Even the most sophisticated benefits managers are having trouble persuading employees to contribute to flexible spending accounts.

Researchers at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, Wis., have published that conclusion in summary of results of an informal survey of IFEBP members.

About 92% of the participants’ employers offer Section 125 FSAs, or dependent care accounts, or both, but an average of only 39% of the employees use the FSA programs, and only 9% use the dependent care account programs, participants told the IFEBP.

Survey participants estimated that about 7% of FSA holders end up losing money each year as a result of the federal government’s infamous “use it lose it” rule for FSA funds.