September 2019 Newsletter

New Employee Orientation

In an effort to offer a smooth onboarding process for new employees, Human Resources will now offer orientation on the 10th and 25th of each month (dates falling on weekends will be adjusted accordingly). This new schedule will begin on September 10, 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, please call 540-831-5008.

Performance Management Self-Evaluations

As of September 3, 2019, the Self-Evaluation action for employees has opened. This will prompt emails to indicate you have an action. Employees have the opportunity to complete the self-evaluation (which is recommended), or they may choose to opt-out. Completing the self-evaluation gives employees an active role rather than simply being the recipient of feedback. Additionally, employees have the opportunity to give their supervisor better insight and a full picture of their performance and accomplishments. The due date for the self-evaluation is September 13, 2019. Once the self-evaluation is completed, the supervisor may immediately start the evaluation in the system.  The due date for supervisors to complete evaluations is October 4, 2019.

Performance Management Training for Employees

There will be upcoming performance management training sessions for employees. These training sessions will be held in the Human Resources Conference Room on the following dates and times:

  • September 11, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. - Classified Employees
  • September 25, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. - Administrative and Professional Faculty

Registration for the training is available through the Virginia Learning Center (VLC). For any questions or additional assistance, please email Jenene Lewis at or call 540-831-7286.

Performance Management Training for Supervisors

There will be upcoming performance management training sessions for supervisors. The training sessions will be held in the Human Resources Conference Room on the following dates and times:

  • September 10, 2019 from 9 to 11 a.m. - Classified Employee Supervisors
  • September 12, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. - Administrative and Professional Faculty Supervisors
  • September 17, 2019 from 9 to 11 a.m. - Classified Employee Supervisors

Registration for the training is available through the Virginia Learning Center (VLC). For any questions or additional assistance, please email Jenene Lewis at or call 540-831-7286.

Training Opportunities

Retirement Planning and Information sessions are intended for employees nearing retirement or those who want to learn more about the process. Each session will cover topics ranging from the Virginia Retirement System, Optional Retirement plans, life insurance and retiree health insurance options, as well as information on Social Security and supplemental retirement plans. The sessions will take place in the Hurlburt Student Center (Room 248) on the following dates and times:

  • September 10, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. to noon
  • September 11, 2019 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Civility in the Workplace Policy training is now available in the VLC. This training is required for all State of Virginia employees, supervisors and/or managers. This includes classified employees, administrative and professional faculty and teaching and research faculty, as well as 1500-hour wage and part-time employees. Visit the HR Training Website for more details.

University Passenger Van or Golf/Utility Cart training must successfully completed before reserving a University passenger van or golf/utility cart. The training(s) are located in the VLC. To access the VLC, a VLC account is required.  Issues with account accessibility should be addressed through the VLC Help Desk Request. Visit the Environmental Health and Safety site for complete instructions.   

Forthcoming Changes to the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP-HE)  

Effective January 2020, participants will have a choice between two ORPHE providers for directing contributions to the plan: TIAA and DCP (record kept by ICMA-RC). Participants will select one of two providers for new contributions during an extended open enrollment period, October 1, 2019 to November 15, 2019, with any changes effective January 2020. Fidelity has been deselected as a provider option for ongoing contributions. New contributions will be directed to the provider that participants select during open enrollment. Participants will have the choice to retain their existing account balance with Fidelity or transfer to the new provider. Active Fidelity participants, who do not select a provider during open enrollment, will have their contributions moved to DCP (the default provider) beginning in January 2020. Further, the TIAA investment lineup will change, effective January 2020, as part of VRS’ efforts to reduce fees, enhance fee transparency and improve fund performance. Participants, who select TIAA as a provider, will be able to select new investments starting in early January 2020. Additional information is available on the ORPHE website.

Open Enrollment for Voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance

Beginning September 16, 2019 through October 11, 2019, eligible state employees and eligible employees of participating political subdivision and school divisions can enroll in the employee-paid Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) Group Voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance Program. Employees, who are 65 and under and apply by October 11, 2019, will have fewer medical underwriting requirements. Learn more about employee voluntary long term care plan and watch for additional information regarding the enrollment process on the VRS website.

Representatives from Genworth, the Commonwealth’s LTC administrator, will be on campus on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 for two presentation sessions covering the LTC program and the enrollment process. Faculty and staff, as well as spouses, are invited to attend. No registration is necessary. Sessions will be held in Heth Hall (Room 016) on the following dates and times:

  • October 2, 2019 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • October 2, 2019 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Member Benefit Profiles Available Soon in myVRS  

The 2019 Member Benefit Profiles (MBPs) for Plan 1, Plan 2 and Hybrid Retirement Plan members will be available in myVRS accounts in late summer. This year marks the first time hybrid plan members will receive an annual statement in myVRS accounts. The MBP is an annual benefit statement based on information employers report to VRS as of June 30, 2019. It provides account balance information, retirement eligibility and eligibility for other benefits, such as group life insurance and the health insurance credit. For assistance in establishing an online account, please call 540-831-5008.

September 16, 2019 Deadline for Quarterly Changes to Voluntary Contributions to VRS Hybrid Defined Contribution Plan

Employees enrolled in the VRS Hybrid Plan have until 4:00 p.m. on September 16, 2019 to make changes to voluntary contributions to Hybrid 457 Deferred Contribution Plan component. Changes made by September 16, 2019 will be effective October 1, 2019 and are made through an online account. Hybrid Plan participants may contribute up to 4 percent into the plan’s defined contribution component and receive up to a 2.5 percent match depending upon the percentage increase. Participants are reminded they may make changes by the 15th of the month each December, March, June and September of each year with changes effective the 1st of the following month. Additional information is available at the Hybrid Retirement Plan on the VRS website. If you have questions or need assistance, please call 540-831-5008 or email

VRS Member News

The VRS is implementing changes to the myVRS system to provide VRS defined benefit participants new features to facilitate the retirement process. Later this year, members preparing to retire will be able to complete the retirement process online with a more streamlined process.  Members are encouraged to subscribe to the VRS Member News for the latest updates and retirement information. Additionally, for your convenience and up-to-date information, subscribe to receive the Member News directly. Call 540-831-5008 if you have any questions or need assistance.

Health Benefits Premium Holiday Coming in October

As announced in the Governor’s letter to state employees dated May 3, 2019, there will be a premium holiday for the month of October for those enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program (not including TRICARE Supplement enrollees). The premium holiday will also apply to retiree group participants (retirees, survivors, LTD participants) and Extended Coverage/COBRA participants. There will be no employee/retiree or employer contribution due for one month, regardless of membership level. An additional communication will be sent to all employees by email, as well as to retiree group and COBRA participants by letter.

 Active state employees will not have a health insurance deduction reflected on the October 16, 2019 check date or on the November 1, 2019 check date.  For VRS retirees, there will be no health insurance deduction from the November 1, 2019 retirement check. For direct bill participants, which includes ORP retirees, VRS participants who do not have their health insurance premium deducted from their monthly retired pay, and extended coverage/cobra participants, there will be no bill generated for the month of October.    

Annual Employee Benefits Fair Scheduled for October 17, 2019

Save the date for the Annual Employee Benefits Fair to be held on October 17, 2019 in the Muse Banquet Hall from 11:00 2:00 p.m. This will allow participating vendors to come onsite and offer more information regarding benefits and services. Several state benefit providers, such as the Virginia Retirement System, Anthem BC/BS, Aetna, Delta Dental, TIAA and many others, will be in attendance. Additionally, Walgreens will offer the annual Flu Shot clinic during the event.

Need Support?

To help answer any questions, visit the Meet Our Staff page on the Human Resources website in order to better assist your specific needs.

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Sep 6, 2019