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Cornell Retirement Plans
Article Series (4-part)
Installment Three:
Access to Information and Distributions in Retirement

This article was created through the combined efforts of the current Senior Director of Benefit Services & Administration, Gordon L. Barger, and the retired Senior Director of Benefit Services & Administration, Paul Bursic. Paul Bursic is also the retiree representative on the Retirement Plan Oversight Committee (RPOC). You can reach Paul at if you have any questions or comments for RPOC.  
In this third installment of our four-part series, we want to remind you of how you can obtain balance information and information on distributions from the various retirement plans/accounts related to your time at Cornell University. We hope that you find it a helpful reminder. 

Our next and final installment of this series is ALL ABOUT YOU!  We want to receive and address your specific questions about retirement plans and/or about the information you’ve received in these articles. Please submit any additional questions you have and we will attempt to address them in Installment Four, to be published in August. You can submit your questions to: Andrea M. Smith,

How do I access information about my retirement plan(s)
Each of the retirement plan service providers allow various levels of access to information on your retirement plan/account via the telephone and through the internet. Many of these service providers also issue quarterly statements to you regarding your plan balances and investments – these statements may be delivered to you via U.S. mail, electronically to the email you have designated, or through the service provider’s secure website.

Listed at the end of this article are the general telephone numbers and the websites for each service provider.

What access do I have to my retirement account funds? 
What types of distributions are available?  
* NOTE: Required Minimum Distribution rules vary for balances prior to 1987. For specific distribution options available under the SUNY ORP, please visit this dedicated link
What are the tax considerations when taking a distribution?
The portion of your withdrawal, if paid directly to you, will be considered taxable income in the year in which you receive it and will often have a mandatory federal tax amount withheld (and in some instances, applicable state tax) before it is paid to you. This taxable income can be avoided if your withdrawal is rolled directly over to an IRA or to another eligible employer plan. Most plans have a Required Minimum Distribution once you are age 70 ½. An RMD distribution cannot be rolled over to an IRA or to another retirement plan.

Be sure you understand the tax consequences and your Plan’s rules for distributions before you initiate any distribution. You may want to consult your tax advisor about your situation.   

 How do I contact my retirement plan service providers – via phone and internet?
Endowed Plans (CURP & TDA)

Contract College Plans (NYSERS, ORP & TDA)

The information in this article is meant to provide a high level summary of benefits available. While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided here, in the event of any discrepancy, the Summary Plan Descriptions and Plan Documents for these plans will prevail.
Calling All Caregivers!
Are you caregiving for a spouse/partner or loved one? We cordially invite and encourage retirees who are caregiving to join us for our monthly meetings.
Cornell has a variety of caregivers – individuals who provide care for spouse or partners, parents, grandchildren, adult children and friends, for loved ones long distance, for Veterans, for parents that are transitioning into assisted living, for loved ones in hospice care and individuals who provide temporary assistance after medical issues or surgeries and occasional respite care. 
To assist employees/retirees with work/life challenges along the way, Cornell offers regular caregivers meetings for support, education and encouragement. Caregivers come together monthly to share the challenges, joys and resources of caregiving as well as listen to speakers presenting on topics of interest specifically to caregivers.

We are moving the location of the monthly meetings for greater accessibility and ease of parking to the East Hill Office Building (EHOB), room 241. In addition, some of our caregiving workshops and webinars this year will be made available through Zoom so you can join us through the privacy of your own home. Meetings are held 12:00 - 1:00 pm.
Fall 2019 Caregiver's Support & Education Network Schedule

  • August 15: general discussion
  • September 19: general discussion
  • Oct 17: Foodnet Meals on Wheels with Jessica Gosa,
  • Nov 21: Tompkins County Office for the Aging with Rodney Maine and Dawn Sprague,
  • December 19: general discussion

Click here for more information, or contact Diane Bradac at or 607-255-1917.
Happening on Campus
Cornell Summer Events Series
The School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions invites you to continue your education in one of the most enjoyable ways possible—by attending our free summer events series! 

Friday, July 26, 2019, 7:00 pm
Cornell University Arts Quad
Come out for a free Latin dance party on the Arts Quad with Jorge T. Cuevas and the Caribe Jazz All-Stars. Featuring some of the region’s best jazz musicians, the All-Stars play an irresistible mix of originals and jazz standards in the styles of salsa, cha cha, bolero, samba, and merengue. Rain location: Rhodes Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 7:00 pm
Klarman Hall
Celtic trio Arise & Go brings stunning musical precision and energy to every show. Members Ellie Goud, Michael Roddy, and Tim Ball use a diverse range of Celtic sounds to perform traditional melodies, instrumentals, and fresh new arrangements of favorite compositions.

Friday, August 2, 2019, 7:00 pm
Cornell Arts Quad
Mosaic Foundation performs forward thinking reggae that stays true to the roots. The band has grown a loyal following, thanks to electric live performances and four studio releases. Mosaic pushes reggae to the limits and sometimes spills over with a dynamic blend of roots, ska, dub, dance-hall, and beyond. Their rhythms inspire dancing in the moment fueled by songs that encourage positivity, living in harmony with the planet, and community. Mosaic Foundation has opened for world renowned reggae artists Toots and the Maytals, Lee "Stratch" Perry, Rebelution, Passafire, and local favorites like John Brown's Body and Thousands of One. In case of thunderstorms or heavy rain, the concert will take place in the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall.
Flowers After Hours: A Garden Cocktail Party      
Thursday, August 1, 2019, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Cornell Botanic Gardens, Herb Garden
Celebrate summer in the Cornell Botanic Gardens with a special evening garden party when the sun is fading and the flowers are glorious! The party will feature herb-flavored cocktails and savory hors d’oeuvres made with fresh ingredients from our gardens, and live music. 

The event will take place rain or shine.  Proceeds from the party provide essential support for programs and collections.

Pre-registration is required. Participants must be 21 or older and prepared to show proof of age. $40 for members, $55 non-members.
Cornell Corn Hole Tournament
Thursday, August 8 and Friday, August 16
3:00 to 5:00 pm
Moakley House , Cornell Golf Course
Cornell Recreation Connection is sponsoring this afternoon of fun for all Cornell employees and retirees. Cost is $10 per person, which includes tournament play plus wings and nachos bar.

Contact Moakley House at 254-6536 to make a reservation for you or your team. Register now-the last even filled up quickly, so make your reservations now!
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Gardening for Summer Color
Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
CCE-Tompkins Education Center
615 Willow Ave.
Ithaca, NY  
Gardening/landscaping is a fantastic family activity that keeps kids active and engaged all summer long. Come identify your color style and learn which combination of shrubs, perennials, and annual plants will help you achieve the colorful summer garden of your dreams.
The Gardening for Summer Color class starts with an introduction to basic color theory, then discusses how the nature of light, transparency of plants, and time of day affect how we perceive color. We will look at some classic garden color themes and combinations. With those foundations, each attendee will have a chance to explore their own color style and determine a specific color goal for a garden area of their choice. Next, the class looks at specific plants in each color family and learns about a few online tools for helping select plants by color. By the end of the class, each attendee will have the foundations of a plant palette that will deliver summer color (and perhaps a few suggestions for spring and fall).  
Avoiding & Resolving Problems with Car Purchases & Repairs
Thursday, August 8, 2019, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
CCE-Tompkins Education Center
615 Willow Ave.
Ithaca, NY
In this free Consumer Issues Program, a NY State Attorney General's Office representative will make a brief presentation, then consult with individuals on unresolved consumer problems until 1:00 pm. Free and open to the public. No appointment is needed.

Following the presentation, members of the public have the opportunity to consult individually with Attorney Danaher regarding any consumer issue they have been unsuccessful resolving locally. Individuals should arrive by 12:30pm for a consultation. Cornell Cooperative Extension is located at 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, New York.

Presentations are videotaped for broadcast on Public Access Channel 15 on Mondays at 7:00 am, 1:00 pm & 7:00 pm.
Edible Garden Tour: A Permaculture Oasis
Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Join us on a high hillside in Newfield to tour this extensive garden that supplies our hosts with most of their vegetables, dried beans, herbs and small fruits for the entire year. They use no-dig methods and hugelkultur beds to greatly reduce weed pressure, allowing them to grow more fruit and veggies with less labor.

This tour will take place in Newfield, NY. The exact address will be emailed after your registration and payment is complete. Fee is self determined sliding scale of $10-$20. More information can be found here .
Cancer Resource Center
Gentle Yoga Class
Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:00 am
310 Taughannock Blvd #1
Ithaca, NY
A blend of stretching, relaxation, healing visualization and meditation in a supportive group environment.

Contact Nick Boyar at 607-279-4769 or . Free to those with cancer.
Cancer Support Group at Cornell
Work/Life and the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes began a monthly support group for members of the Cornell community who have or have had cancer. Meetings are on the second Wednesday of every month, from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in Weill Hall, Room 321.
Faculty, staff, students and retirees who have been diagnosed with cancer are welcome. It’s an opportunity to meet one another, create a community of support, and learn about the resources available on campus and in Ithaca.
The group is facilitated by Monica Vakiner, the Cancer Resource Center’s Director of Client Services ( ). Bob Riter, Patient Advocate for the Physical Sciences Oncology Center, is helping with logistics ( ). 
Note that this group is not for cancer caregivers. The Cancer Resource Center offers a  caregiver group on the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at its office (612 West State St.). Work/Life also offers a  Caregiver Support and Education Network that meets monthly on campus.
Additional cancer support groups are available at the Cancer Resource Center and are listed   here .  
Community Events
Ithaca Walks and Talks
July 27 , 2019, 11:00 am
Grove Cemetery, established in 1847 under the New York State Act for the Incorporation of “Rural Cemeteries,” is one of the oldest active cemeteries in Tompkins County. From the center of the cemetery we will circle through several of the sections and conclude the tour inside the 1892 Chapel.

The tour will be directed by the Cemetery Association President David Allen his wife, Karen Allen, and John Wertis, Grove Cemetery Trustee and Town of Ulysses Historian.

Although tours are free, registration is strongly encouraged so updates and notifications of any cancellations or weather-related changes can be sent.

Walk meets at Grove Cemetery, 8825 Falls Road, Trumansburg, NY.
Science on Tap July!
Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Casita Del Polaris
1201 N Tioga St
Ithaca, NY
"Science on Tap" is aimed at making science accessible and exciting to everyone! We will bring a diverse set of scientists studying a range of scientific topics into the community who will strive to present their research in an authentic but also engaging and understandable way.
Join us for two talks at July's Science on Tap!
  • “Small but mighty: why we use worms to study how cells work” with Melisa DeGroot, PhD candidate in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Discover how scientists are using tiny critters as powerful tools to investigate how cells talk to each other and understand human diseases that happen when communication is disrupted.

  • “Science’s Next Top Models: Engineering living tissues in the laboratory to study disease." with Dr. Ana Marie Porras PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Learn how we can build human tissues outside of the body to investigate how disease happens, identify new drugs and reduce the use of animals in biomedical research.
Open and FREE to the public!
Summer Symposium at the Museum of the Earth
August 10-11, 2018
Museum of the Earth
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY
Join us at the Museum of the Earth for our 13th annual Summer Symposium. Spend a fun weekend learning about the most recent research being done by friends of the Paleontological Research Institution and go into the field with world-renowned fossil experts. Included is the keynote talk by Dr. Andrew Bush, Associate Professor of Paleobiology, University of Connecticut. Dr. Bush will be speaking on "Judgment Day: Mass Extinctions and Predictability in the History of Life."

Academics, professionals, and educators from all varieties of natural science disciplines including paleontology, biology, and earth sciences, and geology are invited to attend and to share their research. We also welcome all levels of students to share their research, too. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience speaking about their work in a professional format, but in a friendly, less formal atmosphere.

Saturday, August 10 — Posters and oral presentations. Keynote by Dr. Andrew Bush. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included with registration.

Sunday, August 11 — Experts in Devonian geological history, including Dr. Carl Brett, University of Cincinnati, and Dr. Gordon Baird, SUNY Fredonia, will lead a field trip from PRI to localities in the Finger Lakes region. Lunch is included.

To find out more and register online, visit
James Potorti Interpretive Gorge Walks
Join us for our annual James Potorti Museum of the Earth/State Parks Gorge Walks on Fridays in August. PRI has been offering this series of free Friday-morning interpretive walks in partnership with the Finger Lakes State Parks for more than 16 years.

The walks were officially named in 2004 in memory of Ithaca native James E. Potorti, who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The renaming of the walks was a result of an endowment gift to the Museum from his widow, Nikki Stern, Executive Director of Families of September 11. Potorti, 52, was a vice president at Marsh & McLennan, a financial services company, and worked on the 94th floor of 1 World Trade Center. His first career, however, was as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He grew up in Ithaca and attended SUNY Oswego.

Summer 2019 Schedule
  •  August 2 - Watkins Glen State Park
  •  August 9 - Buttermilk Falls State Park
  • August 16 - Taughannock Falls State Park
  • August 23 - Robert H. Treman State Park
  • August 30 - Cayuga Nature Center/Dennison Falls

All walks are 10:00 - 11:30 am. **Please note that while the walks are free, there is a parking charge for the State Parks.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities
Drivers Needed for Way2Go
Would you like to help people in our community?  There are not enough volunteer drivers in Tompkins County to meet people’s needs.  Volunteer drivers serve a critical role in helping people live healthy, engaged lives. You could…

  • Drive parents and caregivers to school events, like concerts and teacher meetings
  • Allow relatives to visit loved ones in jail
  • Bring people to social events
  • Help people get to healthcare appointments
  • And much more!

Volunteer drivers use their own car (or, in some cases, a provided vehicle), to pick up and transport local residents who need a ride. Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County is partnering with several local organizations to recruit new drivers in 2019.  Drive only when you want to, for the organization of your choice, with no minimum time commitment.  Training is provided. 

Ready to help?  Contact the Way2Go team at Cornell Cooperative Extension: (607) 272-2292, or visit the Way2Go webpage.
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