April is National Financial Literacy Month, a month dedicated to educating Americans on monetary concepts and skills.
With the growth of the Enable Savings community this past year, it is important to educate everyone on the ins and outs of the plan. Attention to Enable has greatly increased with the rise of account owners, our recent partnership with Alabama, and the launch of our new Checking Investment Option. Though we’re thrilled to see more and more people become aware of Enable, with awareness comes questions. At Enable we are dedicated to not only provide education throughout Financial Literacy Month, but all the time. The Resources tab on www.enablesavings.com has many educational tools and resources at your disposal. Below are some facts worth knowing:
Fact: Enable and ABLE are not the same thing.
ABLE, or the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, was signed into law in December 2014 to allow individuals with disabilities to save for their current and future disability-related needs in a tax-exempt savings accounts. For those of you receiving resource-based benefits, a critical benefit is that you can save more than $2,000 in assets for disability-related expenses without impacting eligibility for resource-based benefits.
The Enable Savings Plan is an ABLE program available nationwide to help you meet your savings goals.
Fact: You don’t have to live in Nebraska to open an Enable account.
Though it was designed and launched in Nebraska, the Enable Savings Plan is a national plan—meaning it’s available to eligible individuals with disabilities living in any state in the United States. Accounts can be opened easily online or by filling out and mailing the enrollment form. Before investing, you should check with your home state to determine if it offers tax or other benefits for investing in its own plan.
Fact: Enable accounts do not charge high fees.
There are no fees to enroll, withdraw, change Investment Options, or to transact online. However, there is a quarterly charge per account of $11.25 ($45 annually) regardless of the number of Investment Options you select. For long-term saving, the Target-Risk and Bank Savings Investment Options have total asset-based fees ranging from 0.50 to 0.56%. To learn more about these fees, click here.
For those with immediate spending needs, the Checking Investment Option gives you the ability to write a check or use a debit card. It is interest-bearing and does not have any asset-based fees. There is no charge to receive a debit card. There are some transactional fees such as a fee to request an image of a check, or to stop payment on a transaction. To learn more about the Checking Investment Option and its fees, click here.
Fact: Save in an Enable account and keep your benefits.
Any amount of assets in an Enable account is an excluded resource for Medicaid. Also, contributions to and money taken out of an Enable Savings Plan account are not in the calculation that determines eligibility for SSI, SNAP and Medicaid.
The first $100,000 saved in an Enable account is excluded from the SSI resource limit. When an Enable account’s value exceeds $100,000, Supplemental Security Income Benefit disbursements may be suspended. However, the individual remains eligible for Medicaid.
Fact: Enable accounts are different from Special Needs Trusts.
Both Enable accounts and Special Needs Trusts (self-settled and third-party) provide individuals with disabilities a means of asset development without impacting SSI or Medicaid Benefits. However, there are several key differences:
- A lawyer or trustee has authority over trusts and controls their assets; the individual with a disability may have the ability to control an Enable account and own its assets.
- Trusts require higher fees, including legal fees to create the trust, trust administration fees and annual filing fees.
- Earnings in a trust are subject to compressed trust tax rates up to 39.6%; earnings in an Enable account are tax-free while in the account and when used for qualified disability expenses.
- Read the full list of differences here.
We hope this better explains Enable and clears up your questions! Do you have any concerns we didn’t address? Click here to contact us or give us a call at 1-844-ENABLE4 (1-844-362-2534). Our client service representatives are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., CT.
Happy Financial Literacy Month!