September 28th, 2011

  • Location: Human Resources Conference Room
  • Time: 10:00 am
  • Present: Andrea Zunkel (Ex-Officio), Linda Mueller, Austin Robinson-Coolidge, Mike Tompos (Chair)
  • Absent: Kerstin Cardenas (Ex-Officio), Joe Chihade, Pavel Kapinos
  • Secretary: Linda Mueller
  • Keywords: Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes, Meeting Minutes for Benefits Committee

2012 Renewal Information


The 2012 renewal rates for BCBS reflect a 0% increase overall from last year.  Noted were slight decreases in premiums for the Aware PPO and slight increases for both the Accord HRA and Options Blue plans.  This is phenomenal news and speaks well of the work of this committee. 

A multi-year (5-year) graph displaying the annual premiums vs. the anticipated 10% annual trend was presented for review.  There is nearly a 1.86 million dollar difference between where Carleton’s premiums are in comparison to the 10% annual trend mark for 2012.

Delta Dental:

The 2012 renewal rates for Delta Dental also reflect a 0% increase in rates.  There are no plan design changes for 2012.

The Hartford:

Andrea shared that our rates with The Hartford remain the same through September 30, 2014; there will be no increase in rates for 2012!!

Summary and Recommendation:

It is recognized that Carleton’s plans are rich.  It is quite unusual and uncommon currently for institutions to experience no increases in their renewal rates.  Also noteworthy is that our benefit structures are not “pro-rated” for employees with FTE’s lower than a (1.0) as many other institutions do or to mandate that spouses with employment (that provide benefits) can still be on our plans. 

The committee recommends moving forward with the proposed rates; a recommendation with these rates will be presented to the Tuesday group in the very near future.  A brief update on 2012 renewals will also be presented at the upcoming Quarterly meeting in October.

Mike will share our renewal information with Joe Chihade and Pavel Kapinos who were unable to be at our meeting today.


Human Resources will be working to implement some plan design changes to our TIAA-CREF tax-deferred annuity retirement plan.  Two of the current voluntary contributions are difficult for TIAA-CREF to track within their system and causes additional reporting constraints.

Therefore, we hope to proceed with a timely plan of communicating, educating and working with our employees with current voluntary contributions in the two areas (the additional 1% employee contribution and the additional pension deferred contributions.  Employees will have support in  opening group supplemental retirement accounts (GSRA) online with TIAA-CREF and completing new retirement salary reduction agreements.

It is felt that better customer service and improvement in reporting/auditing support from TIAA-CREF will result.

We will endeavor to have this completed by January 1, 2012.

Benefit Committee Representative Update

Linda Mueller has accepted the permanent seat on the Benefits Committee vacated by Sandy Pieri.  A new SAC representative to replace Linda’s former position on the committee has been requested. 

AFG Future Invitation to Carleton

With such wonderful news as we have for our 2012 renewals, our committee is still cognizant of the importance of our work for upcoming years.  We will invite our AFG brokers to a meeting early in the New Year to share with us their input on potential trends and suggestions for plan changes that will help the College maintain our fiscal responsibilities and to contain renewal rates for upcoming years.  We may revisit self-funded vs. fully-funded plans for consideration.

Committee members were asked to reconsider and recommend benefit plan additions (likely those that are employee-paid, voluntary plans) for future consideration.  Suggestions presented today included identity theft, long-term care insurance, vision/eyewear insurance, and AFLAC.  AFG may also be available to provide insight and other voluntary benefit options to this group, as well. 

Meeting Closure

Mike congratulated our committee on our hard work and suggested that we all take a few minutes to “relish” the outcome of our 2012 renewals!