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Minutes of the Benefits Committee meeting

May 19, 1999

Present: Paula Ebbitt, Elaine Fadden, Greg Finnegan, Malcolm Hamilton, Beth Holmes (minutes), Amy Kautzman, Emily Moss, Laurie Taylor-Teran, Ann Whiteside (chair)

Guests: Suzanne Kemple, Naomi Ronen


Discussion with Suzanne Kemple:

Suzanne is a member of the University Benefits Committee and a member of the subcommittee on Retirement. She gave us an update on the subcommittee's work and we had a chance to exchange information and suggestions. The subcommittee has been studying the question of whether the exempt staff retirement plan should be the same as that for Faculty.

The subcommittee conducted randomly selected focus groups in January and February of this year.

The Faculty plan has already undergone an examination process and will be kept. The Faculty support the proposal to merge the exempt staff into their retirement plan. Of Harvard's peer institutions, we are the only one with two separate plans.

There are a lot of issues to be resolved before any action will be taken. The subcommittee will be presenting a report of where they are in this process to the UBC at their next meeting. It will be Fall before any recommendations are made, and no implementation (if change is recommended) will take place until 2000.

Our committee is considering ponsoring a Brown Bag to discuss the subcommittee's recommendations when they are released.

Discussion with Naomi Ronen:

Naomi filled us in on the work of the subcommittee for Health benefits of the UBC, of which she is a member. This subcommittee is working on several issues: how to make it easier to complain to a health care insurer, communication with retirees, and standardizing mental health benefits. They are also studying the possibility of using risk management to even the pricing between the various health plans offered by Harvard. Lastly, Naomi asked that the subcommittee keep the issue of a separate pricing structure for two-person families on the table to be discussed next year.


We discussed membership for next year and decided to retain all the current committee members and to add one new member in the Fall, bringing our membership up to nine. We can then begin to slowly stagger the dates at which members rotate off in order to have three members coming and going each year. The current dates for members to rotate off the committee are:

Emily     2001
Elaine     2001
Amy       2001

Laurie   2000
Ann       2000
Paula     2000
Beth       2000
Greg       2000

New chair for next year: Ann asked us all to think about whether we would like to be chair of the committee next year and to e-mail her if we were interested.

Next meeting: We discussed the possibility of having a meeting in August to gear up for the Fall, but no date was set.

Submitted by: Beth Holmes, June 2, 1999

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