January 21, 2021
Where to find COVID information
For the most recent information pertaining to COVID-19 and your State Health Plan and MoneyPlus benefits, we encourage you to visit our COVID-19 webpage. There, you’ll find information about testing and vaccine coverage, as well as changes you can make to your flexible spending accounts in 2021. Be sure to check back often; we will provide updates as more information becomes available.
MoneyPlus changes announced last week
In late December 2020, a new COVID-19 Relief Bill was signed that allows for changes to flexible spending accounts. Here is a brief summary of applicable provisions of the bill:

  • Increases the MSA and Limited-use MSA carryover for 2020 and 2021 to the full unused amount.
  • Extends the DCSA grace period for 2020 and 2021 to December 31 of each following year.
  • Increases the age limit for DCSA-eligible dependents to age 13 for 2020 DCSA participants with unused 2020 funds who had a dependent who turned age 13 during 2020.
  • Allows for certain prospective changes during the 2021 plan year.

Based on the provisions in this bill, employees can make certain prospective changes to MSAs, Limited-use MSAs and DCSAs without a qualifying change in status in 2021. To make a change, complete an Active Notice of Election (NOE) form and return it to your benefits administrator. The change will be effective the first of the month following PEBA receiving a completed NOE.

Take a minute to view the COVID-19 Relief Bill summary for FSAs in 2021 document for more details about the changes. If you have questions, please contact your benefits administrator.
Tax info for retirement benefit recipients 
Tax withholding changes for 2021
The federal and South Carolina state income tax withholding tables changed for tax year 2021. Accordingly, if you receive a monthly retirement benefit, you may notice a change in your net January benefit amount. If you wish to update or change the number of withholding allowances (exemptions) and/or marital status (if applicable) or flat dollar amount, log in to your Member Access account. You may also complete a Withholding Certificate for Monthly Benefit Payments form (Form 7202) and mail it to PEBA.

Changes made via Member Access will be immediate, while changes submitted via paper form (Form 7202) may take longer to process.

PEBA to mail 2020 1099-R forms
PEBA will mail 1099-R forms for calendar year 2020 by January 31, 2021, to anyone who received a benefit payment from the retirement systems. Please allow two weeks for delivery. As a reminder, payees may also access and print their tax documents any time through Member Access.
State ORP open enrollment is happening now
Annual open enrollment for the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) began January 1 and continues until March 1, 2021.

During annual open enrollment, all State ORP participants have the option to change service providers. State ORP participants may also make an irrevocable switch to the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) during annual open enrollment if at any point during the open enrollment period it has been at least one year, but not more than five years, since their initial enrollment in the State ORP. More information on annual open enrollment can be found at peba.sc.gov/sorp-oe.
New webpage to view emails to members
PEBA occasionally emails members who participate in the insurance and retirement benefits it administers. We recently published a new webpage that includes links to these emails. Keep in mind that the emails may not be applicable to every member. Therefore, we have included the audience who received the message. View the new page at peba.sc.gov/emails. There’s also a link under Resources in both the Employees and Retirees menus.
Empower acquired MassMutual’s retirement business
Effective January 4, 2021, Empower Retirement (Empower) acquired the retirement plan business of MassMutual, one of the State ORP service providers. Right now, the biggest change you'll see is the Empower logo on MassMutual’s State ORP participant website. Website addresses, the call center phone number, the State ORP service team and login credentials will remain the same. Over time, Empower will transition the plan to the Empower experience. Current MassMutual State ORP participants will receive a communication about the acquisition from Empower soon.

The acquisition will not change the State ORP annual open enrollment period that is currently taking place.
Focus on your health in 2021
One thing is certain: it’s important now more than ever to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular medical checkups. Even though going to the doctor is a little more complicated now, it’s crucial that you continue your routine health screenings and meet with your physician to discuss your goals. Your benefits will help you stay on track.

  • Check your 2021 coverage in MyBenefits. Log in to your account at mybenefits.sc.gov to check your coverage and ensure your open enrollment changes were applied correctly.
  • Download your mobile apps. Apps are available for health, dental, vision, prescription and flexible spending accounts.
  • Make sure you have your ID cards. You can also access your ID cards in your mobile apps.
  • Schedule checkups or doctors’ visits now. These can include preventive screenings, well visits, dentist appointments and eye exams.

Take full advantage of your insurance benefits to make 2021 your healthiest year yet.