New savings initiative for disabled individuals

 

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REGION – Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce announced that Vermonters who experience a disability will soon be able to save money in a federally tax-advantaged VT-ABLE savings plan, making Vermont one of only a handful of states to offer a plan since President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law in December 2014.

“I am excited to announce that we have reached an agreement to launch Vermont’s ABLE savings plan for Vermonters who experience a disability,” said Treasurer Pearce. “Once launched in early 2017, these accounts will allow eligible Vermonters to save adequate money for future needs in federal tax-deferred accounts. Previously, individuals with a disability were often precluded from saving by federal benefit cliffs. This federally tax-deferred plan will permit individuals to save for their future needs.”

VT-ABLE will allow eligible Vermonters to receive preferred federal tax treatment as they save for disability related expenses like housing, transportation, employment training, and other important needs. VT-ABLE participants will be able contribute up to $14,000 annually – greatly improving the savings options for Vermonters who experience a disability.

“ABLE programs meet several needs. Parents and other relatives want a flexible, low cost way to put aside money for the future of a family member with a disability. Working adults with disabilities want to keep what they earn without frequent adjustments to benefits like Social Security. We should all learn the importance of saving,” said Kirsten Murphy, Executive Director of the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council.

VT-ABLE will be administered through a partnership with the Ohio State Treasurer’s Office.

Tim Lueders-Dumont, Policy Director for the Vermont Treasurer’s Office noted the hard work that stakeholders put into making the best decision for Vermonters in need: “We looked at a range of options before entering into a partnership with the Ohio State Treasurer’s Office.”

“I’d like to thank Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and his staff for the collaborative spirit they have brought to developing VT-ABLE,” said Treasurer Pearce. “We are confident we are building a savings product that will allow Vermonters to save more dollars and take control of their lives.”

VT-ABLE will allow Vermonters to enroll in a savings plan through a secure web portal. A range of saving plans will be available to eligible Vermonters, with user-friendly functionality to allow online electronic funds transfers, easy withdrawals, and a debit card. The goal of the system is to maximize ease of use for VT-ABLE plan participants.

It is expected that VT-ABLE will be launched and made available to Vermonters in the first quarter of 2017. With any questions regarding the program please contact Tim Lueders-Dumont, Policy Director in the Treasurer’s Office at 802-828-1451 or at treasurers.office@vermont.gov.

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