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myHR: May 11, 2011

Will You Be Prepared for Retirement?

Retirement can be an exciting time in your life, but it also requires careful planning. How much money will I need? Where will it come from?

Think of your retirement savings as a three-legged stool composed of Social Security, personal savings and employer retirement plans. The stronger you make each leg, the more stable your future will be. But that can be difficult. Social Security may not even exist by the time you retire, and it's easy to neglect to build your personal savings.

That's why it's even more important than ever to take advantage of Penn's retirement plans.

Since Penn's Tax-Deferred Retirement (TDR) and Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) plans are 403(b) plans, you make your own decisions about how much to contribute and how to invest your money. You can choose from plenty of investment funds. And you can set up a free one-on-one consultation with TIAA-CREF or Vanguard to talk about an investment strategy that's right for you.

Both the TDR and SRA plans provide tax-deferral, which means your contributions and any earnings aren't taxed until you withdraw the money from your account. Or you can choose to use the Roth feature and pay taxes up front so you won't have to pay them later.

The TDR plan offers another great advantage in the contributions Penn makes. Penn puts money into your account even if you don't contribute anything. But, even better, any money you put in is matched by Penn dollar-for-dollar up to 5% of your salary. If you're already contributing the full 5% through the TDR plan, think about putting additional money towards the SRA plan.

So why not start saving today? For more information on Penn's retirement plan options, managing your retirement benefits online or setting up a retirement counseling session, click here or contact Penn's Retirement Call Center at 1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738).


Can You Ask Job Candidates About Their Criminal Records?

Hiring officers, be aware: under a new Philadelphia law, you need to be very careful when it comes to asking job candidates about their criminal records.

The Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards Act, signed into law on April 13, prohibits Philadelphia employers like Penn from asking criminal record questions during the employment application process and before or during the first interview. The new law goes into effect on July 12, 2011.

We've already modified Penn's employment application to reflect this new law. It no longer asks applicants whether they've been convicted or pled guilty to a crime. Click here to download the updated application.

It's very important to remember that you must wait until after the first interview if you plan to ask candidates if they've ever been convicted of a crime.

Keep in mind this new law in no way eliminates background checks. Penn will continue to conduct background checks on the final, preferred candidates—a step that needs to be completed prior to you making the job offer. If the background check reveals that an applicant was convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and may not be suitable for a particular job, Human Resources will notify and advise the hiring officer as necessary. Please remember that a candidate's conviction for a felony or misdemeanor does not automatically disqualify him or her from being hired.

If you have questions about the new law or Penn's hiring process, please contact your designated recruitment specialist or Human Resources at 215-898-1307 or showell@upenn.edu. You can also click here for more information.


Plan the Perfect Meeting

Do you ever leave a meeting and wonder how useful it was? Successful meetings are ones that accomplish specific goals, but they aren't always easy to plan. If you're looking for ways to make your meetings more effective, we'll show you how.

Join us on May 25 for an online workshop that'll help you plan the perfect meeting. Effective Meetings will show you the ins and outs of making useful agendas that allow for creativity and problem-solving and target specific objectives. Learn powerful techniques for communicating effectively during meetings, whether online or in person. By the end of this webinar, you'll be an expert at planning meetings that make the best use of everyone's time and effort.

Want to get results from your next meeting? Click here for complete details and to register.


Get Support When You Need It Most

Have you ever needed help handling life's challenges? From the excitement of getting married and having children to serious concerns like illness, relationship problems or the loss of a loved one, it's easy to feel overwhelmed every now and then. That's when you can turn to Penn's Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the EAP offers information and guidance for your personal and professional life challenges. Eligible faculty and staff have access to free, confidential counseling and referral services as well as one-on-one coaching and support. Whether you're adopting a child, buying a home, or struggling with depression, help is right at your fingertips.

EAP services, which are provided through Penn Behavioral Health, are available to you and your eligible dependents day or night. Call 888-321-4433 to speak with a professional counselor, or visit their website for more information. You can also contact Human Resources at 215-898-0380 or qowl@hr.upenn.edu if you have questions about the EAP, or click here for more details.