2020-01 From the President: Looking forward to an interesting year

Happy New Year! Our Retiree Association has just finished up a great 2019. We heard from President Joan Gabel at our November forum before the largest crowd in our history, met regents Mary Davenport and Janie Mayeron in a wonderful conversational setting (thanks to the University of Minnesota Foundation and Lynn Praska), and, for the first time ever, got together for a Holiday Party in December. Results of the UMRA Quiz (forecasting the future) will be available soon. 

There is much to look forward to in the new year with a great lineup of forum speakers and workshops. 

As we move into 2020, UMRA will also play close attention to the upcoming change from Securian to Fidelity as the administrator of the University’s retirement funds. We’ve already had a couple of opportunities to hear about those changes, and there will be more to come in January and February, with Fidelity and the Office of Human Resources (OHR). Ken Horstman, who was one of our presenters in October, has been named the interim head of OHR.  We hope he will continue to attend to the concerns and needs of retirees as he has for the past several years.  

Making wise choices
I trust everyone was able to complete their benefit choices during Open Enrollment. Keeping up with these changes and making wise choices for your health and dental care can be a daunting task. I hope you were aided in those choices by the presentations and presence of the OHR and health plan representatives at our benefits workshop in October.

While our allegiance to the University derives primarily from our past work for the University and our desire to further its mission of teaching, research, and service, many of us, as a practical matter, are tied to the University through our health care and retirement accounts. It is one of our goals as an organization to keep on top of the changes in health care benefits and retirement accounts and help communicate those changes to our members. If you have concerns, please let us know. 

We’re looking forward to an interesting and prosperous 2020. 

—Bill Donohue, UMRA president, 2019–20