ECFC Surveys

Results of March 2015 FSA Carryover Survey

Over the years, employers and employees alike have cited ‘use or lose’ as the main reason why people don’t enroll in FSAs.  On behalf of our members, the ECFC waged an intense campaign to revise the ‘use or lose’ attribute and, as you know, in October 2013 the rule was revised to allow employers the option to offer a carryover of up to $500 of unused funds. 
In March 2015, ECFC conducted a member survey as a follow-up to the ECFC December 2014 survey to better understand how the implementation of the carryover rule impacted FSA enrollment. Surveys were sent to 118 ECFC members and we had a 31% response rate.  With the results in, we wanted to take this opportunity to share our findings.

Key Findings
- Offering the carryover option is perceived as increasing FSA value to employers AND employees
- The majority of the responders offered the carryover option to their employers
- The majority of the responders felt the carryover option resulted in increased enrollment rates

Survey Details

To gain some insight into how the carryover option impacted FSA enrollment, we asked members whether or not they saw a change in FSA participation after employers implemented the carryover. Of respondents who felt they had enough information to answer this question, about 73% reported that they saw an increase in FSA participation after employers switched to the carryover, while 27% did not notice a change. We also asked members to rate how much employers and employees valued offering and participating in an FSA (respectively) after implementing the carryover, and a large majority reported that the carryover seemed to add value for both employers and employees. About 91% of members either agreed or strongly agreed that employers saw the carryover as increasing the value of offering an FSA, and 83% agreed or strongly agreed that employees who were offered the carryover viewed the change as adding value to participating in an FSA.
In general, when we asked our membership whether they thought the carryover would impact FSA participation, 75% of survey respondents said they thought the carryover option would result in increased FSA participation, while 3% thought it would result in a decrease in participation and 22% did not think it would have an impact.
ECFC is pleased to see that our members have benefited from the advocacy efforts put forth to change the ‘use or lose’ provision and that ECFC members see additional value with this provision, and, in turn, employers and TPAs are likely to see increased FSA participation rates as a result of implementing the carryover option.
Thank you to all of our members who took the time to complete our latest survey. These findings provide ECFC and its members with valuable insights on the outcome and trends resulting from improved legislation such as the Carryover provision, and underscore the value of and commitment to future ECFC advocacy efforts.