Medical Flexible Spending Account
The MEDFLEX allows State of Connecticut Employees to pay for medical and dental care expenses not covered under the State’s healthcare plan on a pre-tax basis. Expenses may be reimbursed for the employee, their spouse and their IRS eligible dependents. For Plan Year 2016, contribution limits are between $520 and $2550. The amount chosen will be deducted evenly from the employee’s paycheck. Unused funds over $500 that have not been claimed for eligible expenses by March 31 of next year will be forfeited.
MEDFLEX Employees are entitled to enroll in the MEDFLEX during one of the following periods:
- The annual open enrollment period;
- Within thirty-one days of the hire date; and
- Within thirty-one days of a change in family status which makes the employee eligible to participate.
Once enrolled, changes in elections are allowed only under the following circumstances:
- Participant terminates employment;
- Participant experiences a family status change that affects benefits eligibility, such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse or dependent, birth or adoption of a child, changes in spouse’s employment status.
Progressive Benefit Solutions (PBS) is the program’s administrative services provider. Benefit questions relating to the MEDFLEX may be directed to PBS at 1-866-906-8023.
Enrollment Form, Claim Form and Eligible Expenses Lists are available at the OSC web site:
http://www.osc.state.ct.us/empret/medflex/index.html or the PBS web site at www.ctpbs.com.
Dependent Care Assistance Program
The Dependent Care Assistant Program (DCAP) is a flexible spending account (FSA) that offers significant tax advantages by allowing employees to pay qualified dependent care expenses with pre-tax earnings. An Employee may contribute up to $5,000 of his/her salary to the DCAP ($2,500 if married and filing separately). If the employee is married, his/her spouse must also work, be a full-time student, or be disabled. All monies in your DCAP account that are not spent by the end of the Plan Year (December 31st) will be forfeited unless you make a claim for reimbursement no later than March 31st of next year.
Qualified dependents include Children under the age of 13, whom you are entitled to claim as dependents on your federal income tax return; and/or a disabled spouse or other disabled dependent who spends at least eight hours a day in your home.
Qualified dependent care expenses include:
- Care at licensed nursery schools, day camps (not overnight camps) and child care centers providing day care.
- Services from individuals – other than you or your spouse’s dependent or children under age 19 who provide care in or outside your home.
- Household services related to the care of your qualified dependent provided by a care provider who is responsible for the care of your qualified dependent
Progressive Benefit Solutions (PBS) is the program’s third party administrator. Its contact number is 1-866-906-8023.
Employees can enroll in the program during the annual open enrollment period or within 31 days of a qualifying family status changes. Current participants are required to re-enroll each year to keep participation in the program.
Certain employees (not including part time lecturers and university assistants) are eligible for basic term life insurance by payroll deduction. The maximum is $38,000 for all collective bargaining employees. For an employee not included in any collective bargaining unit contract, the maximum amount of coverage available is approximately $3,500 more than his/her annual salary, up to $85,000.The coverage automatically increases as salary increases. The State of Connecticut shares the cost of this group term insurance. The employee contributes 20 cents bi-weekly for each $1,000 of insurance. If the employee enrolls during your first six (6) months of employment, coverage is guaranteed. Proof of insurability is required to enroll after that time.
Supplemental Life Insurance
Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, which allows for supplemental life insurance coverage, or employees exempt from collective bargaining with a yearly gross compensation of $45,500 or more may buy additional coverage up to a maximum of $50,000. Generally, eligibility for supplemental insurance requires participation in the basic life insurance plan. The actual cost of the Supplemental Life Insurance coverage is fully borne by the employee.
An employee who terminates active work for any reason should contact the Employee Benefits Unit of the Office of the State Comptroller, to determine what arrangements, if any can be made to continue the insurance in force or to exercise any rights under the group policy when insurance terminates.
Term Life Insurance
Available to full-time active employees, retirees, spouses and children interested in supplementing their life insurance coverage (employee/retiree must participate in the State’s Basic Group Life Insurance Program).
Universal Life Insurance
VOYA Universal Life Insurance
Available to full-time, active employees working 17.5 or more hours per week, spouses, children and grandchildren (grandchildren who are residents of New York and under the age of 14 ½ are not eligible) interested in supplementing their life insurance coverage offered on a qualified issue basis. (Participation in the State’s Basic Group Life Insurance Program is not required).
Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
All State employees have the option of deferring a portion of their income by payroll deduction. The primary purpose of a DCP is to allow the employee to set aside a portion of salary for retirement. Federal or state income taxes are not paid on these deferrals until they are withdrawn. Interest and dividends are also not taxed as they accumulate. To participate in the plan, an employee must agree to defer a minimum amount of $20 per pay period. An upper limit is set on such deferred earnings by Title 26, Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides that the maximum amount which may be deferred under the plan for the taxable year shall not exceed the lesser of (i) the Applicable Dollar Amount, or (ii) the Participant’s Includible Compensation for the calendar year. The applicable dollar limit is $18,000 for 2015. A participant who will attain age 50 or older by the end of the calendar year is permitted to elect an additional amount of deferrals. The maximum dollar amount of the Age 50 Catch-up Contributions for 2015 is $6,000. A Special Catch-up is available during the three years prior to your normal retirement age. You cannot elect both catch-up provisions during the same calendar year. The 457 Special Catch-up is not available to 403(b) plan participants. The total deferral limit including 457 Special Catch-up is $36,000 in 2015. Contributions can be taken out of the Plan when the employee retires, leaves State employment, or in some emergency financial situations. A Plan participant may elect to use any portion of his or her account balance in the Plan to purchase past service credit in SERS or TRS without resulting taxable income.For more information on deferring compensation, please visit the following websites.
Tax Sheltered Annuities (403b)
The State of Connecticut 403(b) Plan is a voluntary program that allows an eligible employee to make tax-deferred contributions into a custodial account. Any university employee, other than a non-resident alien, aged 18 or over is eligible to participate in the Plan.
The contributions are invested in the investment options selected by the employee. The contributions and any earnings that accumulate over the years are not taxed until they are distributed. Distribution events include retirement, severance from employment, death, disability, and financial hardship. A Roth 403(b) option is available to employees who want to make contributions on an after-tax basis now and take tax-free distribution later. Employees can choose to contribute to both the pre-tax 403(b) Plan and the Roth 403(b) Plan. The aggregate contributes cannot exceed the annual deferral limit, which is $18,000 in 2015, or $24,000 if you are eligible for Age 50+ Catch-up contributions. The minimum amount of contributions is $200.
Funds in the 403(b) Plan can be used to buy back service credit in SERS or TRS without resulting taxable income. However, funds in Roth 403(b) cannot be transferred to SERS or TRS.
Employee Assistance Program
ECSU recognizes that each employee is a valuable asset to the university. The employee Assistance Program is provided to employees and their families for free. EAP provides confidential counseling on just about any kind of concern you have, including stress, Anxiety, depression, divorce, substance abuses, debt problems, and compulsive gambling. It can be utilized through in-person or telephone counseling. For information or an appointment, please call 1-800-526-3485, or access the web site at http://www.solutions-eap.com.
Credit Union Services
The Connecticut State Employees Credit Union is a cooperative thrift and loan association, which provides savings and checking accounts, money market certificates, and loans. The credit union also provides home equity loans, money orders, traveler’s checks, and Individual Retirement Accounts.
The Connecticut State Employees Credit Union is open to all employees and retirees. To join, employees fill out a payroll deduction authorization or make deposits by mail or in person. CSE Credit Union locations: Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, Newington, Norwich, Southbury and Storrs.
You can check the State Comptroller’s web site at http://www.osc.ct.gov/benefits/docs/Employee%20Handbook_0413.pdf for more information on supplemental benefits, including:
- Short Term Disability
- Long Term Disability
- Auto & Homeowner’s Insurance
- Long Term Care Insurance