Human Resources

HR Happenings

Presentation Regarding the WHOI Defined Benefit Plan Trust

On September 15th, WHOI Trustee Bob Ducommun, the chair of the Defined Benefit Retirement Trust Committee, with the assistance of Larry Chang, of Cambridge Associates as well as Mark Rich and Joanne Mooney, of Willis Towers Watson, made a presentation about the WHOI DB Plan Trust, including an update on the funding status. Their presentation included several topics including: history of the Retirement Trust, the investment policy, how the assets are being managed by Cambridge Associates, the liability associated with managing the Plan, and how government oversight including potentially changing IRS rules may affect the overall management of the Trust. Many employees came to learn more about these important topics. The presentation was live streamed and taped. Please click on the heading of this notice to view the taped presentation.   

Meeting By Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Commitee (DCRP)

On August 30th, members of the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Committee (DCRP), who are responsible for administrative and fiduciary oversight of the Plan, held an open forum meeting with the WHOI Community to provide an update on the Plan, seek feedback on the past five years with Transamerica (existing Plan record-keeper), and to inform the community about a Request for Proposal (RFP) currently in process. It is best practice to conduct an RFP at least every five (5) years to ensure that the plan fees for recordkeeping, employer and participant support are reasonable for the services provided. We were also interested in understanding whether participants are satisfied with the website and call-center support and whether we as the employer are satisfied with the back-end support for administration. Jeffrey Fernandez, Vice President of Operations and CFO; Kathi Benjamin, Director of Human Resources and EEO officer; Nicole Wright, Assistant Director of Benefits; and WHOI Fiduciary Advisor, Stephen Popper of Sageview Advisors; joined us along with  the members-at-large Steven Jayne, Senior Scientist; Nanci Pacheco, Director of Business Systems; and Malcolm Scully, Associate Scientist. Please click on the heading of this notice to view the taped presentation.   

New Web-Based WHOI Employee Self-Serve Defined Benefit Calculator

On December 28, 2015 the Human Resources Department together with Towers Watson will roll out a web-based benefit modeling calculator for current employees who are Defined Benefit (DB) Plan participants.  This tool is called “Employee Self-Serve” (ESS); and it allows participating employees to formulate multiple retirement distribution scenarios/estimates at a time, save estimate history and revisit different scenarios of estimated DB plan benefits.  The system is not accessible to current employees who have previously taken a distribution from the Plan, for past employees and for those hired on or after 1/1/2009 when the DB plan was closed to new participants.  Once the site is available on December 28, 2015, current employees participating in the DB plan will receive an email with ESS access instructions.

2016 403(b) IRS Limits

The IRS recently announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for tax year 2016. These changes will occur for the first payroll of 2016 which is the period December 27-January 9, 2016 for pay date January 15, 2016. You can make changes to your 403(b) Defined Contribution employee amount anytime during the year through the Transamerica site . Those turning age 50 or older in 2016 are eligible for the Age 50+ Catch-Up throughout the year.

For more information on the limits, please refer to the link above. (2016 403(b) Limits).

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The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society.

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To achieve its overall mission, an integral part of WHOI’s strategy is to attract, recruit, and retain a world-class staff, representing a diversity of people, backgrounds and ideas.  To that end, we are driven to provide a total rewards package that supports these initiatives and complements WHOI’s culture and values.

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Last updated: February 7, 2017