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Retirement Planning Tip

May 2016 - If I return to State employment after I retire, how does this affect my New York State Health Insurance (NYSHIP) coverage?

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Work-Life Services Brochure

Work–Life Services (WLS) are five negotiated benefits programs for Executive Branch employees resulting from a collaboration between NYS and the public employee unions. These programs are designed to increase employee productivity and morale by improving the quality of work and life for employees and include: Employee Assistance Program, Worksite Child Care Centers, Flex Spending Account, NYS–Ride, and Pre–Retirement Planning.

To view or print the Work-Life Services Brochure click here.

EAP: Boost Your Activity During the Work Day

If you are like most employees, you probably spend much of your work day sitting. You sit at your desk, at meetings, in the car, and for coffee or lunch. This inactivity can lead to increased stress, weight gain, and even severe health problems like heart disease and diabetes. says that sitting is the new smoking! With all this in mind, what can be done? It certainly is difficult to find time during a busy day, but it is easier than you think. Here are some tips on adding some activity into your work day.

“I can do 100 ____!” you don’t have to be a marathoner to be physically active. Find any activity and do it 100 times. Stand up and sit back down 100 times, stand on 1 leg for 100 seconds, or do 100 arm circles. See how many different activities you can do in 1 work day!

Park farther away: find a spot down the street, the next block over, or at a neighboring building. This simple act can add a few hundred extra steps to your day. You’ll start and end your work day with that much more movement.

Switch out the coffee break for a walk: rather than walking to the break room to sit over a cup of coffee, choose to take a brisk 10-15 minute walk. You’re on break anyway, why not add a little more activity to your day?

Leave the building: each day that passes puts that nasty winter weather further in the rearview mirror. Warm air and clear skies are calling your name! Getting into the sunlight can boost your mood and propel you further toward becoming more active.

Team up with a co-worker: any exercise is much more enjoyable when a friend or co-worker does it with you. Ask a friend from the office to join you in achieving your activity goals. You’ll be amazed at what you accomplish together!

Take the stairs: blast past the elevator and head for the stairs! You’ll burn more calories walking upstairs than standing in the elevator. Do you work on a higher floor? Break up your elevator trip with a few flights of stairs mixed in, and work your way up to taking the stairs all the way.

Standing at your desk: this one is a no-brainer. If you’re sitting at your desk too much, stand up! Put your computer on top of something so that you can stand up and work. You can also stand up when you take a call. Try to not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Find something you like: what you like to do might be totally different than your co-workers or anything on this list. Find something that works for you and do it! Remember that any activity during the day adds up fast.

For more information on increasing activity during the day, visit the following links:
USDA MyPlate Physical Activity Tips
WellNYS Everyday Monthly Challenge

Fun at NYS Worksite Center Summer Camps

Are you looking for a summer camp for your school-aged child? Did you know that many of the NYS Worksite Child Care Centers offer summer camp for children ages five – 12? All of the worksite summer camps are conveniently located within, or in close proximity to the child care centers at various state sites. All the summer camps offer weekly themes to ensure your child will be entertained while gaining knowledge on a variety of topics in a caring environment. What questions should I ask when I call about enrolling my child for summer camp? Click here for more information

Enroll in the DCAAccount

Great news for state employees! If in order for you and your spouse (if you are married) to be able to work, you plan to send your child under the age of 13, to summer day camp, a Change in Care Provider (including summer day camp) is an eligible Change in Status event that allows you to enroll in the Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAAcount) for the remainder of 2016. Also, the Employer Contribution is available to eligible employees who enroll in the DCAAccount to help pay for summer day camp expenses. Please visit or call (800) 358-7202 for more information, Employer Contribution rates, or to enroll.

WellNYS Everyday

The NYS Work-Life Services Employee Assistance Program recently launched a wellness initiative called WellNYS Everyday. The initiative is dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering New York State employees and their families by encouraging participation in healthy behaviors, particularly the Monthly Challenges.

Welcome to the Family Packet

Work-Life Services introduces the "Welcome to the Family Packet". Parenting is an exciting and challenging experience. Today's parents often face unique circumstances balancing their work and family responsibilities. As a New York State Executive Branch employee parent, you are entitled to several negotiated benefits designed to assist you with balancing work and life. The "Welcome to the Family Packet" will outline these benefits programs as well as provide educational child care and parenting brochures. We invite you to request a "Welcome to the Family Packet" if you are expecting or recently added to your family through the birth or adoption of a child. Email your request along with your name and home address to:

"Parenthood, it's not a job. It's an adventure" – author unknown

Retirement Planning Resources Workshops

The Retirement Planning Resources Workshop is a free, one-hour training, available to state agencies for their employees, regardless of years of state service. The training will not cover specific retirement information, and is not a substitute for the full-day DIRECTIONS seminars. Instead, the goal of this training program is to educate executive branch employees about the resources available so they can begin planning their retirement.

If you would like to schedule this one-hour training, you may contact Beth Brumaghim, Seminar Program Manager, at or 518.473.4018.

2016 Flex Spending Account Changes in Status and New Employees

The FSA 2016 open enrollment period ended on November 24, 2015. Employees who experience a valid change in status on or after November 25, 2015 or during the 2016 plan year, may be eligible to enroll by submitting a Change in Status application. Visit to review the 2016 Change in Status information to determine if your situation qualifies you to enroll during the plan year.


NYS-Ride allows eligible state employees to pay up to $255 per month for certain work-related transportation expenses on a pre-tax basis. More than 8,000 participants who use public transportation to get to work currently enjoy the saving this program provides, while contributing to a greener environment by reducing carbon emissions, greenhouse gasses, and dependence on foreign oil.

The NYS-Ride website provides employees with quick and easy access to all the information they would need to learn about the program, calculate their savings and impact on the environment, enroll in NYS-Ride, make changes to their elections, or view their accounts. Please visit the website at

Retirement Planning Videos

Monitor displaying YouTube video

A series of short videos — the Planning Your Successful Retirement Video Guide — highlighting key information from the popular DIRECTIONS: Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars is now available. Designed for executive branch employees, the 23 videos were created in partnership with the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department of Civil Service, the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan, and the Social Security Administration. Employees can view the videos along with other pre-retirement planning information on this Work-Life Services website and also on YouTube at

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