CalABLE is a savings and investment plan offered by the state of California to individuals with disabilities.
Eligible individuals, family, friends and employers can contribute up to $15,000 a year without affecting the account beneficiary's public disability benefits. CalABLE account owners who work can contribute even more to their accounts. Best of all, earnings on qualified withdrawals from a CalABLE account are federal and California state tax-free.
CalABLE: Key facts
- Earnings in a CalABLE account receive federal and California state tax-free treatment.
- Withdrawals for qualified expenses are also tax-free.
- Up to $15,000 a year can be deposited into a CalABLE account without affecting the beneficiary's public disability benefits.
- Account owners/beneficiaries who are employed can contribute additional amounts above the $15,000 annual limit. For example, in 2018, eligible working individuals living in the 48 contiguous United States can contribute an amount equal to their current year gross income up to an additional $12,060.
- If you receive SSI benefits, you can save as much as $100,000 in your account with no effect on federal and California state benefits.
- California residents with a CalABLE account are protected from both creditors and repayment of medical assistance. Medi-Cal is prohibited from filing a claim to recover any payments after a beneficiary has died, giving individuals the full opportunity to leave a legacy for loved ones. Families can transfer money from a 529 College Savings Plan to an ABLE account (provided the transfer does not exceed the $15,000 maximum annual contribution).
- An annual fee of $37 per year is deducted in monthly installments from each CalABLE account. There are also low fees on the underlying investment options plus a state administrative fee. Additional fees apply if you choose not to use certain online features, such as receiving paper statements.
CalABLE is California's ABLE Plan, but any eligible individual in the U.S. may open a CalABLE account.
CalABLE: How it works
Open an account
The account opening process is all online. When you open your account, you will be asked to create your own user name and password. You will enter basic information, such as your name, address and birthdate. (If you are a parent or other legal representative opening an account for someone else, you will need to enter your information plus the beneficiary's information.) Be sure to have bank account information available so that arrangements can be made to transfer funds back and forth. A few questions will be asked regarding the ABLE beneficiary's disability in order to confirm their eligibility to open an account.
Select your investment or savings options
Once you have entered your information, you will make your initial contribution, with a minimum of $25, and choose your saving and investment option(s) from among the four choices below:
FDIC-Insured Portfolio - Seeks a stable, conservative return by investing in a low risk, interest bearing deposit account.
- Conservative Portfolio - Seeks a conservative to moderate long-term total return by investing primarily in bond funds, with smaller allocations to stock funds and a funding agreement. The funding agreement is an insurance product that guarantees a minimum interest rate.
- Moderate Portfolio - Seeks a moderate long-term total return by investing in stock funds, bond funds, and a funding agreement. The funding agreement is an insurance product that guarantees a minimum interest rate.
- Aggressive Growth Portfolio - Seeks aggressive growth and long-term total returns by investing primarily in stock funds.
Withdraw money when needed.
Just log into your account and request a withdrawal amount. The withdrawal can be sent to your bank electronically or you can request a paper check for a small fee.
Add money anytime.
Log into your account online to transfer money from your bank account at any time. Or mail in a check to the Plan using the address below. The minimum contribution amount is $25.
P.O. Box 44309
Jacksonville, FL 32231
About CalABLE's program manager
TIAA Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) is the program manager for CalABLE. TFI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TIAA, a diversified Fortune 100 financial services organization. TIAA was established 100 years ago to help ensure teachers could retire with dignity. Today, millions of people rely on TIAA's wide range of financial products and services to achieve financial security.
Meet the CalABLE Team
Dante Allen is responsible for directing the launch and operations of CalABLE. Prior to joining CalABLE, Mr. Allen had a leadership role with the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity where he developed communications strategies to promote the concepts related to the social determinants of health.
Carrie Fisher Stone
Deputy Executive Director
Since 2016, Carrie Fisher Stone has supported the implementation and administration of CalABLE. She also develops and oversees outreach strategy and communications.