2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
March 16, 2021 - Introduced by Representatives Mursau, Jagler, Loudenbeck,
Moses, Murphy, Petryk, Rozar, Summerfield, Tauchen, Thiesfeldt, Tusler
and Wichgers, cosponsored by Senators Jacque and Ballweg. Referred to
Committee on Financial Institutions.
1An Act relating to: requiring the Department of Financial Institutions to study
2and report on establishing a section 529A ABLE savings account program.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Department of Financial Institutions to study and report
on establishing a Wisconsin qualified ABLE program under section 529A
Internal Revenue Code allowing tax-exempt accounts for qualified expenses
incurred by individuals with disabilities.
Under current federal law, states may create a qualified Achieving a Better Life
Experience program under which an individual may establish a tax-exempt savings
account to pay for qualified expenses, such as education, housing, and transportation
costs, for a beneficiary who is an individual with disabilities, as defined under federal
law. Although these accounts, commonly referred to as “ABLE accounts” or “section
529A accounts,” cannot be established under this state's law, they can be established
under another state's law, and if so established, withdrawals from these accounts for
payment of qualified disability expenses for the account beneficiary are exempt from
taxation in this state.
This bill requires DFI to conduct a study to examine the advantages and
disadvantages of the following options in establishing a Wisconsin ABLE program
for this state's residents: 1) DFI establishes and administers the ABLE program; or
2) DFI enters into an agreement with another state, or with an entity representing
an alliance of states, to establish and administer the ABLE program. The study must
include review and evaluation by DFI of certain matters, including each option's
potential costs; the impact of each option on Wisconsin residents' program choice, tax
benefits, and account fees; and ABLE programs offered by other states. DFI must
report to the legislature the results of the study, including DFI's findings and
recommendations, by approximately six months after the bill's effective date.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
(1) Support accounts for individuals with disabilities.
(a) In this subsection:
1. “ABLE program” means a qualified ABLE program under section 529A
of the 4
Internal Revenue Code.
2. “Department” means the department of financial institutions.
(b) The department shall conduct a study to examine the advantages and 7
disadvantages of the following options in establishing a Wisconsin ABLE program 8
for this state's residents:
1. The department establishes and administers the ABLE program.
2. The department enters into an agreement with another state, or with an 11
entity representing an alliance of states, to establish and administer the ABLE 12
(c) The study under par. (b) shall include review and evaluation by the 14
department of all of the following:
1. ABLE programs offered directly or indirectly by other states.
2. The account activity of this state's residents under ABLE programs offered 17
by other states in comparison with the account activity of other states' residents.
3. Potential costs of establishing a Wisconsin ABLE program under each option 19
identified in par. (b).
4. Legislative changes required in order to implement a Wisconsin ABLE 2
program under each option identified in par. (b).
5. The impact of establishing a Wisconsin ABLE program, under each option 4
identified in par. (b), on all of the following:
a. Wisconsin residents' choice of ABLE programs.
b. Tax benefits available to Wisconsin residents in connection with ABLE 7
c. Account fees imposed on Wisconsin residents in connection with ABLE 9
(d) No later than the first day of the 7th month beginning after the effective date 11
of this paragraph, the department shall complete the study under par. (b) and submit 12
a report to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature in the manner 13
provided under s. 13.172 (3). The report shall address all matters identified in pars. 14
(b) and (c) and shall include the department's findings and recommendations 15
resulting from the study.