ICHR News and Announcements

This site is designed to share information to help you stay current on HR news, updates, service information, and announcements (newest always at the top).

Upcoming Auto-enrollment in the Ithaca College 403(b) Retirement Plan

We are excited to share with you that Ithaca College will be taking advantage of enhanced functionality offered through TIAA that will make it easier for you to save for your retirement.  Please see below for the details.   

Are you doing all you can for your financial future? The Ithaca College 403(b) Retirement Plan can help. 

Ithaca College recognizes the importance of providing ways for you to plan for your financial future. That’s why we recently conducted a review of the Ithaca College 403(b) Retirement Plan and identified employees who are not currently taking advantage of this important and valuable benefit  

Ways to Make the most of your retirement benefits 

Auto enroll
If you are eligible to participate in the Ithaca College 403(b) Retirement Plan, but have not yet enrolled in the plan, you will be automatically enrolled on or after June 25, 2021. Contributions of 5% will be directed to the age-appropriate lifecycle fund that corresponds to the year closest to when you turn age 65. Contributions will be made pretax each payroll period, meaning less federal and state taxes are deducted, lowering your taxable wage base. For additional information regarding the plan, please visit your retirement benefits website 

As with all mutual funds, the principal value in a lifecycle fund is not guaranteed at any time and will fluctuate with market changes. Also, please note that the target date represents an approximate date when investors may plan to begin withdrawing from the fund. However, you are not required to withdraw the funds at that target date. After the target date has been reached, some of your money may be merged into a fund with a more stable asset allocation.  

Note: You can select different investments or opt out of the plan any time.  

To opt out of automatic enrollment or change your contribution 
Once you receive your auto enrollment notice, you will have 30 days to change your contribution amount or opt out of the Ithaca College 403(b) Retirement Plan. Once enrolled, you can log in at any time to change your contribution rate or stop contributing by setting your contribution rate to zero.   

Auto increase  
To help your savings keep pace with your long-term goals, once enrolled, you will also be set up with automatic salary deferral increases. Through convenient payroll deductions, your contribution rate will automatically increase annually by 1% on the anniversary of your hire date, until a maximum contribution rate of 15% is reached.  

One-time contribution increases for employees contributing less than 5% 
If you are currently contributing less than 5% to the plan, you will see an increase in your contribution rate up to 5%. The increase will occur as soon as administratively possible after 
June 25, 2021. If you are already contributing 5% or more, you will not be affected by this change.  

To opt out of the one-time contribution increase 
Once you receive your one-time contribution increase notice, you will have 30 days to opt out of the increase. Keep in mind, you can change or stop contributions at any time by submitting a new online salary deferral request electronically at: www.tiaa.com/ithaca.  

Learn more  
You will receive additional information from TIAA as your automatic enrollment or your one-time contribution increase deadline approaches; however, you can review the plan features and your investment options any time at 
www.tiaa.com/ithaca. First-time users should select Log in, then Register for online access. Follow the on-screen directions to access your account. After that, you can log in to your account any time to:  

  • Select investment options  
  • Change your contribution rate or investment allocations  
  • Designate your beneficiary   

Online tools  
Visit www.tiaa.org/tools for convenient resources that can help you on the path to retirement. You supply the information, and the tools do the rest.  

If you have questions or need assistance, visit www.tiaa.com/ithaca or call TIAA at 800-842-2252. Consultants are available weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ET).

Reinstating the TIAA Retirement Contribution

Over the past year, the college’s ability to implement initiatives related to being an employer of choice has been challenged by declining enrollment revenue and unanticipated costs associated with the pandemic.  However, our commitment to maintaining competitive salaries and benefits for faculty and staff remains unchanged.  While the recently approved FY22 budget does not include an annual increment, we are reinstating the retirement contribution match at 5% effective July 1, 2021 for those employees with elective deferral contributions of at least 5%.  The college remains committed to doing everything we can to increase the match over the next two to three budget cycles.  While our overall salaries remain market competitive, annual increments are also deemed critical to include in future budget cycles.

In the meantime, the college is working to ensure all employees are receiving the maximum benefits possible from their retirement investment opportunities.  This includes rolling out auto-enrollment and auto-escalation for elective deferral contributions to ensure that all who are eligible can take advantage of these important saving tools.  In addition, the college is exploring the addition of target date funds to provide expanded options for employees to ensure their investments are growing as much as possible over time.

While current fiscal restraints limit our options in the short-term, the college continues to explore ways to reward and recognize the valuable contributions of our employees, including Summer Restoration Fridays, ongoing flexible work schedules where possible, and opportunities for professional development and career growth.  We’re so grateful to the dedicated employees of Ithaca College who have maintained their commitment and service during this difficult time.

Unemployment Fraud Assistance

Earlier this month, New York State Department of Labor announced that it has identified over 425,000 fraudulent unemployment benefit claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we are seeing an increase in fraudulent claims during this time, we want to inform employees what they can do if an unemployment claim has been submitted using their information.

  • Complete the following online form with New York State’s Department of Labor: https://labor.ny.gov/secure/fraud/report-fraud.shtm  
  • Review the Federal Trade Commission website (https://www.ftc.gov) and investigate possibilities of identity theft
  • If you receive a debit card in the mail from the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Division, please destroy this card and keep any other notices as a record
  • Immediately contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit records

If you are the victim of identity theft related to fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, you should also report the fraud to:

  • Bank and credit card companies
  • Law enforcement
  • The FBI encourages victims to report fraudulent or any suspicious activities to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.

You may also consult identitytheft.gov for help in reporting and recovering from identity theft.

Employee Assistance Program

You and your eligible family members can trust the NexGen EAP services to address your total wellbeing, from assistance with everyday work and family issues to more challenging personal concerns.

To access your total wellbeing services: 

  • Call 1.800.EAP.CALL (1.800.327.2255)
  • Log on at www.nexgeneap.com
    • Enter the Company ID 1489

When calling the confidential counseling services, your EAP Counselor will take you through the intake process, where they ask structured questions to assess your situation and determine the best level of care.