Commonly Used Terms

Cafeteria Plan Benefit Program

A Cafeteria Plan Benefit Program is an employer-sponsored benefit plan that allows an employee to select from a menu of available benefits, choosing those benefits that meet theemployee’s specific needs. The benefits that are chosen are then paid for through a salary reduction agreement with the employer. Salary reduction means that an employee’s salary is reduced by the amount necessary to pay for the elected benefits. The salary reduction is made before taxes are withheld from an employee’s pay enabling the employee to use “pretax” dollars to pay for certain benefits.

Dependent Care Account (DCA)

A DCA allows you to contribute a chosen amount of your pre-tax income to a designated account or accounts, from which you are reimbursed for eligible dependent care expenses. Qualifying expenses include those that enable you to attend work or school, such as pre-school tuition or payment to an eligible daycare provider.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

An FSA is a benefit provided by your employer which allows you to contribute a certain amount of your gross income to a designated account or accounts before taxes are calculated. These accounts are for unreimbursed medical expenses not covered by your insurance. You can be reimbursed throughout the plan year as you incur the expenses.

Health SavingsAccount (HSA)

Health Savings Accounts act as personal savings accounts for your medical expenses, but with significant tax advantages. An HSA allows you to contribute a chosen amount of your pre-tax income to designated accounts from which you can be reimbursed for qualifying medical expenses. The money you contribute to your HSA is yours to manage, to invest how you chose, whether in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. And, becausethe money you set aside from your pay is done so pre-tax, you can see your money in many areas, from your take-home pay to your growing investments.