Time for Another Reception.
After a very remarkable summer of warm, dry weather, especially on weekends in Manitoba, fall is now upon us. This is the time when we think about what we would like to do for the cooler months of the year: attending concerts and theatre, dining out with friends, keeping active by curling, skating, walking (outside or indoors), playing bridge, traveling to warmer climes or cruising the Internet.
Also, it is a time we like to talk with other retirees and get caught up on what is going on at the University. One way to do this is by attending the President's Reception for Retirees. Dr. Emőke Szathmáry is hosting another reception on Saturday, October 24th, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Cross Common Room, St. John's College.
Among other things you will hear about the success of the new University One program in attracting new students, what is planned for the University as one of the host sites for the Pan American Games and what has happened since the University adopted the report of the Task Force on Strategic Planning.
As the reception is being held on a Saturday, there is plenty of free parking in A, Q or K parking lots.
We will need to have some idea as to numbers so that we can make catering arrangements. So please call Julie Mikuska at 474-8198 by October 16th and tells us that you will be there.
You wanted to know more about financial planning.
In conjunction with the President's Reception last April, we held a seminar on financial and estate planning. This was put on by the Planned Giving Committee of the University Development Council. One of the topics that generated considerable discussion was what to do when you reach age 69. Do you know that is the time to convert your RRSP's? It is wise to think about this well before the conversion has to take place.
To help us with planning ahead, we will hold our second financial planning seminar just prior to the Reception on the 24th. It will be held from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in Room ____, St. John's College. Our speaker will be Wynn Sweatman, who spoke at our previous financial seminar. Wynn is chair of the Planned Giving Committee.
You haven't been able to get a Retiree Identification Card?
Several persons have mentioned that not everyone who has gone up to the ID Centre in Room 400, University Centre have been able to get a Retiree Identification Card. We checked into this and found out the cause of the problem. The information system used in the ID Centre to produce the card only recognizes retired employees. So, if the person applying for the ID card was either the spouse or survivor of a retiree, it was not possible to provide that person with a card. We contacted Brian Salt about the problem and thanks to him a solution has been worked out.
If you are the spouse of a retiree and neither of you have an identification card, go together to the ID Centre and you both will receive your own cards. If you are a spouse of a retiree and that person already has a card, either have him or her accompany you to the ID Centre or take along his or her ID Card and you will receive your own card. If you are a survivor of a retiree, please let the staff of the ID Centre know this and they can provide you with a card. When you use your card for the first time at either the Frank Kennedy Centre or the Brodie Centre, speak with the attendant at the equipment desk and show that person your card so your identification card number can be recorded. It would be a good idea to do the same thing when you first use the library facilities.
Please remember, the ID Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. If you want more information, call 474-9428.
Who are members of the Retirees group? What benefits do they receive?
Each issue of the Bulletin carries a column on those who have retired. However, not everyone who retires is eligible to receive benefits as retirees. Benefits are available to those who are eligible for retired staff health and dental benefits. Those who fit within this category are able to obtain an identification card. This card allows you free access to the University Libraries, although there are some restrictions as to what and how much you can borrow at any one time, use of the athletic facilities at the Fort Garry Campus and the Brodie Centre, and access to the Internet and e-mail services of the University. You can take University degree courses at no cost. You also can receive issues of the Bulletin.
We are setting up interest groups whereby retirees with a particular interest can get together with their colleagues. Also we have a small group looking into what would be appropriate in terms of supplementary benefits for retirees.
Who is in charge of the Retirees program?
Currently there is an informal group acting as an executive that meets three or four times a year to discuss ideas and plan events, such as receptions and seminars. Members of the group are: Bernice Furlong, Helen Glass, Bob Hudson, Nora Losey, John Markham, Julie Mikuska, Vera Moroz, John Mundie, John Steele, Steve Stothers, and Edith Williams. If you have something you would like them to consider, please contact John Mundie or Julie Mikuska and they will see it gets on the agenda.
As we grow in numbers the task of managing the program will become more complex. While at this point in time we feel it is best to remain rather unstructured, we may have to develop a more formal structure to make sure things go smoothly. With this in mind, we have begun looking at what is happening at other universities in order to guide us as to what we might do as time goes along.
Distinguished speakers seminars
Several retirees have suggested there should be seminars given by noted retirees who have the reputation of giving informative presentations suitable for those who are interested in learning more. We are in the process of setting this up. Once this is organized, look for information in the Bulletin.
Retirees make a difference through their support of the United Way.
Each year retirees participate in the University's United Way Campaign and each year we have demonstrated how much we are willing to help others in our community. To give you some idea as to as to what we have been able to accomplish over the years, in 1993, retirees contributed $17,443 to the campaign, which was 6.8% of total contributions of $258,165. In that year, 130 retirees were involved and their average gift was $134. The average gift by employees was $146. In 1997, our contributions totaled $44,259 which was 16.1% of the total raised ($275,228) by those involved with the University. The number of retiree donors increased to 219. The average gift by retirees was $202 compared with $163 for employees. Clearly we play a major role in what the University is able to accomplish in this community endeavour.
The Campaign for 1998 begins on October 5 and winds up at the end of the month. We have set a target of $50,000 for the retirees' portion. Bob Hedlin and John Mundie are representing the retirees on the University Campaign Committee. They will be contacting volunteers to assist with the work of the Campaign. We look forward to having another successful campaign.
If you have not received your pledge card from the United Way by the time your receive your copy of the Retirees' News and you want to participate in the Campaign, please give Bob or John a call. Bob's number is 475-6433 and John's is 256-8245.
What are the staff benefits for retirees?
In January 1998, the Staff Benefits Office of the University prepared and mailed a folder, which summarizes the benefits available to retirees. Accompanying the folder was a letter that indicated the specific benefits that retiree was entitled to receive. Recent retirees who qualify for benefits should have received the folder and benefit information as part of their retirement package. If you did not receive the folder, please write to Staff Benefits Office, 180 Continuing Education Complex, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2 or phone (204) 474-7428.
Keeping in Touch
By now anyone who has asked for the Bulletin should be receiving it. New retirees will receive it as part of the retirement package unless they indicate they do not want it. However, it is possible some have been missed. So, it you would like to receive the Bulletin, please phone or write to Julie Mikuska. If you have a computer, you can read about your University on the University of Manitoba Web site. The address is http://www.umanitoba.ca/.
And we will be getting our own home page as part of the University Web site. Ian Rollo is working on developing this. It will take some time, but it will be there for you to peruse in about six months.
If there is anything you would like to see in upcoming Retirees' News, please send your suggestions to Julie Mikuska.