Take stock of your taxes, benefits
The new year opens the door of opportunity and new beginnings — both in our personal lives and in the Temple benefit programs. Now is the time to confirm that your personal data is accurate and your benefit choices are meeting your long-term goals. Plus, take a close look at deductibles and benefit limits that started over on Jan. 1.
• Check your paycheck. We all want our pay to be correct, but there’s more to review, including:
Your mailing address. Important because this is the address that the University will use for your W-2 for 2004. To update, simply submit a completed Personal Data Form to your specific human resources location. The form is available at www.temple.edu/hr; click on Human Resources Forms.
Your federal, state and city withholding for 2005. Check your exemptions and withholdings: Are there changes in the number of your dependents or anticipated income for the year that may affect your taxes? To increase or lower your withholding, use the new W-4 for 2005, at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf. Send your completed form to the Payroll Department at the University Services Building, room 201.
• Tax-sheltered annuity. Review your contribution levels and investment choices to ensure that you’re on the road to a financially secure retirement. New higher contribution limits are effective in 2005, and you’ll have an opportunity to meet personally with a financial counselor on your TSA elections.
New increased limits for before-tax contributions for 2005 are $14,000 for employees who are under age 50 throughout 2005; $18,000 for employees who are age 50 or over during 2005.
To update your contributions, complete an Enrollment and Authorization form, at www.temple.edu/hr/benpage.html under “Tax Sheltered Annuity,” and submit it to the Benefits Office at USB room 608.
Evaluate your investment choices to make sure that they are meeting your goals. If necessary, change them online at www.tiaa-cref.org, or by calling Fidelity Investments customer service at 800-343-0860 or online at www.fidelity.com/atwork.
Individual personal counseling sessions can help you figure out how much to contribute to the TSA and how to invest. These confidential sessions are free and easy to schedule. To meet with a TIAA-CREF representative, log on to www.tiaa-cref.org and make an appointment. To meet with a Fidelity representative, call the Temple Benefits Office at 204-1321.
Instructions for scheduling personal counseling sessions were recently sent to all eligible employees. If you have any questions, call the Benefits Office.
Beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designation forms are available at www.tiaa-cref.org and www.fidelity.com/atwork. You can also contact the Benefits Office.
• Flexible spending accounts. If you signed up for the Health Care and/or Dependent Care Spending Accounts during open enrollment last month:
—Payroll deductions began with the first pay in January.
—Debit cards from WageWorks were mailed to employee homes during the first few weeks of January. Didn’t receive your card? Contact WageWorks by phone toll-free at 877-924-3967 or log on to www.wageworks.com.
—You can begin using your debit card immediately for most eligible expensesii incurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. Log on to www.wageworks.com for a detailed list of the expenses that can be paid through the spending accounts and information about how to use the accounts.
• Dental insurance from Aetna. The annual maximum benefit and deductible re-started on Jan. 1:
—Annual maximum benefit per covered person for basic and major services is $2,000.
—Annual deductible for each covered person for major services is $50.
• Medical insurance — Personal Choice. You may find that most of your medical expenses are in-network, because the Independence Blue Cross network of participating providers is so wide. However, in case you have out-of-network expenses, keep in mind that:
—The 12-month period for out-of-network deductibles began on Jan. 1, and
—Out-of-network deductibles are: $100 individual and $300 per employee and dependent(s).
• Insurance beneficiary designations. If you can’t recall whom you named as beneficiary of your life or AD&D insurance or your family situation has changed, it’s time to update your beneficiary designation. The form is at www.temple.edu/hr/benpage.html. Click on “Change Beneficiary” under Life Insurance. Send your completed and signed form to the Benefits Office in USB, room 608. Call 204-1321 with questions.
By taking these few simple steps and staying alert to benefit plan limits, you’ll be well-positioned to receive mailings on time and make the most of your University benefits this year. Information resources always are available: Go to the Benefits Web page at www.temple.edu/hr/benpage.html, send a note by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call
204-1321 if you have questions.
- By Irene Monley
HR, payroll and benefit forms available 24/7
Forms to update your personal data, payroll tax withholding and benefits
information are available whenever you need them at www.temple.edu/hr:
• Click on “Human Resources Forms” to download Personal Data Forms,
Employee Attendance Record 2004–2005, Authorization for Direct Deposit,
Performance Development Plan and other human resources forms.
• Click on “Information and Forms” in the “Benefits Corner” for medical
and dental claim forms, life and AD&D insurance beneficiary forms and taxsheltered
annuity enrollment and authorization forms.
At www.irs.gov/formspubs, click on “Forms and Instructions” for tax-related
forms such as 2005 Form W-4s.
If you don’t have access to the Internet, call the Payroll Office at 204-
3116 or the Benefits Office at 204-1321 for help.