Author Archives: Franklin Ford Daniel

About Franklin Ford Daniel

Franklin Ford Daniel, a Benefits Specialist at Middlebury College, enjoys the administration of the College's retirement plans and other benefits. Franklin's currently fired up with the Certified Benefits Professional training to comply with U.S. legal and regulatory requirements and integrate benefits programs with business strategy and design. Prior to joining Middlebury, Franklin was a benefits analyst at Service Employees International Union. Before his benefits administration career, Franklin spent his days in the soccer field as a semi-professional soccer player with the NJ Nationals and Cape Cod Crusaders. Follow @franklindaniel_ on Twitter.

2016 Flexible Spending Account Reminder

HR door

You have until December 31st, 2016 to incur expenses that can be applied to your 2016 Flexible Spending Account. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Plan and the Benefits Card. For additional information please see the FSA website at

http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits/flex.

Q:  How do I access the funds in my 2016 Flexible Spending Account?

There are two ways to access your FSA funds:

  1. You may pay for eligible expenses using cash or check and then submit for reimbursement by completing a FSA claim form with a itemized receipt or explanation of benefits (you have until March 15, 2017 to submit claims on your 2016 FSA); or
  2. You may pay for eligible expenses, by December 31st, using your Benefits Card.  After December 31st, 2016 you will not be able to utilize your Benefits Card to access your 2016 FSA account.

Q:  How do I know how much is in my account?

FSA plan participants can find out current account balances anytime online by logging into their account at http://select.cbabluevt.com/middlebury/ or by calling Blue’s Customer Service Department at 1-888-222-9206.

Q:  Can I rollover any unused money for the next plan year?

Yes. The IRS allows up to $500 to roll from one plan year to the next in the Health Care FSA only. Please refer to the Health Care FSA Rollover Q&A form:http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/486763/original/fsa_rollover_qa_final.pdf.

Q:  Will I be able to use my Benefits Card in 2017 to access my 2016 FSA account balances?

No, the Benefits Card can only access the available balance in your CURRENT FSA plan year. This means if you want to use your Benefits Card to pay for expenses from your 2016 FSA you must pay for them by December 31, 2016.  

 Q:  Do I have to use the Benefits Card?

 No, you do not have to use the Benefits card. The Benefits Card is provided for your convenience. If you choose not to use the Benefits Card, you may send in a paper claim form with the proper documentation for reimbursement to CBA Blue (via fax or mail).  The paper claim form is available at http://www.middlebury.edu/media/view/170601/original/CBA_Blue_Flex_Claim_Form.pdf

 

A Friendly Reminder:

cigna

Open Meetings
Cigna will hold a serious of open meetings (on each campus) in which they will present information on topics such as: how to access services, network coverage, switching mail order prescriptions, technology offerings, etc. Meetings will include ample time for questions from the audience. These group meetings will be offered at:

Middlebury, Wilson Hall, McCullough Student Center
Day Date Session 1 Session 2
Thursday 11/03 12:00 – 1:30 PM 2:30 – 4:00 PM
Tuesday 11/08 12:00 – 1:30 PM 2:30 – 4:00 PM
Thursday 11/10 8:30 – 10:00 AM 12:00 – 1:30 PM

 

Monterey, McCone Boardroom
Day Date Session
Thursday 11/03 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Tuesday 11/08 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Thursday 11/10 2:00 – 3:30 PM


One on One Meetings in Middlebury

Please keep in mind that representatives from Cigna will continue to visit Middlebury campus several times through the Fall and Winter months. On-site visits are reserved for private, one-one-one meetings between employees and a Cigna representative.  If you have a question about your medical or dental benefits please make an appointment to speak with our local representative at:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4cadac2babf49-cigna2

 

Open Enrollment

open-eOpen Enrollment for Middlebury’s 2017 Health & Welfare Benefit Plan is being held from November 1 – 14, 2016.  All benefits-eligible employees are required to complete the open enrollment process within this time period even if they do not intend to make benefit changes for 2017.

Open enrollment is your opportunity to:

• Continue your current medical, dental, or vision elections into the new year OR add coverage for yourself and/or dependents OR terminate your own or your dependents’ coverage.
• Continue your current voluntary life and/or accidental death and dismemberment coverage for the new year OR increase OR decrease the amount of existing coverage in these plans OR apply for new coverage (subject to approval).
• Enroll in the health care and/or the dependent care flexible spending account(s) for next year. If you do not make an FSA election, you will not be contributing for 2017 even if you participated in 2016.  For more information, including Healthcare FSA rollovers, please click here .

Open Enrollment must be completed, using BannerWeb, between November 1 – 14, 2016.  Benefits eligible employees will be able to access the open enrollment module from any computer with internet access.

Getting Started

1. Access the Open Enrollment System:
• Click this link: http://go.middlebury.edu/bannerweb OR
• On the bottom right-hand corner of the Middlebury homepage http://www.middlebury.edu/  click “Quick Links” and then “BannerWeb.”

2. Enter your BannerWeb User ID (your Midd ID number) and your PIN and click “Login.”

3. Click “Employee”, then “Benefits and Deductions”, and then “Open Enrollment.”

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Open Enrollment Hotline: (800) 443-2320. You may also email Nancy Lindberg or Franklin Daniel at nlindberg@middlebury.edu or fdaniel@middlebury.edu.

Open Enrollment

open-eOpen Enrollment for Middlebury’s 2017 Health & Welfare Benefit Plan is being held from November 1 – 14, 2016.  All benefits-eligible employees are required to complete the open enrollment process within this time period even if they do not intend to make benefit changes for 2017.

Open enrollment is your opportunity to:

• Continue your current medical, dental, or vision elections into the new year OR add coverage for yourself and/or dependents OR terminate your own or your dependents’ coverage.
• Continue your current voluntary life and/or accidental death and dismemberment coverage for the new year OR increase OR decrease the amount of existing coverage in these plans OR apply for new coverage (subject to approval).
• Enroll in the health care and/or the dependent care flexible spending account(s) for next year. If you do not make an FSA election, you will not be contributing for 2017 even if you participated in 2016.  For more information, including Healthcare FSA rollovers, please click here .

Open Enrollment must be completed, using BannerWeb, between November 1 – 14, 2016.  Benefits eligible employees will be able to access the open enrollment module from any computer with internet access.

Getting Started

1. Access the Open Enrollment System:
• Click this link: http://go.middlebury.edu/bannerweb OR
• On the bottom right-hand corner of the Middlebury homepage http://www.middlebury.edu/  click “Quick Links” and then “BannerWeb.”

2. Enter your BannerWeb User ID (your Midd ID number) and your PIN and click “Login.”

3. Click “Employee”, then “Benefits and Deductions”, and then “Open Enrollment.”

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Open Enrollment Hotline: (800) 443-2320. You may also email Nancy Lindberg or Franklin Daniel at nlindberg@middlebury.edu or fdaniel@middlebury.edu.

IRS Announces 2017 Plan Contribution and Benefit Limits

HR doorOn October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items beginning January 1, 2017. See the chart below for further details.

The highlights of limitations that changed from 2016 to 2017 include the following:

  • The 401(a) annual compensation limit applicable to retirement plans increased from $265,000 to $270,000.
  • The elective deferral limit and age 50 catch-up limit remained the same at $18,000 and $6,000, respectively
  • The 415(c) contribution limit applicable to defined contribution retirement plans increased from $53,000 to $54,000.
2017 2016
RETIREMENT PLANS
Annual Compensation Limits For Retirement Program Purposes 270,000 265,000
Elective Deferrals 403(b) – (for under age 50) 18,000 18,000
Catch-up Contributions For 403(b) Plan Participants age 50 and over 6,000 6,000
457(b) Elective Deferrals 18,000 18,000
457(b) Catch Up Contribution (Subject To Age And Other Restrictions) 18,000 18,000
Defined Contribution Limits On Maximum Combined Employee/Employer Contributions To Defined Contributions Plans 54,000 53,000
OTHER
Social Security Taxable Wage Base 127,200 118,500
Medicare Wage Base No Limit No Limit

All figures in US dollars.

Sources: www.irs.gov, www.tiaa.org

Open Meetings

cignaIn November, Cigna will hold a series of open meetings (on each campus) in which they will present information on topics such as: how to access services, network coverage, switching mail order prescriptions, technology offerings, etc. Meetings will include ample time for questions from the audience. These group meetings will be offered at:

Middlebury, Wilson Hall, McCullough Student Center
Day Date Session 1 Session 2
Tuesday 11/01 8:30 – 10:00 AM 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Thursday 11/03 12:00 – 1:30 PM 2:30 – 4:00 PM
Tuesday 11/08 12:00 – 1:30 PM 2:30 – 4:00 PM
Thursday 11/10 8:30 – 10:00 AM 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Monterey, McCone Boardroom
Day Date Session
Tuesday 11/01 1:30 – 3:00 PM
Thursday 11/03 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Tuesday 11/08 10:00 – 11:30 AM
Thursday 11/10 2:00 – 3:30 PM

 

Reminder: One on One Meetings
Please keep in mind that representatives from Cigna will be visiting both the Middlebury and Monterey campuses several times through the Fall and Winter months. On-site visits are reserved for private, one-one-one meetings between employees and a Cigna representative.  If you have a question about your medical or dental benefits please make an appointment to speak with our local representative at:

Middlebury
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4cadac2babf49-cigna2

Monterey
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4cadac2babf49-cigna1

 

YOU ASKED, WE DELIVERED!

cignaMore one-on-one sessions with a Cigna representative are available in Middlebury through January 2017. Please make an appointment with a trained professional to get answers to your questions by visiting: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4cadac2babf49-cigna2

 

Monterey appointments are still available on: 10/12, 10/20 and 10/26. Please schedule a MIIS appointment at: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4cadac2babf49-cigna1

 

SAVE THE DATE: During November, Cigna will hold a series of open meetings (on each campus) in which they will present information on topics such as: how to access services, network coverage, switching mail order prescriptions, technology offerings, etc. Meetings will include ample time for questions from the audience. These group meetings will be offered at various times on November 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 10th; specific meeting times and room locations will be announced as we get closer to Open Enrollment.  We hope to see you there!