New to Drew!

Please join me in welcoming the newest members of our community!  Staff listed below came on board between October 1 and November 30, 2011

  • Zachery Brown, Assistant Fencing Coach
  • Bahiyyah Muhammad, Director of the College Bound Consortium
  • Asha Nambiar, Coordinator of Disability Services
  • Naga Obilichetti, Business Office Assistant
  • Luke O’Connell, Senior Philanthropy Officer
  • Michelle Para, Assistant Teacher, Acorn Academy
  • Scott Sisco, Admission Technology Officer

Retiree Health Q&A

Earlier this month we announced a one-time opportunity for eligible faculty and staff to retire under the old retiree health plan.  Several questions have been raised which are answered below.

Q.    How soon can I retire under this plan?

A.      You can retire as early as December 1, 2011, but no later than June 30, 2012. We encourage everyone who is considering retiring to contact the Social Security Office and TIAA-CREF to ensure that you understand the financial implications of retiring.

Q.    When should I tell my supervisor that I am planning to retire?

A.      Retirements under this plan must be shared with your supervisor on or before January 31, 2012. 

Q.    What are the eligibility requirements?

A.      You must be 55 years of age or older and have 10 or more years of full-time service as of December 31, 2010.

Q.    Are part-time faculty and staff who were “grandfathered” under the active health program several years ago eligible for retiree health?

A.      Sorry, only full-time faculty and staff are eligible to participate in the retiree health plan.

Q.    Are there other changes planned for retiree health?

A.        As part of the Organizational Review the Compensation and Benefits Team will consider changes to health care generally and retiree health specifically.  The University reserves the right to change the plan design (i.e. co-pays, deductibles, etc.) in the future.

Q.    What is the difference in cost for the new plan?

A.      The chart below shows costs for coverage under the old plan and under the new one. The University covers 70% of the cost of the premium for the retiree and their dependents under the old plan; under the new plan the University pays 70% of the premium for the retiree and 30% for dependents.)

Retired Prior to 1/1/2011

Retired on or after 1/1/2011





Under 65 Base Plan
Single-Non Medicare





Two-party Non-Medicare





Two-party – Retiree Non-Medicare,





   Spouse Medicare
Family Non-Medicare





Family – Retiree and Children Non-





      Medicare, Spouse Medicare
65+ Indemnity Plan
Single Medicare





Two-Party – Retiree Medicare,





      Spouse Non-Medicare
Two-party Medicare





Family – Retiree Medicare, Spouse





      and Children Non-Medicare
Family – Retiree and Spouse Medicare,





      Children Non-Medicare

Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a very difficult time for individuals and families and to help with the stress the University provides the services of two employee assistance programs.  CONCERN offers free confidential counseling and information services to you and your family members.  CONCERN provides assistance in many areas, including grief, financial pressures, depression and anxiety, family/parenting issues, stress management, alcohol & drug problems, eating disorders, marital and relationship issues and self-esteem.  Confidential telephone consultations are available by calling 1-800-242-7371.

Ability Assist provides employees and their dependents unlimited, 24/7 telephone  access to a toll-free helpline staffed by Master’s level counselors who will help employees develop an assistance plan and provide referrals  to  a professional network of providers. They may also refer employees to support services, such as community-based help resources, not-for-profit self-help groups, and daycare for children and elderly parents.  If needed, the employee and his or her dependents may use up to five face-to-face sessions per year with a counselor, financial planner, or legal advisor. Ability Assist services are provided through ComPsych, a leading provider of employee assistance and work/life services.  For confidential assistance call 1-800-964-3577.

2012 Dollar Limits

The IRS released the maximum 2012 dollar limits for employee benefit plans as follows:

  • Social Security Taxable Wage Base $110,100
  • Medicare Wage Base No Limit
  • Maximum pre-tax contribution to 403(b) plans $17,000 (under age 50) $22,500 (over age 50)
  • Maximum elective deferral for employees under $20,000 age 50 with 15 years or more of service at Drew  
  • Maximum elective deferral for employees age 50  $25,500 and over with 15 or more years of service at Drew

Planning for Your Retirement

No matter the stage of your life or your career, it’s always the right time to plan for your retirement.  Drew employees have the opportunity to contribute to a supplemental retirement account (SRA) to save more for retirement. Your contributions are deducted from your paycheck before you pay Federal income taxes, lowering your current taxable income. Best of all, your contributions and any earnings are tax deferred, which means you don’t pay taxes on them until you withdraw the funds, usually at retirement. (Withdrawals prior to 59½ may be subject to a 10% IRS early withdrawal penalty in addition to ordinary income tax.) 

Beginning your contributions now—even a small amount—can help build your retirement savings over the long term. And if you’re currently contributing to the plan, increasing your contributions can add considerably to your savings potential. A TIAA-CREF individual consultant can help you define your long-term goals, review the choices the plan offers to help you get where you want to go, and take you step-by-step through enrolling in the plan. TIAA-CREF telephone consultants are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 800-842 2776.  For a copy of the enrollment form, go to the HR Intranet site under TIAA-CREF.

***Payroll Deadlines***

To ensure that monthly paid faculty and staff are paid correctly, all paperwork, including stipends and new hire benefit enrollment forms, must be received in HR or Payroll no later than the dates shown below:

  • December 9 for the December 22 paycheck

Calendar of Events

New Staff Orientation:

  • Monday, Dec 5               9:00 am – 11:30 am        Madison House, Room 104

TIAA-CREF Individual Counseling Sessions (by appointment only*)  TBA

*To schedule an appointment with TIAA-CREF please call 1-800-732-8353

Posted in HR News