Flexible Benefits or Not?

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Original Question: Do most or all of you offer the flexible benefits plan?
Is there anyone who offers just TRS and Health Insurance as benefits? Are
we required to offer the flexible benefit plan? Is there any clear
documentation you know of that says we do or don't have to offer it?
The booklet that school systems give their teachers also says that
employees of regional or county libraries who work more than 18 hours per
week are eligible, but is that IF flex benefits are offered by the system,
or must the system offer it.
I will research this on the web, but if anyone has quick answers I'd
appreciate any help!

Response: >
> If there's no employer share for flexible benefits, and you can show your
> employees what they have available through it, and you don't have a better
> deal going on somewhere else, why would you not want to provide it?
> We had a question about AFLAC a while back, and the flexible benefit people
> said that (1) we couldn't offer insurances through payroll deduction that
> were outside of what they had in their list of bid-winning services, but (2)
> there is nothing they can do about it, they don't police it, and state
> auditors would never be asked to police it either. That's sort of an
> impasse which is the only reason I can think of to get away from flexible
> benefits.

Response: I just want to know whether there is a requirement that we offer it. Some of the literature would seem to indicate that we are required. But I have now done a little research, and GA Code 45-18-53 would indicate that we aren't.
Response: If that is true (which I doubt) we have been breaking the rule/law for fifteen years! You are right, Alan, how can they enforce that? We can't offer any benefit other that what the State offers? Nah! However, I can attest that you can get three different answers if you ask the same question three different times. The "come and make me" defense actually works...sometimes. The auditors have never said anything to us about it.

Response: I suggest you inquire as to what your county school (or city) system offers. I believe you will discover each has different packages then the rest. I say offer what additional benefits you feel you can for your staff. I know my wife’s school system offers AFLAC and they are TRS.

Response: Maybe it’s like TRS hanging that lump sum retirement payment out there that looks so tempting that people don’t realize they are forfeiting a forever lifetime monthly payment plus the 9.28% that the employer has been contributing on their behalf for years!