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					Volume 2, Issue 5 March 2004
Helping faculty, administrators, and staff make the most of employee benefits and services.

In this issue • A Life Insurance Primer: Evaluating Your Needs • AMC Art Show Begins March 29th • Spring Professional Development Programs • Photos from the 14TH Annual Ice Skating Party

get if you cashed in your policy. If you decide to give up your policy, your cash surrender value can be paid in cash or paid-up insurance. However, many experts suggest that there are several problems with using whole life as a savings vehicle. One is that the policy’s advertised rate of return, as disclosed in a set of hypothetical numbers called the policy illustration, can have little or no relation to reality. In fact, the policy’s returns will fluctuate with the markets — and will usually trail returns available from other investments like equity mutual funds. Another problem is that whole life is extremely expensive, and if you’re on a limited budget, you may not be able to afford all the insurance coverage you actually need. People sometimes use whole life policies as an estate-planning vehicle. They can set up an insurance trust, which applies the proceeds of the policy to their estate taxes when they die. That can save their heirs the considerable expense of settling the estate with the government. UNIVERSAL Universal, like whole, combines insurance with savings. The savings component, called an accumulation fund, earns interest monthly and is used to pay the mortality charge. The oftrepeated sales pitch for universal is that premiums are flexible — as long as you pay enough to maintain the mortality charge, you can skip adding to the accumulation fund if money is tight. And if you contribute enough to the accumulation fund in the policy’s early years, it can throw off enough income
Term, Whole, Universal, Variable…how can so many different products all be called life insurance? Here’s a primer on the four basic types:

Life Insurance


any of us buy life insurance because we want to make sure our loved ones remain financially secure after we die. While the desire for life insurance is reasonable, determining your needs and understanding your options can be confusing. Policies are now available from more than 2,000 life insurance companies in the United States, as well as from banks and other financial institutions. Assessing Your Life Insurance Needs First, you’ll want to know how much life insurance you already have. A good place to start is your employee handbook (found at, where you can learn about the coverage NYU provides for employees. You may also have a life insurance policy you purchased separately. Become familiar with its coverage limits and premiums. Before purchasing a life insurance policy, you should consider your financial situation and the standard of living you want to maintain for your dependents or survivors. For example, who will be responsible for your funeral costs and final medical bills? Would your family have to relocate? Will there be adequate funds for future or ongoing expenses such as day care, mortgage payments, or college? You may decide to forego life insurance at this point in your life. Consider reevaluating your life insurance needs whenever you experience a major life event such as marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, or purchase of a home.

TERM This is called “term” because it covers policyholders for a fixed span of time. It always costs much less than whole life policies for everyone except the very advanced in age. There are two types of premiums: level term and annual renewable. Level-term premiums remain constant throughout the life of the policy and can be bought in increments up to 30 years, while premiums for annual renewable increase as you age. Ordinarily, level premiums are higher than renewable premiums in the early years of the policy and lower in the later years. Many term policies have a conversion feature that allows you to convert the policy to a whole life product later on without having to submit to a medical exam. That may be a good choice if you are in poor health. WHOLE Whole life combines term insurance with an investment component. A whole life policy has two elements: the mortality charge, the part of your premium that pays for the insurance coverage, and a reserve, the investment component that earns interest. As you age, the portion that goes into the reserve decreases while the portion that pays for the mortality charge increases. In addition to interest, many companies credit the reserve with an annual dividend, depending on the insurer’s loss experience and investment performance. The cash surrender value (which is also called the cash value) is what you’d

to pay your premium in later years. But there are significant drawbacks to universal policies. If you skimp on premiums in the policy’s early years, you can be socked for higher charges later on, when you expected to be paying little or nothing. The alternative is to drop the policy and withdraw the savings you may have built up. If you drop the policy, you may have to pay a surrender charge. VARIABLE Variable-life insurance combines a mortality charge with a savings vehicle that you choose from among a number of alternatives offered by your insurer. The savings vehicle is usually one of several investment portfolios that are structured like mutual funds. On average, most companies offer 10 different portfolios, including stock, bond and money-market funds. The insurers often manage these funds themselves, collecting fees for administering the insurance and managing the portfolios. There are two basic types of variable life. One demands a fixed premium payment. The other, variable-universal life, has a flexible premium like universal life. Remember, though, that variable returns can fluctuate with the financial markets. If the stock market takes a hefty dive, you may find the cash-value portion of your policy in the tank. Variable life is not appropriate for people who are on a tight budget or are likely to need to tap their savings on short notice.
Continued on page 3

New York University Human ResourcesDivision Employee Relations 7 East12th Street, 2nd Floor

Printed on recycled paper

Dear Colleague
In this issue of Working at NYU, we wade through the often confusing options for buying life insurance. Read our primer to understand if you have the coverage you need. We also let you know about essential information and events related to your benefits and work-life/wellness initiatives. Lastly, you may want to take a moment to check the professional development programs offered this spring and register to secure your spot.

Karen Bradley, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources

Work Life
New Resource Guide for Parents with Children Entering Middle School
In its continuing effort to assist NYU’s faculty, administrators, and staff with information and guidance as their children age, the Office of Work-Life Services announces the release of its fifth resource guide in the series Facts and Tips for Parents. The guide, Managing the Middle School Years, focuses on the changing needs of children ages 11-14. It is designed to help parents and caregivers gain an understanding of the developmental challenges that young people of this age face, learn ways to strengthen their parenting skills, and identify ways to make their child’s out-of-school time safe and productive. The guide also includes resources for additional reading. Managing the Middle School Years is the second in the series written by Richard Gallagher, Ph.D., Director of the Parenting Institute of the NYU Child Study Center. To request a guide, contact the Office of Work-Life Services by e-mail, or phone, 212-998-9085. HEALTH TIP
4 Also available in the Facts and Tips for Parents series: Choosing an Elementary School (1998) Creating a Productive and Fun Summer (1999) Guide to School Holidays and Vacation Care (1999) Supporting Our Teens (2001)

How to place your computer monitor Avoid eye strain, neck pain, and shoulder fatigue by making sure your computer monitor is placed properly. Here’s what to aim for: 1. Place the monitor approximately one arm’s length away. 2. Tilt the top of the monitor back 10 to 20 degrees. 3. Position the monitor at a right angle from the window to reduce glare.

4. The top of the viewing screen should be at eye level when you’re sitting in an upright position. Source: National Institute of Health, Division of Safety Looking for a Summer Camp? The Office of Work-Life Services can help. Parents who need assistance in making summer camp plans for their child(ren) can contact the office by phone, (212) 998-9085, or e-mail,, to learn about local programs.

Work-Life/Wellness Programs
The Work-Life/Wellness Office offers the following programs to faculty, administrators, and staff. To read program descriptions and register, go to the Human Resources Web site, Enjoying New York City Without Breaking the Bank Thursday, April 1 / 1-2 p.m.
INSTRUCTOR: Susan Teltser-

Take Care of Your Skin Tuesday, April 13 / 12-1 p.m.
INSTRUCTOR: Doris Day, M.D.,

Crocheting & Knitting Bee Thursdays April 15 & 29 / 1:30-2:30 p.m. Cosponsored with the Office of Community Service Kindergarten Readiness Thursday, April 15 / 12-1 p.m.
INSTRUCTOR: Sheila Smith, Ph.D.,

Beyond the Basic Crunch Friday, April 16 / 1-2 p.m.
INSTRUCTOR: Coles Sports and

Schwarz, Instructor, NYU School for Continuing and Professional Studies Cardio-Dance Friday, April 2 / 1-2 p.m.
INSTRUCTOR: Coles Sports and

Faculty, NYU School of Medicine and Specialist, NYUMC The Craft of Caring: Knitting and Crocheting for Community Service Learn to Knit and Crochet Tuesday, April 13 / 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Recreation Center Staff

Recreation Center Staff

Child and Family Policy Center, NYU Steinhardt School of Education

Your Benefits
Caremark Sends New ID Cards to Employees
This month, you’ll receive a new ID card in the mail from Caremark. The new cards will no longer display your Social Security Number. The card will look the same as your current card, except for the ID section, which will be blank. You can use either your current or your new card to access benefits. You will receive two new Caremark ID cards. If you need additional cards, you can order them at any time by calling Caremark’s Customer Service at 800-4215501. Or, you can send an e-mail request to Caremark through their secure web site at Replacement cards will only be issued without ID numbers. No cards will be issued with your Social Security Number, even if requested. Although your Social Security Number does not appear on your Caremark ID card, it is still your Caremark identification number. Your Social Security Number should be used when you or any of your covered dependents have a prescription filled at a retail pharmacy, or when you submit new or refill prescription request forms to Caremark’s Mail Service Program. Register Now You can register online at or call Vanguard at 800-662-0106, ext. 14500. One-on-one sessions will be held between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. at the NYU Benefits Office, 7 East 12th Street, 2nd Floor. Your appointment will last approximately 45 minutes.

Attend a One-on-One Counseling Session with TIAA-CREF
Schedule an appointment with a TIAACREF consultant who answer your financial questions and help you: • develop long-term strategies • select your TIAA-CREF fund choices • find the right allocation mix for you • understand the basic types of investment choices available • learn about TIAA-CREF retirement income flexibility Upcoming individual counseling sessions: • April 13 and 14 • May 17 and 18 To schedule a counseling appointment, call Jeaneth Rosa at 800-842-2733, ext. 7288. TIAA-CREF sessions will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the NYU Benefits Office, 7 East 12th Street, 2nd Floor.

Register to Meet with a Vanguard Representative
The NYU Benefits Office and The Vanguard Group invite you to spend 45 minutes with a licensed Vanguard representative discussing the financial issues that matter most to you. Discover how to: • Maximize your retirement plan • Choose the right funds for your investment mix • Invest during any market • Evaluate your distribution options • Make use of your resources for brokerage services, financial planning services, and IRAs Spring 2004 Session Schedule • April 26, 27, and 28 • May 24, 25, and 26 • June 22, 23, and 24

ESA Reimbursement Claim Deadline is April 15
If you are eligible and participate in an Employee Spending Account (ESA), be aware that April 15, 2004 is the last day to submit 2003 ESA reimbursement claims. ESA claim forms are available on the Human Resources Web site, In accordance with IRS regulations, if you do not file by the April 15 deadline, you cannot be reimbursed from your 2003 ESA account(s) and any money remaining will be forfeited.

There is no minimum dollar amount for 2003 claims filed between January 1, 2004 and April 15, 2004.


Save the Date
Torch Club Special Events Why not go out for lunch? Throughout the spring, The Torch Club offers a themed selection of entrees and sides in their Tap Room. Portugal—Tuesday, April 6 Italy—Tuesday, April 13 NYU Founders’ Day—Friday, April 16. Spain—Tuesday, April 20 France—Tuesday, April 27 The Torch Club 18 Waverly Place Tap Room Lunch a la Carte & Buffet 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 212-99TORCH Lillian Vernon Center Lunchtime Seminar Results-Oriented Government and Democratic Governance in Latin America: Oxymoron, Wishful Thinking, or Hopeful Vision? Wagner School of Public Service associate professor of public management and policy, Sonia Ospina, will discuss a comparative study of public management evaluation systems in four Latin American countries. Lillian Vernon Center for International Affairs Thursday, April 8 / 1p.m. 58 West Tenth Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues To register, call 212-992-9091 or go to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day While NYU has no formal activities planned for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, you are invited (with the permission of your supervisor) to bring children between the ages of 9 and 15 to work this Thursday, April 22. For ideas on planning a rewarding day, contact Joyce Rittenburg, Manager of Work-Life Services at 212-998-9085 or The Lynn Cohen Foundation Symposium— Lay Audience Seminar Reducing Risks of Women’s Cancers Top healthcare professionals from NYU Cancer Institute and University of Southern California—Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center will discuss genetics, lifestyle choices, and risk reduction strategies for breast and ovarian cancers. Thursday, April 22 / 5:30-7 p.m. Farkas Auditorium, NYU Medical Center, 550 First Avenue @ 31st St. To register, call 212-263-3198 Hors d’oeuvres will be served after the program in Alumni Hall NYU Orchestra Spring Concert On Monday, April 26 at 8 p.m., the 85member orchestra will take the stage at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts to perform selections from composers who have defined the American sound: Copland, Barber, Bernstein, Glass, and more. Admission is free, but tickets are required and will be available from the theatre box office in April. For more information, call the Center for Music Performance at 212-992-MUSIC.

Life Insurance Basics — Continued from page 1

Ten Ways to Save Money on Life Insurance 1. Consider term insurance Because whole life policies typically carry larger premiums, term life insurance usually gives you the most coverage for the least cost. Some financial planners advocate life insurance policies with cash value components because they force you to save money. Others recommend you buy term insurance for the cheaper premium, and then invest the money left over in mutual funds or other investments. Cash value in life insurance should not be considered a traditional investment, because any partial withdrawals or loans will reduce your death benefit. Also, if you partially withdraw or take out a loan against your cash value, and the cash value exceeds the premiums you have paid into the policy, you will be hit with a tax bill. In addition, every year you own the policy, more of your premium money goes to pay for the cost of insuring you, and less of it goes toward the cash value. The difference in price can be substantial. The annual premiums for a universal or whole life insurance policy could be eight or nine times more than a term life insurance policy with the same death benefit. 2. Seek out no-commission policies “No-load” or “low-load” life insurance policies have fewer expenses built into them, such as agent commissions and fees for marketing, than more traditional life insurance policies. This can mean lower premiums. For variable life insurance, these lower expenses mean a higher percentage of your premium goes to work for you right away, allowing you to build your cash value faster. No-load policies can be purchased through financial advisors, who charge “flat fees” rather than collect commissions from insurance companies. Several companies also sell “no-load” or “low-load” policies directly to customers. 3. Don’t buy a guaranteed issue policy if you are healthy “Guaranteed issue” term life insurance policies, also called “simplified issue” or “quick issue” policies, require no medical exam and are sold to anyone. For this reason, guaranteed issue policies are riskier for the insurer than policies that require medical exams, and are thus more expensive than regular term insurance policies. While these policies can be a great way for people who have medical problems to obtain life insurance, if you are healthy, you will get better rates by taking the tests. The high premiums, combined with a low face amount for the death benefit, can make guaranteed issue life insurance a less desirable option. For some of these policies, you could end up paying more in premiums after only a few years than your beneficiaries will ever receive from the insurance company. 4. Shop online first While not all online life insurance quoting services will give you the best quote available for term life insurance, they can still be a useful source of information

about prices. Just remember, the more personal information you give, the more accurate your online quote will be, but “the lowest quote” should still only be used as a baseline for shopping around. 5. Improve your health Having health problems can make it hard for you to buy life insurance. High blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are among the conditions that can make life insurance companies reluctant to sell you a policy. Life insurance companies want their policyholders to be in good health at the time of purchase. You’re rewarded with lower premiums if you’re in excellent health, because it reduces your chances of dying sooner. Quit smoking. Research shows smokers pay nearly three times the premium of non-smokers, and you can’t quit the day before you apply. No company will offer you a non-smoker rate if you’ve quit for less than a year. For many companies, the minimum “nicotine free” period is two years for a non-smoker rate. Some companies will consider you a smoker as many as five years after your last cigarette. Insurance companies use urine tests to check for the presence of nicotine. If you’re healthy but somewhat overweight, you still might face higher rates. Even if you’re not obese, there are some cases where you’ll have to pay more for life insurance if your weight reaches a certain level. In most instances, the heavier you are, the more you’ll pay. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that could lead to higher rates, by showing your insurer a history of improving your health, taking your medications regularly, and acting responsibly about your health, you’ll make your underwriters happier and probably get yourself lower life insurance premiums. 6. Don’t buy more, or less, than you need Many experts say the best way to determine the amount of life insurance you need is a needs analysis. It’s a basic formula: short-term needs + longterm needs - resources = how much life insurance you need. While only an estimate, it can be a good place to start. Experts advise you do an analysis at least once every three years, or whenever you have a major life change. For example, if you have a new baby, you have to recalculate college education needs and child-care costs. If you own a home, a mortgage is likely your biggest financial burden. Because your mortgage balance decreases with each payment, it is important to include those revised figures in your calculations. 7. If you need more life insurance, get a rider as opposed to a new policy Just because your needs change doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a new life insurance policy. In many cases a rider — an amendment to an insurance policy — can let you expand your coverage without sacrificing your built-up cash value. At the same time, be sure to shop around. If you’re still in good health you might be able to get a better deal by buying a second policy to supplement your original one.

8. Buy as soon as the need exists An advantage to buying life insurance earlier in life is your premiums will be lower. As you age, life insurance gets more expensive. Many term policies give you the option to renew your coverage at the end of the term without undergoing another medical exam. You also can lock in low premiums by asking for a “level premium” policy, which means for a specific period, say 20 years, your premium rate stays the same. After that term expires, your rates will increase. 9. Check your credit report before you apply If there are problems with your credit, you could be denied coverage or be placed in a higher risk class because insurance companies will be concerned you would let the policy lapse due to non-payment of premiums. If this happens in the first few years a life insurance policy is in effect, the insurer stands to lose a lot of money because of the high up-front commissions they pay to agents. 10. Fractional premiums Once you’ve found the best insurance policy for your specific needs, find out if you can save money by the way you’re billed. Some insurers charge you less if you pay annually, and more if you pay monthly. In general, the fewer payments you make over the course of the year (known as fractional premiums), the less you’ll pay overall. Also, some insurers charge less if they can deduct the premiums directly from your checking account. 	■

Where to Get Quotes Online
Be prepared to supply your age, height, weight, gender, coverage amount, and term length. Most of the following sites will provide multiple quotes for you to consider: • • • How to Check an Insurer’s Ratings If you’re looking for whole life coverage or a term policy that you’ll want to keep 20 or 30 years, the financial soundness of the insurer is a critical concern. You want some assurance the company will be around in case you aren’t. For insurance companies, the major credit agencies like Standard & Poor’s rate claims-paying ability. Fortunately, information on the credit worthiness of insurance companies is easy to obtain. Reports are inexpensive or free online. You can always contact the insurance company and ask about its ratings, but it’s best to get this information independently. In general, go with an insurer rated A or better; the most financially sound insurers are rated AAA, though some rating agencies use slightly different letter grades.  provides free Standard & Poor’s ratings as well comprehensive reports on individual insurers has a huge database which lets you access ratings free of charge, but a detailed company report will set you back $35


Professional Development
The Learning and Development Office offers the following Professional Development programs to administrators and staff. To read program descriptions and register, go to the Human Resources Web site,
The Prospective Leader (4-session program) Thursdays, April 1, 8, 15, 22 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Performance Communication Process: Giving Feedback Thursday, April 29 / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Kelly Archer, Learning and

Kelly Archer, Learning and

Development Specialist Listening Skills

Development Specialist Effective Business Writing (2-session program) Wednesday & Thursday April 14-15 / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 29 / 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Jill Krawitz, Manager of

Learning and Development This program is required for and limited to Code 100 employees who supervise: FrontLine Leadership (8-session program)

Vicky Cole, Stockard-Elmer &

Company, Inc. Interviewing and Hiring Workshop for Team Members (2-session program) Wednesday & Thursday April 21-22 / 1:15-4:30 p.m.

Kelly Archer, Learning and

Development Specialist Section I: Tuesdays April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Section II: Wednesdays April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Geri Kalinsky, Director of

Employment Dealing with Change (2-session program) Tuesdays, April 27 & May 4 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Julie Kantor, JPKantor Assoc.

NYU’s 14th Annual Ice Skating Party
On a chilly February 6, over 600 faculty, administrators, staff, family, and friends gathered for the fourteenth annual Ice Skating Party at Chelsea Piers Sky Rink. We fueled up at the concession stands and then hit the ice to show off our skills. Bobcat
• Crisis and short-term counseling when appropriate • 24-hour emergency services • On-site elder care counseling For an appointment, contact: Claire Fleming, CSW, CAC, CEAP, BCD (212) 998-4730 New York University Faculty/Staff Assistance Program 113 University Place (between 12th and 13th Streets), Room 908 New York, NY 10003-4551

The Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is a voluntary, confidential counseling and referral service that is available to faculty, staff, and their family members. Some of the issues that can be discussed with a professional FSAP counselor: • Family or marital difficulties • Alcohol or drug abuse • Depression/sadness • Relationship issues The FSAP is free of charge and offers: • Evaluation and assessment of personal problems

made an appearance and two soloists from the Ice Theatre of New York treated us to a dazzling performance.

2004 AMC Art Show See Your Colleague’s Talent Exhibited at Salmagundi Gallery
The Administrative Management Council (AMC) is sponsoring its seventh annual exhibit of NYU administrator’s artwork. For five days beginning March 29, 2004, painting, photography, and sculpture will be on display at the Salmagundi Gallery. The AMC Art Show includes a special presentation of original works read by their authors. “Creative Words Spoken Here” will take place on Wednesday, March 31, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
2004 AMC Art Show Salmagundi Gallery 47 Fifth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets March 29 / 2–5 p.m. March 30–April 2 / 12–5 p.m. “Creative Words Spoken Here” Wednesday, March 31 12:30–1:30 p.m

This Month in NYU Histor y

Workshop on Sponsored Programs Administration and Compliance
The Office of Sponsored Programs and the Controller’s Division are offering the following workshop designed for faculty, administrators, and staff who are involved with sponsored/organized research: Post-Award Concerns

In 1995, Frederick Reines, who graduated from NYU with a Ph.D. degree in physics in 1944, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Perl. Reines was awarded the prize for his 1950s discovery of the neutrino, a subatomic particle. His physics thesis, “The Liquid Drop Model for Nuclear Fission,” remained unpublished for security reasons until the end of World War II.

To register, send an e-mail to Silver Center, Room 520 March 22, 2004 9–10:30 a.m.

• Time and Effort Certification • Allowable/Unallowable Costs • Indirect Costs • Post-Award Budget and Other Changes • Consistency Issues

WORKING at NYU is published by the Office of Employee Relations, Division of Human Resources

7 East 12th Street, 2nd Floor (212) 998-1280 Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Karen Bradley Sr. Director of Employee Relations Jo Katcher Editor Sue Caporlingua Design Christopher Cantley

Ticket Central’s Spring Specials
Hairspray The Paul Taylor Dance Company NY Rangers NY Knicks The Boy From Oz King Lear + More!!! Check out the Ticket Central website for more information: Ticket Central has moved! We are now located at: 566 LaGuardia Place (use side entrance of the Kimmel Center) New Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 12:30pm - 7pm Box Office: (212) 998-4941 Hotline: (212) 998-4949