If you participate in the Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (“FSA”) as part of your employee benefits plan available through the University of Maryland, I have important information to share with you about your paycheck on 12/20/2013. The State’s Department of Budget and Management recently notified the University that there was a structural error in the FSA deductions calendar that is causing them to have to double the FSA deduction taken from the paycheck you will receive on 12/20/2013 in order to meet the target you established. This means that if, for example, you have a usual FSA deduction of $75 taken from your paycheck, the doubled deduction from your 12/20 paycheck will be $150.
Since there was not sufficient time to notify affected employees of this calendar anomaly, the University has taken a temporary measure to neutralize the impact of this double deduction. On Friday, 12/20/2013, in addition to your paycheck, there will be a special amount deposited directly into your bank account equal to the second FSA deduction that is taken from your paycheck that day. Using the example of the first paragraph, $75 would be deposited into your bank account. Since this is only intended to be a temporary offset to lessen the impact of the unplanned double deduction, the special amount deposited on 12/20 will then be deducted from your January 3, 2014 paycheck, when no FSA deduction is scheduled to be taken.
There is a very small number of employees at College Park for whom we are unable to create a direct-deposit for this special amount. If you are one of these people, we have created an actual “hard check” for you in the amount of the second deduction. That check will be available to you on Friday and will be bundled with the regular paycheck you receive from your departmental payroll representative.
While this has been an incredibly challenging matter to resolve in a very short period of time, we believe this is the best possible solution for ALL of the 1,600 affected employees at the University of Maryland, College Park. I ask you to please check your email again on Thursday morning in the very unlikely event that our plan for addressing this issue has to be modified. In that case, the “worst-case scenario” would be that you would receive a hard check on Friday from your departmental payroll administrator for the amount of the second FSA deduction.
If you have any questions on this matter, please contact the UHR Office of Employee Benefits at 301.405.5654, or Payroll Services at 301.405.5665 during the University’s regular business hours. We wish you the best this holiday season.
David R. Rieger
Assistant Director for Benefits
Last updated: January 27, 2014