A week ago, I was expecting a $650 windfall by exploiting some benefit enrollment loopholes associated with my wife's recent employment (see Year-End Tax Stunt). Unfortunately, I was outbeat by certain terms in the Plan. The $650 benefit is now reduced to $75.
After we elected to deduct the jaw-dropping $1,666.67 every pay period in the remaining three pay periods, my wife received a call from the benefits department pointing her to Plan documents that include this paragraph:
"If you are a newly-hired employee, or a newly-enrolled FSA participant, services eligible for reimbursement must take place on or after the day you click the Accept & Save button in the benefits enrollment tool. If you are enrolling in an FSA during the open enrollment period, services eligible for reimbursement must take place during the plan year of participation."
The good part is: we will be able to reduce the enrollment amount so we will not have unused balance by the end of the year. Our new election is a total of $940 for the rest of the year -- the exact amount of my kid's monthly tuition.
The benefit? It is $940 * (28% - 20%) = $75.20 now. It is no longer a windfall, but it is still nice to enjoy a few free meals.