Planning on cashing in PTO hours? Here are important reminders.

The deadline for electing a cash-in for 2016 PTO hours is Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. 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 2016 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 2016, as long as you have accrued sufficient PTO hours in 2016). Or you can elect "per pay" cash-in (you elect to cash in a specific, fixed number of hours in 25 pay periods during 2016, beginning with the second paycheck on Jan. 28, 2016.)

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 during this election period 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.

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, consider PTO cash-in as a way to reduce your bank. As of Jan. 1, 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 Dec. 31, 2016, will be grandfathered at the 1.5x maximum annual accrual level. Hospital of Saint Raphael and Grimes Center employees who joined YNHHS as part of the 2012 acquisition will have their Saint Raphael or Grimes Center service recognized for this provision. Use the PTO calculator (on ESS, under the Benefits tab) to project your time-off needs for 2016.

Employees will receive additional information at home regarding the PTO cash-in process, or, you may contact the HR Connect benefits service center at 844-543-2147 or