March 31, 2011

News you can use from HR Services

by Paula Van Brocklin

Here's the latest information from human resource services, including a few deadline reminders that could impact you.

Flexible spending accounts

Need a little more money in your pocket? Don't miss this deadline. All health care and dependent care flexible spending account claims must be filed by April 30 if you wish to get reimbursed for your 2010 eligible expenses. If you miss the deadline, you'll lose any unclaimed money that was deducted from your paycheck to cover qualified expenses in 2010.

You may access reimbursement claim forms through Wellmark. First-time users should click "New User" and create a username and password. If you have questions about your claims, contact Wellmark at (800) 624-2755.

If you need additional assistance, contact ISU's benefits specialists through the HR Service Center, 4-4800.

Phased plus retirement program

April 30 also is the deadline for those considering the phased plus retirement option (PDF). This plan allows an approved employee to receive a reduced appointment for a maximum of two years. At the end of that time, the employee may opt for either health/dental coverage or retirement contributions for the balance of five years. So far, 44 employees have been approved for phased plus retirement.

Employees interested in the phased plus retirement option should talk with their department leaders. For additional retirement questions, contact retirement information specialist Ann Doty, 4-4521.

Employee benefits survey

About a month ago, all faculty and professional and scientific employees received an email survey from HRS seeking opinions on Iowa State's health care benefits. The results are in, and the University Benefits Committee and RISE will analyze them over the next few months. Look for information on the survey results this summer in Inside Iowa State.

HRS employees are pleased with the survey's response rate. Here's a look at the numbers:

  • 1,775 people completed the survey
  • 71 percent of the total response was from P&S staff
  • 27 percent of the total response was from faculty
  • 74 percent of respondents have worked at ISU for five or more years