The Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2021 allows eligible CSEA, UUP, and M/C employees the opportunity to exchange previously accrued vacation and/or personal leave in return for a credit to be applied toward the employee’s cost of their New York State Health Insurance on a biweekly basis. Sick leave credits cannot be exchanged under this program.
The enrollment period for the 2021 program is November 2 through November 30, 2020. In order to participate, eligible employees must file an election form by Monday, November 30, 2020 with the Benefits Office, Cleveland Hall 410. If you are participating in PEP during 2020, a new election form must be submitted if you wish to enroll in the 2021 program. For program details, select your bargaining unit:
Dependent Care Advantage Account
A grace period is now available for the 2020 plan year. The grace period provides eligible participants with an additional 2 1/2 months (January 1 to March 15) to incur dependent care expenses for reimbursement from the remaining balance of their 2020 DCAA. The last day to submit DCAA claims is March 31, 2021 for expenses incurred through March 15, 2021. The grace period will allow employees to utilize any unused amounts in their DCAA that would normally be forfeited at the end of a plan year. The grace period is applicable for the DCAA only, as long as the employee had a DCAA as of December 31, 2020.
Health Care Spending Account
A carryover is now available for the 2020 plan year. The carryover provides eligible employees to use up to $500 of monies remaining in their 2020 HCSA toward eligible expenses incurred during the 2021 calendar year. The carryover will allow employees to utilize unused amounts in their HCSA that would normally be forfeited at the end of a plan year.
Employees can check their 2020 DCAA or HCSA balances at participant.wageworks.com/nysfsa or by calling 1-800-358-7207 and use this information to help estimate any elections for 2021. The open enrollment deadline for the 2021 Flex Spending Account (FSA) is Monday, November 30, 2020 at 10:00 pm. Please visit goer.ny.gov/FSA or call 1-800-358-7202 to re-enroll.
Employees can e-mail email@example.com or call WageWorks/Health Equity at 1-800-358-7202 to learn more. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the FSA staff at 518-473-6211. State employees should call WageWorks/Health Equity.
The open enrollment for the 2021 NYS Flex Spending Account (FSA) is November 2 through November 30, 2020 at 10 p.m. The program can assist state employees in saving money to pay for necessary health or dependent care expenses because money they set aside in their accounts is not subject to federal, state, and social security taxes.
The Flex Spending Account offers three benefits:
The Health Care Spending Account allows employees to set aside from $100 to $2,750 annually in pre-tax salary to pay for eligible health-care expenses that are not reimbursed by health insurance.
The Dependent Care Advantage Account allows employees to set aside up to $5,000 annually in pre-tax salary for eligible child care, elder care, or disabled dependent care expenses. Based on salary, the employer contribution will provide up to $800 for M/C employees and those represented by CSEA, UUP, NYSCOPBA, and GSEU for the 2021 plan year.
The Adoption Advantage Account allows you to set aside up to $14,300 to pay for expenses related to the adoption of an eligible child with pre-tax dollars. This benefit is available to M/C employees and those represented by CSEA, UUP and NYSCOPBA.
Important Note: Employees who do not work for 26 consecutive pay periods should consider electing a shorter time frame for their deductions so they do not lose coverage while off the payroll. For example, faculty members who are not paid through the summer should elect to have all deductions taken in the spring semester in order to have coverage for all of 2021.
Participants currently enrolled in the Health Care Spending or Dependent Care Advantage Accounts must re-enroll to continue benefits in 2021.
Paperless enrollment is quick, easy, and secure. Program details and enrollment is available at Flex Spending Account or call the FSA hotline at 1-800-358-7202 for enrollment assistance.
The November 30, 2020, 10 p.m. deadline for 2021 enrollment will be strictly enforced.
VOYA Financial Offering December Zoom Seminars – “What’s Your Digital Game Plan for The Pandemic and Beyond?”
Voya Financial has established an in-depth learning curriculum for participants. Their weekly Zoom Workshops address the concerns of every individual—whether they are newly hired, mid-career, or nearing retirement. They provide the financial education that everyone has been looking for but could never find. You do not have to be a Voya customer to participate.
On the Move – Distribution Options, Friday December 4 - 12:00
Because your workplace retirement plan may represent a good portion of your retirement savings, it is smart to understand your options if you are considering a distribution. Whether you are changing jobs, consolidating your savings within a new plan or an IRA, or thinking about retirement, you should be aware of taxes and penalties that may be involved. This webinar will walk you through the pros and cons of each distribution option and how to keep your account working for you.
Savvy Social Security Planning, Friday December 11 - 12:00
This seminar covers the basics of Social Security and reveals innovative strategies for maximizing your benefits. Common Questions that will be answered include: I applied for early benefits and now regret the decision. Is there anything I can do? What happens if I go back to work after starting Social Security? How long do I need to be married to collect a spousal benefit? I’m divorced, can I collect social security off my ex-spouses’ record? What will happen to my survivor benefit if I remarry?
Legacy Planning for the Generations, Friday December 18 - 12:00
You will learn what happens when a legacy isn’t planned and how legacy planning can be a meaningful and even fun process! You will also learn how to plan for sudden incapacity, the importance of expressing your wishes, conveying your values and how to successfully transfer your tangible and intangible wealth. Join us to start the six-step process on leaving your mark on the next generation.
Please email Molly@TeamIFS.com to register and be sure to specify the workshop(s) you are registering for. A ZOOM ID will be provided upon registration.
The State University of New York (“SUNY”) provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan (the “Plan”). Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings through pre-tax and/or post-tax payroll deduction contributions. View the 2021 Universal Availability Notice and please contact the Employee Benefits Office 878-4821 with any questions.
Because of the COVID-19 emergency, the New York State Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) is distributing your summer member newsletter electronically.
As always, your newsletter is packed with useful information about your NYSLRS benefits. Find out about new Retirement Online features, including a pension calculator that uses your current account information, and the ability to file a retirement application online.
If you are in the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), here is your newsletter. https://osc.state.ny.us/sites/default/files/retirement/documents/pdf/2020-07/sentinel-summer-2020.pdf
If you are in the Employees' Retirement System (ERS), here is your newsletter. https://osc.state.ny.us/sites/default/files/retirement/documents/pdf/2020-07/update-summer-2020.pdf
During this time, even though you are unable to meet in person, our campus representative is available to meet with you over the phone to help with anything related to your New York State Deferred Compensation Plan Account, including:
To schedule an appointment, you may do so online via the scheduling tool or call Mark Wallace at 716-903-7253 or 614-854-4397.
To participate in a NYS Deferred Comp online workshop of your choice, enroll here.
Due to social distancing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYSTRS will not be holding group Pension & Retirement Education Program (PREP) seminars this summer or fall. However, members can now watch video versions of all PREP seminar modules online at their convenience at the Retirement Planning > Pension & Retirement Education Program.
Additionally, even though they are not holding in-person benefits consultations at this time, members can get all the important information they need in a phone consultation with one of the Retirement System representatives. Members can book an appointment through their MyNYSTRS account or by calling 1-800-348-7298.
Employees should direct any questions to WageWorks customer service at 1-800-358-7202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent Health has created a special COVID-19 Coronavirus Update section on their website for their enrollees. They are encouraging enrolled employees to create their own Independent Health member accounts so that they can receive updates about COVID-19, review their benefits and have access to key details related to their plan. They have announced that all costs will now be covered without copay for COVID-19 testing, diagnosis and treatment.
More information can be found on their website or by calling customer service at 716-631-8701.
Employees can find contact information for retirement plan providers for account assistance during the COVID-19 isolation measures. Reference information includes; participant contact centers, SUNY custom websites, virtually based meetings with an advisor, educational webinars and resources specific to current financial market information during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Empire Plan is doing all they can to support its enrollees through this unprecedented time and has introduced a new telehealth benefit to help them access health care services remotely. LiveHealth Online lets enrollees stay home and have a video visit with a board-certified doctor or licensed therapist on their smartphone, tablet or personal computer.
If enrollees are concerned about leaving their homes to receive medical care or their ability to access care, The Empire Plan will cover telehealth visits at no cost. Additional information and step-by-step instructions to register are available. Enrollees who are already registered can login to www.empireblue.com/nys to get a coupon code to cover the full cost of their LiveHealth Online visit. For additional assistance, enrollees are encouraged to call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and select option 2 for the Hospital Program. Note: A postcard regarding this new benefit will also be mailed to enrollees in the coming week.
In addition, Empire Plan has coronavirus related benefits available for their members:
For additional information regarding any of these benefits, members can contact Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP. You can also sign up for State Health Department coronavirus email updates.
Back to Top
Some content on this page is saved in PDF format. To view these files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you are having trouble reading a document, request an accessible copy of the PDF or Word Document.