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Members can elect to alter contributions to FSA Plan due to COVID-19

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, July 1 — The Cooperating Rail Labor Organizations (CRLO) has announced an important, one-time change to the Railroad Employees National Health Flexible Spending Account Plan (“FSA Plan”), which is a negotiated benefit obtained in the 2012 National Agreement. Effective July 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, members may make a one-time election to change the annual FSA Plan contribution for the 2020 FSA Plan year. This one-time election is intended to provide relief to FSA Plan participants who have incurred lower than expected health costs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Members can use this one-time election to increase or decrease their annual FSA Plan contribution. An election to increase the FSA Plan contribution is subject to IRS limitations (i.e., total 2020 contributions cannot exceed $2,750). If members make an election to decrease their annual FSA Plan contribution, then they cannot elect a new annual contribution amount that is less than the greater of (1) the amount you have already contributed in 2020 and (2) the amount of reimbursements you have received in 2020.

This pertains to locomotive engineers and Tex-Mex train service employees covered by the Health & Welfare portion of the National Agreement, dated January 5, 2012, that are currently an enrolled participate in the FSA Plan. This would also apply to BLET members subject to the September 16, 2011 UTU National Agreement who are currently an eligible participant in the Health FSA program provided for in that Agreement.

The National FSA is distinct and separate from the on-property BNSF FSA Plan and while that Plan could also later incorporate this same change, as of this writing we are not aware that this change has been adopted as part of the BNSF FSA Plan, so this would not currently apply to that population.

If you wish to make a one-time election change, please contact Railroad Enrollment Services at (800) 753-2692. Your election change will be effective as soon as administratively practicable.

Members should expect to receive a letter at their homes explaining this one-time change. A PDF of that letter is available here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
bentley@ble-t.org

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