For additional information and answers about ABLE accounts, please visit the website of the ABLE National Resource Center.
Using your account
Things to know about your Attainable Savings PlanSM
What are the tax benefits of having an Attainable Savings PlanSM account?
The tax benefits may be significant. When you contribute money to an Attainable account, the money is invested in investment portfolios and may grow over time. No federal income tax will be owed on withdrawals, including any earnings, if the money is used for qualified disability expenses.
Are contributions federally tax deductible?
No, contributions are not federally tax deductible.
Is there a state tax deduction for my Attainable Savings PlanSM contributions?
Massachusetts does not currently offer a state tax deduction for contributions to an ABLE plan. If you reside in a state other than Massachusetts, the state may offer tax deductions or other tax benefits for its specific ABLE plan or for contributions to any ABLE plan (such as the Attainable plan). Be sure to check with your tax advisor.
Disability Benefit Considerations
Can money in my Attainable account impact my Social Security benefits?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has provided general guidance on this topic. The money in your Attainable account will not usually impact your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits; however, any account balance over $100,000 will be counted as a resource of the designated beneficiary and could result in the suspension of your SSI benefits. For more information on withdrawals, please see the FAQ If I make a withdrawal from my Attainable account, do I need to spend the money right away so as not to impact Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits? Also, for more detailed information, please review the Attainable Disclosure Document (PDF).
Can money in my ABLE account impact my Medicaid benefits?
Medicaid benefits are not impacted by money invested in an Attainable account, regardless of balance level. Please refer to the Attainable Disclosure Document (PDF) for a more detailed discussion related to Medicaid benefits or contact your home state's benefits agency to get information on your specific situation.
What about other disability benefit programs; can my Attainable account balance impact my benefits from them?
The Social Security Administration has provided general guidance on the impact an Attainable account may have on eligibility for a designated beneficiary or eligible individual for other disability benefit programs. Please see the Attainable Disclosure Document (PDF) for specific details. Also, for more information on your state's disability programs, please contact your state benefits agency or a qualified benefits advisor.
What is the Medicaid Recapture provision?
Upon the death of the account owner/beneficiary, any state may file a claim against unexpended amounts in an Attainable account. For example, the claim could be for the amount of total Medicaid assistance paid out for the account owner's benefit after the establishment of the Attainable Savings PlanSM account. Payments for all outstanding qualified disability expenses, including funeral expenses, are paid before any such Medicaid claim. Also, the amount payable is reduced by the amount of all premiums paid by or on behalf of the account owner/beneficiary to a Medicaid Buy-In program under that state's Medicaid plan. Check with a qualified legal advisor to determine your state's Medicaid policies and procedures.
Eligibility and Account Registration
Do I need to provide proof of disability?
The Attainable Savings PlanSM doesn't require you to submit documentation regarding the disability, but the IRS or Social Security Administration reserves the right to request this documentation and thus you must retain proof in your personal records. You will be required to certify and attest on the Attainable account application that you meet and comply with the eligibility requirements as set forth under IRC Section 529A, including the annual recertification requirements.
If the account is for a child, or someone who is otherwise unable to manage the account, who is the account owner?
In all circumstances, the eligible individual, also known as the designated beneficiary, is the account owner. A person with signature authority (PSA) can establish and control an ABLE account for a designated beneficiary who is a minor child, is otherwise incapable or has chosen not to manage the account. The PSA must be the designated beneficiary's parent, legal guardian, or agent acting under Power of Attorney (POA). The PSA has full control and authority over the account and must use the account for the benefit of the designated beneficiary. If the PSA is a guardian or has POA, additional documentation will be required to be submitted at account opening. If there is a PSA on the account, the designated beneficiary/eligible individual cannot act on the account.
Can I have more than one ABLE account; for example, an Attainable account as well as an ABLE account with a different state plan?
No, an eligible individual may only have one ABLE account, such as the Attainable Savings PlanSM. However, if you are the parent, guardian, or Power of Attorney (POA) of more than one qualified individual, each of them would be eligible for a separate ABLE account.
Do I need to be a resident of a certain state to open an Attainable account?
No. While the Attainable Savings PlanSM is offered by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) and is the Massachusetts ABLE Plan, the Attainable Plan is offered to any eligible U.S. resident regardless of state of residence. The Attainable Plan does not charge different fees and expenses based on state of residence.
The qualified ABLE programs offered by your home state may offer its residents or taxpayers state tax advantages or other benefits. Additionally, some states offer residents state tax incentives for investing in any qualified ABLE program. You should consider the state tax advantages and benefits offered by your home state, including those available for investing in your home state's qualified ABLE program, before making an investment in the Attainable Plan.
Limits on the account
How much money can be contributed to an ABLE account?
Annual contributions may not exceed the federal gift tax exclusion limit, which is $14,000 as of 2017. An existing account balance can grow without limitation, but you can't make additional contributions once the account balance reaches $400,000 (as of 2017). Fidelity automatically prevents excess contributions from being accepted.
How often can I change my investments?
You may reallocate previously invested money among portfolios in your Attainable account twice per calendar year and upon changing the account owner (See our FAQ Can I transfer my Attainable account to another person?). You may direct future contributions to different portfolios at any time. To make an investment exchange, you can call a representative or complete and mail a form.
Is there a minimum balance or minimum amount to open an Attainable account?
You may open an Attainable account with as little as a $50 deposit. You must maintain at least $30 in the account. We reserve the right to close accounts with balances below this level and disburse any remaining balance to the account owner.
Spending from an Attainable account
What are "qualified disability expenses"?
Qualified disability expenses are any expenses for the benefit of the account owner in maintaining or improving his or her health, independence, or quality of life. These expenses include, but are not limited to, education, housing, transportation, employment, training and support, assistive technologies and related services, personal support services, or health and basic living expenses.
Do I have to prove I spent the money on a qualified expense?
No explanation is needed to withdraw money from your Attainable account. However, the IRS may ask you to verify that the money was used for a qualified expense, so you should keep records detailing how you’re spending that money.
What if I do not spend the withdrawal on a qualified disability expense?
This would be considered a non-qualified withdrawal, and taxes, as well as a potential 10% federal penalty tax, may be owed on earnings associated with the withdrawal. Non-qualified withdrawals may also impact disability benefits.
If I make a withdrawal from my Attainable account, do I need to spend the money right away so as not to impact Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?
The Social Security Administration has stated that for many qualified disability expenses, you don't need to spend the money in the same month in which you withdraw it from your Attainable account. If you choose to do that, you must maintain the Attainable account while the withdrawal is not spent, be able to identify the money, and intend to use the money for a qualified disability expense.
However, for housing related expenses, you must spend the money on the housing expense in the same calendar month in which you withdraw it from your Attainable account. If these conditions aren't met, the withdrawal may be counted as a resource and could impact SSI benefits.
After the money has been withdrawn (but before it's spent), you can maintain the money in separate account such as a personal checking account or a Fidelity Cash Management Account.
Fidelity Cash Management Account
How could I use a Fidelity Cash Management Account with my Attainable Savings PlanSM?
Consider opening a Fidelity Cash Management Account to use with your Attainable account. You can transfer money online to your Fidelity Cash Management Account and use all of its features to manage your qualified disability expenses. Visit this page for more information about Fidelity Cash Management Accounts. Once you transfer money from your Attainable account to a cash management account (as with a personal bank account), it's no longer part of the Attainable plan.
What features does a Fidelity Cash Management Account provide that I may find useful?
Transferring funds to your Fidelity Cash Management Account is the fastest way to get access to money invested in an Attainable account. Withdrawals from an Attainable account made prior to market close will be available in your cash management account the following day. Transfers to an outside bank may take an extra day or two. You can transfer money from your Attainable account to your Fidelity Cash Management Account online.
- A debit card is available to make purchases and access to cash easier.
- ATM-fee reimbursement
- No annual debit card fee
- Receive text alerts for debit card purchases
- Leverage payment services such as ApplePay®
- Joint account ownership is an option
- Leverage Fidelity's BillPay® service
- Checkwriting with no additional fees
- Works with third-party services as well as Fidelity Full View® to track and categorize expenditures
- Monthly statements showing expenditures and deposits
- A debit card is available to make purchases and access to cash easier.
Account maintenance and transfers
If the eligible individual is not permanently disabled, does the disability need to be recertified?
If the account owner is not permanently disabled, federal law requires that they submit an annual recertification to the Attainable Plan stating that he or she continues to meet the eligible criteria required to own an Attainable account. You will be notified separately about how to recertify online.
How do I transfer my ABLE account from another plan to the Attainable plan?
While you can only have one ABLE account per eligible individual, you can move the assets in one ABLE plan to another one with no tax consequences. You would first open the new Attainable account and then transfer the assets to move the money from your old ABLE account to your Attainable account. Per federal law, you may rollover assets in an ABLE account once per 12 months for the same designated beneficiary/eligible individual.
Can I transfer my Attainable account to another person?
Yes, you may transfer all or part of the money from your Attainable account to another person's ABLE account, with no tax consequences, provided that person is eligible for an ABLE account and is a sibling to the original account owner. This includes brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, and half-sister.
What happens when the account owner turns 18?
If you have been managing your child's account or if you are the person with signature authority (PSA) on an account, you can choose to turn it over to the account owner if that step is appropriate for your situation.
What happens if the account owner passes away?
If the account owner passes away, the remaining assets in the account are passed on to the owner's estate.
The Attainable Savings Plan is offered by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority and managed by Fidelity Investments.
Qualified ABLE Programs offered by other states may provide state tax benefits to their residents or taxpayers that are not available through the Attainable Savings Plan. If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, you should consider whether your home state offers its residents or taxpayers state tax advantages or benefits for investing in your home state's qualified ABLE program before making an investment in the Attainable Savings Plan.
Units of the portfolios are municipal fund securities and are subject to market fluctuation and volatility. You may have a gain or loss when you sell your units.
Please carefully consider the Attainable Savings Plan's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information, contact Fidelity for a free Disclosure Document or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.