myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

myHR Archives

myHR: April 3, 2019

Stay on Top of Benefits Enrollment Changes

mother and son looking at sunsetBenefits Open Enrollment, your opportunity to make changes in your health and life insurance coverage benefits elections, runs April 22 through May 3. Throughout April, Penn Benefits is hosting Open Enrollment presentations at various on-campus locations to help you stay on top of the many changes that are ahead for the 2019-2020 plan year. 

Even if you expect to keep the same health coverage in the new plan year, you will be affected by many of the improvements Penn is making to its systems and benefits services. The presentations will help you stay on top of these transformations.

Please register for an upcoming Open Enrollment presentation by clicking the links below. Advanced registration is encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.

Thursday, April 4 12:30pm-2:00pm     Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room
 Tuesday, April 9  1:00pm-2:30pm   The ARCH, Room 108
 Wednesday, April 17  12:30pm-2:00pm  Biomedical Research Building 2, Gaulton Auditorium
 Thursday, April 18  11:00am-12:30pm   Houston Hall, Golkin Room
 Monday, April 22  11:00am-12:30pm  Houston Hall, Bodek Lounge
 Tuesday, April 30   11:00 am-12:30pm  Steinberg Dietrich Hall, Room 209

At these Open Enrollment information sessions, benefits-eligible faculty and staff have the opportunity to learn about what’s new, what’s changing, and how it may affect you. There will also be information about managing your benefits on WorkDay@Penn, the new HR and payroll system that will be available on July 1. Benefits Specialists will give a full overview of the many choices you have along with plenty of useful details. Each Open Enrollment presentation will run for approximately 45 minutes, followed by question and answer time. 

Wellness and Open Enrollment Fairs will also be held at the following times and locations.

Tuesday, April 23 9:30am–1:30 pm Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room
Thursday, April 25 10:00am–2:00pm The ARCH, Room 108

Come out and listen, ask questions, and see what the new plan year holds for you and your household.

For more information, visit

Changes to Managing Your FSA and HSA Accounts  

Calendar, calculator and money on a tablePenn’s transition to Workday@Penn, the University’s new human resources and payroll system, is fast approaching. As part of the launch, the way you manage your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and your Health Savings Account (HSA) will change. 

Through June 30, you will continue to manage your FSA using the current ADP enrollment platform, but effective July 1 Penn’s Health Care and Dependent Care FSA accounts administration will be handled on the new, enhanced WageWorks platform. 

The platform upgrade will make it easier for you to submit receipts, verify expenses, and manage your accounts. It will also provide a better mobile experience with access to FSA apps and improved tools. 

Even though Penn is updating the FSA platform, the rules for using these accounts will remain the same. You may still need to provide receipts to verify that your claims are qualified expenses according to IRS guidelines. 

Also, effective July 1, Penn’s Health Savings Account administration will move from Aetna/Payflex to WageWorks. 

Here are additional details about the changes for each type of account and what you can expect before and after the transition to Workday@Penn.

Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts 

If you are enrolled in a Health Care FSA and your silver ADP branded card expired in March, you may have received a silver WageWorks branded card to use in its place. Activate the card when it arrives. You can use the new WageWorks branded card for qualified health care expenses through June 30, 2019. 

You are encouraged to spend down your FSA balances and submit any outstanding claims before June 30. If you do submit claims after June 30 for services performed during the 2018-2019 plan year, you will need to submit those claims on the new WageWorks platform. All claim submissions for the 2018-2019 plan year are due by September 30, 2019.

To help facilitate the upgrade to the WageWorks platform, a blackout period will take place from July 1, 2019 through July 12, 2019 so that any remaining balances left in your FSA accounts can be moved to the proper locations.

Additionally, as a part of the upgrade, Health Care FSA participants will receive a new orange and blue debit card co-branded with the WageWorks and Penn logos to replace the current card. You can only use the new card for health care expenses incurred after July 1, 2019. After June 30, your current card will be deactivated.

Please remember that you can only rollover $500 to the next plan year, so make sure you submit your claims for the current plan year in a timely fashion.

Dependent Care plans do not offer a card option and any unclaimed funds will be moved to the new platform. You have until September 15, 2019 to incur plan expenses and may submit claims up until September 30, 2019. After July 1, 2019 claims for the Dependent care account will need to be submitted using the new platform.

Health Savings Accounts for High Deductible Health Plans

If you are enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan with an HSA, Wage Works will be the administrator of this plan and BNY Mellon will be the custodial bank. A new account will be opened for you at BNY Mellon. In order to establish this new account, HDHP plan participants must agree to the BNY Mellon Terms and Conditions, and can do so during the Open Enrollment period from April 22-May 3 by going on line and completing their enrollment process. Even if you do not wish to make a change to your coverage you must review the terms and conditions. 

If you have funds in your HSA at the end of the 2018-2019 plan year, WageWorks will transfer the money to BNY Mellon by early August, adding these funds to your new HSA. If you don’t want the funds to be moved, you will receive instructions to opt out of the transfer and you will be responsible for managing any ongoing monthly service fees.  

HDHP plan participants will also receive a new orange and blue debit card to use in the 2019-2020 plan year. Your current card, which is branded with the PayFlex logo, will be deactivated after June 30, 2019. 

For more information about Penn’s FSA and HSA, visit and

Eugene “Gene” Janda: Protecting and Serving the Penn Community 

Fire and Emergency Services Chief Gene JandaLike many members of the Penn community, Eugene “Gene” Janda carries a backpack every day. Inside you might expect to find items such as keys, a water bottle, and lunch. But Janda carries an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) instead. As Chief of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (FES) for the Division of Public Safety, Janda considers it to be a tool he should always have in his possession. 

“It’s not going to do any good sitting in my office, “says Janda of the device. “So I carry it in case I come across someone who has a medical emergency so I can help that person immediately.” 

Janda spends a lot of time walking on campus; sometimes six miles a day up and down Locust Walk. One afternoon while he and his grandsons were strolling past Harnwell College House, he noticed a female pedestrian had collapsed. Janda sprang into action. He opened the AED and started CPR. Fortunately, Janda was able to revive the woman before needing to apply the AED, but he was glad to have been prepared if she needed more assistance. 

On April 23 at the Models of Excellence Ceremony, Janda will receive the 2019 Model Supervisor Award for his leadership of the team responsible for fire and emergency preparedness at Penn.   

“Gene embodies the Public Safety motto, ‘It’s All About Relationships,’ and works with his staff each and every day to ensure they build those relationships both on and off campus,” says Maureen S. Rush, Vice President for Public Safety. 

“Gene is a model supervisor who walks around with his staff to understand what they see on campus as challenges, and works with them to find solutions that keep the Penn community safe,” she says.  

“I’m truly honored and feel so fortunate to receive this award, especially when I look back at all the special people I’ve worked with here at Penn,” says Janda.  

Janda is a kind and steady leader who is dedicated to his team. Joseph Comas, Deputy Chief of FES, has been reporting to Janda for the past five years. He says Janda is very deserving of this award because of how he leads. 

“He leads by example, and he is always looking for ways to make other people shine,” Comas says. “It is never about Gene. It is always about making Penn and Public Safety better.” 

Before coming to the University, Janda worked 22 years for the Philadelphia Fire Department. In 2000 he joined Penn’s Division of Public Safety as a safety specialist in the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. Over the years he has climbed the ranks, becoming Deputy Chief in 2003 and Chief in 2008. 

In his role, Janda helps to oversee a number of services FES maintains. Among them are implementation of the University’s crisis emergency plan; maintaining an active partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspection, and Fire Department to ensure compliance with all city, state, and federal fire and building codes for Penn; supervising mandatory evacuation drills; and providing fire and emergency services trainings for the entire Penn community.

Janda and his team of eight staff members help to protect the health and safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors to the University. That’s no small task given the size of the campus, but Janda says having a solid team in place that is passionate about the work is key to the department’s success.  

“I couldn’t ask for better people than those who report directly to me because they make a big difference on campus,” he says. “I always look at it as being our team, not my team.” 

As a supervisor, Janda clearly communicates goals and expectations to his staff. He treats every team member with dignity and respect, provides feedback in a constructive way, and encourages staff to give their input. 

“Gene makes the people that work for him feel needed,” Comas says. 

“He promotes collaboration and empowers his team to make decisions. It feels good to have your concerns and opinions heard and Gene encourages this practice.” 

Known on campus as the “Fire Guy,” Janda is also co-chair for the University City Emergency Preparedness Steering Team and an operations advisor to the student managed Penn Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT). During the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015, Janda worked with MERT as a medic on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  

With all of his accomplishments, Janda says some of the most rewarding work has been development of the Blue Book, a crisis management action plan for every Penn building on campus, and implementing Penn’s siren outdoor system. The outdoor system, which covers 95% of the entire campus, also allows PennComm Operations Center to communicate directly with 11 indoor sites on campus during an emergency situation. 

Janda, who has attended every Models of Excellence Ceremony for the past 19 years, says he looks forward to sharing the excitement of this year’s ceremony with his family and co-workers.  

“I never expected this. It’s something that I will think about even when I’m in retirement.”  

The 20th Models of Excellence Ceremony will be held on April 23 at 4pm in Irvine Auditorium. A reception will immediately follow. You can register at For more information about the Models of Excellence ceremony and this year’s honorees, visit

Workday@Penn Training Courses Begin April 29

Workday Image for TrainingTraining for Workday@Penn, a major component of Penn’s Human Capital Management (HCM) Transformation Initiative, will begin soon.  The training, which is being held to prepare for go-live on July 1, will give members of the University community a learning experience tailored to their particular role in Workday.
All faculty, staff, and student workers will perform person self-service (such as selecting benefits or entering time) and will have access to an orientation webinar, tip sheets, and other online resources for just-in-time learning.

Staff who will be required to take training courses include many of the business administrators, recruiters, payroll administrators, and others, who use Penn’s legacy systems. Penn’s schools and centers have each designated who will hold various Workday security roles. Definitions of security roles and descriptions of training courses are now available on the Workday website (PennKey required).

Expert trainers will lead the courses which kick off on April 29 in locations throughout campus. If your Workday role requires training courses, you will receive an invitation from Penn’s learning management system, Knowledge Link.

The HCM project is transforming how Penn delivers services related to the broad range of human capital management, such as staff recruitment, faculty and staff personnel benefits administration, payroll, time management, and more. Faculty, staff, and student workers will enjoy simplified, efficient, modern processes that provide more access to their own information in one secure place. 

Workday@Penn will also offer dramatically improved transparency, real-time information, and a platform for Penn’s 21st Century workforce.

For more information about Workday@Penn, visit

Retirement Information Sessions Make Planning Easier

Woman Sitting at Table and Looking out WindowIs your upcoming retirement on your mind? To help you prepare for the next phase of your life, Penn will present its semi-annual Thinking About Retirement presentations on May 7, starting at 9am at the Inn at Penn. 

Specially designed for Penn staff and faculty, Thinking About Retirement offers three different concurrent workshops, each covering an important aspect of retirement benefits: Penn Benefits and Medicare, Retirement Plan Income, and Social Security.

At the Penn Benefits and Medicare session, representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—along with Benefits specialists from Human Resources—will explain the Rule of 75*, retirement healthcare options, and how they integrate with Medicare.

At Retirement Plan Income, a Vanguard retirement plan counselor will discuss such topics as budgeting in retirement, income options, and investments to help you get the most out of your 403(b) plan.

During the Social Security session, a representative from the Social Security Administration will share valuable details about how this program impacts your plans for retirement. You will also get an overview of Social Security benefits, eligibility rules, how to apply, benefits for your spouse, and more.

Benefits specialists from Penn Human Resources will be available throughout the event to answer your questions about Penn’s retirement savings plans, health care benefits, and other aspects of retiree benefits for you and your dependents.

To register for the presentations just click on the topic name in the table below or visit

Social Security
(Woodlands A)

Penn Benefits & Medicare
(Woodlands B)

Retirement Plan Income
(Woodlands C)

9:00am - 11:00am

9:00am - 11:00am

9:00am - 11:00am

11:30am - 1:30pm

11:30am - 1:30pm

11:30am - 1:30pm

2:30pm - 4:30pm

2:30pm - 4:30pm

2:30pm - 4:30pm

* You are eligible to receive retiree health benefits if you meet the “Rule of 75”. This rule states that you must be a minimum of 55 years of age and have a minimum of 10 years of full-time service; if you meet both minimums, then the total of your age and years of service must equal at least 75.

Healthy Meals: Greek Chicken Souvlaki

greek-chicken-souvlaki-200Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean right in your own kitchen with these boneless chicken breasts that are marinated in a blend of garlic, lemon, and herbs, then skewered and cooked to perfection. The dish is best paired with flatbread, hummus, and pickled olives.

Find the recipe here.

Click here to send us your healthy recipes and tips.


Did You Know: Three Days Free at the YMCA in April 

Here’s another chance to try the Y for free. This time, your pass is good for three days between April 1 and April 30, 2019 at any of the 60 Greater Philadelphia YMCA or Regional Y Alliance locations. During your visit, you can also learn about discount YMCA memberships for Penn faculty and staff. Download your pass on the Penn Healthy You webpage.