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Top 25 Ways to Save with Pre-tax Benefits

ways to save with pre-tax benefits
Benefit Resource has been in business for 25 years because of our wonderful clients and participants. As a thank you and to give back, we’re sharing 25 ways to save with pre-tax benefits.
When it comes to claims, receipts and substantiation…
  1. Always keep your receipts. It’s better to have a receipt and not need it than to need it and not have it. If you’re submitting a receipt, know what to include with it to ensure it’s accepted.
  2. Review your plan highlights for information about substantiation and your company’s run-out. To access your plan documents, just log in to to your account at BRiWeb and go to Documents section.
  3. Check out the new BRiWeb. We launched a rewrite on January 24, so checking your plan highlights is the perfect excuse to visit and become acquainted with the new site. If needed, you can register and create a new login.
  4. Download the app, BRiMobile. Once you download the app, you can set up notifications to be texted to your phone or sent to your email to keep tabs on your account, such as when deposits or withdrawals are made and more.
  5. Mark the “YES” box under Pay from Prior PY when you submit a claim. Otherwise, you’ll end up using current plan year dollars when you could have been spending down last year’s remaining funds. See number 21 for more information about Extended Grace Periods and rollovers.
  6. Sign your claim form. Unfortunately, if your claim sign isn’t formed, we can’t process it because you haven’t authorized us to proceed with the reimbursement process. Want your reimbursement sooner? File your claim online via the employee portal (BRiWeb) or via the BRiMobile app. It’s secure and fast.
When it comes to your Commuter Benefit Plan…
  1.  Use autoload! It means you don’t have to worry about reloading your card, pass, etc. every week or month. Learn more at our Commuter Resource Center…
  2. Visit the new Commuter Resource Center. We are adding new cities as well as information on the growing list of locations where Lyft and Uber are available.
  3. Parking Account Funds Transit Account Funds. Since the accounts are separate, you are not able to transfer funds from one account to the other.
  4. Don’t freak out at the end of the year- your CBP funds rollover! If you have $2,000 sitting in your account on December 31, 2018, no worries. It’ll roll into 2019.
  5. Opt to have after-tax funds withheld to total the full expense (if your employer allows this as an option.) Best Practice: Set your monthly election to equal your total monthly expense. If your monthly commuting expenses exceed the pre-tax maximum, the difference will be deducted from payroll on an after-tax basis. This will allow the full amount to be loaded to your card and available for use.
  6. Increase your election to $260 for the account(s) you have. It’s the new maximum election for 2018.
When it comes to your Health Savings Account…
  1. Get one if you don’t have one. No qualifying life events required.
  2. Change your election. There may be some administrative restrictions from your employer regarding how often you can change your election, but there are no IRS restrictions.
  3. Increase your election. The new contribution limit is $6,850 for a family and $3,450 for an individual.
  4. Sign up for BRiAlerts so you can see card purchases and denials, deposits, and more.
  5. Go paperless. Avoid the fees associated with paper statements. Switch to e-statements.
When it comes to your Flexible Spending Account…
  1. Spend it. It’s in the name.
  2. Re-assess your expected medical expenses for the year and determine what months you may need more money. It’s early enough in the year to assess in the year so make sure you’re on track to have the money you’ll need when you need it.
  3. Visit the FSAStore and buy yourself some goodies for your birthday. You deserve it.
  4. Know your run-out period. Some plans offer an Extended Grace Period and other plans have a rollover option. However, you can’t have both an EGP and a rollover. Look to your FSA plan documentation to learn which option your plan offers.
When it comes to your card…
  1. Make purchases at an IIAS Merchant or 90% Merchant. Not sure what an IIAS Merchant or 90% Merchant is? Read up on it here.
  2. Understand substantiation requests and what prompts them to be generated. We’ll also have an upcoming post on this. Remember to visit our blog for more information.
  3. Ask, don’t assume. You know what happens when you assume… Especially before making a purchase with your card that turns out to be ineligible.
  4. Check the FAQs. If there’s more you’d like to know about, reviews the FAQ section. If you still have questions, reach out to our Participant Services team Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm.

Thank you again for the last 25 years of business. We hope you found these 25 ways to save with pre-tax benefits helpful. We’re looking forward to the next 25 years and hope you are too. As we move into February, be sure to check back for a post on pretax acronyms and jargon to know.