The Dependent Care Assistance Plan is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulated benefit that allows employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket expenses for the care of your child(ren) from the age of birth up to age 13, an incapacitated spouse or dependent parent. Contributions to the Dependent Care Plan are "use it or lose it".
Saint Louis University's Dependent Care administrator ConnectYourCare is available to assist employees by calling 888-339-3819, or after registering on their website www.connectyourcare.com.
The ConnectYourCare Enrollment Guide contains valuable information that includes specific advantages of the benefit beginning on page 2, accessing funds through reimbursement requests (claims) and additional rules and regulations.
New employees wishing to enroll must complete their elections using the New Hire Menu found in Banner Self-Service within 31 days of their full time date of hire. Otherwise, enrollment during the plan year is permitted during the annual Open Enrollment period each November also using Banner Self-Service.
Employees can elect or change the benefit within 31 days of a life change such as dependent birth/adoption by using the below linked enrollment form.
Only during Open Enrollment and life changes can employees make changes to their Dependent Care election.
Per IRS mandates, employees wishing to participate in a Dependent Care Assistance Plan on an annual basis must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment.
Employees may elect up to an IRS maximum of $5,000 per calendar year (married persons filing separate returns would be limited to $2,500 each). It is important to make sure that plan year expenses for dependent care will equal or exceed the amount of benefit that is elected. Useful tools to estimate expenses can be found in the ConnectYourCare Enrollment Guide.
Using the Dependent Care Assistance Plan
Participation in a Dependent Care Assistance Plan will reduce your taxable income. Since this is a pre-tax benefit, your income is reduced prior to social security (FICA), Federal, State, and City taxes being assessed.
Dependent Care expenses may not be reimbursed until after the service has been provided. In addition, reimbursements may not be made until after the election has been deposited via payroll deduction.
Dependent Care Account Claim Reimbursement Process
Plan participants have through December 31 of the current calendar year to incur expenses. Claims must be submitted by March 31 of the following year for reimbursement.
IRS tax regulations require that any unused benefit at the end of the plan year (December 31) allowable claim period be forfeited.
However, reimbursement claims for expenses incurred during a calendar plan year can be submitted until March 31 of the following year (example: "Employee A" can submit a claim to ConnectYourCare on 1/5/2017 for an expense incurred on 12/5/2016). Funds not reimbursed by March 31 are lost to the participant.