February 20, 2019

Tax Deferred Savings Plans Update and Notices

The following message is from Human Resources:

Please Contact Denise Frye, Benefits Administrator, at dfrye2@umw.edu with questions. 

How do you envision your retirement?   Are you saving enough money?   Are you aware of your investment options? At this time of year, we reflect on how the current year has impacted our lives and we give thanks. It is also a time to think about the changes we can make today to ensure the future is prosperous. There is a saying, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” The time is now to revisit your investment choices and make financial decisions that will make the transition to retirement effortless. Our Financial Representatives offers you the opportunity to plan for your retirement today. Give thanks for the power of giving not only to others but also to yourself.  


Great News!!!  The Internal Revenue Service announced limits on the amounts participants may contribute to tax-deferred savings plans. The limits have increased for the 2019 calendar year (see chart below). 

457 Deferred Compensation Plan and 403(b)
Contribution Limits*
2019  2018
Annual deferral limit for participants younger than age 50* $19,000 $18,500
Standard Catch-Up (not to exceed participant’s catch-up credit) $19,000
($38,000 total)
($37,000 total)
Age 50+ Catch-Up Limit $6,000
($25,000 total)
($24,500 total)

*The annual limit includes any voluntary contributions that Hybrid Retirement Plan members make to the Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and another supplemental 457 plan. Any Roth after-tax or pre-tax contributions made to the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan also count towards the limit.  

Age 50+ Catch-Up

If you are age 50 or older during the calendar year, you may contribute an additional amount over the regular IRS annual contribution limit to the 457 or 403(b) Plan. You cannot use the Age 50+ Catch-Up and the Standard Catch-Up in the same calendar year.

Standard Catch Up

During each of the three calendar years before normal retirement age, participants may contribute up to twice the regular IRS annual contribution limit or the regular annual limit plus the amount of their Standard Catch-Up credit, whichever is less.The Standard Catch-Up credit is the amount participants were eligible to contribute but did not contribute in previous years.  

Our Financial Plan Specialists are available to conduct on-site group meetings and/or one-on-one individual consultations to help you  gain awareness of the benefits of the Defined Contribution Plans.   

One-on-One Consultations with your Financial Plan Specialist include the following:  

  • Managing your account online
  • Reviewing your contributions
  • Investment awareness
  • Beneficiary review

Our Financial Plan Specialists may be contacted directly to schedule individual consultations.  

Scheduled Visits are as follows:

Our VRS Defined Contribution Plan Specialist will be in George Washington Hall on Thursday, December 6.  You may set up an appointment by registering at https://icmarc.secure.force.com/events?SiteId=a0lf1000006PZv8AAG.  Currently, VRS is also conducting Live Webinars on a regular basis throughout the year for you.  

Here is the link to our Upcoming 457 Deferred Compensation and Virginia Cash Match Live Webinars as well as Upcoming Hybrid Defined Contribution Component Live Webinars that will assist with the overall understanding of the plans. 

Our TIAA Financial Consultant, will be in George Washington Hall on Monday, January 14, 2019 and Wednesday, January 23. Registration will be open soon at  www.TIAA.org/schedulenow

Our MetLife Financial  Services Representative, will be in Lee Hall, Rm 412, on Monday, January 28, from 11 am to 1 pm with a workshop on Financial Footsteps. You may register by calling 703-394-7152 or by email  gmarsh@financialguide.com. 

For Hybrid Retirement Plan Members Only:

(Hired on or after 1/1/2014) 

The December 17th deadline  for Hybrid Voluntary Contribution Changes is around the corner 

Why You Should Be Saving with Voluntary Contributions

  • Employer Match – Consider boosting your voluntary contribution amount to 4 percent. If you save 4 percent, you’ll receive 2.5 percent in employer matching contributions!
  • Tax Savings – Taxes are deferred on both contributions and earnings, allowing you to pay less in taxes now.




Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

With December and the holidays upon us, hopefully we’re all getting into the spirit of the season a little bit.  Even though this often proves to be a very stressful time of year, it’s also a time when people come together to help those in need.  Throughout the entire year, organizations on campus such as COAR organize charitable events that benefit the local community.  Most recently, the Staff Advisory Committee organized a Thanksgiving Food Drive, as did Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the national Education honor society at UMW.  Hopefully we’re all doing a little something this month to help others and those in need.  While the “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” usually focuses on environmental concerns, we’re taking the opportunity this week to think about how to go about sustaining social relationships in the workplace.

If you’re like me and many other people, you often feel as if you spend more time with your co-workers during the week than you do with your own family.  So it’s crucial to establish good relationships with everyone that you work with.  We’re often quick to shoot off the most minor of emails to co-workers to ask a question or pass along some information, but what about picking up the phone to speak to the individual or walking over to their area/office to discuss things in person?  Even doing this just once or twice a month might make that connection you have with individuals a little more personal.  Some organizations/institutions have “no email Fridays,” which encourages employees to pick up the phone or speak to individuals face-to-face as opposed to sending an email.  Is a policy like this always going to be practical?  Perhaps not, but it’s something to think about. Moreover, how often do we misinterpret tone or intent through email? How often is it hard to even comprehend what is trying to be communicated to you through email? The choice to speak with someone over the phone or in person may not only improve social relationships in the workplace, but it may also improve communication, problem-solving, and productivity.

What about other ways to improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace?  If you’re a supervisor, are you taking the time to praise employees for a job well done?  If there’s that one individual in your office who NEVER leaves their office except for lunch, are you reminding them to take a few minutes every now and then for a quick walk around campus, to grab a cup of coffee, or to even just get up and stretch a little bit?  (Yes, I did just propose that you encourage your employees to get up and stretch.  It’s an excellent way to maintain a healthy workplace. Read more about that by going to https://tinyurl.com/y9fnsfan). Maybe the answer for improving social relationships with your co-workers lies outside the office. Does your office have a weekly happy hour or get together for lunch or dinner? What about a Book Club or Movie Night among those you work with?  If not, maybe it’s time for you to initiate this idea among your co-workers.  The holiday season is also a great opportunity to have a Pot Luck Office Luncheon or a fun Cookie Exchange.

If you have any suggestions for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable office environments–whether ecological or social–please feel free to leave a comment or email Kevin Caffrey (kcaffrey@umw.edu) with ideas for other Sustainability Tip of the Week articles.

Kevin Caffrey is the Senior Associate Registrar at UMW and serves as Staff Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Sustainability.  Formed in the fall of 2009, the PCS consists of faculty, staff, and students and reports both to the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost, serving a critical role in shaping administrative goals and objectives relating to campus sustainability.  Their next meeting is Wednesday Dec. 5  at 4:30 p.m. in the University Center, 2nd Floor Jamba Juice/Qdoba dining area. Meetings generally last one hour and are open to employees, students, and the public. 

Volunteers Needed for Holiday Dining Events

Campus Dining is looking for volunteers to help serve the Winter Holiday Dinner for students on Wednesday, December 5th.  Volunteers are asked to serve for one hour beginning at 4:45, 5:45 or 6:45 p.m., and all volunteers will receive their dinner free in thanks for their service.  Spouses and older children are also welcome to help serve!

The dinner menu includes Steamship Round of Beef, Smoked Salmon, Apple Stuffed Pork Loin, Roast Turkey with all the trimmings, Vegan Buffet with Faux Ham and Tofurkey, assorted holiday cakes and pies, a hot chocolate station and a holiday cookie decorating station.

Volunteers are also needed for the “Cram Jam” event on Monday, December 10th.  To help UMW students get energized for final exams, Campus Dining will be providing free tacos for all UMW students between 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. at the Top of the UC.  Volunteers are asked to serve between 10:45 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. and in addition to getting free tacos that night volunteers will also be given a ticket for a free meal at the Top of the UC at a later time that week.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for one or both of these events should contact Campus Dining at Dining@UMW.edu or call Rose Benedict at 540-654-2169.


Important Action Item: Verify Name/Address for HR and Payroll by Dec. 5

The following message is from the Office of Human Resources: 

Dear Colleagues, 

It’s that time again. Please take a few moments before December 5, 2018 to verify and, if needed, update your mailing address and legal name as they appear in Human Resources and Payroll records. This information must be correct for the University’s year-end Employer Reporting, your W-2 statements and the commonwealth’s Affordable Care Act reporting. Errors may result in federal penalties for the University.  

Review your name and address by logging into Payline and selecting “Pay History” to check your pay stub or log into EmployeeDirect and click on “My Employment Profile” then “Personal.”    

If an update is needed, please make the update in Payline by completing the following steps:

1.      Click “Employee Profile”

2.      Click “Request Profile Change”

3.      Enter the changes needed

4.      Select “Accept” at the bottom of the screen 

5.      Log out 

If you are unable to complete the update in Payline, please forward your change of address to Gayle Robinson at grobinso@umw.edu. 

Please ensure your name in Payline matches your name as it appears on your social security card. The HR and Payroll systems must reflect the legal name as shown on your social security card.  

If your name in Payline does not match your social security card, please contact Gayle Robinson at grobinso@umw.edu.  

Again, please enter or submit all updates on or before Wednesday, December 5 to ensure the address is updated for year-end processing. 

Thank you. 

Please Contact Denise Frye, Benefits Administrator, at dfrye2@umw.edu with questions.



Join Weight Watchers at Work, Get a Free Best Self Box

Join colleagues on the road to a healthier lifestyle. UMW has a vibrant Weight Watchers at Work program that meets every Thursday from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. in Room 111 of the Hurley Convergence Center. It’s one of our great employee benefits.

A certified WW leader comes onto campus once a week, checks our weight, and inspires us to live healthier lifestyles. There couldn’t be a more convenient or collegial way to keep your weight in check. An added bonus is that the state reimburses full-time employees for part of the cost.

Attend the Weight Watchers Be Your Best Self event, and learn how the WW Freestyle program has helped your peers along their wellness journey.

If you purchase a Weight Watchers membership by Nov. 21, you’ll receive a free best self box, which is a $40 value. For details, check out the following: http://eagleeye.umw.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Be-Your-Best-Self-Event-Oct-15-Nov-21-Extended-MP-003.pdf

Leave Share Donations Needed

The following message is sent to classified employees and A/P faculty from the Office of Human Resources.


A University employee has requested leave share donations due to the documented illness of a family member. Your consideration is appreciated. Classified employees may donate only annual leave in eight (8) hour increments (ex., 8,16,32… hours). A/P faculty may donate annual and sick leave in increments of full days (1,2,3 …days).

To donate leave:

Please fill out the attached form to authorize our Payroll Office to withdraw leave from your leave balance(s). Leave Share Donor Form Forms should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources at dfrye2@umw.edu for processing. In the interest of privacy, names of recipients are not shared. Leave is given to recipient(s) on an as needed basis per pay period for the duration of the recipient(s)’ leave without pay status.

Thank you.

VMFA Offers Free Admission to State Employees to New Congo Masks Exhibit

Virginia Department of Human Resource Management

November 9, 2018

Dear State Employees:

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to announce that state employees, preschool and K-12 teachers (public and private) and active duty military members in Virginia can receive free admission to Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa, a special exhibition at the VMFA on display from November 10, 2018, to February 24, 2019. Admission to VMFA’s permanent collection is free 365 days of the year, but some special exhibitions, such as Congo Masks, are ticketed.

This world-class collection of Congolese art features more than 130 rare and unique masks dating from the 17th to 20th centuries, with more than a dozen masks showcased in their complete ceremonial ensembles. The spectacular works of art in the exhibition represent not only the artisans and performers who created these masks and brought them to life, but also the various communities, belief systems and natural resources involved in their creation.

The exhibition is curated by Marc Leo Felix, founder and director of the Congo Basin Art History Research Center in Brussels, Belgium. With Congo Masks, many renowned objects from his and other important collections will be on display for the first time in the United States. Featured alongside the masks are original field photographs and film footage of the masks being worn and performed in ceremonies or rituals, as well as audio recordings and a selection of Congolese musical instruments. The vast majority of masks are used to dance to music that is performed by visible and invisible instruments, and represent the creative expression of more than 40 different Congolese cultural groups.

To claim your free ticket, please present your military, state, or teacher identification card at VMFA’s Visitor Services desk. You can also purchase an individual membership to the museum for $50. Regular ticket prices for Congo Masks: Masterpieces from Central Africa are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for college students and children ages 7–17. You can reserve tickets by phone at 804.340.1405.

Whether you are near or far from Richmond, we hope you will visit the VMFA soon. The museum is open 365 days a year and is a wonderful place to visit on your own, with friends or family.



Virginia Department of Human Resource Management


Women’s History Month Program Proposals Due Dec. 3

We invite members of the University of Mary Washington community to submit program proposals for the annual Women’s History Month Celebration. Proposals are due by Monday, December 3, 2018.  The deadline for open-class proposals is Friday, January 6, 2019. The sponsor(s) will be notified promptly. Approved programs will be included on the Women’s History Month calendar, as well as in print and electronic publications. Preference will be given to programs and events relating to the 2019 theme, “Visionary Women:  Agents of Change and Justice.”  All programs must secure their source of funding, if applicable.

The program proposal form can be found at http://students.umw.edu/multicultural/programs/womens-history-month/.  Please include as much information on the form as possible.

Return forms and appropriate attachments to:

Women’s History Month Planning Committee
Attention: JoAnna Raucci
James Farmer Multicultural Center
University Center, Room 319
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA  22401

Email at jraucci@umw.edu


Phishing Emails Targeting Faculty and Staff

The IT Security Office has identified several phishing emails targeting UMW faculty and staff. These messages appear to come from our faculty and staff, but they are in fact forgeries, often using a variation of the person’s name. All of the forged emails are coming from Gmail accounts. They are not legitimate.

Subjects for these emails include “Follow Up” or “Following Up”, and the body has been something simple, like “Are you available?” These initial messages are innocuous by design, and are intended to initiate a dialog with you. At some point, a request for a credit card number, a wire transfer, or some other nefarious action will follow.

Our SPAM filters have been catching many of these messages, but some continue to get through for delivery. We ask that you be diligent and pay attention to the sending name and address of the emails you receive, and look for unusual variations on the name of the sender. If you are suspicious about the legitimacy of an email, do not respond. Please forward it to abuse@umw.edu.

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

Thanksgiving is only three weeks away, so we’d like to remind all staff and faculty to remember to shut off lights, computers, monitors, printers, copiers, etc. before you leave your offices when the Thanksgiving break officially begins on Wednesday, Nov. 21.   Also unplug items in your office such as coffee makers, microwaves, radios, etc. since these small appliances often waste energy when plugged in and not in use.

As you begin to think about your Thanksgiving plans, here’s a great article we found online about how you can have a “greener” Thanksgiving.  Some good tips include:

  • Purchasing only as much food as you need
  • Choosing products that come in packaging that can be recycled
  • Buying locally grown food to support the local economy
  • Choosing organic food since it is produced without antibiotics and artificial hormones
  • Consider staying home vs. traveling.  If you do choose to travel, the article provides great advice on how to use less fuel and lower your emissions when making that long road trip.

We know you may not be thinking about holiday shopping yet, but Saturday, Nov. 24 is Small Business Saturday.  Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to support their local economy by patronizing brick and mortar businesses in your community.  Consider if items you plan on buying this holiday season can be purchased from locally owned “mom & pop” stores.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving and safe holiday season!

Kevin Caffrey is the Senior Associate Registrar at UMW and serves as Staff Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Sustainability.  Formed in the fall of 2009, the PCS consists of faculty, staff, and students and reports both to the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost, serving a critical role in shaping administrative goals and objectives relating to campus sustainability.  Their next meeting is Monday November 5th at 4:30PM in HCC 307.  Meetings generally last one hour and are open to employees, students, and the public.