Q. What does it cost for the employer to participate in BCT?
A. BCT does not charge any fees to participate in the supplemental unemployment plan. However, as an ERISA plan, the employer is required to file a 5500C once per year. This form is required by law for annual reporting of employee benefit plans.
As with any program, there is a small amount of added work on your staff to get the BCT program set up and running smooth. BCT customer support will provide all the forms to get started. We will also work with your payroll department to answer any questions that may arise.
Q. Can the money be used for vacation or sick days?
A. No. The BCT Plan is based on unemployment guidelines and Plan funds can only be used when the employee is involuntarily laid off or is otherwise unemployed. Please keep in mind that the employee may be eligible for benefits in any week that they work less than 36-hours. The hours worked and those for which benefits are drawn may not exceed 40 hours per week.
Q. How does the BCT pay for expenses?
A. BCT does not charge employers a fee to participate in the plan. BCT uses a small fee from the contributions submitted by each employer on behalf of their employees to pay the administrative expenses for the supplemental unemployment plan. In addition, each employee is charged a $2.00 per month maintenance fee. The maintenance fee is offset by the interest earned by the trust account. The interest rate coincides with simple bank interest rates..
Q. How do the employees get their money?
A. The employee can request supplemental unemployment benefits for any week they work less than 36-hours, allowing them to draw as little as four (4) hours of benefits at a time. The employer signs into their online BCT account and completes a payout request form by 5pm on Tuesday, which confirms that work was not available for the employee. The form is submitted to BCT for approval. The benefit dollars will then be dispersed to the qualifying employee on Friday. For convenience, each employee is given two options to receive funds - direct deposit to his or her bank account or via a debit card.
Q. How much money can be built up in the BCT account?
A. The account caps at 26 weeks worth of wages.
Q. Am I still eligible to draw unemployment as well as from my BCT account?
A. Yes. The benefit dollars in the BCT account may be drawn in addition to any state unemployment benefits.
Q. Are my benefits taxable?
A. Yes. You pay taxes on your benefits when they are paid to you.
Q. If I leave my employer, what happens to my designated benefit funds in the BCT account?
A. If you are not eligible to draw benefits, for example because you voluntarily quit, your designated funds in the account are kept in your name. If you subsequently become eligible for unemployment, you may draw benefits from the BCT account. Also, if you transfer or are hired by another participating employer, the BCT account transfers with you.
Q. Can I continue to draw funds from my BCT trust account if I am terminated?
A. If you are terminated from an employer who was contributing funds to a BCT account on your behalf, you still may be able to draw funds. Please click here to answer some questions to help determine if you are eligible.