If you’re a UHD employee, you know just how important Annual Benefits Open Enrollment is each year. It’s your chance to make changes to several benefits offered through the University without having a qualifying event. It is also the time of year to find out what modifications will affect those plans in the upcoming year.
This year, in addition to insurance changes, UHD’s TexFlex Flexible Spending Accounts and certain retirement benefits incurred significant adjustments.
TexFlex Flexible Spending Accounts
Whether braces are in your future or your toddler starts day care this fall, Flexible spending accounts are a smart way to pay for those expenses tax free.
If you signed up or renewed your TexFlex account during open enrollment, you will see several changes to those accounts compared to Plan Year 2014.
Updates to Plan Year 2015 TexFlex accounts include:
- The ability to carry over $500 in a health care account to the next plan year.
- No annual administrative fee of $12 on any TexFlex account thanks to an administrative fee holiday.
- More flexibility. Now account holders can decrease contributions to their accounts with certain qualifying events, such as divorce.
- No more grace period for health care accounts. The grace period still applies to Plan Year 2014 TexFlex Health Care Accounts.
If you had a TexFlex account during Plan Year 2014 and did not change or cancel the account, you were automatically re-enrolled at the same contribution amount as Plan Year 2014.
It is important to remember that currently UHD employees are allowed to contribute as much as $2,500 a year to a TexFlex Health Care Account to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance, co-payments, non-covered dental expenses, glasses, contacts, and much more.
Also, a TexFlex Day Care Account can be used for daycare expenses for children under age 13, before-and after-school care, summer day camp and adult day care for qualifying individuals. The yearly maximum contribution to a TexFlex Day Care Account is $5,000.
For more information about TexFlex Flexible Spending Accounts go to www.texas.payflex.com.
This year, the Texas Legislature made significant changes to some of UHD’s retirement benefits. These changes become effective August 31, 2014 and include the following provisions:
- Mandatory member retirement contributions are changing from 6.4% to 6.7% starting on September 1, 2014. The state contribution of 6.8% stays the same. (For future increases, click here.)
- Employees with less than 5 years of Group Benefits Program (GBP) service must now have at least 10 years of service before they qualify for a partial retirement health benefit contribution. (Click here to see changes.)
- UHD employees (those with less than 5 years of GBP service on August 31, 2014) only qualify for 100% retirement health benefit coverage once they complete 20 years of service.
- The retirement age is 62 for all non-vested employees. Vested members are grandfathered into the previous requirements.
- If a non-vested member retires before age 62, there will be a 5% reduction per year prior to age 62.
This story is the second of a two-part series on Plan Year 2015 Annual Benefits Enrollment. Last week we reviewed group health, dental and optional insurance changes. Click here to read last week’s story and learn about the changes.