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.

TIAA ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH ERIK MOREAU

July– September, 2016

  • Thursday July 21, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Tuesday July 26, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday August 9, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday August 17, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday August 31, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday September 7 , Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday September 20, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday September 28, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).

TIAA ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH ERIK MOREAU

July– September, 2016

  • Thursday July 21, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Tuesday July 26, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday August 9, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday August 17, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday August 31, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday September 7 , Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday September 20, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday September 28, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).

TIAA ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH ERIK MOREAU

April– June 2016

  • Thursday April 7, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday April 13, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday April 27, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday May 11, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday May 19, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday June 1, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday June 14, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday June 30, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).

Important Benefits Reminders

Trouble-free employee benefit plan administration requires a strong partnership between employees and Human Resources. The Human Resources Department works diligently each year-end to accurately process the thousands of required or requested benefit record changes and then to check and double-check our work.  However, in the end, we also must rely on you, the employee, to do your part in managing your benefits by confirming that you are enrolled in the benefits you intended to elect.  Please carefully review your first paycheck and let us know if you have questions or if anything seems amiss.

Medical/Dental Insurance

  • New ID cards were mailed for all medical plan participants in December. These new ID cards have information regarding our new pharmacy benefit manager, MagellanRx, including their group and plan number, as well as their customer service phone number. Please confirm that you have received your new ID card. If you did not receive your new ID cards or if you need additional cards (for example, for a child away at college) call CBA Blue customer service (1-888-222-9206).
  • If you made a change to who is covered under your medical or dental plan, your new ID cards should reflect those changes.  If your new ID cards do not list the correct family members please contact Nancy Lindberg x3372 or Franklin Daniel x5755.
  • As was announced in October, there was a modest increase in employee portion of the medical premiums for 2016.  Premium increase amounts vary by coverage and income level. In addition, the out-of-pocket maximum for the prescription plan increased from $500 to $600, but other plan design features remain stable, meaning that there will be no increase in employee cost-sharing through changes in deductibles, co-insurance, the medical out-of pocket maximum, prescription co-pays etc. Also, any employee who made coverage level (single/2 person/family) changes should see a premium change in the first paycheck of 2016.
  • The employee Dental Plan premiums did not increase for 2016. However, any employee who made coverage level (single/2-person/family) changes should see a premium change in the first paycheck for 2016.

Vision Insurance

  • As a reminder our vision plan is with Vision Service Plan (VSP).  No ID card is required (just tell your VSP provider the last 4 digits of your SSN and date of birth). A summary of the plan and other helpful information is available on-line at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits/vision.  The premium for the Vision Plan did not increase for 2016 and the plan design will remain the same, except that the in-network allowance for frames or elective contact lenses was enhanced from $130 to $150.

Voluntary Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

  • Premiums changes related to a change in coverage amount or age-band changes (5 year increments) should be reflected in the first paycheck in 2016. If you made changes or you hit a new age band in 2015, please confirm that your premium changed.
  • Requests for new life coverage or for increases in life coverage over the guarantee issue amount are not effective until approved by UNUM. An Evidence of Insurability form must be submitted by you to UNUM if you have requested this type of change. UNUM will notify you directly of approval or denial. Any premium changes will be made as of the effective date of the approved coverage.

Flexible Spending Accounts

  • Elections in Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts for 2016 should be reflected in the first paycheck. Please review your pay stub and confirm that your contribution is correct (divide your total annual election by 26 to calculate your per pay-period election.)
  • If you are a new Flexible Spending Account plan participant (you were not enrolled in a FSA last year) then FSA Benefits Cards were mailed to your home address in mid-December.  If you had a FSA last year you will not be issued a new card as they are valid for 3 years.  If your card is three years old, it will be good through January 31st and a new card will be issued by mid-January. The Benefits Card can be used to access funds in your Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. Important information about the FSA Benefits Card is available at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits/flex.
  • You have until March 15, 2016 to file claims against your 2015 Flexible Spending Accounts for expenses incurred in 2015. The FSA claim form and other helpful information on Flexible Spending Accounts can be found at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits/flex. Please visit CBA Blue’s website at http://select.cbabluevt.com/middlebury/ to review your account information.

Retirement

  • If you submitted forms prior to the holiday break requesting changes to your Voluntary Retirement Plan or to enroll in the 457b Salary Deferral Supplemental Retirement Plan, your new elections should have been reflected in your first paycheck of 2016. If you requested changes please confirm that your elections are as expected. If you have made a change to who is covered on your medical or dental plan and you have not received your new ID card(s), or if a benefit deduction doesn’t look right to you, or if you have any other questions or concerns about your benefits, please contact Franklin Daniel at x5755.

Your Benefits Team

Nancy Lindberg, Benefits Specialist (Health/Dental/Vision/Flex Spending) x3372

Franklin Daniel, Benefits Specialist (Retirement Plans & Retiree and Active Medical/Dental/Vision) x5755

Cheryl Mullins, Acting AVP of Human Resources x5542

IRS Announces 2016 Plan Contribution and Benefit Limits

On October 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items beginning January 1, 2016. See the chart below for further details.

2015 2016
RETIREMENT PLANS
Annual Compensation Limits For Retirement Program Purposes 265,000 265,000
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 53,000 53,000
OTHER
Social Security Taxable Wage Base 118,500 118,500
Medicare Wage Base No Limit No Limit

All figures in US dollars.

Sources: www.tiaa-cref.orgwww.irs.gov

Follow @franklindaniel_ on Twitter for up to date information on retirement benefits.

Are You Exploring the Idea of Retiring Within the Next Couple of Years?

If you are considering whether (or when) to move on to the post-work phase of your life it is very likely that you have many questions. For example, you may be wondering:

  • What will happen with my retirement account when I retire? Can someone explain the options I will have for retirement plan distributions? Could I get an estimate of how much income I might expect to receive from my retirement account, post-retirement? How long after retirement will I have to wait before I begin receiving my retirement benefits?
  • Will I be able to remain on Middlebury’s medical/dental/vision plans post-retirement? Will I be able to cover my dependents? How much will it cost? Are there other health coverage options I should consider?
  • Do I have to apply for Medicare A? Medicare B? Medicare D? If so, when?
  • How far in advance of retirement should I contact the Social Security Administration?
  • What will happen with my CTO and SLR balances when I retire? Can I use my accumulated CTO balance to extend my retirement date past the date I will actually stop working?
  • I still have a child in college; if I retire will he still be eligible for the dependent tuition benefit?
  • How much notice should I give my manager? What is the process to formally initiate a retirement?
  • Could phased retirement or a transitional retirement plan be right for me? What is involved in pursuing such an option?
  • Would I be eligible to work at Middlebury part-time after I retire? Would doing so have any implications for my ability to draw funds from my retirement plan?
  • Will I still be eligible for Middlebury’s recreational discounts such as Snowbowl, Rikert and the golf course? Are there other perks that come with retirement?
  • Work has been a huge part of my life for decades and I’m concerned about the social and emotional aspects of retiring. Are resources available to help me?

My name is Franklin Daniel and I am Middlebury’s Retirement Plan Specialist. Whether you have definite plans to retire in the near future or are just starting to consider the possibility of retiring down-the-road I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you (and your spouse/partner, if you so choose). We can discuss the topics above as well as any other retirement questions/concerns you may have, and I can help connect you with other resources who will be able to assist you with your pre-retirement planning. If the time is right for you to begin gathering information about retiring from Middlebury please make an appointment by calling me at extension 5755 or emailing me at fdaniel@middlebury.edu. I look forward to meeting you!

 

– Franklin Daniel