Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133)(the “Act”) (here), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, new relief is available for employees who participate in health care flexible spending accounts and dependent care flexible spending accounts (“FSAs”). While the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued limited relief for FSA participants in 2020 (here), that guidance only expanded opportunities to make mid-year elections. It did not address the desire of so many employees to extend access to their unspent FSA balances beyond the 2020 plan year.
The changes under the Act are intended specifically to address this concern. Importantly, the changes are optional. Employers who implement these changes will likely experience higher costs due to reduced forfeitures and changes in plan administration. Additionally, changes to health FSAa could adversely affect the participant’s eligibility to contribute (or receive contributions) to a health savings account. Below is a summary of the changes affecting FSAs: