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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – January 2016 – Issue 285

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4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • January 26, 2016 • Issue Number 285

4J EMPLOYEE BENEFITS OFFICE CHANGE

Debbie Beitz, the 4J Employee Benefits Manager since August of 2013, decided to retire effective January 1, 2016. Debbie spent more than 30 years working in employee benefits and is looking forward to spending more time with her family. I know you all join me in wishing her the best as she pursues this exciting next phase of life and expressing thanks for all of her hard work here in 4J!

Andrea Webb is the new Employee Benefits Manager (and MAPS Benefits Coordinator) and has jumped right into her new role. Andrea joined the 4J Human Resources team in January of 2015 and joined Debbie in the Employee Benefits Office in August of 2015. Andrea brings with her many years of experience from the medical field, working for both local hospitals as well as multiple clinics in the Eugene/ Springfield area. She has worked with employers, insurance companies, and patients to ensure coordination of benefits and patient care. She is dedicated to making the complexity of insurance choices as easy as possible to understand. Andrea has a personal connection to 4J as well, having been through Santa Clara elementary, Madison Middle, and North Eugene High. Welcome Andrea!

Andrea can be reached by e-mail at webb_a@4j.lane.edu or by phone at 541-790-7675.

RETIRING THIS YEAR?

If you are considering retirement sometime during or at the end of the school year, please make sure you are aware of the requirements and timelines. There are two steps you’ll need to take to complete your retirement:

  1. Contact PERS to begin your Service Retirement process.
  2. Contact Julie Wenzl (541-790-7682 or wenzl@4j.lane.edu) to learn about your 4J retirement benefits and complete your 4J retirement paperwork.

To get advice regarding your PERS retirement, you’ll need to work with your financial planner or directly with PERS. 4J does not give PERS advice. The phone number for PERS is 888-320-7377 and the website is http://oregon.gov/PERS/. You can find a great deal of information on the PERS website, and can download forms and sign up for education sessions as well.

Article 4.9 of our contract specifies that you must give the District at least 60 days notice of your intention to retire:

The District will provide two supplemental retirement plans for eligible unit members. A unit member hired and employed as a bargaining unit member prior to July 1, 1998 and continuously a bargaining unit member until the date of retirement from District employment, is eligible for Supplemental Retirement Plan A. A bargaining unit member hired and employed on or after July 1, 1998, is eligible for Supplemental Retirement Plan B. A unit member who elects supplemental retirement must provide the District with at least sixty (60) days advance notice of retirement. Notice may be revoked or waived with District consent.

Article 4.9.1.b of our contract outlines an additional timeline requirement for plan A retirees:

By April 1st, unit members must give the District Human Resource Department a written commitment which specifies a retirement date if they intend to retire during the period from April 1st through November 15th. If unit members provide this commitment by April 1st, they shall be advanced two payments of the monthly supplemental retirement stipend in the first month following termination from the District. If unit members do not provide this commitment by April 1st and retire during the period from April 1st through November 15th, the unit members shall not be paid the monthly supplemental retirement stipend or the District insurance contribution during the first two months following retirement.

SICK LEAVE BANK

The Eugene Education Association manages the paid Sick Leave Bank for 4J licensed bargaining unit members. The Sick Leave Bank is a voluntary program. The purpose of the Bank is to grant hours to eligible members in cases of long-term absences necessitated by illness or injury.

The second 2015 – 2016 open enrollment period for the EEA/4J Sick Leave Bank will run from February 1 – April 1, 2016.

To become a participating member of the Sick Leave Bank, a bargaining unit member must donate 8 sick leave hours based on 1.0 FTE (prorated for part-time members).  If you are not yet a member of the Sick Leave Bank and would like to join, you are welcome to do so during the upcoming open enrollment period. Members are allowed to donate up to 16 hours of sick leave annually.

In order to maintain active membership in the Sick Leave Bank, a minimum donation of one day (prorated for part-time members) must be made every two years.  If your last donation to the Sick Leave Bank was made in the spring of 2014 or before, then you will need to donate during the upcoming open enrollment period in order to maintain or reactivate your membership in the Sick Leave Bank.  If your last donation to the Sick Leave Bank was made in the fall of 2014 or later, you are not required to make a donation at this time.

An e-mail reminder will be sent later this week with the Transmittal Agreement attached. You can also download the Transmittal Agreement form from the EEA website: http://www.eugeneteachers.org/. From the EEA homepage, click on the link for 4J Members, then the link for 4J Forms. The full Sick Leave Bank Guidelines are also available on the EEA website.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Reliant Behavioral Health provides the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to 4J employees and retirees as part of our OEBB benefits. EAP services include counseling, work-life balance, and wellness resources to help people privately resolve problems that may interfere with work, family, and other important areas of life.

Some EAP highlights:

  • Up to 5 counseling visits at no cost, per person, per issue
  • 24-hour crisis help: toll-free access for you or a family member experiencing a crisis
  • Mediation services: free consultations for personal, family and non-work related issues (e.g. divorce, neighbor disputes, real estate) – a 25% discount is available if a mediator is retained
  • Financial services: free telephone consultations for financial issues (e.g. debt counseling, budget, college/retirement planning) – a 25% discount is available if a professional is retained
  • Legal services: free will kit with professional review – free half-hour consultation, followed by a 25% discount in fees if the attorney is retained also available. (Legal services are not provided for employer-related issues.)

To access the EAP call 866-750-1327 or go online: https://www.myrbh.com (Access Code: OEBB)

FIND MORE ENERGY WHEN YOU COME HOME

If you’re flopping on the couch at the end of the day instead of tackling your to-do list, Reliant Behavioral Health suggests that you try these energizing tips:

  • Revive with 20 minutes of exercise.
  • Take a 25-minute nap. Studies show a short snooze is perfect for improving alertness.
  • Stave off afternoon blahs with snacks of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and protein. Avoid candy and chips.
  • Become a better night sleeper by easing into bed. Read, take a hot bath, and avoid computer screens before bedtime.

Try these strategies over the next seven days, and see if you get more stuff done.

WILLAMETTE DENTAL GROUP – INVISALIGN BENEFIT

Beginning in 2016, Willamette Dental Group will offer Invisalign treatment as an option for patients. The new treatment will be available through WDG licensed orthodontists in the 27 dental office locations throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho that offer orthodontic services.

The suitability of Invisalign treatment for each patient will be determined by the WDG orthodontist based on several factors including alignment goals, patient cooperation, and current oral health. Invisalign will require an increased commitment by the patient to carefully follow instructions provided by the orthodontist. In general, the simpler cases of minor misalignment are better suited for Invisalign treatment.

For additional information about Invisalign treatment at WDG, please call 1-855-433-6825 (option 3) to speak to a Member Services representative.


The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.

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