Holiday Reminder

Friday, March 14, 2014 has been designated as a university holiday.

VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan Opt-In Period

The VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan combines the features of a defined benefit plan, which pays a monthly benefit based on age, total service credit and average final compensation, and a defined contribution plan, which provides a retirement benefit based on contributions to the plan and the investment performance of those contributions. Eligible members may elect to opt into the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan during a one-time election period from January 1 – April 30.

ICMA-RC 457 One-on-One Retirement Counseling Visits

Beginning in March, ICMA-RC will be providing individual consultations for employees interested in discussing their 457 or VRS Hybrid defined contributions accounts. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit

Highlighting Employee Benefits

Open Enrollment Opportunity

Open enrollment for health insurance, flexible spending accounts, and AFLAC will occur May 1- May 23, with the changes becoming effective July 1. Details available soon.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP’s role is to help people reduce the stress in their lives and achieve a healthy work-life balance. Up to four free counseling sessions with a licensed mental health provider are provided per incident each plan year. In addition, members may contact the EAP for 24/7 assistance with:

  • Work/life balance and other issues of daily living such as:                
    • Depression
    • Work and family stress
    • Substance abuse  
    • Child and elder care issues
    • Legal, financial and other consultation services, including credit monitoring, debt and budgeting assistance, mediation services and retirement planning
    • Referrals and resources regarding child and elder care, comparison shopping, travel assistance, education resources, and more

Each plan’s website features articles, webinars and other helpful tips for members.

EAP Contact Information:

Healthy Beginnings

Are you expecting? Then be sure to enroll in the Healthy Beginnings Health Reimbursement Account!  This benefit is free as part of your health plan coverage and can earn you a $300 copay waive or HRA contribution. To qualify you need:

  • Enroll in the program within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy; and
  • Actively participate in the program and complete a 28-week health assessment

For more information visit

Test Your Knowledge - Personnel Action Requests (PARs) – Do you know?

About the newest paper PAR?  Part-time non-teaching hours are to be indicated on PARs now. Why? To comply with Affordable Care Act guidelines which limit part-time employees to working no more than 29 hours per week on average over the standard measurement period of May 1 through April 30.

That some departments on campus are already initiating ePARs? Division by division, JMU is systematically moving away from paper PARs for most personnel action requests. If your department has transitioned to the ePAR process, part-time non-teaching hours are to be indicated in the Notes section.

The importance of providing accurate supervisor information each time a PAR is initiated? Many processes we use on campus rely on accurate, up-to-date position details.

That late PARs are problematic?  Employment changes require timely action to be taken by supervisors. Why? The integrity of university data and property may be compromised. Keys need to be turned in, JACards need to be de-activated, and system accesses need to be terminated, along with a myriad of other actions prior to the employee’s departure.

Promoting Positivity – Postcards to Parents

Picture a substance abuse prevention toolbox available to JMU students. One of the tools in that toolbox is a postcard.

During the first few weeks of school, the University Health Center mails freshmen parents a pre-stamped postcard for them to send to their child to promote family values, expectations, and healthy choices, as these are major factors in a student’s decision to drink.

The University Health Center also mails a postcard to parents two weeks prior to their student's 21st birthday, designed to reinforce the influence parents/guardians can have on their child's decision making, and provides specific tips for parents to talk with their child about healthy celebration, alcohol expectancies, and protective strategies.

Why is this important to you? Increasing awareness among faculty and staff about the substance abuse prevention tools and resources available for students can help in two ways.

  • Increase awareness in the community about JMU’s substance abuse prevention efforts for its students
  • Empower faculty and staff to be involved and serve as points of access for students in need of referral

Please bookmark to see more substance abuse prevention tools and resources available to students. Download and print a toolbox reference sheet to keep handy. And contact the University Health Center’s Substance Abuse Prevention office at or 540-568-3317 for more information.

Discount Offers for You

New limited time employee discount offers are available for Ringling Bros, Barnum and Bailey Circus; Richmond International Raceway; T-Mobile and more. Visit the State Employee Discounts Web page at for these and other offers.

Mark Your Calendar – 2nd Annual Day of Service Opportunities

JMU is partnering with United Way for the 2nd Annual Day of Service as a part of Madison Week! There will be various projects to choose from on Tuesday, March 18, throughout the day. More details with sign up opportunities are coming soon. Contact Kris Hensley, Events Coordinator, at or 540-568-8867 for more information.

A Snapshot of Upcoming HR-Related Workshops Offered by JMU Training and Development

Health Insurance and Flexible Reimbursement Accounts
Retirement 101: Understanding Your VRS Retirement
Pre-Retirement Planning
Injured at Work-What Next? Understanding Workers Compensation
Understanding and Using the Grievance Procedure
Ending Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct: What You Need to Know About Discrimination, Harassment, and Title IX

For additional information or to arrange customized sessions for your department, please contact Suzanne Vance, Training Coordinator, 540-568-4101,

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