HCS/SS/SCS/SB 174 - This act creates the "Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience Program." Under this act, a participant may make tax-deductible contributions to an account established for the purpose of financing the qualified disability expenses of a designated beneficiary. Designated beneficiaries are persons who are eligible individuals which are entitled to benefits based on disability or blindness under the Social Security Act and such blindness or disability occurred prior to turning 26. Persons who are certified as disabled also qualify as eligible individuals. "Eligible individual" and "designated beneficiary" are both defined by reference to federal law.
The act creates the Missouri ABLE Board which is charged with establishing and administering the ABLE program. The Board is given power and authority similar to that delegated to the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program Board.
The act permits the Board to enter into participation agreements with participants on behalf of designated beneficiaries which are similar to those participation agreements entered into under the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program.
The act permits participants to cancel a participation agreement at any time. However, the assets distributed upon cancellation will be subject to a penalty equal to or greater than ten percent of the earnings of the account if the distributions do not meet the requirements set forth in the act.
The act exempts from taxation the assets of any ABLE account and any income therefrom. Participants may deduct up to $8,000 per participant ($16,000 if married filing jointly) from their adjusted gross income. The maximum annual and aggregate contribution amounts that can be contributed to an ABLE account shall be the same as the amount permitted by federal law.
The act requires the Director of Investment of the State Treasurer's Office to conduct a semiannual review of the program and report his or her findings to the Board.