Lancaster, PA - Treasurer Stacy Garrity visited VisionCorps in Lancaster County today as part of a statewide tour to celebrate the PA ABLE Savings Program surpassing $100 million in assets. PA ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are a tax-free way for Pennsylvanians with disabilities, and their families, to save without affecting eligibility for important benefits. VisionCorps empowers individuals who are blind or experiencing vision loss to attain independence through rehabilitation and recreational services.
George Tobler, VP of Quality Assurance and AbilityOne Contracting, and Chris Ament, VP of Rehabilitation and Education led the tour of the manufacturing facility, which produces various helmet pad sets for the U.S. military, specifically the Army and the Marine Corps. The pads are rated for blunt impact levels of protection, and VisionCorps produces the ECH (enhanced combat helmet), ACH (advanced combat helmet), and IHPS (integrated head protection system) pad sets.
“VisionCorps does tremendous work to help our military – and also to improve the lives of people with vision impairments. They help provide independence and opportunity in so many ways, which is also the goal of PA ABLE. I encourage everyone who has a family member or friend living with a disability to learn about what PA ABLE can do for them.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity
“We appreciate the opportunity to show State Treasurer Garrity the work we do at VisionCorps. We are proud of our employees who are blind and vision impaired and their interest in working every day to lead independent lives. PA ABLE is another opportunity to give our employees and any individuals with disabilities the chance to save and invest for their future.”
President & CEO of VisionCorps Dennis Steiner
States were authorized to create ABLE programs with the passage of federal ABLE legislation in 2014. PA ABLE was enacted in 2016 with leadership from Senator Lisa Baker; the first PA ABLE account was opened the following year. Since then, the program has grown to more than 8,400 accounts with more than $110 million saved. Assets have nearly tripled over the last three years.
“Crossing the $100 million investment threshold is testament to the importance the ABLE program has for so many Pennsylvania families. This is a very positive example of the good that can result when officials from both parties come together to develop practical and sensible solutions to the real problems and challenges residents face in our communities every day.”
Senator Lisa Baker (R-20)
Treasurer Garrity emphasized the broad, bipartisan support that ABLE has always enjoyed and highlighted the fact that Pennsylvania played a key role in creating it.
“Something we should all be proud of is the fact that ABLE has strong – and very bipartisan roots – right here in Pennsylvania. U.S. Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, championed the federal ABLE law, which was signed into law in December 2014. And Senator Baker and former Rep. Bernie O’Neill, both Republicans, championed PA ABLE, which was signed into law in April 2016.”
Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity
“For years, millions of people with disabilities in this country were barred from saving for the future, which meant many people couldn’t save for a home, purchase needed assistive technology, or save for an accessible car. That is why I worked to create ABLE, to knock down a barrier that people with disabilities face as they work to improve their lives. Nine years later, the program has become a lifeline for thousands of people with disabilities across the nation, with $100 million saved in Pennsylvania alone. I am grateful to everyone who worked to make this program a reality, and proud of what we’ve accomplished for Pennsylvanians and Americans with disabilities.”
U.S. Senator Bob Casey
Since 2017, Pennsylvanians have contributed $133.7 million to PA ABLE accounts, and more than $37.6 million has been withdrawn for disability-related expenses, like groceries, rent, healthcare, transportation, and longer-term expenses including education and assistive technology.
In 2023 alone, PA ABLE account owners contributed $32.5 million, while $11.9 million was withdrawn – and 1,817 new PA ABLE accounts were opened.
“I commend Treasurer Garrity and Pennsylvania Treasury for hitting the $100 million milestone in ABLE savings. The ABLE program is an important tool to promote financial empowerment and community inclusion for people with disabilities. The growth of this program has a tangible positive impact on peoples’ lives, and Treasurer Garrity’s leadership on this topic in Pennsylvania and nationally is greatly appreciated.”
Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) Shaun M. Snyder
PA ABLE offers seven different savings and investment options, including a checking account. PA ABLE account owners can contribute up to $18,000 per year. Contributions can be deducted from PA state income taxes, and PA ABLE account owners pay no federal or state income tax on account growth when used for qualified withdrawals.
PA ABLE is the largest program in the 19-member National ABLE Alliance, accounting for more than 25% of total Alliance assets.
Since taking office, Treasurer Garrity has reduced fees three times for PA ABLE account owners. She is the inaugural chair of the National ABLE Savings Plans Network, a part of NAST.
Treasurer Garrity was a strong advocate for the federal ABLE Age Adjustment Act, championed by Senator Casey and supported by virtually the entire Pennsylvania congressional delegation, which became law in 2022. Currently, to be eligible to save with an ABLE program, a person’s disability must be onset prior to their 26th birthday. With the new law, starting in 2026, this age restriction will rise to 46 – expanding eligibility to millions more Americans, including one million veterans.
Samantha Heckel, Press Secretary (Treasury), 717-418-0206 or email@example.com
Carol Gifford, Community Relations and Public Affairs Manager (VisionCorps), 215-872-9239 or firstname.lastname@example.org