A provision of a major federal legislation enacted last month allows those with dependent care flexible savings accounts (FSA) to increase their pre-tax contributions.
The American Rescue Plan Act allows for a contribution maximum of $10,500 for single individuals or married couples filing jointly—an increase of $5,500 over the existing limit. Those looking to take advantage of this expansion can participate in a special enrollment period May 3–14. This special May enrollment period is the only time you can take advantage of the entire $5,500 limit expansion.
Dependent care FSA choices typically cannot be changed once they’ve been established for the benefit year, except in the case of a significant life event or change in employment status. However, this special May enrollment period is being made possible through the American Rescue Act.
Those who would like to make changes to their dependent care FSA choices can access the Special Enrollment form on the university’s Human Resources website now through May 14. Once complete, the form should be emailed as an attachment to AskHR@case.edu, faxed to 216.368.3582, or dropped off in person at the HR Service Center in Crawford Hall, Room 320.
These changes can only be made prospectively—no retroactive changes are allowed. In addition, changes must follow “safe harbor” provisions—the maximum monthly contribution must be no more than 1/12 of the annual maximum. To contribute the entire $5,500 limit expansion, you must enter a new annual election of $10,500 (unless married filing separately, when the amount is $5,250) on the form during the Special Enrollment period May 3-14. Finally, employees who participate in this option should be aware that any amounts remaining in the account after Dec. 31, 2021, cannot be used during the typical 2022 grace period.
Email AskHR@case.edu with questions.