Now Live! RCUH Annual Benefit Open Enrollment PowerUP! (April 24 – May 17)

PowerUP! RCUH Open Enrollment Election period is now live!

Annual Election Period:

This year’s annual benefit Open Enrollment (OE) period will be April 24, 2024 – May 17, 2024. This marks your opportunity to elect, waive, or change certain benefit elections for the upcoming plan year: July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025.

ACTION NEEDED: Unlike previous years, we are requiring all benefits-eligible employees to complete the new electronic RCUH Open Enrollment form to confirm their elections for the new plan year.

Open Enrollment Electronic Election Form:

The all-electronic RCUH OE form will allow employees to initiate and save their elections/changes and submit when they are ready through the deadline of Friday, May 17, 2024. Employees may recall their submissions and resubmit up until the deadline on May 17th. Elections/Changes will be effective July 1, 2024.

Please access the OE form via RCUH Employee Self-Service > Benefits > Open Enrollment

IMPORTANT: If you receive an error message to update your Primary Beneficiary Contact Information, then click on Life Insurance to bring up the Beneficiary Designation Section.

NOTE: The Open Enrollment form is accessed from a different location than eUpload. Please do not submit Open Enrollment elections via eUpload. All other benefit change requests may still be submitted via eUpload.

RCUH Open Enrollment Webpage:

Your one-stop location for all relevant information including:
Guide to Benefits
Open Enrollment Quick Guide
Rate Sheets
Medical Plan Comparison

RCUH Open Enrollment Office Hours: Chat with RCUH Employee Benefits staff in real time with any questions you may have.

Wednesday, April 24: 2:00pm HST
Wednesday, May 1: 2:00pm HST
Wednesday, May 8: 2:00pm HST
Wednesday, May 15: 2:00pm HST

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 898 1550 7464


Open Enrollment Election PeriodApril 24 – May 17, 2024
Open Enrollment Submission DeadlineMay 17, 2024
RCUH HR Personalized Confirmation Email to all benefits-eligible employees. Please report any discrepancies by June 12, 2024.No later than June 7, 2024
Effective Date for Open Enrollment Submission (enrollment and changes)July 1, 2024
First Premium Deduction for Health InsuranceJune 16 – 30, 2024 pay period (will be reflected on July 5th pay stub)
First Premium Deduction for Flexible Spending Accounts for Healthcare and/or Dependent CareJuly 1-15, 2024 pay period (will be reflected on July 22nd pay stub)

Questions? Please contact RCUH Employee Benefits section at: [email protected] or (808) 956-7055, (808) 956-2326, (808) 956-6979.

DID YOU KNOW: The RCUH Employee Benefit Spotlight Series was created in response to employee feedback on benefits-related topics that mattered to you!. Features include: Understanding Your Pay Statement, Flexible Spending Accounts: Healthcare & Dependent Care, PreTax Transportation Benefits Plan: Parking & Transit, Healthcare Options, Health Insurance: Qualifying Life Event, Retirement Accounts, Vacation Leave: Use It or Lose It, and more!

MetLife Retirewise Financial Wellness Workshop Series – Tuesdays 12noon in April (April 9, 16, 23, 30) – Register now!

Level Up your financial education game with the MetLife Retirewise Financial Wellness Workshop! This four-part series can play a fundamental role in directing your basic financial and retirement planning.  In its 15th year, Retirewise has offered over 14,000 workshops to more than 3,000 companies in all 50 states.

A broad spectrum of financial and retirement-related issues will be covered in these one-hour sessions, including budgeting, investment principles, Social Security, and estate planning – there is something here for everyone. Each session includes different topics and employees are able to choose which session they want to learn more about. However, to make the most out of this special opportunity it is recommended to attend all sessions, as each session build on the previous week’s content and employees will also be asked to do homework to assess their own personal finances.

 This virtual series is offered (at no cost) to all RCUH employees and registration is forthcoming. The workshop will be from 12noon – 1pm HST for the following Tuesdays in April:

  • April 9: Building the Foundation: Understand your financial and retirement planning basics by creating a budget, learn about compound interest, tax diversification and inflation.
  • April 16: Creating and Managing Wealth: Review the principles of investing including how to get started, different types of investments and their common risks and strategies.
  • April 23: Establishing Your Retirement Income Stream: Learn how to examine risks, manage assets and structure a retirement income stream to address your retirement needs and wants.
  • April 30: Making the Most of What You Have: Review your employer’s benefits and how they can fit into your plan while also covering estate planning, Medicare options and life and disability income insurance.

With Retirewise, you’ll be on your way to making smarter financial decisions and creating an action plan that works for you. 

Because these sessions are being held during the middle of the day, all employees should notify their PIs and supervisors if they would like to attend. We encourage Principal Investigators and Supervisors to allow their employees to attend these sessions, if requested.

[Spouses and partners are welcome!]

Sign up today!

Contact RCUH Employee Benefits with any questions or concerns:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 956-2326 or (808) 956-7055

Individuals who require special needs accommodations may request assistance in writing to [email protected] prior to the scheduled session.

January 30 (12:00pm HST) MetLife Webinar – Tax Strategies: The Basics and Beyond 

To: RCUH Employees 

Taxes are one of life’s certainties, and no one likes giving up some of their hard-earned cash. While some tax strategies are easy to accomplish, others may take some planning. The Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH) is pleased to offer MetLife’s Tax Strategies: The Basics and Beyond; a complimentary 60-minute webinar where you will learn about the tax planning steps, including tax basics, diversification, cutting your tax bill, and when to call a professional. 

Date: January 30, 2024 

Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm HST 

Webinar Registration is now open to all RCUH employees! Please click this link to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

If you have any questions or need assistance registering, please contact RCUH Employee Benefits at [email protected] or call (808)956-2326. 

Webinar Hosted by: MetLife 

Please be advised this is not tax advice. For specific questions regarding an individual’s tax situation, employees should consult with their tax advisor.  

New 2024 Annual IRS Contribution Limits for RCUH 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) Plan

TO:       All Eligible Regular-Status Employees that wish to elect/maintain the Maximum Allowable Contribution in the Calendar Year

On November 1, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost-of-living adjustments increasing the maximum dollar contribution for pension plans and other retirement-related plans for 2024. Effective January 1, 2024, the maximum employee contribution limits will increase as follows: (see Table below):

Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) Maximums– Effective January 1, 2024

   2023 Maximum    New 2024 Maximum
  Employee contributions (pre-tax)  $22,500  $ 23,000
($958.34 per pay period)
  Additional “catch-up” contribution for individuals 50 years or older by December 31, 2024  $7,500 (Max TOTAL contribution $30,000)  $7,500 for TOTAL
contribution of $30,500

($1,270.84 per pay period)

If you wish to adjust your maximum contribution from the first pay period of the tax year 2024, please complete the Agreement for Salary Reduction Form (Form B-6) and submit via Employee Self-Service eUpload link no later than December 22, 2023.

The RCUH does NOT automatically adjust your SRA contributions so if you have previously elected the maximum allowable contributions, you must submit a new form.

To help our employees calculate their maximum contribution levels (per pay period) we are excited to introduce our SRA Maximum Allowable Contribution Calculator. This tool may be used at any point in the year and adjusts the contribution amount based on how many pay periods left in the tax year.

If you have any questions, please contact RCUH Human Resource Employee Benefits section at:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (808) 956-2326 or (808) 956-6979

Relevant Links:

RCUH Vendor Payments for November 16, 2023 – UPDATE

The RCUH Financial Portal is back in operation and Fiscal Administrators may resume approving transactions.

On Thursday, November 16, 2023, we encountered a system error which affected our end-of-day business processing.  Vendor payments for transactions approved on November 16 will be processed in accordance with our normal processing schedule.

RCUH transactions approved on November 16 for UH Extramural and SRRC accounts will be transmitted and posted to the UH Kuali Financial System on November 17.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

Notice of Update to EEOC “Know Your Rights” Poster (Includes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) update effective: June 27, 2023)

Every employer covered by the nondiscrimination and Equal Employment Opportunity laws is required to post on its premises the poster, “Know Your Rights.” The notice must be posted prominently, where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment. The notice provides information concerning the laws and procedures for filing complaints of violations of the laws with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

You can find the required employer postings here:

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which is administered and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to a worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship.

For more information:

If you have any questions about reasonable accommodations, please contact Michelle Maeda or Tana Staub at RCUH Employee Benefits section at [email protected] or (808) 956-2326.

October – November 2023: TIAA Individual GRA/SRA Advisory Sessions (Updated Process for Virtual Meetings)

ATTENTION:  Principal Investigators (PIs) & Regular-Status employees at 50-100% FTE

TIAA still has Individual/Employee Retirement (GRA/SRA) Plan Advisory Sessions available for the month of October and November! Schedule now for a virtual appointment with our new TIAA consultant based locally – Cody Ferrell.

Regardless of your current status – whether you are a long-time employee, just hired, or somewhere in between – it is never too early or too late to consider retirement planning. During these personalized sessions, you will be able to discuss your personal financial/retirement goals with a TIAA Financial Consultant on a free and confidential basis.

Because these sessions are being held during normal business hours, all employees must notify their PIs and supervisors if they would like to attend. We encourage PIs to allow their employees to attend the TIAA Advisory Sessions, if requested. 

For employees unfamiliar with the SRA (Supplemental Retirement Annuity) plan, please note that unlike the GRA (Group Retirement Annuity) plan, there is no 12-month waiting period and you may enroll or make changes to your election at any time during the year. The SRA plan with TIAA is considered a 403(b) tax-deferred annuity (TDA) plan which allows an employee to make contributions via payroll deduction from their pre-tax earnings over and above the amount being accumulated under the RCUH basic retirement plan (GRA). 

For more information about the GRA and SRA plans, please review Policy 3.560 RCUH Retirement Plans and visit our Benefits Spotlight: Retirement Accounts.

To schedule a virtual appointment with our new TIAA consultant based locally, Cody Ferrell:

  • Employees can visit
  • Click on the Schedule button under Discuss your financial situation with a TIAA consultant.
  • Employees will be prompted to login using their TIAA credentials, or create a guest login if they are not currently a participant.
  • Please select or enter “RESEARCH CORP OF THE UNIV OF HI”as the Employer which will then direct them to the open virtual meetings that are available for employees.
  • From there, select a date/time and confirm the meeting.

If you have questions or are unable to schedule an appointment online, please call TIAA’s Service and Scheduling Group at (800) 732-8353 Mon-Fri 6am – 1pm Hawai’i Standard Time (HST).

Please contact the RCUH Employee Benefits Section with any questions or concerns at: [email protected].

Relevant Links:

RCUH Policy 3.560 RCUH Retirement Plans

TIAA SRA Plan Agreement for Salary Reduction Form B-6

Meetings are accessible for individuals with disabilities.  Individuals who require special needs accommodations may request assistance in writing to rcuh prior to the scheduled meeting.

Vacation Forfeiture (if applicable) – Plan Now to Avoid Losing Accrued Vacation Hours

All vacation hours exceeding the maximum carry-over of an eligible employee’s applicable vacation plan will be automatically forfeited on December 31, 2023.

Visit our Benefits Spotlight – Vacation Leave (Use it or Lose it!) for more information – including a Vacation Forfeiture Calculator!

Maximum Carry-Over Hours Depends on the Employee’s Vacation Plan:

  • Vacation Plan A: Up to a total maximum carry-over of 10 workdays (*80 hours based on 100% FTE)
  • Vacation Plan B: Each plan year you may carry-over not more 15 workdays (*120 hours based on 100% FTE), but may carry-over a total maximum accumulated total or 45 workdays (*360 hours based on 100% FTE)
    (*Hours are prorated if less than 100% FTE.)

How to find your Vacation Plan and Accrued Vacation Balance:

Option 1: Log into Human Resources Portal & Employee Self-Service > Employee Self-Service tab > Under Payroll and Compensation click on View Pay Statement > View Pay Statement > View VAC HOURS LEAVE PLAN and End Balance towards the bottom of your pay statement

Option 2: Log into Human Resources Portal & Employee Self-Service > Employee Self-Service tab > Under Benefits click on Benefits Summary

We have other Benefits Spotlight features including: Understanding Your Pay Statement, Retirement Accounts, and more!

Interested in other Employee Benefits? Please browse our newly refreshed RCUH Employee Benefits page featuring new tiles for Active Employees, New Hires, and Injury and Workers’ Compensation.

Applicable Policy:

3.620 RCUH Vacation Leave

If you have any questions regarding your vacation leave, please contact RCUH Employee Benefits:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 956-2326 or (808) 956-6979

If you need assistance logging into your Employee Self-Service, please contact the HR Help Desk:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (808) 956-8900

RCUH HR Information Only: Pay Transparency Law Effective January 1, 2024

TO:                 Principal Investigators and Project Administrators

On July 3, 2023, Hawai’i Governor Josh Green signed into law pay transparency bill SB 1057.  Effective January 1, 2024, Hawai’i employers with more than 50 employees will be required to disclose in all external job listings the hourly rate or salary range that reasonably reflects the actual expected compensation of the position. The objective of the law is to reduce pay inequalities and promote ongoing transparency. 

Overview of the guidelines and changes to the state’s equal pay law:

  • Does not apply to job listings for internal transfers or promotions within the employer; public employee positions for which salary, benefits, or other compensation are determined pursuant to collective bargaining; and positions with employers that have fewer than 50 employees
  • Prohibits discriminating between employees because of any protected category established under state law, not just sex
  • Compares employees in the establishment who perform “substantially similar work,” instead of “equal work”

Equity: RCUH Human Resources continues to conduct internal pay equity reviews and will follow up with projects as necessary.

Recruitments: By October 16, 2023, projects will be able to utilize an additional field on Step 3 to enter a proposed monthly salary/hourly rate or range for the position upon initiating a position request via the HR Portal (Hire Employees: Initiate Regular Hire).  This should reasonably reflect the actual expected compensation of the position, and align with your current employee equity (view Reports: Employee Reports on the HR Portal).  RCUH will review and confirm the advertised salary prior to posting. 

Policy 3.234 RCUH Recruitment (Regular Hires) will be updated with the revised advertised salary guidelines effective January 1, 2024. If you would like to request a meeting with RCUH Recruitment for additional training or assistance, click here to schedule a meeting or contact RCUH Recruitment at [email protected].