TO: Executive Board Members/Council Leaders
FROM: Elizabeth Hough, Director of Contract Administration
DATE October 9, 2015
RE: 2016 NYS Flexible Spending Account Open Enrollment/Continuation of the DCAA Employer Contribution
The 2016 NYS Flexible Spending Program Open Enrollment Period is now open to sign up for participation in either the Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA) and/or the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA). Open enrollment will continue through midnight November 9th.
Any member interested in saving money by paying for either dependent care expenses and/or out of pocket health care expenses on a pre-tax basis in 2016 should be encouraged to enroll in the NYS Flexible Spending Program. Interested members should visit www.flexspend.ny.gov for additional information about the program and to access online enrollment.
As our members who previously enrolled in DCAA during the term of the 2011-2015 State/PEF Agreement are aware, Article 42 of the 2011-15 Agreement also provides for a small employer contribution to DCAAccounts to assist with dependent care expenses. Because the DCAA online enrolment program is not allowing PS& T Unit members to enroll for the employer contribution, we are receiving questions about whether this benefit will be available for 2016.
We have started discussions with the State concerning the absence of the employer contribution for 2016. As these discussions continue, all interested members should still be encouraged to complete enrollment in DCAA without the employer contribution. Regardless of whether the employer contribution is available, enrolling in DCAA to achieve payment of dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis will still result in significant savings for interested members. Beyond that, enrollment during the open enrollment period is the best way to protect eligibility for a possible 2016 employer contribution if such a contribution does become available as some point in 2016.