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Quick Takes: Three Things You Should Know About This Month

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Here’s a special calendar year-end edition of Quick Takes. Make sure you’re on top of the items that apply to you in order to avoid missing out on significant financial savings.

1) Tuition Cash Grants

If your child is benefitting from Lehigh’s Tuition Cash Grant benefit, you need to send a copy of his or her tuition bill to Human Resources prior to the start of the term and at least two weeks before the due date. If you have any questions about the process, contact Betty Konczyk or Alice Sikorski.

Read more about the Tuition Cash Grant benefit.

2) Additional Retirement Savings
We’re getting close to the end of the tax year, and you might be looking for ways to reduce your total taxable income for 2014.

One way to reduce your taxable income while also increasing your future financial security is by making an additional contribution to your retirement savings in December. If you would like to do so, you need to sign on to the University’s TIAA-CREF retirement plan website  to change the amount you’re saving for retirement from your pay.  You should do this by December 15, 2014 if you want to have the change affect your end of December pay.

You can have as much of your December pay transferred to your retirement savings as you would like, subject to the annual federal limits that are explained here on the HR website.  Remember that salary deferral changes you make will continue unchanged into the future until and unless you alter or stop them.

3) Flexible Spending Accounts Reimbursements
If you have a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you must spend all of the funds in the account by December 31. Any funds remaining in your account after that will be forfeited.

While Health Care FSAs now have a $500 carry over provision, any money left above that amount will be forfeited if it isn’t spent by December 31.  Remember that you can only carry up to $500 from a 2014 HCFSA into 2015 if you signed up for a HCFSA for the new year.

You have until March 31, 2015, to submit 2014 expenditures for reimbursement. But remember, you have to actually spend the money before midnight on December 31, 2014.

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to, or call extension 85165.

Current and past issues of Spotlight can be viewed and searched at: Past Issues.