Human Resource Services

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  • January 2023

January 2023

Employee Benefits & Well-being

Human Resource Services

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In This Issue

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Reimbursement Deadline

  • Convenient Virtual Healthcare Services

  • Free COVID Tests

  • January is Financial Wellness Month

  • Free Financial Consultations

  • Your Health and Well-being Matter

  • Upcoming Sessions and Webinars You Don't Want to Miss

  • Who’s Retiring This Month?

Contact Us

If you have a question after reading this newsletter or visiting our website, please contact us.

Own Your Benefits

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Reimbursement Deadline for 2022

March 15, 2023 is the last day to experience claims for your 2022 Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Make sure all claims are submitted to ASIFlex by March 31, 2023 as unused balances will be forfeited. You may use the convenient ASIFlex mobile app or upload claims through Don't forget you may also use your remaining 2022 balance by visiting to purchase eligible items, which include over-the-counter items.

Virtual Healthcare Services

UnityPoint and MercyOne hospitals and clinics have online systems that allow patients to contact their care teams virtually. Through these platforms you are also able to request prescription refills, access test results, and read provider notes. Doctor on Demand®, UNI’s option for a virtual office visit, allows 24/7 care for common symptoms. Utilizing these services lowers the risk of exposure and illness. 

Free COVID Test Kits

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, free COVID test kits are now available and can be ordered through Four rapid test kits are available per household. Due to expiration dates on COVID-19 test kits, avoid stockpiling tests. Expired tests should not be used as they could provide incorrect results.

Financial Wellness

Start This New Year Financially Well

January is National Financial Wellness Month. This month is meant to serve as a reminder of the importance financial wellness plays in our overall health and well-being. It includes managing bills and expenses, paying debt, having a financial cushion for unexpected expenses, and long-term planning like college funds and saving for retirement.

This month is a good time to review your finances, especially with the holiday season behind us. If you haven’t already, set a budget and plan to stick to it. If you don’t have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, work to build one with savings. Once you have a 3 - 6 month buffer, work on saving additional each month and paying down debt.

Review your retirement accounts and determine if you are on track. Consider saving additional money for retirement through a Tax-Deferred Annuity. These can be started or adjusted at any time during the year. Schedule an appointment with a TIAA advisor if you have any questions on starting a TDA.

Good financial management provides security and reduces stress around finances. This positively impacts our physical health and well-being.

Employee Assistance Program

Free Financial Consultations

Do you need financial assistance for tax questions? EAP provides free unlimited telephonic meetings with financial advisors. These advisors can assist you with questions you may have about taxes, estate planning, budgeting, saving for now and for retirement. To get started call EAP at 855-784-2057. EAP services are designed to help employees with a number of life challenges. For additional information about EAP services visit our webpage.

My Well-being

Your Health and Well-being Matter

This year, UNI Employee Well-being’s focus will be to provide additional support through well-being health challenges. These challenges are for all faculty and staff, regardless of fitness level, and are collaborative challenges focused on completion not competition. They are aimed at promoting a variety of healthy habits among the UNI community in a fun and engaging manner. We have decided to utilize an app, Challenge Runner, to assist in tracking and building community around these challenges. A total of five challenges will be promoted throughout 2023. We will have additional challenges through our monthly newsletters. 

Challenge #1: Journey From Winter to Spring Break

To complete this challenge participants will “travel” from Cedar Falls to Panama City Beach, Fl (1100 miles) as a team. 

When: January 16 - March 10 (8 weeks) 

Type: Total Miles Traveled Challenge 

How: In teams of 2 - 7, employees' activity will be converted to total miles. As a team, participants will encourage each other to keep going and complete the challenge together. The activity can be in any form: workout class, walking, running, weight lifting, cycling, etc. Each participant is responsible for tracking their own data. Data can be tracked by synching a tracking device to the Challenge Runner app. Visit Challenge Runner Technical Support for help synching your device. Participants may also enter their own data. For assistance converting your activity to miles you may use the following online calculators: 

Activity to Steps Calculator

Steps to Miles Calculator

Get Started: First, build your team. Depending on how active you currently are, may help determine the size of the group you want to join. Visit our UNI Challenge Runner webpage and get signed-up. Be ready to start tracking on January 16. 

For questions or assistance email

Upcoming Events


Retire From UNI

Human Resource Services will host two informational sessions on retiring from UNI, for faculty and staff planning to retire soon or in the foreseeable future. Participants will learn guidelines and benefits available at retirement from UNI. The hour-long sessions will be presented by Therese Callaghan, Employee Well-being Coordinator, January 5 at 10 a.m and 2 p.m. in Gilchrist 007. Please register in advance.

January 5 | 10 a.m. | Click Here to Register

January 5  |  2 p.m.  |  Click Here to Register


Drinking Responsibly

Human Resource Services will host an informational session focused on responsible use of alcohol. About one third of the population will drink heavily and/or engage in what is called binge drinking or drinking to intoxication. The training addresses health concerns associated with binge drinking, ways to recognize problem drinking patterns and how to drink more responsibly. The course will explore common myths associated with drinking and provide participants with resources for getting help for alcohol use problems. This hour-long session will be offered via Webcast, Wednesday, January 18 at noon. This session is confidential and registration is through our EAP. Participant names will not be shown during the session. Please register in advance.


Advanced Estate Planning Strategies

Human Resource Services will host an informational session on advanced estate planning. Join us to learn about tax rules, tips, trusts, charitable giving, and UNI Foundation tools for estate planning. All faculty and staff are welcome to attend. The hour-long session will be presented by UNI Foundation and BergenKDV, January 24 at 2 p.m. in Gilchrist 009. Please register in advance.

Participation in events that occur during scheduled working hours must be approved by your supervisor. Employees on a university-approved leave should contact for approval. Stay up-to-date with the status of this session by visiting If the status of this session changes you will also be notified by UNI email or campus phone. Individuals needing an accommodation in order to participate in an event, please contact a HRS team member at 319-273-2954, or, at least one week prior to the event.


TIAA Consultation

TIAA Participants: Schedule a free personalized meeting with a TIAA financial consultant using the online scheduler or by calling 800-732-8353 (available weekdays from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CST).

TIAA January Financial Wellness Webinars

Basic Estate Planning Strategies

January 10 at 2 p.m. (CT)

Ensuring that our assets will pass to loved ones, and causes that are near and dear is important to most of us. Discover the components of a basic estate plan and strategies to ensure that your wishes are met.

Quarterly Economic and Market Update with TIAA’s Chief Investment Strategist

January 11 at 11 a.m. (CT)

Take a closer look at our views on the financial markets, including key market drivers, the U.S. economy, policy and politics, and investing in public markets. This webinar will also cover the challenges that investors face and how to navigate them.

Basic Social Security Strategies

January 18 at 2 p.m. (CT)

Social Security will likely play a significant role in building your retirement income. Learn the basics about Social Security, including eligibility, how to apply, how your benefit is calculated and strategies for claiming benefits.

Common Estate Planning Considerations

January 19 at 11 a.m. (CT)

Ensuring that our assets will pass to loved ones, and causes that are near and dear is important to most of us. Discover the components of a basic estate plan and strategies to ensure that your wishes are met.

TIAA webinars are open to all employees. Visit TIAA's webpage to register.

Times through the webinar link will be shown in Eastern Standard Time.


IPERS January Retirement Webinars

  • January 18 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST
    Creating a Secure Retirement

IPERS webinars are for state of Iowa employees within five years of retirement and their spouses. To register:

Recognizing Our Retirees

We are thankful for the service of all of UNI's retirees! With their consent we are able to celebrate their years of service and share their information with the entire campus community.

Lynn C Pakala

Manager Grounds & Landscaping, Grounds Services

35 Years of Service, Retiring in January

Darrell R Taylor

Art Gallery Director, Art

22 Years of Service, Retiring in January

Retirement Readiness

Retirement Benefit Questions? The HRS Benefits Team is Here to Assist!

The Human Resource Services Benefits Team is continuing to help employees with retirement benefit questions. If you plan to retire please email or call 319-273-2423. For additional information on retirement visit Retire from UNI: Next Steps.

Coming In February

February 2023 Calendar
Stay Up-to-Date with HRS Events

Plan on attending an upcoming Human Resource Services (HRS) sponsored event? Please visit the HRS event status webpage to view if the event is on-time, postponed, rescheduled, or canceled. Registered participants will also receive an email from HRS notifying that an event status has changed.

Subscribe to HRS Latest News and Events

Be the first to hear the latest news and events from UNI Human Resource Services including benefits and well-being news. Subscribe to receive the HRS News emails right to your email account.

Is Your Personal Information Up-to-Date?

To make changes to your office and/or home (confidential) contact information:

Login to MyUNIverse > My Page > Update My Personal Information. This information is sent to Human Resource Services and will be updated within four working days.