Today at Berkeley Lab

Be Aware of Increased Stress Over the Holidays

A person may experience increased stress and exhaustion during the holidays if they are coping with significant work or life changes, family or health challenges, or loss of a loved one. You need to take care of yourself with proper rest and nutrition, stay connected to support, and ask for help if needed. The Employee Assistance Program offers free counseling services to Lab employees. Go here for tips on holiday stress relief.

Take Open Enrollment Survey for a Chance to Win Prizes

The Benefits office is seeking feedback on their communications efforts around this year’s Open Enrollment. Those who respond to this survey will have their names entered into a drawing for prizes, including sunglasses, Amazon gift cards, and an Amazon Echo, among other gifts. The raffle will take place on Dec. 18. The winners will be announced in TABL on Dec. 20.

Beware of Unauthorized Retirement Planning Emails

Unauthorized solicitations for retirement planning services are being sent to UC employees. UC is not endorsing these services, and contracts exclusively with Fidelity Investments for all financial education and guidance services. Fidelity is well-versed in UC retirement benefits and can meet with staff on-site. To set up a one-on-one consultation, make an appointment at

UC Offers Emergency Support for Those Affected by Wildfires

UC is providing extra benefits assistance to help UC employees meet the needs of those affected by the current wildfires. Assistance includes accessing retirement savings for emergency expenses, replacing lost prescriptions, receiving medical, dental, vision, and emotional health support, submitting claims for loss of life or property, and using legal resources. Go here for details and contact information.

Watch Your Home Mail for 2019 Open Enrollment Benefits Information

The 2019 employee benefits booklet will be mailed to your home address beginning Oct. 19. Open Enrollment begins Oct. 25 at 8 a.m. and closes Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. The booklet provides details on the changes for 2019. Stop by an HR Benefits help session or the Lab’s vendor fair on Nov. 15 for more information. More>

Keep Your Contact Information Current

It is important for employees to ensure that their correct home address, phone number, and emergency contact information are on file at the Lab. Updates can be made at the Employee Self-Service website. Any updates to home addresses will be sent electronically to the benefit plan providers and will be used for mailing information and to verify eligibility for some UC medical plans.

UC’s WellBeing Initiative Offers Staff Assistance for Healthier Lives

As part of the University of California’s WellBeing Initiative, employees have access to resources based on these four pillars: emotional, financial, nutritional, and physical. The initiative includes a variety of tools for staff, such as links to behavioral health providers, classes on budgeting, and access to diabetes-prevention programs, among other offerings. More>

March 16 Presentation on ‘Preparing for Retirement’

Meet retirement counselors from the UC Retirement Administration Service Center as they explain your UC retirement benefits and eligibility rules for retiree health, describe the steps you need to take when you’re ready to retire, and answer your questions. The event takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. Register here.

UC Forms Working Group to Study Retiree Health Benefits

The University of California has formed a Retiree Health Benefits Working Group to explore options that will ensure the long-term financial viability of the retiree health benefits program and the quality of the benefits offered. The project only pertains to retiree health benefits; it does not affect UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) pension benefits. More>

Staff, Retirees Happy With Health Plans, Survey Shows

Employees and retirees enrolled in UC-sponsored health plans are highly satisfied with their plans, according to surveys conducted last spring. The survey looked at enrollees’ satisfaction with their health care, health plan, access to care (including appointments with specialists), and customer service. More>