Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Fee Structure with Transamerica

We've received several comments regarding the health system's new retirement plan fee structure at Transamerica. This new fee structure was carefully considered by North Shore-LIJ for the benefit of all employees.

To Clarify
With Transamerica, you will pay one flat record-keeping fee. At MetLife, you paid a flat record-keeping fee and an additional fee that was a percentage of your total account balance. In other words, with MetLife, the more you saved, the more fees you had to pay. We hope that by removing this percentage-of-savings fee you will save more and not feel penalized by the higher fee.

Building your retirement savings is a healthy goal that should be supported by fees that do not increase along with your savings.

With MetLife, the annual and percentage fees resulted in an average total fee of $77 per year. At Transamerica, the annual record-keeping fee will be $60 for the 403(b) and 401(k) plans, and $90 for the 457(b). You'll see this fee billed in quarterly installments on your account statements (in addition to any fees charged by the companies that manage your investments).

One flat fee also means employees pay an equal and fair share of costs for administering the plan. Since a person with a low balance receives the same plan administrative benefits and resources as a person with a high balance, the health system and the Investment Committee believe this fee should be shared equally as well.

We hope this helps you better understand the changes to the retirement plans' fee structure. For more information, visit the Transition Portal on nslijtrs.retire.com.

Thanks very much for your feedback and support.

Monday, March 24, 2014

EZ Receipts App Eliminates Paper

If you participate in the pre-tax payroll deductions through WageWorks®, check out the new mobile app now offered for your iPhone, Blackberry or Android. EZ Receipts™ allows you to manage your healthcare, dependent care and commuter benefit accounts while on the go. No more copying, mailing or faxing, with EZ Receipts all it takes is a few clicks and you are done.

Access the App
  • First step- register with WageWorks by creating an online username and password. Visit wageworks.com and follow the prompts
  • Learn about the Mobile Site and download the app by visiting wageworks.com/aboutmobile
Mange Your Accounts
  • Snap a picture of your receipt(s) and send right to your account - it's that easy!
  • In addition to submitting, you can also view your claims and activity, and profile and preferences
To learn more, view this helpful video from WageWorks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dependent Audit for Benefits

Have you received a letter in the mail asking for proof of your dependents? If so, it is important that you reply with the correct documentation, such as a birth certificate or marriage license. North Shore-LIJ is verifying that all dependents currently covered by the health system-sponsored medical plans are actually eligible for this coverage. If it turns out your loved one is not eligible for our health plans you will not be penalized but you will have to find alternative coverage. If you need assistance providing the documentation requested contact the  third party vendor, ACS, HR Solutions at 1-888-218-1475.

Some of the relationships that are not legitimate for dependent coverage include:

  • Ex-spouses
  • Live-in partners or roommates 
  • Girlfriends/boyfriends or same-sex domestic partners
  • Cousins, nieces, nephews, sisters, brothers, parents
  • Neighbors and/or friends
  • Children over 26

In order to be eligible for medical coverage your dependent must be: 

  • A legally married spouse
  • Children under the age of 26 - natural, step and adopted
  • Unmarried children who are incapable of self-support due to physical or mental disability


A Smooth Move to Transamercia

On March 28 at 4pm the North Shore-LIJ retirement plans will be transferred from MetLife to Transamerica Retirement Solutions (March 31 for Staten Island University Hospital plan participants). The few weeks that follow is known as the blackout period. This is the time period that you will not be able to access your retirement account with MetLife or Transamerica, meaning you will not be able to initiate any transactions such as investment transfers, withdrawals or loans. The blackout period is due to end the week of April 20, although Transamerica and North Shore-LIJ aim to end it sooner.

For Staten Island University Hospital Plans
Transamerica has been a valuable partner to the employees at Staten Island University Hospital for several years. Now that they have fully integrated with the health system their retirement plan's fund line-up will convert to the same fund line-up as North Shore-LIJ's. Read more from the Transition Newsletter. 
It's all coming together now!

No Worries
The transition to Transamerica was designed to be as seamless as possible. In fact, there is very little you will need to do. Here's what you don't need to do:
  • Your account will transfer automatically, you will continue to save for your retirement without interruption
  • Your investment strategy will stay consistent, and your contributions will be in the same or similar funds
  • There are no forms for you to fill out
  • Your beneficiary will transfer with your account
What About the Frozen Plans?
Frozen plans refer to retirement plans that are inactive and closed to new entrants. Frozen plans will not be transferred from MetLife to Transamerica until later in the year. If you have a frozen plan you will be contacted towards the later part of 2014.

Once the transition is over you will be notified via email and mail. At that time you will have to register and sign in online with a new username and password (that goes for Staten Island University plan participants too!). For more information, check out the North Shore-LIJ Transition to Transamerica portal at nslij.trsretire.com.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Retirement Plans Move in March

If you have a North Shore-LIJ retirement account currently administered by MetLife, take note those plans will be moving from MetLife on March 28 at 4pm and converted  over to our new record keeper Transamercia Retirement Solutions the week of April 20. Now is a good time to start thinking about the strength (or the weakness) of you retirement planning. Answer the following questions yes or no:

  1. Without looking at your 403(b)/401(k) account, do you know how much you are currently contributing?
  2. Do you know how much you have to contribute to these plans to receive an employer match?
  3. Do you know the difference between a Cash Balance Plan and your 403(b)/401(k) Plan?
  4. Is saving for your retirement a high priority?
  5. Do you have any kind of plan for the future?
If you answered no to 3 or more of the above questions you should start paying more attention to your financial health. Step one to a healthier retirement: Start off by checking exactly what you are contributing to your 403(b) or 401(k) saving plan before the March 28 blackout begins. If you are still contributing under 6% you are not taking advantage of North Shore-LIJ's generous employer match. Once you hit 6% the health system kicks in 2%. Visit mlr.metlife.com or call 855-675-4547 to adjust your contributions today for a healthier tomorrow.

Transamerica Can Help
Retirement planning can be an overwhelming experience if you have no advice or direction. Over the next several months, take advantage of the educational tools and services that our new administrator, Transamerica, will offer. Onsite representative will be present beginning mid April to talk you through your concerns. Online investment tools will assist you once your account is active the week of April 20. 
Keep checking your email for more information about the conversion to Transamerica.

Monday, March 3, 2014

In Need of a Leave?

Would you know what to do if all of a sudden you were in need of a Leave from you job? Perhaps the Leave is due to the sudden illness of a spouse or child, or maybe you have been injured yourself and are unable to perform you daily functions at work.

There are a variety of reasons one may have for taking a Leave of Absence. Understanding the process and policies is something every employee should know. Here are some facts:

  • You must notify your manager with details and your contact information as soon as you are out for more than seven consecutive days
  • You must stay in contact with your manager at least every 30 days while on Leave
  • You must file paperwork applicable to your Leave after seven days out
  • You must have clearance from your manager is you are considering a Personal Leave
  • To claim under the the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) you must be an employee for a least one year or have worked 1,250 hours in the health system
  • To file a Disability Claim you must call The Hartford at 866-458-1002 (union members should refer to their Benefit Fund)
  • Upon return, you must contact Employee Health Services (Occupational Health/Injury Management for Staten Island University Hospital employees) 3 days prior to your return to work
For more information, check in with your site HR office or manager. To review the policies and procedure in detail, visit HealthPort>Human Resources>Policies and Procedures.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Get Financially Fit with Transamerica

After an extensive review North Shore-LIJ has chosen Transamerica Retirement Solutions as the new recordkeeper for the health system's  403(b), 401(k) and 457(b) retirement plans. Transamerica will replace MetLife on April 1, 2014, and will bring many benefits to its investors; including a flat-fee structure, user-friendly tools that encourage retirement saving, and commitment to education and financial guidance.

Be Prepared
The conversion of some 50,000 accounts, worth over 3.3 billion dollars, will begin on March 28 at 4pm with MetLife and will end the week of April 20 with Transamerica. This period of time is known as the blackout period and is common in all such transactions. Although you are still invested during this time, you will not be able to access your account. North Shore-LIJ and Transamerica will be working hard to end the blackout period as soon as possible and hope to restore access to your account earlier than the projected week of April 20.

Take the Time to Review
March is a good time to consider increasing your contribution to your retirement plan. If you do decide to boost your savings you can do so by contacting MetLife at mlr.metlife.com or 855-675-4547, prior to the conversion on March 28. Or you can wait after the blackout and contact Transamerica at 844-NSLIJHS (844-675-4547) or nslij.trsretire.com.

Did You Know?
The health system encourages all employees to be smart about saving by automatically contributing 3% of your pay into a 403(b) or 401(k) plan on the one-year anniversary of your hire. To further encourage you, North Shore-LIJ will throw in a 2% match if you increase your contribution to 6%. So start thinking now about how you can get financially fit in time for your retirement.

The timeline and notices for the conversion for North Shore-LIJ plans moving from MetLife to Transamerica and the timeline and notices for the Staten Island University Transamerica fund lineup change can be found on Employee Self Service and nslij.trsretire.com.