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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 21, 2016 02:19 PM
From: Representative Bernie O'Neill
To: All House members
Subject: Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Account Legislation
In the near future I will be re-introducing Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account legislation that will allow the state Treasury to administer a tax-free savings account for individuals with disabilities to assist in covering qualified expenses including education, housing and transportation. This new ABLE legislation is the product of lengthy discussions and input from interested parties, and contains agreed to language. Significantly, this bill adds necessary accountability measures for the aggrieved parties of a terminated account.

Existing law makes savings for disability-related expenses difficult, as individuals and families can face the loss of federal benefits if savings exceed certain limits. This ABLE account legislation is intended to supplement not supplant benefits provided to individuals with disabilities, and provide a mechanism for their families to prepare for their long term care. It will allow for an account to be established that is similar to a PA 529 account and will follow all of the requirements and regulations of a traditional 529 qualified tuition program account. The funds that are contributed to this new account may only be utilized for qualified disability expenses as established by statute.

I believe that this legislation will allow the Commonwealth to provide an additional tool to those who are planning for the future of an individual with disabilities.

If you have any questions on this legislation, please contact Jeannie Dougherty in my Harrisburg office at 705-7170 or by e-mailing jdougher@pahousegop.com.

Thank you for your consideration and support of this very important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1829