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Stanford Report, March 18, 1998

Total Comp - Short bits: 3/98

Short Bits

How to Access Vision Benefits

Medically necessary eye exams are covered by Health Net, Kaiser, PacifiCare and the Triple Option medical benefits upon referral from your primary care physician. One annual eye refraction in preparation for glasses is also covered.

Two vision care centers, Site for Sore Eyes and For Eyes, provide significant discounts for glasses to Stanford employees.


Appointments Available for Retirement Plan Information From Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF

A Fidelity Investment Company representative is available monthly at the Office of Total Compensation for appointments with employees. You may call Fidelity at 1-800-642-7131 to schedule an appointment.

On the last Thursday of each month, a TIAA-CREF representative is available at the Office of Total Compensation for appointments. You may call 1-800-842-2007 to make an appointment.


Total Compensation Web Site Coming Soon

By this June, the Office of Total Compensation expects to have all benefits information available for 24-hour access on the web. Highlights of benefits, summary plan descriptions, related links and forms will be available. As this site nears completion, more information will be available.


When You Move

Be sure to notify your departmental administrator as soon as possible when you move. This assures accurate mailings of benefits information, membership cards, plan information W-2 forms and open enrollment materials. Notify each Retirement Plan vendor of your address change also.

You may update your address on Stanford records yourself. Here are the steps.

1. Log on to your personal FORSYTHE account.

2. At the "command" prompt, type: PRISM.

3. At the "your response" prompt, type: select faculty/staff directory.

4. At the next "your response" prompt, type: entry.

5. Follow the prompts through the request for your name and University PIN number.

6. After you enter your PIN number, you will get the screen for your personal work and home address. You may make changes on the screen.


Tax-Free Spending Accounts

Claims for reimbursement of 1997 expenses must be completed and sent to BeneSphere by April 30, 1998. You may submit your claims by fax (1-800-269-5231) or by mail to:

BeneSphere Administrators
P.O. Box 52965
Bellevue, WA 98015-2965

Forms may be obtained from the Office of Total Compensation, the SLAC Benefits Office or by calling BeneSphere at 1-800-269-0020. You may also print a form from BeneSphere's web site: www.benesphere.com.


Making the Most of Your Retirement

As of January 1, 1998, some laws affecting retirement plan contribution limits have changed. One important change was to the 25% of income limit. In the past, your tax-free contributions to the Educated Choices flexible benefits program reduced the income amount used in the formula that calculated your 25% limit. As of January 1, 1998, your pre-tax contributions to Educated Choices no longer reduce your maximum retirement plan deferrals. In addition, the general limit on pre-tax contributions to retirement plans was changed from $9,500 annually to $10,000 annually.

The result for most employees is that you may contribute up to the lesser of $10,000 or 25% of your income each year.

If you have questions about these new limits, please call your Retirement Benefits Counselor.


Maternity Workshops

The Office of Total Compensation offers Maternity Workshops on the last Friday of every month. This brown-bag workshop is held from noon to 1:00 for those who anticipate being on maternity leave. At the meeting, you will receive information on family medical leave, your benefit choices, and how to make changes. Meetings are held in the Magnolia Conference Room at 655 Serra. No reservations are necessary. SR