For immediate information on STABLE Kentucky, visit http://stablekentucky.com.
In December 2016, the Office of Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball began offering State Treasurer ABLE accounts in Kentucky, or STABLE Kentucky accounts. The initiative is a partnership with Ohio’s STABLE Accounts, an initiative launched by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel in the summer of 2016.
STABLE Kentucky Accounts are possible through the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”) Act passed by Congress in 2014. STABLE Accounts allow individuals with disabilities the opportunity to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid, SSI, or SSDI. Earnings in STABLE Kentucky Accounts are not subject to federal income tax, so long as funds are spent on qualified disability expenses.
STABLE Kentucky Accounts have similar features to normal bank accounts, but are also investment accounts, similar to 529 college savings accounts or 401(k) retirement accounts. When a participant deposits money into their STABLE Kentucky Account, the money can be invested in different options chosen by the participants. While participants can still withdraw and spend money as needed, a STABLE Kentucky Account also allows money to grow and save long-term for disability expenses.
These tax-advantaged savings accounts allow families to set aside money to use on qualified expenses such as education, healthcare, housing, and transportation. Earnings and distributions from a STABLE Kentucky Account for qualified disability expenses do not count as taxable income of the contributor or eligible beneficiary at the federal level.
There are minimal costs associated with maintaining a STABLE Kentucky Account. Kentucky residents with an account will pay $5 a month ($60 annually) for maintenance. Account holders will also have a small asset-based fee.
On April 5, 2016, Governor Bevin signed into law SB 179, which gave the Treasurer the opportunity to determine the best way to bring ABLE Accounts to the most Kentuckians. As a result of Kentucky’s partnership with Ohio, the program comes at zero cost to Kentucky taxpayers to administer it.