Back-To-School Benefits

August 23rd, 2023 | Continuum Advantage

As the new school year approaches, parents and guardians are gearing up for the familiar rhythm of classes, extracurricular activities, and back to school doctor checkups & physicals. Through regularly scheduled doctor appointments comes an opportunity to assess your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of Dependent Care FSAs and discuss other ways to leverage your employee benefits for a successful school year.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

  1. What is a Dependent Care FSA? A Dependent Care FSA is a pre-tax benefit that allows eligible employees to set aside a portion of their income to cover qualified child or dependent care expenses. This includes expenses related to childcare, before and after-school programs, summer camps, and more.

  2. Tax Savings One of the most significant advantages of a Dependent Care FSA is the potential for tax savings. By contributing to this account, you reduce your taxable income, which can result in lower overall taxes. This can lead to substantial savings, especially if you're in a higher tax bracket.

  3. Eligibility and Contribution Limits To participate in a Dependent Care FSA, you generally need to be employed and have eligible dependents, such as children under the age of 13. Employers typically set contribution limits, but the maximum allowed by the IRS for 2023 is $5,000 per household.

  4. Planning for the School Year With the new school year around the corner, a Dependent Care FSA can be a lifeline for parents juggling work and school schedules. Use this benefit to cover before and after-school care, as well as any educational programs or camps your children may attend during school breaks.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

  1. Flexible Work Arrangements Many employers now offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours. These options can be particularly beneficial during the school year, allowing you to better manage drop-offs, pick-ups, and parent-teacher conferences.

  2. Paid Time Off (PTO) Ensure you make the most of your paid time off benefits. You might need to take time off for school events, parent-teacher meetings, or simply to spend quality time with your children during school breaks.

  3. Tuition Assistance or 529 Plans Some employers provide tuition assistance for higher education or offer access to 529 college savings plans. These benefits can help you save for your child's future educational expenses.

  4. Health and Wellness Programs A healthy work-life balance is crucial, especially during the busy school year. Look into wellness programs that offer resources like gym memberships, mental health support, or stress management workshops.

As you gear up for the new school year, it's essential to take advantage of the employee benefits at your disposal. A Dependent Care FSA can alleviate the financial strain of childcare expenses, while other benefits like flexible work arrangements, paid time off, and educational assistance can help you create a well-rounded and harmonious work-life routine. By optimizing your employee benefits, you can set the stage for a successful and rewarding school year for both you and your children.