Johns Hopkins University Starts Comprehensive Benefits Review

May 17, 2011 ( – Johns Hopkins University has embarked on a comprehensive review of its benefits package with the aim of reducing costs by $15 million annually.

The undertaking was prompted by the rising costs of health care and education and increased pension regulation, Charlene Hayes, vice president for human resources, told the JHU Gazette. She said that the entire package will be examined.   

The university’s benefits package includes health care coverage, a tuition remission program, retirement plans, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, vacation days and sick leave, a commuting-to-work program, adoption assistance and many other offerings.  

According to the Gazette, a14-member Benefits Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from each academic division, will examine current benefits, look at peer institutions as benchmarks, and consider alternatives to existing practices to bring about more-efficient delivery systems and design a more cost-effective program.  

This current comprehensive benefits review falls on the heels of changes to the university’s retirement plan. In 2009, under the direction of the board of trustees, the university undertook a comprehensive study of support staff retirement benefits. As a result of the study, the university committed to a new defined contribution 403(b) plan (see Johns Hopkins University Introduces New 403(b)).