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Staff using online open enrollment system.

Computer labs at several campus locations--like this one at the Job Center in the Donhowe Building, Twin Cities campus--are available for employees who don't have a computer or who need assistance.

Benefits enrollment is online

By Deb Stull-Erickson

From Brief, October 20, 2004

The University's first online open enrollment for employee benefits was launched at midnight on Friday, October 15. By the time it closes at midnight on Monday, November 15, thousands of faculty and staff members will have registered without filing a piece of paper.

You do need to complete an application during open enrollment if you answer "yes" to any of the following questions:

Designated computer labs for open enrollment

Duluth campus

Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kirby Ballroom

Twin Cities campus - Minneapolis

Oct. 16 to Nov. 15
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday
170 Donhowe (Job Center)

Oct. 27, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Coffman Union, East Bank

Nov. 3, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
B-53 Ford Hall, East Bank

Nov. 5, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
AHC Dentistry Computer Lab, East Bank

Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
170 Anderson Hall, West Bank

Nov. 10, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Facilities Management
Conference Room
315 Donhowe, East Bank

Nov. 12, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
B-53 Ford Hall, East Bank

Twin Cities campus - St Paul

Oct. 26, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
NorthStar Ballroom
St. Paul Student Center

Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
135 Classroom Office Building
St. Paul campus

Assistance at Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester

For assistance completing an open enrollment application and for information about access to computers, contact the Human Resource department on your campus.

Gail Sauter, human resources

Extended telephone hours

The Employee Benefits Service Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. During open enrollment, after-hours telephone will be available on the following dates.

Nov. 2, 4, 9, 11
8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Nov. 15
8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

For assistance, call 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363, and press option 2.

If you answer "no" to all of these questions, you do not need to complete an application during open enrollment.

How to enroll

The new system makes it possible for faculty and staff to register anywhere, at any time, for their 2005 benefits. To complete your enrollment:

You do not have to complete all of your choices in one session. You can exit and enter the system as many times as you wish before the deadline to make changes. Choices as of midnight on November 15 will be considered final.

If you are on the UMTC or UMD campus and do not have Internet access, campus computers have been designated to use for enrollment at various locations and times. See the box, right, for lab locations and times.

Look for these advantages

Advantages of the new online system during open enrollment include electronic access to your Benefits Summary, which itemizes your benefits history and current choices. You can also view the actual rates of coverage at the time of enrollment. Other advantages include faster processing and reduced chance of human error.

Online open enrollment is just one addition to the Employee Self-Service Web site. Through this growing resource, you can also view your pay statement for the past two years, update your direct deposit information, change withholding allowances on your W-4, and view and print your W-2 for the past three tax years. Flexible Spending Account information, such as Health Care or Dependent Care Reimbursement Account balances and reimbursement statements, is available, plus vacation and sick-leave balances and information on retirement account contributions. All of these and other self-service actions are available at

A win-win project

Moving open enrollment online was a tremendous undertaking, from the expansion of PeopleSoft capabilities to the integration of data, according to Michele Johnson, project manager. Behind-the-scenes effort took months of dedicated work and a collaborative effort between the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Information Technology.

"This was truly a win-win project," say human resources vice president Carol Carrier. "The end result is a system that will make the application process easier for faculty and staff and less costly for the University. That is a service enhancement I think we all can appreciate."

If you have any questions about Open Enrollment, please contact the Employee Benefits Service Center at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363, and press option 2. For more information on Open Enrollment, go to the Employee Benefits Web site at

Deb Stull-Erickson is an editor in the Office of Human Resources, Twin Cities campus.

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