must be made within 180 days from the date on the letter of notification of approval of the account.

Investment Options

Target-Risk Options:

Select among six Vanguard fund options.

Bank Money Market Investment / Checking Option:

Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:

None

Account maintenance fee:

None

Program management fees:

None

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.07% to 0.15%. The “Underlying Fund Expenses" are not charged directly to ABLE Accounts; however, the fee is deducted from the total funds invested in this equity investment and reduces the value of the ABLE Program units owned by the account owner.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.13% to 0.15%

Fees or restrictions on the number of disbursements

Disbursements may be requested no more than twice per month and shall not be for an amount less than $200 unless the total LA ABLE Account balance is less than $200 and the intent is to close the account.

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:

None

State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

None

State tax recapture provisions:

Earnings credited to a LA ABLE Account that are subsequently refunded by LATTA are taxable for Louisiana state income tax purposes.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

If a withdrawal is taken from an Account to pay for qualified disability expenses, the account owner generally does not have to include as income any earnings attributable to that withdrawal for the applicable taxable year if the total withdrawals for that year are less than or equal to the total withdrawals for qualified disability expenses for that year.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Louisiana follows federal tax-free treatment, though tax-free rollovers are restricted to once per 12-month period.

Medicaid eligibility

The Louisiana ABLE Act provides the current value of a LA ABLE Account, and any contributions to or distributions from a LA ABLE Account shall be disregarded for the purpose of determining eligibility to receive, or the amount of, any assistance or benefit authorized to be provided to or for the benefit of a designated beneficiary by a means-tested federal assistance program during any period during which the beneficiary maintains, makes contributions to, or receives distributions from an ABLE account. As long as the balance in an account does not meet or exceed $100,000, the funds will not be not be counted as a resource for purposes of determining eligibility for SSI. In addition, if an account does meet or exceed $100,000, SSI will only be suspended; it will not be permanently canceled. Once the balance in the account goes below this $100,000 threshold, the SSI benefits can be reinstated.

Medicaid recapture provisions

Under Section 529A, following the death of the account owner, any state may file a claim against the account owner or the account itself for the amount of the total medical assistance paid for the account owner under the state's Medicaid plan after the establishment of the account (or any ABLE account from which amounts were rolled or transferred to the current account). The amount paid in satisfaction of such a claim is not a taxable withdrawal from the account. Further, the amount is to be paid only after the payment of all outstanding payments due for the qualified disability expenses of the account owner and is to be reduced by the amount of all premiums paid by or on behalf of the account owner to a Medicaid Buy-In program under that state's Medicaid plan. Procedures for filing claims may vary from state to state. Authorized individuals and executors and administrators should consider seeking legal counsel on the applicability of, and any available exceptions to, Medicaid recapture under applicable state law and regulation.

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

Not at this time.

Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

A qualified withdrawal will be distributed to the account owner and sent to the address on the account or a third party designated by the account owner.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Generally non-transferable, except in the event of an account rollover.

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

Telephone:

800-259-5626

Email:

laable@la.gov

State News

 

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