Posts Tagged: Human Resources
The University of California Board of Regents today (March 24) approved a new retirement program for future UC employees proposed by President Napolitano, as part of a broader effort to maintain the university's excellence and sustain its long-term financial health.
The new retirement program will apply only to UC employees hired on or after July 1, 2016. Current employees and retirees are not affected by these changes because accrued pension benefits are protected by law and cannot be reduced or revoked.
The new program, which is consistent with the 2015 budget agreement with the state, will bolster the long-term financial stability of UC and its retirement program, while providing critical funding for many university priorities through savings generated by the plan and through additional funds UC will receive from the state.
Under the 2015 budget agreement, UC is receiving nearly $1 billion in new annual revenue and one-time funding over the several years, including $436 million to help pay down UC's unfunded pension liability. As part of the agreement, UC is implementing a cap on the pensionable earnings of future employees, mirroring the limit on pension benefits for state employees under the 2013 California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act (PEPRA). The university expects to save on average $99 million a year by implementing the pension cap, over half of which will go toward further paying down UC's unfunded liability.
“When we approved the budget agreement between the governor, the Legislature and this body, we did so committing ourselves to proactively developing a set of retirement options that are financially prudent, are oriented toward the long-term sustainability of the university and that allow us to effectively recruit and retain the very best faculty and staff,” Regent Monica Lozano said. “The [retirement] options on the table go a long way toward meeting those three very important objectives.”
Under the proposal approved by the regents, future employees will be offered a choice between two options:
- Option 1 – Pension + 401(k)-style supplemental benefit: The current UC pension benefit capped at the PEPRA salary limit (currently $117,020) plus a supplemental 401(k)-style benefit for eligible employee pay up to the Internal Revenue Service limit (currently $265,000), or
- Option 2 – New 401(k)-style benefit: A new stand-alone 401(k)-style plan with benefits-eligible employee pay up to the Internal Revenue Service limit (currently $265,000).
Maintaining a pension benefit — along with a 401(k)-style supplement (Option 1) — is important to attracting and retaining the caliber of personnel needed to maintain UC's excellence, especially faculty for whom the university often competes against elite private institutions that can often pay more than UC.
At the same time, UC's workforce is highly diverse and people have different retirement needs and goals. The new stand-alone 401(k)-style retirement benefit (Option 2) may be attractive to employees who work at UC for only a few years and want a portable retirement benefit they can take with them, and/or who prefer to personally manage their retirement savings.
The vast majority of future staff would not see any difference in their benefits compared to current employees. Based on current data, 79 percent of current employees would not be affected by the PEPRA cap.
You can read more details about the approved retirement benefits here.
Other elements of employee compensation were also discussed, including employee salaries and the university's ability to recruit and retain quality faculty and staff. President Napolitano noted for the regents that employee salaries remain an issue for certain employee groups and that she intends to propose ways to address competitive employee pay at future regents' meetings.
In addition to new retirement options for future UC employees, the president's plan will:
- Focus on overall employee compensation by (1) allowing UC to budget for regular pay increases for faculty and staff, and (2) making merit-based pay a regular component of systemwide salary programs to reward employees based on performance.
- Help preserve UC's quality by devoting resources to assist campuses in attracting and retaining faculty and key staff, and improve the student experience.
- Offer enhanced retirement counseling and education for all employees, including new hires, as part of UC's commitment to helping employees successfully plan for retirement.
Last summer after the 2015 budget agreement was finalized, President Napolitano convened a task force to recommend options for the new retirement benefits. The task force presented her with its recommendations in December 2015.
In January and February, the president solicited feedback on the recommendations from the UC community. She received comments from more than 300 faculty and staff, which she used to help inform the proposal she brought to the regents.
The UC ANR Training Coordination Committee is sponsoring two “Crucial Conversations” trainings this spring:
- Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12-13, at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier. On April 12, the training is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on April 13, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Tuesday and Wednesday, May 17-18, at 2801 Second Street in Davis. On May 17, the training is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on May 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- You may also select “I can participate in either session” when you pre-register.
Training is open to all UC ANR academics, ANR staff employees, and Cooperative Extension county-paid employees who have not taken the Crucial Conversations training in the past. All expenses related to the training (registration fee, travel, lodging, meals and training materials) will be reimbursed by ANR funds according to UC travel policy.
Twenty participants will be accepted for each training course. Individuals selected to participate in the training will need to participate the full period of the training. Therefore, if you cannot commit to the full 14 hours of training, we ask that you not pre-register for the training. We also encourage you to inform your supervisor of your interest to participate in this training.
If you are interested in the training, please pre-register by March 10 at http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=17197.
Individuals who have pre-registered will be notified on March 21 as to whether they have been selected to participate in the two-day training. A waiting list of those interested but not selected to participate in the training will be established in order for the trainers to contact them if space becomes available.
Crucial Conversations provides tools for talking when stakes are high, emotions are strong and opinions differ. The objectives of the 14-hour training are to provide the participants tools that will assist the participant in:
- Building greater personal influence and power
- Moving “stuck” work-related relationships and projects forward
- Improving personal, team and unit results
- Reducing stress from team frustrations and blocked communication
Your program certified trainers, Jan Corlett and Linda Marie Manton, thank you for considering participation in “Crucial Conversations” training. If you have questions contact Jan Corlett at Jan.Corlett@ucop.edu.
I am writing to share important changes to UC policy regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment and to offer a reminder about the resources available to the ANR community. All UC locations have been working together to update policies and procedures, and a few recent changes deserve special notice.
The UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy now requires every ANR employee to notify the Title IX office when they receive information from a UC student about an alleged violation. Although most ANR academics and staff do not have regular contact with UC students, it's important to be aware of this new policy requirement.
Moreover, all ANR academics and managers/supervisors must notify the Title IX office when they receive information of alleged sexual misconduct from any member of the ANR community, including reports from program participants, volunteers, as well as reports from ANR employees.
John I. Sims recently was named the new Title IX Officer for ANR, replacing Linda Marie Manton, who retired in December. In this role, John is the contact point to respond to alleged violations and can be reached at (530) 750-1397 and email@example.com.
Confidential counseling and referral services for ANR academics and staff employees are available through the UC Davis Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) at (916) 734-2727 and www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/hr/hrdepts/asap.
Finally, the updated policy also includes a new training requirement for all employees. This training program will better prepare all of us to fulfill our obligations and learn about our roles and responsibilities. Academics and supervisors — who have been required to take such training for several years — will see new, updated content in their training and will maintain their current training schedule. Non-supervisory staff will be required to complete a 50-minute, web-based sexual harassment prevention training by May 1, 2016. Ongoing training for all employees will be required annually.
You can expect to receive more details about the new training requirement in the coming weeks.
For more information on how to prevent and respond to sexual violence, visit the ANR website http://ucanr.edu/sites/DiscriminationSexual_Violence.
Preventing and responding to sexual violence is a duty we all share. Thank you for being a part of the solution.
After months of discussion and analysis, the task force President Napolitano convened last summer to recommend options for retirement benefits for future UC employees has concluded its work and presented her with its recommendations. Once final, the new retirement benefits will apply only to UC employees hired on or after July 1, 2016 — retirement benefits for current employees and retirees will not be affected. Retirement benefit changes for union-represented employees will be effective upon completion of the collective bargaining process.
Community input on the recommendations
With the task force's work complete, President Napolitano is asking the UC community for feedback on the recommendations. As part of UC's principles of shared governance, the Academic Senate will formally review the recommendations and provide feedback to the president. In addition, webinars with senior UC officials will be held on Feb. 1 and Feb. 10 to discuss the recommendations and solicit questions and comments from interested employees. Faculty and staff also are invited to submit comments through a dedicated website. All comments received will be reviewed and considered.
President Napolitano will use the input from the university community to help inform the proposal she is expected to bring to the regents in March.
To join the 1 p.m. Feb. 10 webinar:
- Go to https://www.readytalk.com and enter the participant code: 5854736
- And call 1-877-256-8282 and enter the access code 21804895 to listen to the webinar.
The task force report, along with a timeline, answers to frequently asked questions, and instructions to submit comments are available at http://ucal.us/2016retirement.
Executive director, Human Resources