myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

myHR Archives

myHR: January 11, 2017

Protect the Ones You Care About Most in the New Year

family looking at laptopWho depends on you the most? What are the causes closest to your heart? Maybe you rang in the New Year with them or sent them a tax-deductible donation for 2016. This year, be sure the proper people are named as beneficiaries in your Penn life insurance and retirement plan records.

Change in Your Family Means Changing Beneficiaries
Updating your beneficiary designation is especially important if there was a major life event in your family last year, such as a marriage, divorce, remarriage, or the addition of a new child to your household.

Beneficiary Checklist
It only takes minutes to make sure your retirement plan and life insurance beneficiary designations are up to date. Simply download this check list so you have everything you need to get started and get finished!

They’re Worth It
Knowing that your beneficiaries are on file with your life insurance and retirement plan providers will pay off in peace of mind and the proper distribution of money to your loved ones.

If you’ve been putting off this task, you’re not alone. But by properly designating beneficiaries, you can rest assured that the people and organizations you care about will receive the right portion of money. Plus, you’ll avoid adding financial difficulties to the burden of their personal loss. If you don’t designate beneficiaries, your retirement plan or insurance policy money may get tied up or be distributed in ways you don’t want. Even after your loved ones receive their money, they may end up paying higher taxes on it than if you had named them properly in the first place.

Need More Information?
For additional guidance visit the Designating Your Beneficiaries page. For life insurance issues, contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday through Friday, 8am to 6m EST. For retirement planning assistance, contact Penn’s Retirement Call Center at 1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738), Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm EST.

You can also receive free financial and legal counseling through Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-321-4433.

Turn Career Resolutions Into Reality

2 coworkers with book and tabletMany people make New Year’s resolutions to be more successful at work, but how many make them come true? Penn Human Resources Learning and Education has an empowering lineup of professional development programs specifically chosen to help you turn your professional resolutions into reality in 2017.

World-Class Training On Campus
When it’s your job to support education and research, finding time and resources for your own professional development can be daunting. That’s why Penn brings customized and nationally recognized training programs to campus for staff and faculty. These programs are available at very little cost to you or your department. In fact, most are free.

Through Human Resources Learning and Education, you and your staff can benefit from practical and effective training programs at amazing savings. For instance, a two-day, off-site course offered by the respected American Management Association (AMA) costs nearly $2,000. However, through Human Resources Learning and Education, you can take that same two-day AMA course right here for only $75.

Leadership Development
Learning and Education’s specialized courses are developed with Penn’s culture in mind to prepare current and future staff leaders to fulfill the University’s unique mission. Courses such as Essentials of Management, AMP-UP, STEP-UP, and Leadership@Penn bring out the best in participants while allowing them to stay productive.

Lynda and TED for Lunch
In the spring term, Penn continues to offer its practical and popular Brown Bag series of lunchtime seminars and workshops, including TED Talk Tuesdays. Look for Learning With Lynda, a new series that will help you make the most of Penn’s online trainings. Learning with Lynda utilizes the University’s enterprise-wide license to provide a blended learning solution.

Browse and Register
Human Resources Learning and Education programs fill up fast, so register soon at Knowledge Link. Your department will be charged for the cost listed on the registration page.

For a full list of personal and professional development opportunities, including career coaching, visit the Learning and Education website.

Ready Your High School Student for College

teen grad and dadHigh school students and their parents or guardians face many questions as they plan for college. What high school classes will best prepare the student? Which colleges or programs of study are most fitting? How do financial aid and the Penn Tuition Benefit work?

Navigating the choices on your own can be daunting. Thankfully, you aren’t alone. Benefits-eligible faculty and staff can draw on the expertise and insight of staff from Undergraduate Admissions, Student Financial Services, and Human Resources’ Tuition Benefits offices.

Three upcoming workshops will help you and your college-bound high school student prepare for the road ahead.

Navigating the Tuition Benefit and Financial Aid for Your College Age Dependents, February 14, 12:30-1:30pm
Join staff from Penn’s Student Financial Services (SFS) and Human Resources Tuition Benefits Offices to learn more about the tuition benefit program for dependents and the financial aid process. The session will provide an overview of Penn’s two dependent child tuition benefit plans and help to clarify how the tuition benefit interacts with financial aid packages. This session will also offer tips for reading and comparing financial aid package components and communications with financial aid offices. Click here to register.

Choosing HS classes for next year? Let's Discuss Navigating the Curricular Waters, February 16, 12:30-1:30pm
Join staff from Penn’s undergraduate admissions office for a discussion about the role of the high school transcript and course selection in the holistic admission review. This may be particularly timely for parents of high school freshman, sophomores and juniors as course selection will be happening in the spring. Click here to register.

The College Search: Selecting a Potential Major and Program of Study, April 20, 12:30-1:30pm
Join staff from Penn’s undergraduate admissions office for discussion and tips in working with your college bound dependent, faced with hundreds of choices, in selecting a potential major and program of study. How might that selection of program impact their admissions review? Click here to register.

These free workshops are for benefits-eligible faculty and staff and offer helpful information whether or not a student plans to apply to Penn. 

For more information about Penn’s Tuition Benefit, visit

Healthy Meals: Louisiana-Style Chicken Soup

bowl of chicken soupWarm up with the Cajun flavors of this quick, vegetable-filled soup.

Find the recipe here or send us your healthy recipes and tips

Did You Know? IRS Form 1095-C Will Be Available Soon

IRS Form 1095-C includes information about any health insurance coverage offered to you by Penn in 2016. These forms will be mailed and available online in the My Pay section of the secure U@Penn portal at on or before January 31, 2017. This form is informational and for your records -- you do not need to attach it to your tax return. However, your tax preparer may request it. If you have questions about your form, call Equifax at 1- 855-823-3728.

Winter Vacation Poll Prize Winner

Here are the results of the December myHR poll which asked readers what they planned to do over Special Winter Vacation.

Spend Time with Loved Ones: 53%
Travel to Exciting Destinations: 14%
Simply Relax at Home: 13%
Focus on Hobbies and Personal Projects: 9%
Celebrate the Holidays: 5%
Volunteer/Participate in Civic Life: 2%
Attend Movies, Live Performances, and Other Cultural Events: 2%
Help Keep the Campus Running (I take my special vacation at another time.): 2%

The latest myHR poll prize drawing winner is Grace Lacorte in Penn Medicine’s Department of Surgery. She will receive a personal and professional development prize package.

Thanks to everyone for participating!