HR Update October 2019

National Retirement Security Week October 20-26

Will you be financially secure in retirement? Have you thought about your income needs in retirement? Do you have a rainy day fund so that when an emergency arises, you won’t need to tap into your retirement savings? Are you taking advantage of all the FREE retirement money available to you from JMU? October 20 – 26 is National Retirement Security Week (NRSW). This week serves as a reminder to think about or update your personal retirement savings goals and determine if you are on track in establishing a secure future.

Sign up in MyMadison to attend:

Planning for Retirement Today and Taking Advantage of All that JMU Offers!

When: October 17, 2019

Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Wine-Price Building

Click here to view more information during National Retirement Security Week and be sure to visit the Benefits page to check out ways you should be saving for your retirement through Supplemental Retirement Plan options and earning FREE money with the Employer Paid Cash Match!

VRS Plan 1, 2 and Hybrid members

Check out VRS’s free educational and retirement planning resources here!

All Employees

Check out VRS’s free financial wellness resources here!

Voluntary Long-Term Care Special Enrollment Extended

Genworth Life Insurance Company has extended the special enrollment period to October 25 for eligible employees to enroll in the Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) Voluntary Group Long-Term Care Insurance Program with reduced underwriting. (Employees who enrolled in the long-term care insurance program before December 31, 2016, will continue their coverage under that program.)

Although eligible employees can apply at any time, those age 65 and under who apply by October 25 will have fewer medical underwriting requirements. After October 25, full medical underwriting will be required for current employees (new hires have 60 days to enroll with reduced underwriting).

To enroll in long-term care or to get an online quote, go to www.genworth.com/COV.

Optional Retirement Plan Open Enrollment Deadline

As a reminder, if you are a participant in the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE), you have until November 15 to make a provider change during this extended Open Enrollment period.

Fidelity participants will need to choose either TIAA or DCP (record kept by ICMA-RC) to receive contributions as of January 2020, with the option to retain existing assets with Fidelity or transfer balances to the chosen provider. Fidelity investments will be accessible through the self-directed brokerage account offered by both TIAA and DCP. If you currently participate with Fidelity and do not select a provider during the extended open enrollment period, your provider will default to DCP for new contributions, effective January 2020.

No action is required for TIAA and DCP participants unless you choose to change your provider during the extended open enrollment period.

To make changes during this open enrollment period, log into or create your account in myVRS.

Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

The university will be close November 25 – 29 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The university will close at 1:00 p.m. December 19 and remain closed through January 1, 2020 for the Winter Break. Please review the Holiday Schedule and University Closings website for the 2019 and 2020 Holiday and Closing Schedules.

Classified Employee Leave

With the holidays fast approaching, now is a good time for classified employees to review vacation leave balances for any hours that would be above the maximum carryover limit.

Employees should work with their supervisor to use any excess leave hours by Thursday, January 9, 2020. As a reminder, you must work or be on approved paid leave the day before and the day after a holiday to receive holiday pay. Please review your leave balances in the event you are carrying a low leave balance and may fall into a time loss situation. Contact Reagan Neese, Leave Specialist, with any questions.

Time & Attendance Records

All non-exempt employees are required to maintain a Time and Attendance Record each leave year that shows hours worked, leave taken, scheduled days off, and university closures and submit them to Human Resources each January. Employees will receive an email in January with instructions on how to submit the record.

Health Benefits Premium Holiday

As announced in previous communications, there will be a premium holiday for the month of October for those enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program. There will be no health insurance premium deduction from your October 16 and October 31 paycheck.

Virginia Retirement System Member News

Be sure to read the latest issue of Member News from VRS. Included in this issue is information regarding Hybrid Plan auto-escalation, estate planning, protecting yourself from fraud, and many other topics. Subscribe to Member News directly for the latest updates.

Social Security Newsletter

Check out articles in the October 2019 issue of the Social Security Column for important reminders and information from the Social Security Administration.

Need to Talk With an Expert?

Did you know that every month, company representatives for your benefits are here on campus in the Wine-Price Building? Below is a list of upcoming dates where you could talk with an expert:

Connections Day, Wednesday November 6

The next Connections Day will be held on Wednesday, November 6 from 8:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Montpelier Room, E-Dining Hall. All new JMU employees hired between September 2019 – October 2019 are invited to attend the event. We ask your assistance in encouraging your new employees to attend this event designed specifically for them. Please share this information with those in your department who are involved with recruitment and selection of new employees.

Pre-registration is required to attend. Additional details and the links for employees to register can be found at www.jmu.edu/humanresources/connections.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Recruitment and Employment Services Team at onboard@jmu.edu or 540-568-3597.

JMU Talent Development


  • Planning for Retirement Today and Taking Advantage of All that JMU Offers (TD2265)
  • Event Planning at JMU: Everyone Can Benefit (TD1006)
  • JMU Joblink (TD2510)
  • Workplace Substance Abuse Management for Supervisors (TD1398)
  • Business Writing & Proofreading (TD1021)
  • AACP: Ready, Set, Go (TD2277)
  • Grants: Post-Award Practices & Procedures (TD1502)
  • Student Employment Essentials (TD1466)
  • Pre-Retirement Planning II (TD1604)
  • Social Security 101 (TD2333)
  • Germ Warfare (TD2538)

Visit Talent Development’s webpage for a listing of all they have to offer!

New IT Service Portal

Information Technology

On October 17, Information Technology will launch the new IT Service Portal. The web-based IT Service Portal provides access to IT services, how-to steps and solutions through knowledge articles, and submittal and tracking of your technology support tickets. An IT Onboarding process is also available to help managers request the most common IT services as the new employees are hired.

You will be receiving a link to the portal very soon. We encourage you to check out the IT Service Portal, and hope you will find it a valuable resource!

Mailing Address in MyMadison (Employee Tab)

Payroll Services

Payroll Services would like to remind employees to check their mailing address in MyMadison by December 31 under the Employee Tab, to ensure timely delivery of their W-2 document in January. Payroll Services will not mail W-2 documents to mail stop codes, JMU departments, JMU student PO boxes or to the JMU designated zip code of 22807 due to the confidential nature of the information contained in the document. It only takes a minute to verify your address in MyMadison, but it may take the mail up to two weeks to return a W-2 document with an incorrect or invalid address.

NOTE: Student employees may need to update their mailing address under the Employee Tab for payroll purposes and under the Student Tab for other student related year-end documents.

Payments to Non-Residents/Foreign National Visitors

Please keep in mind that having a social security number does NOT equal U.S. citizenship… just because a foreign individual has a U.S. Social Security Number does not automatically mean that JMU can pay them for services or provided travel expenses. Before making a formal commitment to bring a foreign national to campus, the sponsoring department must determine whether it is legal to pay or provide expenses, is the payment subject to tax, and what policies and procedures must be followed. Please reference Payments to Short-Term Foreign National Visitors for detailed instructions and information.

And remember, regardless of payment, Travel Policy 4215 requires Pre-Approval for all incoming Foreign National Visitors. This prior approval is electronically entered in Chrome River and called a Pre-Approval Request. Pre-Approval is required before any travel arrangements can be made.

Questions regarding incoming foreign national visitors may be directed to Sherry Willis, Payroll Operations Manager, 540-568-8034, willissl@jmu.edu.

Hepatitis A Outbreaks Across the Nation

University Health Center

There are currently multiple hepatitis A outbreaks across the nation. Though JMU is not experiencing an outbreak, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has identified an increase in hepatitis A cases statewide. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get the hepatitis A vaccine. You can talk with your doctor to see if you’ve already received the vaccine. If you haven’t gotten the hepatitis A vaccine, you can get the vaccine at:

• Your doctor’s office

• A local pharmacy

• Harrisonburg-Rockingham Health Department

Additional information can be found on the VDH website:


Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World Update: Become a Greening Your Event Partner

Photo by Sloane Gartner, JMU Technology & Design

Events can contribute to campus environmental sustainability progress and engage our community in solutions. When you are planning an event on campus, choose to participate in JMU’s Greening Your Event Program, which includes a simple planning checklist that considers transportation, energy, catering, and more. The program encourages and recognizes the voluntary efforts that many JMU event organizers already make. Participants receive a Greening Your Event Partner logo to use as part of their event and communications.

Facilities Management Sustainability Update: Landscaping

Photo by Rachel Crowe, JMU Technology & Design

Landscaping on campus is carefully planned to not only look beautiful, but also to reduce water use. As part of the Facilities Management Sustainability Plan, JMU reduced the area where annuals were planted by 46% between 2015 and 2019, primarily by planting perennials. This reduced JMU’s potable water consumption by an estimated 78,000 gallons per year and also reduced costs. Further, JMU manages the campus grounds in accordance with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program that uses a four-tiered approach.

UREC Personal Training

Are you ready to start a new fitness plan? Need help building confidence in using fitness equipment properly? Looking to shake up your fitness routine? UREC Personal Trainers are ready to help wherever you are on your health and wellness journey. New personal training participants start with the Personal Training Total Package, which includes a health screening, consultation, fitness assessment, and two one-on-one training sessions ($50). If you have questions or want more information, please reach out to the UREC Coordinator of Fitness Programs, Steph Goetz at goetzse@jmu.edu.

Looking for a Workout Buddy?

We have several JMU students waiting to be paired with a JMU faculty/staff member! Pairs are matched based on workout activity interests and/or field of study. No expertise in exercise is required, all that is needed is an interest in encouraging a student in their wellness and personal/professional development! Learn more about the Mentorship through Exercise program.

Benefits Broadcast

Our goal with the Benefits Broadcast is to feature a specific benefit each month. This month’s featured benefit is…

Join us for the inaugural JMU Faculty and Staff Retirement Fair! This will be a full day event where you can speak with various retirement benefit vendors and attend presentations on retirement related topics. All faculty and staff are invited to attend the Retirement Fair, but we strongly encourage those exploring retirement within the next five years to attend.

Here are some of the workshops being offered:

Get Involved: Volunteering in Retirement

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) Participants: What to Expect When You Retire

Ready to Retire? for VRS Plan 1 & 2 Members

Social Security 101

Stay Engaged in Retirement

Find a full list of workshops and descriptions on the Retirement Fair website!

Space in workshops is limited, therefore registration is required.

Vendors will include:

Human Resources is dedicated to customer service, a positive approach to change and the pursuit of excellence that promotes university and individual success.


Sloane Gartner, JMU Technology & Design, Rachel Crowe, JMU Technology & Design, JMU Photography Services