Could saving for retirement impact my benefits if I have a disability?

The short answer is, yes. Oregon workers may choose to invest in both a retirement savings account (like OregonSaves) and an Oregon ABLE savings account, but ABLE accounts were designed to have unique protections not found with other types of savings and investment accounts. The money saved in an ABLE account does not count against asset limits that could impact your eligibility for state or federal benefits. Money in retirement savings accounts does count against asset limits and may impact your eligibility for state or federal benefits.

It is important for ABLE savers to know that many Oregon workers may already be participating in the state’s auto-enrollment retirement savings program, OregonSaves. This workplace retirement program provides a simple, portable, low-cost way for workers to invest in their futures. Building toward a secure retirement is a worthy financial goal, but, as noted above, participating in a workplace retirement plan such as OregonSaves may impact access to services and benefits for ABLE savers.

As with other retirement accounts, money saved in an OregonSaves account does count against asset limits. If you are an Oregon ABLE saver and are concerned about asset limits, you have the option to move the money invested in your OregonSaves account to your Oregon ABLE account. An individual experiencing a disability is considered exempt and would not be liable to pay a 10% penalty tax on early distributions for any earnings that have accrued, however, we advise you to speak with a financial advisor to understand any potential tax consequences.