Minutes of the Benefits Committee meeting
January 20, 1999
The first meeting of the new year took place in Widener 88 at 9:15AM.
Malcolm Hamilton made a presentation on the Personal Financial Education Group (PFE), and a discussion followed, on its appropriateness as a training vehicle for Harvard librarians.
Malcolm's overview of PFE's presentation to a Harvard HR group ranged from the 'slick' presentation to the 'surprising' message that salary and age divisions are not important in attention paid by people to their finances. PFE informs, as in the power of compound interest, and addresses fears, such as a future absence of Social Security. The group cost to Harvard for such a presentation to librarians would be $1800 a day, in which there could be two, possibly three presentations. PFE could also do three hours for $900. Malcolm mentioned that there is money in the Tanenbaum Fund for hiring PFE, and since Harvard's part of our retirement plan is more than a third, financial education is important.
We might think of two AM sessions, as an alternative to one all-day session. We might catch more people. Lamont, Gutman and the Kennedy School are all good locations for the presentation. One of the principals should come to us first to see what librarians do, earn and what their sensibilities are. PFE should know our average age (45.7) and salary ($50K). This initial meeting might take place in Holyoke Center.
The weeks of March 8th or 15th are possible times for the presentation. Malcolm will invite PFE and Amy will schedule the room.
Presentations in the near future could begin in April or May with a session on what Harvard offers in the way of financial planning, and instruction about what will happen when our in-house team disappears. Malcolm suggested that another topic might be a re-orientation program for people who have been at Harvard for some time, but who have forgotten, or not kept abreast of, their benefits package.
Laurie brought up our previous discussion on a 'query line' for our web page. Most members agreed with Malcolm that it would be inappropriate for members of the committee to try to answer questions. Rather, we should use our web site to direct people to sources of specific information. He will find out if there is an 'answer' site elsewhere. Malcolm mentioned that Esther Vegh, editor of the 'Resource', is able to answer most questions that are received by her publication. Greg suggested that the editors of the 'Resource' and of 'Outings and Innings' might contribute to future meetings of the Benefits Committee as speakers.
Amy notified us later in the day, January 20, that the next meeting will be in the Lamont Forum Room on February 17th at 9AM with members of PFE.
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