Benefits Announcements

Signing up for benefits? Making changes? ALEX is here to help!

ALEX for VCU is the new interactive benefits counselor for faculty members and University and Academic Professionals. Chat with ALEX about health coverage, flexible spending, retirement benefits, life insurance, and disability coverage by visiting:


Tax Withholding for Unsubstantiated Flexible Spending Claims (2022-2023 Plan Year)   

For employees with unsubstantiated flexible spending account (FSA) claims from the July 2022-June 2023 plan year, the state program reclassified the FSA contributions spent on those claims as taxable income and directed VCU to withhold applicable taxes by the end of the year.  The tax withholding for those amounts will occur on the December 1 and December 15 paychecks of affected employees.  For more details, see “Improper Payments” on page 19 of the 2022-2023 Flexible Spending Sourcebook.

Retirement savings limits increase for 2024 

Elective deferral limits for the VCU 403(b)/TDA plan and the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (DCP) increased for 2024.  Read more at Retirement tax-savings limits.

Annual Medicare Creditable Coverage Notice 

VCU Human Resources will mail a notice during October to all employees who are:

  • enrolled in the state health benefits program and eligible for or entitled to Medicare
  • enrolled in the state health benefits program and covering a family member who is eligible for or entitled to Medicare

The notice verifies that the state employee health plans are, on average for all plan participants, expected to pay out as much as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage pays, and are therefore considered creditable coverage. Because the state employee coverage is creditable coverage, Medicare-eligible employees can keep the coverage and not pay a higher premium (penalty) when enrolling in Medicare drug coverage later.

Please keep the notice when you receive it by mail at your home address, as you may be required to produce it when and if you decide to enroll in a Medicare drug program in the future.

For more information about Medicare and state health coverage through VCU, see the FAQ at

TIAA third-party vendor security incident 

PBI, a third-party vendor used by TIAA to assist with death claim and beneficiary processes, was affected by the recent widespread security vulnerability in MOVEit file transfer software. TIAA participants whose information was involved in the security incident will be contacted by PBI directly to offer two years of free credit monitoring at no cost. TIAA confirmed that its own systems were not affected. TIAA encourages all participants to follow these Cyber Tips. Participants with questions may contact TIAA directly at 1-800-842-2252.

TimelyCare for mental and emotional health support

TimelyCare is available to all employees and offers 24/7 resources for mental/emotional health, including on-call virtual mental health support and self care tools.    

New benefits resources for postdoctoral employees 

Postdoctoral employees eligible for state benefits can find information and the 2023 Benefits Guide on the Postdoctoral Employees page. For help selecting benefits, check out ALEX for VCU, the interactive benefits counselor. 

Long-term care insurance premium rate increase 

Genworth, the insurer and third-party administrator for the Commonwealth of Virginia Voluntary Long Term Care Insurance Program offered by the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), has announced a premium rate increase recently approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The increase affects participants who enrolled in the program between 2010 and 2016 (Group Policy Form Series 7046), for whom the 10-year premium rate guarantee expired in 2020. Participants should consult their letters from Genworth for details about options.  Participants with questions may consult Genworth's website or contact Genworth at 855-706-9543.

VCU benefits announcements will come only from VCU emails or social media accounts

VCU Human Resources is aware that some employees have received email solicitations or social media contacts that attempt to represent themselves as official communications from VCU about employee benefits. VCU announcements about employee benefits will come only from VCU email addresses or through official VCU social media channels. VCU's approved retirement plan service providers are Virginia Retirement System, TIAA, and Fidelity Investments. Communications from these approved retirement plan service providers will include their logos and references to specific programs in which VCU employees participate. Communications from other parties are not authorized by VCU.