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Flexible Spending Accounts

Purpose: To provide eligible employees with the opportunity to realize tax savings through pre-tax spending accounts.

Policy Statement: Staff who work at least 20 hours per week on a regular (not temporary) basis faculty with at least .50 FTE are eligible to enroll in the flexible spending account plan sponsored by the College. Adjunct faculty with at least .5 FTE are also eligible to enroll in the flexible spending account plan.

The flexible spending accounts allow participants to make pre-tax contributions to accounts used to pay for eligible health, dependent care, and group insurance premium expenses. Participants are subject to eligibility rules and receive benefits as outlined in the plan document, which may be amended during the plan year or as IRS regulations change.

Procedures:

1. Upon hire, benefit eligible faculty and staff will receive a benefits summary containing information about the flexible spending accounts,, the applicable enrollment deadline, and information on how to get assistance.

2. New employees will be provided with an opportunity to attend a benefits orientation session in which the flexible spending accounts, enrollment procedures, deadlines, and other related information will be presented. Enrollment forms will be provided.

3. Correctly completed enrollment materials must be turned in to the Office of Human Resources within 31 days of date of hire. Deductions will begin from first applicable paycheck, provided that payroll deadlines have been met. If the 31-day deadline is missed, the only other opportunity to enroll is during the annual open enrollment period unless there is a qualifying event. Open enrollment elections take effect on April 1.

4. Participants must re-enroll for Health Care and Dependent Care Spending Accounts each year by completing a new enrollment form during the annual open enrollment period; contribution amounts may be changed at that time. Employees will be notified of the annual open enrollment period. Employees who anticipate being absent during the open enrollment period are advised to contact Human Resources no later than February 15 to request open enrollment materials.

5. Once open enrollment ends, contributions cannot be changed except in specific situations outlined by IRS regulations and the plan document. Further, medical or dependent care spending account balances not spent by the end of the plan year will be forfeited. Participants are strongly advised to consider plan restrictions, as well as tax implications, before enrolling.

6. Plan participants who take an unpaid leave of absence or who work less than 12 months per year may not make contributions during months in which they are not paid unless allowed by the plan document.

7. Participation in the Personal Choice Account will terminate when the employee ceases to be eligible per the Plan Document guidelines.

8. When coverage ends due to employment termination or loss of eligibility, participation may be continued as provided by COBRA on an after-tax contribution basis. Refer to the Personal Choice Account Summary Plan Description and Personal Choice Account for further information.

Approved by the President's Cabinet, June 24, 1992.
Revised on November 11, 2004.
Revised on June 4, 2008.

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