Information Regarding the Floating Holiday Benefit

As President Turner outlined in his message to faculty and staff on April 29, SMU is providing benefit-eligible staff a floating holiday each fiscal year.

Staff members on the payroll before the start of the current fiscal year (June 1, 2022) will see the floating holiday in their leave balances on my.SMU.  Staff members hired in the current fiscal year will receive the time off at the start of the next fiscal year (June 1, 2023).

The floating holiday is chosen by the employee with their supervisor’s approval and must be used during the fiscal year as the time off is not carried over from one year to the next.

The floating holiday is based on an employee’s standard hours. For example, employees who work 37.5 hours per week will accrue 7.5 hours of holiday time.

When recording the floating holiday on timesheets, bi-weekly employees should report the time as FLB (Floating Holiday Bi-Weekly) and monthly employees should report it as FLT (Floating Holiday-Monthly).

In addition to the new Floating Holiday, the following dates are designated as
SMU Holidays for fiscal year 2022-2023:

2022

Independence Day — Monday, July 4

Labor Day Monday, September 5

Thanksgiving — Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25

Christmas/Winter Break — Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2

2023

Martin Luther King, Jr, Day — Monday, January 16

Good Friday — Friday, April 7

Memorial Day — Monday, May 29

Questions may be directed to BenefitsU@smu.edu.

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IT IS NEVER TOO SOON TO PLAN FOR RETIREMENT!

Do you have questions about Social Security, Medicare, SMU’s Emeriti Retiree Health Program?

Please plan to join Tom Clark, an experienced Social Security and Medicare consultant, and a representative from the SMU Department of Human Resources for an overview of these programs.  (See Tom’s bio at the end of the post).

Todd Hutson, Retirement Planning Consultant, Transamerica Retirement Education and Planning Services, will also be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the SMU 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Schedule of Sessions

Sessions will be hosted on the following dates and times.  You may opt to attend in-person in  Expressway Tower, Room 208 or virtually via Zoom.  Click on the link below to register for a session and to select your preferred attendance option.

Thursday, March 24, 2022 from 9:30 am-10:30 am

Thursday, March 24, 2022 from 1:30 pm-3:30 pm

Friday, March 25, 2022 from 9:30-11:30 am

Friday, March 25, 2022 from 1:30-2:30 pm

Registration

Register for a session

Due to the popularity of the workshop, we request you only register if you are certain you can attend.   When registering, enter your name, SMU ID# and SMU email address and if attending an in-person session, let us know if you plan to bring a guest.  Then click Submit.    If you find you are unable to attend the workshop following your registration, please send an email to BenefitsU@smu.edu so that one of your peers will have the option to attend.

Parking at Expressway Tower

SMU visitors to Expressway Tower may park in the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center/Barr-McMillion Natatorium AUP parking lot to the east of Expressway Tower (behind the fence) or the AUP Dyer lot located one block north of Expressway Tower off the Central Expressway service road.  Please visit Parking and ID Services to view the Campus Parking Map.

Questions?

Email us at BenefitsU@smu.edu

Tom Clark’s Bio:  Tom worked for the Social Security Administration for 33 years as a claims representative, operations supervisor, field representative and public affairs specialist.  He made over 6,000 speeches as an employee of the Social Security Administration and produced and appeared in over 200 informational television shows about Social Security and Medicare.  Tom received two Commissioner Citations, Social Security’s highest award, and four Deputy Commissioner of Communications Citations for excellence in explaining the complexities of Social Security.
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Don’t Lose Out on Reimbursement for Qualified Expenses Under Your 2021 FSA Accounts!

Healthcare Flexible Spending Account  

Qualified  healthcare expenses incurred  between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 must be submitted to SMU’s vendor, Discovery Benefits/Wex, no later than March 31, 2021 to be considered for reimbursement.

This year, up to $570.00 of unused funds will automatically roll over to your 2022 FSA account if you are enrolled in a 2022 FSA account.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account 

Qualified dependent care expenses incurred  between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 must be submitted to SMU’s vendor, Discovery Benefits/Wex, no later than March 30, 2021 to be considered for reimbursement.

More information on FSA accounts may be found on the HR website.

Questions regarding your FSA account(s)  may be directed to BenefitU@smu.edu or directly to Discovery Benefits/Wex at www.wexinc.com or 1-833-225-5939.

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New Feature: Leave Balances Page in my.SMU

The Department of Human Resources and the Payroll Office are pleased to announce a new feature in my.SMU – the Leave Balances page. The Leave Balances page is accessed from the Time Reporting tile (Employee Self Service home page) and Time Management tile (Manager Self Service home page).

Knowing your available leave balances will help you manage taking time off from your job at SMU. This new feature provides “real-time” insight to your personal accrued leave balances as well as the accrued leave balances of employees for whom you approve time records.

The leave balances on this page are calculated as follows:

  • Leave balances as of your most recently processed paycheck (shown on that pay statement)
  • LESS any leave entries submitted on your timesheet that are not yet reflected on a pay statement
    • Whether the timesheet entries have been approved yet or not
    • Even entries submitted for future dates of reported time off

NOTEWORTHY DETAILS

  1. As soon as you report (submit) leave hours on your timesheet, your Leave Balances page will adjust the Available balance(s) accordingly.
  2. The Leave Balances page does not project future monthly leave accruals, so keep that in mind when you consider the leave balances shown on this page.

Please refer to information available in Wiki.SMU for navigation to the new page in my.SMU as well as using the Filter option (when applicable).

Please direct questions to:

  • HR for information about your own monthly leave accrual and/or appropriate time reporting for other employees
  • Payroll for information about the status of submitted-but-not-yet-processed time reporting and/or assistance with reporting leave taken on time records for other employees
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Nominations Open Today for the Annual Staff Presidential Awards and Are Due Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Presidential Recognition Awards are given annually to recognize the contributions and excellence of SMU staff. Nominations open today and will be accepted through COB on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. The review process for the Presidential Recognition Awards is coordinated by the Department of Human Resources in partnership with the Staff Association.

Awards are presented to outstanding staff in four areas:  New Employee Excellence, Continuing Excellence, Outstanding Leadership, Innovation.

More information on the review process can be found here.

Gretchen C. Voight New Employee Excellence Award

This Award highlights the employee who has been with the University from one to three consecutive years and who shows:

  • Significant impact on the University through his or her demonstration of competence, dedication, outstanding performance, problem solving, customer service and ingenuity
  • Contribution and demonstrated commitment to the University’s core purpose and values
  • Exceptional ability to foster collaboration, communication, and cooperation among colleagues and University constituents
  • Performance at a level above and beyond job requirements

 Continuing Excellence Award

This Award highlights the employee who has been with the University for four or more consecutive years and who shows:

  • Significant impact on the University through his or her demonstration of competence, dedication, outstanding performance, problem solving, customer service and ingenuity
  • Contribution and demonstrated commitment to the University’s core purpose and values
  • Exceptional ability to foster collaboration, communication, and cooperation among colleagues and University constituents
  • Performance at a level above and beyond job requirements

 Outstanding Leadership Award

This award recognizes:

  • Exceptional leadership ability within his or her unit or across the University
  • Contribution and commitment to the University’s core purpose and values
  • The ability to create a positive, supportive, and motivating work environment
  • Exceptional performance in communication, problem solving, coaching, and facilitating

 Innovation Award

This Award recognizes creative, innovative ideas that:

  • Significantly improve a work process or system or greatly increase the efficiency of an operation or unit
  • Have a positive impact on University resources
  • Includes a timeframe that will allow the University to see a return on its investment within a three-year period

Eligibility and Requirements along with the nomination form can be found here: Presidential Recognition Awards

 

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Update on COVID-19 testing locations for SMU employees

With the return to in-person classes on campus this fall, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is providing COVID-19 testing as needed for students and will be unable to accommodate testing for SMU employees beginning on September 7. As offered last year, SMU is still providing access to convenient COVID-19 testing for employees and their families through Virtual Care for Families locations around the DFW area. Click here to book an appointment. Please put “SMU – COVID-19 test” in the reason for visit and click on the “self pay” button. Screening & testing costs are completely covered by SMU.

The closest location to campus is on the corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane. Other locations in Arlington, Frisco, Garland, McKinney and Plano may be convenient to your home or along your commute to and from work. They are open 7-days a week. Locations and maps are listed at the bottom of the appointment page.

Testing is also available free of cost through your SMU benefits at pharmacies, health care providers and testing sites off campus. Testing locations are also listed on the Dallas County and State of Texas websites.

More information on how to get a COVID-19 test is available on the Mustang Strong website.

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Take Advantage of Summertime to Grow Your Manager Skills

Manager Development

The following workshops also fulfill an elective requirement for Manager Orientation.
Manager Orientation Required Workshops
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Summertime is a Great Time for Professional Development

Enroll Now! my.SMU>Employee Self Service>Learning and Development>Request Training Enrollment, then enter course title

Questions?  email DevelopU@smu.edu

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Midyear Reminders for Health FSA and Dependent Care FSA Participants

Health Care FSA 

Expanded Health Care FSA Carryover Provision

  • If you enrolled in the 2020 Health Care FSA, the plan will allow you to carry over any unused funds from the 2020 plan year into the 2021 plan year.
  • The carryover provision will apply even if you did NOT enroll in the 2021 Health Care FSA
  • If you enrolled in the 2021 Health Care FSA, any 2021 plan year balance will carry over into the 2022 plan year for us on expenses incurred during 2022.

Prospective Health Care FSA Election Changes

    • In 2021, we are allowed to accept prospective FSA election changes regardless of whether you’ve experienced an IRS-qualifying event.
    • This means you may be able to change or revoke your Health Care FSA on a go-forward basis. We cannot accommodate a retroactive election change and you cannot receive a refund for amounts already contributed to the plan.

Dependent Care FSA

Maximum dependent age for Dependent Care FSA expenses

    • The IRS allows the plan to reimburse expenses for dependents who turned 13 during the 2020 plan year (including the extended grace period discussed in the next section).

Grace Period Provision- Dependent Care FSA

    • The grace period for the 2020 plan year will extend to 12/31/2021. This means you may use any of your remaining 2020 plan year funds for reimbursement of expenses incurred through 12/31/2021.
    • The 2021 Dependent Care FSA grace period will end 12/31/2022 allowing you to use any remaining 2021 plan year funds for reimbursement of expenses incurred through 12/31/2022.

Prospective Dependent Care FSA Election Changes

    • In 2021, we are allowed to accept prospective FSA election changes regardless of whether you’ve experienced an IRS-qualifying event.
    • This means you may be able to change or revoke your Dependent Care FSA on a go-forward basis. We cannot accommodate a retroactive election change and you cannot receive a refund for amounts already contributed to the plan.

Questions on your account?

If you have any questions regarding your existing balance or account, log in to your Discovery Benefits online account or download the benefits mobile app. You may also contact our Participant Services team by email at customerservice@discoverybenefits.com  or by calling 866-451-3399 during business hours (Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central time).

 

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Important Updates to SMU Pharmacy Benefits Effective August 2021

Beginning in August 2021 there will be a couple of changes in pharmacy benefits. These changes will ONLY impact the following individuals:

  • Those who use AllianceRx mail order pharmacy for prescriptions, generally for ongoing or maintenance medications
  • Those who use AllianceRx specialty pharmacy for specialty medications, specialty medications are generally high-cost injectable drugs with special handling or storage requirements.

There are no changes to pharmacy benefits for medications filled at your local retail pharmacy.

If you or your covered dependents are directly impacted, you will receive a personalized letter mailed to your home address in late June which will include specific instructions in preparation for this change.  Please review this information carefully as there are certain actions steps necessary for you to complete.

For mail order prescriptions, please review the following information:

  • Prior to August 1, 2021, check your medication supply to ensure you have a sufficient supply on hand to avoid any disruption with this transition. Refills before July 31st will be processed by AllianceRx Walgreens Prime.
    • If you have remaining refills, most medications will be transferred to Express Scripts Pharmacy.
    • Exceptions include controlled substances, medicines regulated by a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation (REMS) program, prescriptions that are expired, or prescriptions with no refills left after August 1, 2021. For these excluded medications, please ask your doctor to send new prescriptions to Express Scripts Pharmacy on or after August 1, 2021.
  • On or after August 1, 2021-
    • If you’d like to continue to use the mail order benefit:
      • Please setup your Express Scrips Pharmacy digital account using your member ID by going to esrx.com/BCBSTX or by calling 833-715-0942. To protect your privacy there is certain personal and banking information you’ll be asked to complete before your first fill can be processed.
      • Let your doctor know that after August 1, they should send new mail order prescription to Express Scripts Pharmacy.
    • Or, if you’d like to switch to having your prescriptions filled at your local in-network pharmacy you can ask your doctor to send a new prescription to your preferred location.

For specialty medications, please review the following information:

  • Prior to August 1, 2021, check your medication supply to ensure you have a sufficient supply on hand to avoid any disruption with this transition. Refills before July 31st will be processed by AllianceRx Walgreens Prime.
    • If you have remaining refills, most medications will be transferred to Accredo Pharmacy.
    • Exceptions include controlled substances, medicines regulated by a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation (REMS) program, prescriptions that are expired, or prescriptions with no refills left after August 1, 2021. For these excluded medications, please ask your doctor to send new prescriptions to Accredo Pharmacy on or after August 1, 2021.
  • On or after August 1, 2021-
    • If your AllianceRx Walgreens Prime prescription has refills available as of August 1, 2021, Accredo will call or email you to help you get signed up and ready for your first order. You can also call Accredo at 833-721-1619 starting on August 1, 2021.
    • Please setup your Accredo digital account using your member ID by going to accredo.com/BCBSTX or by calling 833-721-1619. To protect your privacy there is certain personal and banking information you’ll be asked to complete before your first fill can be processed.

Questions? If you have active prescriptions at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, stay tuned for member notices with details and other resource tools. As always, you can also call the phone number listed on your Member ID card.

More information from BCBSTX Prime will be mailed to impacted members.

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