FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COALITION OF EMPLOYER, FINANCIAL AND DISABILITY GROUPS ENDORSES NEW LEGISLATION TO PROMOTE ABLE ACCOUNTS IN THE WORKPLACE
Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2021) – Led by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), a diverse coalition of organizations representing employers, financial companies and disability advocates today announced their support for bipartisan legislation to promote ABLE Accounts for workers with disabilities. The groups said in a letter to the sponsors that the so-called ABLE Employment Flexibility Act (HR4672) will eliminate an important barrier to employer-provided savings for employees with disabilities.
The letter was signed by the National Down Syndrome Society, Autism Speaks, National Federation of the Blind, Fragile X Foundation, Voya Financial, Transamerica, American Benefits Council, Securities Industry and Financial Market Association and the CEO Commission for Disability Employment.
“We want to commend Reps. Suozzi and Wenstrup for introducing this bipartisan legislation, which supports competitive employment opportunities by giving employers more flexibility to compensate employees with disabilities in the same way they compensate all other employees,” said NDSS Government Relations Director Ashley Helsing.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 allows qualified beneficiaries with disabilities to save up to $15,000 a year in a 529A savings account for the purpose of supporting and maintaining their health, independence and quality of life, and those funds generally are excluded from the asset limitations of federal benefit programs. The ABLE Act, as amended by the ABLE to Work Act of 2017, also allows an employed ABLE beneficiary who does not have contributions made to an employer-provided defined contribution plan to contribute an additional amount above the current $15,000 limit, up to the Federal poverty line for a one-person household (currently $12,880).
The ABLE Employment Flexibility Act would allow ABLE-eligible workers to permit an employer to make contributions to a 529A account in lieu of contributions to the employer’s defined contribution plan. The legislation provides bright-line authority to employers to offer the choice to employees with disabilities without jeopardizing the tax-qualified status of a retirement plan.
The text of the Coalition letter can be found at www.ndss.org/able-employment-flexibility-act-letter/.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities. Founded in 1979, NDSS supports and advocates for the Down syndrome community by focusing on three key areas of programming: Resources & Support, Policy & Advocacy and Community Engagement. Within these focus areas NDSS engages in various activities, events and programs such as the National Advocacy & Policy Center, which seeks to create systemic change through engaged advocacy; the National Buddy Walk® Program, which honors and celebrates individuals with Down syndrome in local communities across the world, and other initiatives that provide support, informational resources and community engagement opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and those who support them. Visit www.ndss.org for more information about NDSS.