This month Congress passed and President Trump signed the latest COVID related relief bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The new law includes several provisions that provide potential relief for Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangement Participants. Employer Plan Sponsors are allowed, but not required, to amend their plans to permit the following:
- Carryover of unused funds from a Plan Year ending during 2020 or 2021 to the following Plan Year;
- Extend Grace Periods applicable for Plan Years ending during 2020 or 2021 to 12 months after the end of the Plan Year;
- Allow Plan Participants who cease participation in a Health FSA during calendar 2020 or 2021 the opportunity to receive reimbursements from unused benefits or contributions through the end of the plan year in which such participation ceased (including grace period if applicable);
- Increase the maximum age (by one year) for Dependent Care beneficiaries who aged out during the pandemic; and
- Prospective modifications of election amounts for Health and Dependent care FSAs for Plan Years ending in 2021.
We wanted you to be aware of the provisions outlined above in the new law as soon as possible to give you an opportunity to consider them and possibly communicate them to Plan Participants.
Any of the permissive changes listed above will require Plan Amendments (which may be completed retroactively any time during 2021) if elected. Admin America, Inc. will be following up again with customers in the coming days to provide a process for electing any of the available options.
We also would like to point out that the administration of the additional rollover amounts and grace periods will require programming changes to Admin America, Inc.’s administrative platform. Therefore, we cannot advise at this time as to when rollover amounts in excess of the previously announced limits will be available to Plan Participants via their electronic payment cards. We will provide an update on the timing of any system updates as soon as we have more information.
Thank you and Happy New Year!