Penn Faculty Benefits News

Penn Faculty Benefits News: November 18, 2015

Maximizing Your Retirement Savings in 2016


The IRS has issued the annual retirement plan contribution limits for 2016. The limit for combined pre-tax and Roth contributions remains unchanged at $18,000 per person. If you are over 50-years-old or turn 50 at any time in 2016, you can make additional catch up contributions up to $6,000.

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.

TIAA-CREF and Vanguard, Penn’s retirement investment providers, offer free counseling sessions on campus to help you with your investment choices. You can schedule an appointment online or via telephone at:


800-662-0106 ext. 14500

Be in the Know Continues


Penn’s 2015-2016 Be in the Know wellness campaign is underway with year-round activities that can improve your overall wellbeing. Many faculty members have already participated in the on-campus biometric screenings, which provide you with a snapshot of your current health by measuring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. Fall term screenings end November 20, so you still have two more days to register. Appointments are available, so please register today.

If you can’t attend a fall screening, you can still participate in Be in the Know. Look for additional biometric screening dates starting in January 2016. To accommodate your busy schedule, these screenings will be available throughout the spring semester. Check the Be in the Know webpage for updates this winter.

The following FAQ covers the basics of the Be in the Know program.

Q. What if I can’t get to the on-campus biometric screenings, or if I’ve already had a biometric screening from my physician?

A. If you can’t make it to an on-campus biometric screening this fall, screenings will be offered in 2016. The additional screening dates will be announced early next year. In the meantime, you can continue to participate in other Be in the Know activities and earn points toward a total of $180 in cash incentives.*

If you’ve already had a biometric screening from your healthcare provider, you can also participate in Be in the Know and earn 50 points for the biometric screening. Simply submit biometric screening results obtained from your physician using the Biometric Screenings Documentation Form. Follow the directions on the form, and the Core Action will be reported to StayWell – and you’ll be on your way to earning the $100 incentive for completing both Core Actions!

Q. How do I earn Be in the Know points and incentives?

A. You can earn points and cash incentives by completing Core Actions and Bonus Actions.

The Core Actions – the biometric health screening and the online health assessment – are worth 50 points each. When you complete both Core Actions, you earn 100 points and a $100 cash incentive.* The online health assessment will be available beginning in mid-December, and both Core Actions may be completed any time prior to the end of the campaign on August 31, 2016. Both Core Actions must be completed before the incentive is paid.

Bonus Actions are worth 10, 20, or 30 points each, depending on the type of activity. Earn 40 points by completing any combination of Bonus Actions, and you’ll be eligible for a $40 cash incentive. Earn an additional 40 points in Bonus Actions, and you’ll be eligible for another $40. When you earn 100 Bonus Action points, you’ll be entered into a drawing for great prizes.

Q. What type of activities can I do to earn Bonus Action points?

A. This year we’ve expanded qualifying Bonus Actions to include many more activities and events, including things you may already do. Bonus Actions include certain visits to health care providers, on-campus wellness walks and workshops, as well as digital workshops and other options from StayWell.

Learn more about Bonus Actions, including point levels and important dates, on the Be in the Know Bonus Actions webpage.

Register for current qualifying Bonus Actions here.

Q. Do I have to choose only one activity in each point category, or can I do as many as I wish?

A. You can complete as many Bonus Actions in any category as you wish! The maximum cash incentive any participant can earn for Bonus Actions is $80* (for earning 80 Bonus Action points.) If you reach 100 Bonus Action points, you will also be placed into a prize drawing.

Q. What evidence do I need to provide to show that I received the Bonus Action Level 1 or Level 2 Health Screening?

A. To receive the points for any of the Level 1 or Level 2 health screenings, you need to complete a Proof of Bonus Action Form and provide supporting documentation that shows the type of screening performed and the date of service. Often you will receive a receipt from your provider, which you can attach to the Proof of Bonus Action Form. Be sure that the receipt/document shows the date of service and the service provided.

Q. I already received my flu vaccine but was not given a receipt or anything in writing. Can I still get points for this?

A. If you would like to receive the 10 Bonus Action points for getting a flu vaccine, you will need you ask the provider (e.g., Occupational Medicine, pharmacy, doctor’s office, etc.) for written documentation.

If you received your flu vaccine from a Penn Occupational Medicine flu shot clinic, email to request a receipt.

If you received a flu vaccine at a Student Health Service/Campus Health flu shot clinic and did not receive a receipt/proof of vaccine, email Ashlee Halbritter to request one.

Q. When are campaign-related payouts for the cash incentives?

A. Incentives will be included in your February 2016, June 2016 and/or September 2016 paychecks, depending on when the actions are completed.

*All cash incentives will be less applicable payroll taxes.

Q. Where can I find more information about Be in the Know?

A. Visit the Be in the Know webpage for more information about the campaign and current activities, details about Bonus Action, and links to forms. If you have questions, you can also email

Self-Care for Caregivers in November and All Year Long

woman-and-elder-among-leaves-webFamily caregivers are not alone. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “about 44 million Americans provide 37 billion hours of unpaid, ’informal’ care each year for adult family members and friends.” This caregiving work can range from weekly grocery shopping and seasonal transportation to Florida to managing daily needs such as medications and meals for parents or loved ones.

During National Family Caregivers Month, Penn invites caregivers to take time for themselves by learning about benefits and support to help caregivers stay healthy and productive at work and at home all year long.

  • Backup Care for children and adults can allow faculty and staff to manage work responsibilities when a care need arises.
  • Health Advocate can help navigate the complex waters of the health system.
  • Aetna Life Essentials offers free financial planning and legal support including basic will preparation and health care power of attorney.
  • Long-term Care Insurance can help cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community, or in a nursing facility.
  • Penn Memory Center offers evaluations, research opportunities, care consultations, , support and information and classes including cognitive fitness and caregiver education and support groups .
  • Worklife Services, provided through the Employee Assistance Program, offers free help with referrals to elder care resources, geriatric care managers, legal advisers, financial advisers, and behavioral health professionals.

For more information, visit the Work and Life Resources page.

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