Home » News » Newsletters » Classified Benefits Newsletter » Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter February 2020 Issue #5

Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter February 2020 Issue #5

Published by:

Arthur Hart, Classified Benefits Coordinator

Phone: 541-790-7679 e-mail: hart_a@4j.lane.edu


The 4J Wellness Fair

The 4J Wellness Fair will be on February 25th, 4-6 PM at the Ed Center.  This year the 4J Wellness offers:

OEBB Wellness Programs

All OEBB members enrolled in a Moda or Kaiser plan are eligible to participate in the OEBB wellness programs.  These programs are tied to your insurance benefits, and you may need your medical insurance ID number or log in to your Moda or Kaiser insurance internet portal to access some of the benefits.  Some of the OEBB wellness programs are only available to Moda member, and other programs are only available to Kaiser members, but many programs are available to both plan members.

OEBB wellness programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Chronic Disease Management- Better Choices Better Health (an online chronic condition management program) Health Coaching,
  • Depression and Stress Management- Healthy Team Healthy U, Depression Care, Health Coaching, and online resources.
  • Diabetes Prevention and Management- Virtual Lifestyle Management (online diabetes prevention program) Health Coaching, Diabetes program, classes, and online resources.
  • Diet and Exercise- Weight Watchers, Lifestyle Coaching, Active and Fit (discount gym memberships) and online resources.
  • Sleep Management- Lifestyle Coaching and online resources
  • Tobacco Cessation- Quit for life, Lifestyle Coaching, Classes, and online resources.

Information on OEBB Wellness Programs are at: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEBB/Pages/Wellness-Programs.aspx

2020 W-4 Withholding Forms

Federal and state W-4 withholding forms have changed significantly for the 2020 tax year.  Current employees are not required to make a change to their 2020 withholding, but if they choose to do so they will be required to utilize the new withholding forms.  The 2020  Federal and State withholding forms are on the 4J website at: https://www.4j.lane.edu/finance/forms/

Reasons to Change Your Tax Withholding Status:

  • You have a change of employment– If you’ve taken a new job, or had a period of unemployment, you’ll want either to account for a change in pay, or to adjust for the loss of income.
  • You received a big refund last year– It’s always nice to get a windfall of money, but if you are receiving a sizeable refund each year, you are essentially giving the government an interest free loan. You could be using that money throughout the year in the form of a bigger paycheck and even earning interest on it.
  • You owed money when filing your tax return– It’s no fun learning that you owe taxes. If you owed money, you may want to adjust your withholding to have more taken out of your paycheck.
  • You got married or divorced– a change in marital status will almost always cause a change in your tax status, especially if both spouses work.
  • You have a child– Having an addition to the family will probably increase your household expenses, but will generally reduce your tax liability
  • You adopt a child- In addition to qualifying for exemptions and credits because of your new family member, there is an additional adoption credit available for some families that otherwise might not be able to afford to adopt a child. For details on this credit, refer to IRS Topic 607.
  • You can no longer claim a dependent that you claimed last year– If any of your children no longer qualify to be claimed as a dependent, be sure to adjust your withholding to avoid owing tax.
  • You or your spouse increases or decreases employment income– Any time your income changes, your tax liability generally changes as well.
  • You purchase your first home– If you have recently purchased your first home, you may have additional deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. However, make sure you are itemizing your deductions if you haven’t in the past.

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

-Albert Einstein


Are you thinking about retirement this year?  Now is the time to act.  Retirement is a complicated and multifaceted puzzle that has many moving parts.  It’s never too early to start working on your retirement.

  • Timelines- All PERS and 4J retirements must be on the first day of the month. Classified 4J retirement paperwork should be completed with the Classified Benefit Coordinator (Arthur Hart) four to six weeks before your retirement date.  PERS retirement paperwork can be submitted to PERS no earlier than 90 days prior to retirement.
  • Health Insurance- In retirement you may continue to purchase OEBB insurance through 4J until you are Medicare eligible. PERS retirees may be eligible for PERS health insurance.  For more information, consider attending a 4J sponsored Health Care in Retirement
  • PERS retirement benefits- PERS is a complex system with many different components. PERS offers free education sessions that you can sign up for, and it is a good idea to check out PERS Steps to Retire.  You may consider attending a 4J Understanding PERS presentation (April 28th), or an OEA Financial Workshop (February 19th).  4J does not give PERS advice, but you can contact PERS from 8:30 to 5:00 weekdays at 1-888-320-7377.
  • Retirement from 4J- 4J classified staff may be eligible for a 4J retirement benefit based on their age, years of service, PERS tier, and date of retirement. 4J retirement benefits are outlined in Article 20 of the OSEA/4J CBA.
  • Coordinating it all- Beyond healthcare, 4J, and PERS decisions your retirement plan should coordinate your mortgage, savings, investments, social security benefit, taxes, and other incomes, debts, and expenditures to ensure that you be able to enjoy your retirement.  A retirement advisor may offer the needed expertise to give you a confident understanding of your finances in retirement.  If you are of a mind to do it yourself there is no shortage of books that focus on strategies for successful retirement.  As a 4J employee you are also able to use the EAP financial help benefit, which includes 30 consecutive days of free phone consultations for retirement planning.  To utilize the EAP benefit call 1-866-750-1327 and use access code: OEBB.

VSP Vision

4J employees who have enrolled in an OEBB Moda or Kaiser Medical plan are also enrolled in the VSP Vision Choice Plus plan.  All VSP benefits are available every 12 months.  You do not receive a VSP insurance card.  To access your VSP benefits simply go to eye care provider that accepts VSP, and they will be able to look you up by name in the VSP system.

Save A Life

First aid, CPR, and AED training can help equip you with the necessary tools to save a life.  Did you know that this year alert 4J employees used their first aid and CPR training with a 4J school AED to save the life of a coworker?  Having the right training when the need arises can give you the confidence to save a life.

First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person suffering from either a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery.  First aid training often includes training in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

District first aid/CPR training is available April 29th, from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Howard Elementary.  The class is $30.00 and can be reimbursed by PEP funds for classified employees that are not required to have first aid training.  Contact Katie Burns for more details.

Free Financial Workshop

Near retirement? Still a ways off?  Learn about your options in a presentation given by John Van Ravenhorst, CRPC.  The workshop will be held at the OEA offices at 2815 Coburg Rd at 5:30 to 6:30 on Wednesday February 19th.  Spouses are welcome, and light snacks will be provided.

Topics covered at the workshop include:

  • Current legislative and PERS Board changes
  • PERS retirement basics, including eligibility and payout options for each Tier and IAP
  • Retirement actions to take within five years, on year, and 90 days

If interested in attending please pre-register directly with John at 541-343-2928 or john@bridgeswealth.com.

Flexible Spending Accounts

A general purpose health flexible spending account (FSA) can be a great tool for reducing your taxable income, but does have IRS compliance policies that must be adhered to.  All charges to your Benny card will need to be eligible, and may require documentation.  If you make an ineligible purchase with your card PacificSourse will contact you, and you may choose to mail them a refund, or submit a receipt for an eligible out-of-pocket expense (not paid with the benefit debit card) to offset the ineligible expense.  For specific information regarding your FSA account call PacificSource at 541-485-7488.

This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

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