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From Human Resources
December 4, 2007, Volume 54, No. 14

Emergency Closings

Although Penn normally never stops operating, emergencies such as severe weather conditions may sometimes result in the cancellation of classes and/or the full or partial closure of certain areas of the University. Decisions affecting work schedules and class cancellation are made by the Executive Vice President in consultation with the Provost.

The University will announce a closing or other modification of work schedules through the following means:

• the University’s emergency information number: (215) 898-6358  (215-898-MELT)
• communications from the Division of Public Safety
• KYW News Radio (1060 AM)
• the uPennAlert Emergency Notification System (for University related incidents and crises)

The University’s emergency radio identification code numbers are “102” for day classes and schools/centers and “2102” for evening classes. The message that accompanies the code number will provide the operating status of the University. Make sure to keep this emergency information in a place you can easily access.

Even when Penn is officially closed due to an emergency, there are some essential services that must still be provided, such as Public Safety or Facilities. Staff members in essential positions are still required to work as normally scheduled under these circumstances.

More information on the suspension of normal operations is available online at www.hr.upenn.edu/policy/policies/707.asp.

Your Life Insurance Beneficiary  

Most of us don’t think about our life insurance very often—it’s hard to confront the fact that we can’t be there for our loved ones forever. But that’s exactly why it’s important to keep your life insurance beneficiary information up to date. It’s best to review your beneficiary information on at least an annual basis, to ensure that your spouse/partner, children, parents, siblings or friends are taken care of when you’re gone. Consider how much your life can change in the space of a year: marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, and death can all impact your choice of beneficiary.

Fortunately, updating your beneficiary information online is quick and easy. To review or change your designation, visit www.upenn.edu/u@penn and click on “Health benefits—view, enroll, change” in the “Benefits” section.  Log on with your PennKey and password, select the “Update Life Insurance Beneficiary” option, and the online system will walk you through the enrollment process.  If you have any questions, please contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENN-BEN (1-888-736-6236).

Help with Work & Family Issues

Managing the dual demands of your work and home responsibilities can be complicated and exhausting at times. That’s why Human Resources provides a Work & Family Services benefit which offers a variety of helpful information and resources. To make this benefit even more useful, a redesigned online portal has just been launched—it’s easier to use than ever and includes an expanded array of resources.

The Work & Family Services online portal brings together a wealth of information on issues that are important to everybody, from caring for your family to how best to manage your time, money and health. You have free access to articles and services from more than one million worklife benefit providers, including Penn’s provider, Penn Behavioral Health. You can find compelling research, robust concierge resources, legal and financial advice, shopping rewards and discounts at a network of national vendors.

To access these resources, first visit Penn’s Work & Family Services homepage at www.hr.upenn.edu/quality/worklife/dependent.asp (you will need to log in with your PennKey) and follow the instructions to log in to the “Work & Family Services online portal.” If you have any questions about Work & Family Services benefits or how to access the online resources, please contact Human Resources at (215) 898-0380 or kraut@hr.upenn.edu.

Reaching Retirement Goals

Have you thought about your retirement goals lately? With the end of the tax year approaching, there’s limited time left to maximize your pre-tax retirement plan contributions for 2007. Pre-tax savings have less of an impact on your paycheck than you might think, since you don’t pay federal income taxes on the money you’re putting away until you actually take the money out of your account. The sooner you start saving, the better—and it’s never too late to start!

For calendar year 2007, your pre-tax contributions generally cannot exceed $15,500, but this amount may be higher if you are at least 50 years of age and/or have at least 15 years of service with the University. The contribution limit for 2008 will remain at $15,500.

Manage your accounts with Penn’s online retirement system at www.upenn.edu/u@penn (look under “Benefits” for the “Retirement benefits—view, enroll, change” link), or call the Retirement Call Center at 1-877-PENN-RET (1-877-736-6738) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To learn more about Penn’s retirement plans, visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/retirement.

—Division of Human Resources

Almanac - December 4, 2007, Volume 54, No. 14