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Planning on cashing in PTO hours? Here are important reminders. The deadline for electing a cash-in for 2017 PTO hours is 5 pm Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Make your election on Employee Self Service (ESS). Under IRS regulations, you may not change your PTO cash-in election after it has been made.

You can only cash in PTO time in 2017 that you earn during that same year. You can elect cash-in on request (you elect a specific number of PTO hours to cash in when you want during 2017, as long as you have accrued sufficient PTO hours in 2017). Or you can elect per-pay cash-in (you elect to cash in a specific, fixed number of hours in 25 pay periods during 2017, beginning with the second paycheck, on Jan. 26, 2017.)

Use the PTO calculator (on ESS, under the Benefits tab) to project your timeoff needs for 2017. The maximum hours you can cash in is based on your years of service. Check the PTO fact sheet on ESS for your maximum hours. Any PTO elected for cash-in will be taxed, when paid to you, at the IRS Supplemental Wage Rate in compliance with IRS rules. All taxes (federal, state, Social Security and Medicare) on the cash-in will total about 40 percent. Employees will receive additional information at home before Nov. 21 about the PTO cash-in process, or contact the HRConnect benefits service center, 844-543-2147, or

Reminder: As of Jan. 1, 2017, maximum PTO accruals will change to 1x annual accrual (from 1.5x) for employees with less than 15 years of service or less than 40 days annual accrual as of Dec. 31, 2016. If this pertains to you and you have a high PTO balance, you have until Jan. 7, 2017 to use your PTO in order to reduce your PTO bank below the 1x annual accrual maximum. As of Jan. 7, 2017, you will lose any PTO accrued above the 1x maximum level. Employees with 15 or more years of service or at 40 days annual accrual as of Jan. 7, 2017, will be grandfathered at the 1.5x maximum annual accrual level.