UA College Savings Plan Encourages Alaska Families to Start Saving for Higher Education with a 529 plan on '529 College Savings Day'
On May 29, the University of Alaska College Savings Plan joins the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) and state savings plans around the nation in celebrating “529 College Savings Day” in an effort to increase awareness among Alaska families about the importance of saving for their children’s higher education expenses.
“Higher education is one of the best investments a person can make in a lifetime,” said Lael Oldmixon, director of the UA College Savings Plan. “I encourage Alaska families to take some time on 529 College Savings Day to discuss their college savings goals as a family and learn how a college savings plan can help make those goals a reality.” She added that the Plan is sharing some fun activities and information through its social media this month to celebrate.
The UA College Savings Plan is a top ranked 529 plan, which is a state-sponsored program designed to help families save while offering potential tax benefits. Savings have the potential to grow faster in a 529 plan because potential earnings are tax-deferred, and are tax-free if the account is used for qualified higher education expenses at an eligible school. The plan offers a variety of investment options managed by T. Rowe Price, a recognized leader in no load mutual funds. The most widely recognized benefit for Alaskans is the ACT portfolio, which offers the UA Tuition-Value Guarantee and is a balanced, low-cost option. This portfolio can also be a good choice if the child is likely to attend the University of Alaska; however, its monetary value can used at virtually any college or vocational school in the country.
Alaskans can invest in the plan directly or through the permanent fund dividend (PFD). Also, in 2013, everyone who elects to automatically contribute half of their PFD to the plan is entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship account or one of four, $2,500 scholarship accounts. Alaskans who have not yet designated half of their PFD can still do so by filing the “UA College Savings Plan” form through the state’s Permanent Fund Dividend Division’s website here.
To learn more about the UA College Savings Plan, visit http://www.uacollegesavings.com. Resources and tools that families can use to compare 529 plans and make informed decisions about saving for college are also available at CSPN’s website, www.CollegeSavings.org.
Changes to Annual Leave Cash-In
The process to cash-in annual leave will be changing for FY14. Currently, eligible employees can request to cash-in annual leave by claiming the hours on their web time sheet. Beginning in July 2013, employees requesting to cash-in their annual leave will complete an Annual Leave Cash-in Request form and submit it to their regional Human Resources office.
This process will provide a written request confirming that you understand the requirements and limitations of the leave cash-in program. The form will be posted on the HR Forms web site after July 1. To prepare for this change, the last opportunity to claim annual leave cash-in on your web time entry time sheet will be the pay period that ends on June 15, 2013.
The first opportunity to cash-in annual leave in FY14 using the new Annual Leave Cash-in Request form will be the pay period that begins on July 14, ends on July 27, and is paid on August 9. Please note that this is also the first pay period that non-exempt staff can claim Personal Holiday leave for the new fiscal year.
Some points to remember about cashing in Annual Leave:
- You can cash in up to 40 hours of Annual Leave once per fiscal year, provided that you have at least 40 hours remaining after the cashed-in leave is deducted.
- Annual Leave may not be cashed-in during the pay period in which June 30 falls (that will be "R15" for 2013)
Cashed-in Annual Leave is not "covered wages" for retirement. No UA Pension, ORP, PERS, or TRS deductions or employer contributions will be paid on cashed-in leave. Leave (annual leave or sick leave) does not accrue on the cashed-in leave hours.
If you have any questions, please contact your regional HR office. Contact information for each office is available at http://www.alaska.edu/hr/contact-hr/.
* Eligible employee classes are:
NR (non-exempt), XR (exempt), EX (executive), NX and XX (extended temporary) and FR (non-represented 12 month faculty)
Important Payroll Reminders
Annual Leave Cash-in
The last day you will be able to record annual leave cash-in on your time sheet is June 15, 2013 (R13). The program is currently being revised and a new process will be implemented in the near future.
Personal Holiday Leave
The last day to use your Personal Holiday Leave (EC420) for FY13 is June 29, 2013 (R14). Personal Holiday Leave cannot be used during the pay period June 30, 2013 through July 13, 2013 (R15) but will be available again starting on July 14, 2013.
Early submission R14
Pay Period June 16, 2013 to June 29, 2013 (R14) will require early employee submission. Employees must submit their web time sheet by 5pm on Thursday, June 27, 2013. The approver will need to have them approved Friday, June 28, 2013. Please refer to the "WTE Submission Schedules" located here.
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Construction Notice for Butrovich Building
Summer construction for 2013 is underway. Butrovich is scheduled to begin a sidewalk renovation project and retaining wall replacement June 10, with completion dates of August 20 and September 10.
During the sidewalk renovation, contractors will remove existing sidewalks, curbs and paved areas on the north/main entry side of the building. They will install new curbs, paved roadway and ADA compliant sidewalks and ramps. They will also replace the existing lighted bollards with more durable units.
During the retaining wall project, contractors will remove soil adjacent to the east retaining wall, construct a new retaining wall as well as drainage pathways, and expand the K3 vault adjacent to the new wall.
Vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be rerouted for the duration of these projects. Vehicular access will be limited to the east entrance. Traffic will circle counterclockwise through a designated driving area. Parking will be limited within the accessible Butrovich parking lot. Additional parking will be available in the lots to the north, adjacent to the Arctic Health Research Building (Lots 9A and 9B). Butrovich occupants are encouraged to park in those lots, as the parking at the Butrovich will be limited and the fire lane will need to stay clear at all times. Emergency vehicles will also be rerouted to the east entrance.
The shuttle stop will also be changed during construction. The new stop will be located at the top of the road at the east entrance. Accommodations will be made for handicapped individuals. If you have a handicap and need assistance, please contact the shuttle dispatch at 474-7433 to arrange for a curbside pick-up at the east building entrance.
Pedestrian traffic will be rerouted down the east stairwell to the designated employee entrance in the loading dock. Please avoid walking down the roadway. It is important to keep this area clear of pedestrians so emergency vehicles and vendor access is not impeded. During an emergency evacuation Butrovich occupants are advised to stay within designated pedestrian areas, as long as it is safe to do so, and to avoid impeding emergency response vehicles.
Emergency exits will also be impacted. Previous identified exits will be marked as “Not An Exit” and directional signs (white background with red letters and/or arrows) will be posted to direct employees to newly designated exits. All exits will be clearly marked with signs with a white background and green “Exit”. Make sure to obey all posted signs and restrictions. Any changes to the Emergency Action Plan will be sent out to Butrovich Building Occupants by email to the Butrovich list serve and posted on the “Right to Know” board located in suite 212. The emergency assembly area (museum) will not change.
Noise, vibration, and smells associated with construction activities are likely to be encountered during these projects. The Health, Safety and Environmental Department will be working with the contractors to ensure any hazards are identified and addressed. You may check the “Right to Know” board for any hazard notifications outside of the ones addressed in this notification that may manifest during these projects.
Employees are not authorized to enter designated construction zones. Please contact Elaine Main with questions or concerns regarding this project. She may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your cooperation is appreciated.