WSYX ABC Columbus: Union County company to make 'groundbreaking' contribution to disabled workers
WSYX ABC Columbus
By Mike McCarty
December 21, 2017
MARYSVILLE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) —
UCO Industries in Union County is preparing to make what one Ohio official describes as unprecedented contributions to saving accounts for disabled workers.
Starting January 1, 2018, the Marysville non-profit corporation is set to begin putting money in disabled employees' STABLE accounts, CEO Dave Amerine said.
"We want to create an opportunity where people are comfortable," Amerine said. "We want to make sure they the opportunity to save for their future, and the introduction of the STABLE accounts solves a long-standing problem in a country."
The accounts allow disabled workers and family members to invest money tax-free to pay for qualifying expenses, including housing, school, transportation, and more. STABLE funds do not affect eligibility for government assistance programs, such as medicaid or social security.
Ohio became the first state to launch the accounts in 2016, following the passage of the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which passed in 2014.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel said UCO Industries is the first company nationwide preparing to contribute to the STABLE accounts, if an employee chooses to enroll. STABLE accounts are administered through Mandel's office.
"It's really groundbreaking," Mandel said. "They're pioneering what they're doing here, and I'm hopeful that they'll set the example for other businesses here in Central Ohio, across the state, and the country."
UCO Industries, which provides light assembly, warehousing, and document shredding services, currently employees more than 130 workers, including more than 70 with developmental disabilities, Amerine said.
Amerine said the STABLE accounts also now allow the corporation to invest in long-term savings for all employees.
"We don't do something unless we can do it for everyone," Amerine said. " For our employees with a developmental disability if they choose to participate, UCO will contribute an additional 4% of their earnings into their STABLE account. For our employees without a developmental disability if they choose to participate, UCO will match up to 4% into their 401(k) account."
Amerine said UCO is planning to contribute to the STABLE account even if a participating disabled workers does not invest his or her own money.
Employe Jessie Steinmetz. said she was excited about new opportunity.
"My favorite part about working here is earning a paycheck," Steinmetz, 29, said. "One day I want to build a house right next to my mom and my dad's house."
Steinmetz's mom said Jessie has "pervasive developmental disabilities" and the STABLE account contributions have the potential to be life changing.
"Just like us, we're able to save for our retirement, for our future," Fran Steinmetz said. "This gives (Jessie) the opportunity to do that."
Overall, 5,017 STABLE accounts have been opened as of December 2017, according to the Ohio Treasurer's office.
Additional information about the STABLE program is available by calling 1-800-439-1653 and an eligibility quiz is available online.