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January 21, 2016

Pitt Benefits

A new take on New Year’s resolutions

It’s that time of year again – New Year’s resolution time. explains, “Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later.”

According to a study done by the University of Scranton that was published in the Journal of Psychology, losing weight/staying fit, saving money, quitting smoking and getting organized are among the top 10 New Year’s resolutions. Making a resolution is the first step; sticking to it is the rest of the battle.

Help is available through the University’s resources at UPMC Health Plan. You can reach out to a health coach who can provide a wealth of programs and other resources to help you.

You can reach them at: 1-800/807-0751

Good luck and Happy New Year!



Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD imageYou’ve heard of it, but do you know whether you have it or what you can do about it? Due to popular demand, Dr. Kathryn Roecklein, professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, will be holding another session to address these questions at a brown bag lunch program for Pitt faculty and staff.

Topic:       Seasonal Affective Disorder
Date:         Monday, January 25, 2016
Time:         Noon-1 pm
Location:  Scaife Hall Room 1103

Bring your own lunch and any questions that you might have about SAD.

Dr. Roecklein will address the following issues and then open the floor for your questions:

•What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
•What is “the winter blues?”
•What causes SAD?
•How is SAD diagnosed and treated?
•What can people with “the winter blues’ do to feel better in winter?
•What is the outlook for people with SAD?
•Can SAD be prevented?
•Is there a stigma attached to SAD?

This program is brought to you by the mental wellness task force of the University Senate’s benefits and welfare committee.

A retirement review

The University of Pittsburgh provides you with the opportunity to save for your retirement through the University of Pittsburgh 403(b) Plan. Eligible employees also will receive the University matching contribution on the first 3% to 8% of salary that they contribute. If you have not reviewed how much you are contributing, now is the perfect time to do that.

2016 contribution limits

The maximum amount you can contribute each calendar year is determined by the Internal Revenue Service. The limits for 2016 have not changed from the prior year. University employees can contribute either pretax or Roth (after-tax) deductions from their paychecks. The limits listed below refer to your total (pretax and Roth) contributions.

•The general limit for employee contributions is $18,000.

•Employees who will be age 50 or older by Dec. 31, 2016, may contribute an additional $6,000 (for an overall limit of $24,000).

Paycheck reporting terms

If you participate in the plan, you may see multiple entries on your paycheck that are in reference to your retirement benefits. Retirement Pre-Tax and Supplemental are employee contributions that are deducted on a pre-tax basis. Retirement Roth and Supplemental Roth are employee contributions made on a Roth (after-tax) basis. All four of these entries, combined, are subject to the general limit listed above ($18,000). You may see Catchup Matched, Catchup Nonmatched, Catchup Matched Roth or Catchup Nonmatched Roth if you are age 50 or older. Combined, those entries can be no more than $6,000 in 2016.

Considering taking your money out of the University of Pittsburgh retirement savings plan?

Whether you have left the University of Pittsburgh, retired or completed your Accelerated Benefits period, it’s important to be aware of the options you have when it comes to your money within the Plan. Today’s decisions can have a substantial effect on  your income in retirement.

You do not need to remove your balance from the plan. In fact, your account balance can remain and stay invested as it is, with no interruptions. By staying in the plan, you can take advantage of available investment options and lower fees that may not be available if you roll your money into an individual account. In addition, the TIAA traditional, real estate and CREF annuities provide the opportunity for lifetime income that you may leave behind if you withdraw  your account.

Before taking any action, contact TIAA-CREF  for an individual advice session that is available to you at no additional cost. These important decisions can be difficult to make. You don’t have to do it alone. To schedule a session, call 800/732-8353.




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