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From Human Resources
May 13, 2008, Volume 54, No. 33

New Benefits Plan Year Means New Deduction Rates

With Open Enrollment receding into the rearview mirror, any benefits elections you made—or carried over—for the 2008-2009 benefits plan year will take effect on July 1, 2008. That means that the new deduction rates for your coverage will go into effect beginning with your June 2008 paychecks. The sole exception is contributions to Pre-Tax Expense Accounts, which will begin in July. You can view the current and upcoming coverage rates for medical, dental, vision and other benefits by visiting the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/Benefits. If you have questions about your benefits coverage, please contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236).

Pre-Tax Expense Account “Use It or Lose It” Deadline Approaching

As the end of the current benefits plan year approaches on June 30, it’s important for individuals with money in a Pre-Tax Expense Account to be aware of the IRS regulation known as “Use It or Lose It.” This fittingly-named provision of the laws governing Pre-Tax Expense Accounts means that if you have unused money left in your account at the end of a plan year, you will lose it.

The money you contribute to your Pre-Tax Expense Accounts can only be used to pay for eligible expenses incurred during that plan year, plus an additional 2 ½-month grace period. Penn’s plan year runs from July 1 to June 30 of each year, which means that this year’s grace period will last through September 15, 2008. You must submit your claims for eligible expenses no later than September 30 of each year. Finally, please note that you must be actively participating in the proper account when you incur an expense for it to be eligible.

Plan Year

Timeframe to Incur Expenses

Deadline to Submit Claims

July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008

July 1, 2007–September 15, 2008

September 30, 2008

July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009

July 1, 2008–September 15, 2009

September 30, 2009

Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/Benefits/PreTax for more information on the Pre-Tax Expense Accounts, including a list of eligible expenses and instructions on how to file a claim. You can also get more information from the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236).

—Division of Human Resources

Almanac - May 13, 2008, Volume 54, No. 33