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CalABLE is offered by The California Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act Board. Assets in CalABLE are held in the CalABLE ABLE Program Trust for which the Board serves as the trustee. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing serves as program manager. The plan offers three target risk investment options and one FDIC-Insured portfolio.

  • Program typeABLE Savings Plan
  • Investment Manager
  • Inception2018
  • State agency
    The California ABLE Act Board
  • Program Manager
    TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc
  • Manager contract termUNLOCK PRO


State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

An eligible individual may open an account for himself or herself. He or she must: (1) Be a U.S. citizen or an individual residing in the United States; (2) Be 18 years of age or older with the legal capacity to contract; (3) Have a Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number; and (4) Have a U.S. permanent address that is not a Post Office Box.

Program restrictions:

An account may be opened by or on behalf of any person who is eligible under Section 529A. An individual is an eligible for a taxable year if, during that year, either: (a) The individual is entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act ("Social Security Disability Eligibility"); or (b) The individual has a disability certification meeting specified requirements ("Certification Eligibility"). In all cases, the blindness or disability must have occurred before the individual's 26th birthday.

Did you know?

  • The plan can be used to pay for qualified disability expenses.

    This can include education, job training and support, healthcare and financial management.

  • Savings in an ABLE account will not impact eligibility to receive government benefits.

    The first $100,000 is exempt from the Supplemental Security Income limit, and beneficiaries will continue to receive Medicaid regardless of account size.

  • Residents are not limited to investing in their own state's ABLE plan.

    Another state may offer a plan with better suited investment options, lower fees or preferred features.

  • Visit this plan's website to learn more


Maximum contributions:

Annual contribution limit is currently $15,000 from all sources. If the beneficiary works, the beneficiary can also contribute part, or all, of their income to their ABLE account. This additional contribution is limited to the poverty-line amount for a one-person household. For 2018, this amount is $12,140. The designated beneficiary is not, however, eligible to make this additional contribution if their employer contributes to a workplace retirement plan on their behalf.

Account balance limit of up to $529,000 per account owner. Assets can grow beyond $529,000.

Minimum contributions:

An initial contribution of $25 is required to open an account. The minimum amount for subsequent contributions is $25.

Investment Options

Target-Risk Options:

Select among 3 investment options: Aggressive Growth, Moderate, and Conservative.

Bank Money Market Investment / Checking Option:

Account assets in the FDIC-Insured Portfolio are 100% invested in an interest-bearing custodial account at TIAA Bank, a division of TIAA, FSB and an affiliate of the program manager.

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Account maintenance fee:

$37 annually; a pro-rated portion is deducted proportionately from each investment option in which an account is invested on a monthly basis. Accounts that elect to receive CalABLE documents by mail will be subject to an annual $10 Print and Paper Mail Delivery Fee.

Program management fees:

State administrative fee of 0.44%; temporarily waived for the FDIC-Insured Portfolio

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.08% to 0.10%; none for the FDIC-Insured Portfolio

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0% - 0.54%, depending on investment options chosen.

Fees or restrictions on the number of disbursements

None., Withdrawals may be made at any time and for any reason, but there may be adverse tax and government benefit consequences associated with non-qualified withdrawals.

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:


State tax recapture provisions:


State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

The earnings portion of qualified withdrawals will not be included in taxable income for California state tax purposes.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

An incoming rollover from a Section 529 Plan account to an ABLE account may be subject to California income tax. Qualified withdrawals and outgoing rollovers are not subject to California income tax.

Medicaid eligibility

The Federal ABLE Act requires that account balances may not be taken into account in determining the beneficiary's eligibility to receive benefits under Medicaid/Medi-Cal, and that balances of up to $100,000 will not be taken into account for purposes of determining the beneficiary's eligibility to receive benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program or any California state or local means-tested program.

Medicaid recapture provisions

Under Section 529A, following the death of the account owner, any state may be required to 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 (in California, Medi-Cal) after the establishment of the account (or any ABLE account from which amounts were rolled over or transferred to the current account). The amount paid in satisfaction of such a claim is not a taxable distribution from the account.

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


Statutory protection of an account from creditors:


Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Only the beneficiary or an authorized legal representative may direct withdrawals from an account.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

A change in the account owner of an account is treated as an outgoing rollover, not a non-qualified withdrawal, if the new account owner is a sibling of the former account owner and an eEligible individual. However, if the new account owner is not an eligible individual and a sibling of the former account owner, the change is treated as a non-qualified withdrawal by the former account owner. A change in the account owner or a transfer to an account for the new account owner may have federal gift tax or Generation-Skipping Transfer (GST) tax consequences.

The beneficiary for an account may be changed without tax consequences only if the new beneficiary is a sibling of the current beneficiary and is otherwise an eligible individual. A change of beneficiary to a person other than a sibling who is also an eligible individual would be a non-qualified withdrawal subject to federal and state taxation and could adversely affect the beneficiary's eligibility for federal and state benefits.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


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