Monday, February 2, 2015
Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts and . . . FX's Archer?!?
So, this is pretty funny. Thanks to my dear friend Mike S., I have come upon some pretty intense cafeteria-plan humor. (Betcha never thought you'd seen that concatenation of words anywhere!) The source of this treasure trove of hilarity rooted in beloved Section 125 is none other than Archer, the extremely off-color animated series from FX.
Thus, at Basement Rejects, one finds the following synopsis of Episode 2 from Season 1: "[The Agency] is forced to switch its flexible spending account, and Cheryl Tunt . . . and Pam Poovey . . . get access to everyone's accounts."
And then, there's the following extended exchange from Episode 6 of Season 1 I've pulled from a purported script for the show (an except with some screenshots can also be seen here), which hits a number of benefits-related items, including some pretty sophisticated Section 125 considerations. Here goes (I may not have the following transcription all exactly right, in terms of text and speakers, but you'll get the idea):
Cyril Figgis: . . . Well, every . . . agent has a company-issued life-insurance policy.
Sterling Archer: And, uh, --
Lana Kane: And what?!
Archer: You're my beneficiary!
Lana: Your what?!
Archer: On my company life insurance!
Lana: Oh my God!
. . . .
Archer: . . . Right after I get back, I am changing that stupid policy! Ugh! Yes, you're my beneficiary.
Lana: How'd you get life insurance? Don't they know you're in the danger zone?
Cyril: But that doesn't mean anything. I mean, they could've forgotten to fill out new beneficiary forms, or -- They have to update those bennie forms every quarter.
Cyril: But that means -- oh, my god!
Dr. Algernop Krieger [clearly no relation whatsoever to a certain ERISA lawyer par excellence]: . . . What?! Benefits! D'oh - I forgot to spend the balance in my goddam flex account!
Pamela Poovey from HR [in a . . . um . . . compromising position, but you'll have to view the episode if you want to know more]: Are you date of employment or --
Krieger: Calendar year!
Cheryl Tunt: Ouch.
Cyril: That's just leaving money on the table. How'd you forget that?
Krieger: I guess I was busy fantasizing about Archer and Lana . . . .
Pam: Cyril, c'mon, hon. We all were.
Archer: And you expect me to believe that.
Lana: I don't care! Just like I don't ever think about you! . . . .
Archer: . . . So, when you filled out your insurance forms, you weren't thinking about my tan, muscular . . . ?
Lana: No! I wasn't! I don't! I mean, I'm --
Archer: . . . Lana, your eyes are amazing.
Lana: Archer --
Archer: . . . but -- What is your problem?!
Lana: You! And plus, I have a boyfriend!
Archer: Oh, right. How could I forget Mr. Cling [Cyril]? Cyril! Cyril, come on! Let go! God, he's stronger than he looks!
Krieger: Get him out of here! Because these corporate bagmunchers owe me $630 for my goddam flex account! I cannot believe you shot me! God, you know how much I hate that!
Someone clearly had a traumatic experience with flexible spending accounts, huh? As Mike hilariously suggested to me, the writer apparently "got used-or-losed". (Well, it could always be worse - the writer could've been Pete Carroll. (catty, I know, but I couldn't resist))