As an employer, compensation plays a significant role in talent acquisition and retention programs. It’s not uncommon though, for the overwhelmed new hire to gloss over some of the secondary benefits at their disposal, during their onboarding phase. Enrolling and understanding how to use Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) for example, can easily get lost in the shuffle.
FSA programs are becoming commonplace in HR. As the future of healthcare coverage continues to be cause for debate, programs such as Flex Spending Accounts are giving employees the peace-of-mind to know that funds are available for unplanned expenses. However, many employees are unfamiliar with the program, miss the opportunity to contribute when first hired, or consider the program too complex to manage on their own. Employers can take a few simple steps to promote the program and engage their team to take full advantage of their FSA.
- Communication: The onboarding process is a whirlwind for a new hire. Completing required HR information can result in FSA elections being pushed off to a later date, without fully understanding what an employee may be giving up the first year. It’s important that HR conveys the benefits of the FSA program during these first few days to ensure they understand the significance of a Flexible Spending Account and the tax-free benefits as part of their overall compensation package.
- Education: The contribution to a FSA may be direct from a paycheck, but the comprehension behind what and how to use it is often where employees get confused. Offering an At-a-Glance guide can help staff fully appreciate the ease and advantages of using a FSA. A piece may include eligibility, define qualifying life-events for modifications, keeping track of receipts for reimbursement, and simple account management tips.
- Reinforcement: Aimed at employee retention, it’s not uncommon for staff to have life-events during their tenure impact their FSA. Marriages, births, adoptions, changes in dependents – there can be any number of reasons enrollment and elections may need to change. Updates and expansions of program services are also cause for reinforcement. Communication is key to keeping a FSA program top of mind. Employees will appreciate the reminder and benefit more from the opportunity to modify their elections.
- Self-Management: Today’s workforce is more independent and reliant on self-service HR resources. Having an online system to manage a FSA program will allow employees to login and check the status of reimbursement, and empower your team to control income allocation with 24/7, on-demand access to personal account information.
Flex Spending Accounts are powerful resources for both company and employee. As more hires look for supplemental or alternative benefits to round out compensation packages, FSAs are being initiated and integrated into HCM solutions. Payroll Data’s comprehensive platform includes a flexible benefits management system that makes FSA program administration a cinch. With self-service features for employees, and rapid reporting for employers, our system is built with the individual users in mind.
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