Changes to Retirement Plan

Changes to the Amherst College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (the Retirement Plan) went into effect on Dec. 2, 2011. The funds in which to invest are being changed: new funds are being added; some current funds are no longer going to be able to receive new contributions. If you are a regular employee, you should have received, in your home mailbox, information outlining the changes and describing actions that you may need to take. For your convenience, all of the information that has been sent to participants has also been posted on the HR website at We encourage you to review this information and contact the Office of Human Resources (at 413-542-2372 or if you have questions.

Long-Term Care Enrollment Period

Each year an enrollment period is held for employees and eligible family members who wish to purchase long-term care insurance coverage, a voluntary, employee-paid benefit. This year’s enrollment period will run from December 1, 2011, to January 23, 2012.  MedAmerica is the new insurance carrier for future enrollments. Some of the policy options through MedAmerica are different from those of the prior carrier. We encourage anyone who might be interested in this valuable benefit to attend an educational session or schedule an individual consultation. Additional information about the benefit and meeting times is available on the Long-Term Care Open Enrollment Web page at

Benefit Corner: Did You Know…?

The Sliding Scale Program provides qualifying employees with lower premium payments for health and dental coverage. Depending on one’s income level, the College may pay up to an additional 10 percent toward the cost of coverage—leading to a significant savings for employees. Employees enroll in the Sliding Scale program at the beginning of each fiscal year, or when they are first eligible for coverage. More than 130 employees currently receive the benefits of the Sliding Scale Program.

This year, in addition to the savings on premiums, the College has added two other ways of saving on medical costs. For those participating in the Sliding Scale Program this fiscal year, the College has contributed $100 to a medical flex spending account for anyone with a single plan and $220 to anyone with a family plan. The money in these accounts can be used to pay for co-pays on office visits, prescription medications, eyeglasses and many other eligible expenses. The College has also undertaken to reimburse the $250 inpatient hospitalization co-pay for those participating in the Sliding Scale Program and their covered dependents.

If you have questions about the Sliding Scale Program, please contact Benefits Administrator Ernie LeBlanc or Benefits Specialist Philip Chapman-Bell at 413-542-2372.