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While there are many advantages to tax-free Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) Voluntary Employee Benefit Accounts (VEBAs), including rolling funds and investing options, you may be surprised to learn about the additional hidden advantages of an HRA VEBA.
While HRA VEBA funds are accessible in retirement, they are not viewed as qualified retirement plans and are not subject to the same rules as other retirement accounts, namely 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
Instead, account members can withdraw funds from their HRA VEBA at any time. The only rule is to use the funds to reimburse an eligible expense.
This means employees have more freedom on withdrawals. They can withdraw money from the account to pay for eligible expenses before the standard deadline (age 59) without a tax penalty.
The debit cards that come with an HRA VEBA are provided at no additional cost. Plus, the cards come with smart-card technology and the ability to stack multiple plan types on one card.
When a member is enrolled in another pre-tax account and then enrolls in an HRA VEBA, the funds for both accounts are available on the same card. In most cases, the card will automatically pull from the correct account when purchasing eligible items.
While an employer-funded HRA VEBA might raise concerns among employees about enrolling, there is more flexibility with account usage than employees might think.
Not only do employees have access to HRA VEBA funds during their employment, but they can also use the funds in retirement and if they change employers.
This plan’s flexibility is less common among other pre-tax accounts and is one of the more significant hidden advantages of an HRA VEBA.
HRA VEBAs are a great fit for a variety of groups. Municipal/public-sector employers, schools, and universities, as well as Taft-Hartley union groups can benefit the most.
To learn how your employer groups can leverage HRA VEBA accounts to reduce costs and offer employees the healthcare coverage they need, download this flyer.
Contact your Claremont team at 800.696.4543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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