December 2019 Human Resources Updates
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Human Resources is pleased to provide updates and announce new programs and services for our Loyola University Chicago community. Please review the information below to learn more about the annual University Christmas Celebration; December closure days; and health care benefits available through Loyola’s medical provider, Aetna.
2019 University Christmas Celebration
Human Resources encourages you to join colleagues at the annual University Christmas Reception on Thursday, December 19, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Damen Student Center at Lake Shore Campus. Additional details are available online, including how to RSVP for shuttle service from Water Tower and Health Sciences campuses. In addition, we encourage departments to sign up to participate in University Staff Council’s Holiday Spirit Contest, which is designed to benefit the Loyola Employee Emergency Fund (LEEF).
December Closure Days
The University will be closed at the end of the day on Friday, December 20, and will remain closed December 23 through January 1. We know that some staff members will be needed on campus to provide support during this weeklong closure. That communication should take place with your supervisor. Any staff member required to work closure days should coordinate with their supervisor to schedule alternate time off within 45 days before or after the closure days. If appropriate, when completing your timecard, please use the pay code “Closure Pay” in Kronos.
New Aetna Medical Insurance Cards Coming Soon
Faculty and staff members who enrolled in Loyola health insurance for 2020 will receive new insurance cards in the mail the week of December 16. Please watch your mailbox for the new ID cards from Aetna. Once you have received them, you can create an account online. In addition, you may download the Aetna Health app to your smartphone. Beginning January 1, you will be able to use the app to view your benefits, track progress toward your deductible, and access the digital version of your member ID card.
Well onTarget Program
On December 31, access to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s (BCBS) Well onTarget fitness and wellness program will end. Members should access their account prior to the end of the calendar year to complete all wellness activities, utilize fitness memberships, and redeem accumulated wellness points. Points may be used for various wellness and lifestyle products, such as electronics.
New 2020 Federal Form W-4
On December 4, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the final version of the new federal Form W-4 (Employee Withholding Certificate) for 2020. The revised Form W-4 includes many changes from previous years because of federal tax law changes that took place in 2018. Please note that the IRS does not require current employees to complete a new form; however, employees who are hired in 2020 and employees who previously completed a form in 2019 or earlier and want to make a change in 2020 must use the new form. Employees can access the 2020 Federal Form W-4 online. In addition, the IRS has published Frequently Asked Questions that employees may find helpful prior to completing a new form.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Year-End Reminders
New in 2020, Loyola will roll over up to $500 of unused Health Care FSA and Limited FSA dollars for use in 2020. Funds may continue to be used toward many eligible health care expenses, including online at the BenefitExpress FSA store. Any amount over $500 left in the account will be forfeited at the end of the year. For detailed information regarding eligible expenses, please review IRS Publication 502.
If you have remaining funds in your Dependent Care FSA, be sure to use them prior to December 31. Any money that you do not use before the end of the calendar year will be forfeited, and any 2019 eligible expenses should be claimed by March 31, 2020. For detailed information regarding eligible expenses, review IRS Publication 503.
2020 IRS Limits—Review Your Contributions
As a reminder, the IRS increased many tax-advantaged account contribution limits for 2020, which provides you with a greater opportunity to save on a pre-tax basis. You are encouraged to review your contributions annually, though you may make changes at any time during the year to the following accounts:
- 403(b) Retirement Savings Account (Defined Contribution Retirement Plan):
- $19,500 employee contribution limit (increase from $19,000 annually in 2019).
- $6,500 employee catch-up contribution limit for those age 50 and older (increase from $6,000 annually in 2019).
- Visit Transamerica in order to make changes.
- Transit Account: $270/month employee contribution limit (increased from $265/month in 2019):
- Visit BenefitExpress in order to make changes.
- Health Savings Account (HSA) annual contribution limits will increase; the limits include Loyola’s annual HSA contribution:
- $3,550 total employee-only contribution limit (increased from $3,500 annually in 2019).
- $7,100 total employee plus dependents contribution limit (increased from $7,000 annually in 2019).
- $1,000 employee catch-up contribution for those age 55 and older will remain the same.
- Email Benefits@LUC.edu in order to make changes.
Review Your First Paycheck in January 2020
Review your first paycheck in January to ensure that deductions have been correctly applied for your elected benefits in the new calendar year, especially if you made changes to your benefits during Open Enrollment or if you were newly hired. Questions? Please contact Human Resources via Benefits@LUC.edu.
Summary Annual Reports
At the end of every plan year, Loyola is required by the U. S. Department of Labor to provide employees with access to a Summary Annual Report for each benefit plan they may have participated in during the previous year. The 2018 Summary Annual Reports are available online.
2020 MLK Celebration and Service Days
The Executive Council on Diversity and Inclusion is excited to announce that the 2020 MLK Celebration will take place the week of January 20. The theme of this year’s celebration is “The Call to Move from Dialogue to Action.” New in 2020, University members (including the greater Chicago community) are invited to attend a conversation with Dr. David Stovall on Saturday, January 25. We will learn more about how Dr. Stovall uses and advances Dr. King’s principles and practices to close the academic, financial, and social equity gaps among marginalized populations throughout the city.
In addition, we invite you to help us help others by volunteering at an MLK Service Day location. Faculty and staff members who volunteer will receive full pay for the day and are not required to use any accrued vacation or personal days. There are several opportunities on all three main campuses to learn how community members integrate Dr. King’s principles of social justice and civic engagement into their personal and professional experiences.
Space is available for free EMERGE classes scheduled to take place in December. The program offers personal, professional, and wellness seminars. Whether you are in a leadership role or are a member of a team, you will find a program that helps you increase your knowledge and strengthen your skills. We encourage you to visit the website in order to learn more about the following courses:
- December 12: Supervisor Basics (WTC)
- December 17: Personal Productivity (WTC)
If you have questions regarding any of these updates, please visit LUC.edu/hr.
Winifred L. Williams, PhD
Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer