BOSTON — Until Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014, individuals with disabilities did not have a tax-advantaged option to help save for ongoing disability expenses while still remaining eligible for government benefits. Today, America's retirement leader, Fidelity Investments® introduced AttainableSM, a tax-advantaged ABLE savings plan available to Americans nationwide affected by disabilities1, to address this critical need. Fidelity is the first firm of its size to introduce and manage an ABLE savings plan.
"Fidelity has always been focused on putting our customers' needs first," said Keith Bernhardt, Vice President of Retirement and College Products at Fidelity. "Millions of people in this country live with a disability2, and that's not counting family members who may provide care for them. For many, this can mean additional financial challenges. The new Attainable Plan is designed to help people affected by disabilities, and their families, save in a way they couldn't before. This Plan can help them build a safe and secure financial future, with greater flexibility to address their needs."
How the Plan Works
The Attainable Savings Plan, available to individuals who have been diagnosed with a significant disability prior to the age of 26, provides an easy and accessible way to invest savings in a tax advantaged account. No federal income tax will be owed on investment earnings made in the account if the money is used to pay for qualified disability expenses. Qualified disability expenses are any expenses for the benefit of the eligible individual 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.
Saving in an Attainable Plan account also allows individuals and families to accumulate money while preserving their eligibility to receive federal government benefits. Those with disabilities often depend on a wide variety of federal benefits to help with income, health care, food and housing. While eligibility for these benefits has placed restrictions on savings in the past, money saved in an ABLE account is largely exempt from this restriction. Savings in an Attainable account does not impact Medicaid benefits, and balances below $100,000 do not impact Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Additional advantages offered by an Attainable account:
- Easy to open: Accounts can be opened with a minimum of just $50 and contributions can be made electronically online. One Attainable account is permitted per eligible individual.
- Anyone can contribute: Contributions can be made by anyone toward the annual contribution limit of $14,000 per account.
- Ready access to funds: Ability to transfer funds electronically at any time to another Fidelity account or outside bank account. Owners can also connect their account to a Fidelity Cash Management Account to help simplify managing disability related expenses with a debit card, free ATM withdrawals and free check writing.
- Opportunity to grow your savings: The Attainable Savings Plan offers a selection of eight low-cost professionally managed investment portfolios to help support differing saving and investment objectives.
- Available nationwide: Fidelity and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) are proud to offer the new Attainable Plan to eligible individuals who reside anywhere in the country.
Resources to Learn More
Fidelity offers a variety of resources to learn more about the Attainable Savings Plan and how it can benefit individuals and families affected by disabilities. Fidelity's new Viewpoints article, How special needs families can save, showcases examples of how families can use the Plan to help navigate the eligible individual's needs and plan for his or her future. Additional information about how to open and manage an Attainable account can be found online at Fidelity.com/attainable, or by calling Attainable Savings Plan Specialists at: 844-458-2253 (TTY/TTD: 800-544-0118).
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $6.0 trillion, including managed assets of $2.2 trillion as of March 31, 2017, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 26 million people invest their own life savings, 23,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 12,500 financial advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.