Penn Faculty Benefits News

Penn Faculty Benefits News: November 10, 2014

Maximizing Your Retirement Savings

1040 tax formThe IRS has issued new annual retirement plan contribution limits for 2015. The new limit for combined pre-tax and Roth contributions will be $18,000 per person. If you are over 50-years-old or turn 50 at any time in 2015, you can make additional catch up contributions up to $6,000.




Employee contribution limit



Age 50 and over
catch-up limit




In January, you’ll receive a personalized letter at your home address stating how much you can contribute in 2015. To ensure delivery, please be sure your U@Penn Profile address is up-to-date.

Visit the Contributions web page for details or contact the Retirement Call Center at 1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738) for help determining the right weekly or monthly contribution amount to maximize your savings.

Caregiver Resources and Support

assisting man with walkerAs a parent, child, spouse, partner, friend— or a combination of roles— you may be called upon to provide health assistance to adult loved ones. This responsibility can impact your professional life as well as your personal life. According to the Caregiver Action Network, 60% of family caregivers are employed – and two-thirds have had to make some adjustments in their work life because of their caregiving activities. During November, National Family Caregivers Month, Penn is highlighting benefits and resources that help faculty and staff manage their combined duties at home and at work.

EAP Worklife Resources Portal
Worklife Resources—part of Penn's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) —offers free, confidential help and referrals to elder care resources, geriatric care managers, services that support family members with chronic illness, legal advisers, financial advisers, and behavioral health professionals.

Worklife Workshops
Free on-campus workshops cover topics related to caring for elderly relatives and dependent adults.

Backup Care
Subsidized adult care through Penn's Backup Care program with can provide respite time for a primary caregiver and allow faculty and staff to manage work responsibilities when a care need arises.

Health Advocate
Health Advocate can help you and your family to navigate the complex waters of the healthcare system, saving you time, money, and worry.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
A dependent care FSA allows you to set aside money for expenses used to care for a dependent adult if he or she lives with you and cannot care for himself or herself so that you (and your spouse/partner) may work.

Aetna Life Essentials
Penn provides Aetna's life insurance program to all benefits-eligible staff and faculty. The program also offers financial planning and legal support, including guidance with basic will preparation, health care issues, and power of attorney.

Flexible Work Options
Flexible work options support staff efforts to better manage the scheduling and transportation demands on caregivers.

Long-term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is available to faculty, staff, and your eligible family members to help cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community, or in a nursing facility.

All benefits-eligible faculty and staff can use the services listed above, whether or not you’re covered under a Penn-sponsored medical plan. Human Resources Quality of Worklife staff can help you navigate these benefits. If you have questions, contact Worklife Specialist Karen Kille at 215-898-7729 or by email.

Be In the Know Health Screenings

EEG data graphicPenn continues to reward faculty and staff health awareness through the Be in the Know campaign. This year you can learn about your well-being and receive up to $135* with just a few simple steps. Be in the Know, use what you know, and take action to improve and maintain your fitness in Penn’s Year of Health.

Register online today for your free, confidential biometric screening.

3 Steps to Learn More and Earn More

Step 1: Get a biometric screening (October 27 – December 5, 2014)
Register for a screening session at various Penn locations now through December 5 to complete the first step towards being in the know and earning incentives. The full screening schedule is available at the Be in the Know web page.

At the biometric screening, a health educator will measure key indicators of your overall health, including blood pressure, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and blood sugar (glucose levels).

If you have obtained screening results through your health care provider between July 1 and December 23, 2014, you can submit your completed Health Screenings Documentation Form directly to AreUFit by December 23, 2014 to receive biometric screening credit.

Step 2: Take an online health assessment (January 12 – February 27, 2015)
Starting January 12, 2015, visit Penn’s wellness portal, hosted by StayWell, to complete a brief, confidential health assessment.

When you complete both the biometric screening and health assessment, you are eligible for the $100 cash incentive* to be included in your April 2015 paycheck.

All returning 2012 or 2013 Be in the Know participants will also be placed in a drawing for iPads and Fitbits.

Step 3: NEW! Use What You Know and take action! (January 12 – April 30, 2015)
Once you are in the know with personalized results from your biometric screening and health assessment, Penn encourages you to Use What You Know – with Bonus Actions! Complete any of the qualifying StayWell portal healthy living opportunities by the deadline and receive an additional cash incentive of $35.* A list of qualifying bonus actions is available at the Be in the Know web page.

*Please note: Both incentives are less applicable payroll taxes. You must be an active full- or part-time benefits-eligible faculty or staff member to participate.

For updates and further details, visit the Be in the Know web page or contact Penn’s Wellness Specialist.

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