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Retirement Match and Holiday Update

Dear University faculty and staff, 

I write to share two items of good news with you. 

SLU trustees support our recommendation for an 8% match. 

In May 2021, trustees had approved an FY22 deficit budget that included a 6% retirement match beginning on January 1, 2022.

All were affected when the University suspended its 10% retirement match at the start of FY21. Your sacrifice ensured we did not add to the more than 600,000 layoffs made by colleges and universities across the country that summer and fall.

On Tuesday afternoon, University leaders met with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at its second quarterly meeting of the fiscal year. Considering all the good organizational and financial news we had to share, and the fact that we are now projecting a small surplus for the current fiscal year — rather than a deficit — we recommended to trustees that they support raising the retirement match above the planned 6% increase.

CFO David Heimburger identified a number of reasons for our projected surplus that would permit increasing the percent of SLU’s retirement match, including: 

Administrators and trustees had a long and healthy discussion about the benefits and the risks of absorbing the expense of increasing the match. In the end, the trustees indicated that they would defer to me any decision to increase the match — up to a maximum of 8%.

Trustees made clear, however, that they expect a balanced or better outcome at the end of this fiscal year. Trustees also indicated that proposed budgets for future years must be balanced, and we should be moving to surplus budgets down the road. CFO Heimburger, Provost Mike Lewis and I agreed to those conditions.

Based on this conversation and agreement, the retirement match will go to 8% as of January 1, 2022.

Bonus holidays will provide an extended Christmas holiday break. 

At this time of giving thanks, I want to take a moment to recognize your hard work and that of your co-workers.

Thank you for showing up every day, for focusing on what matters — our students and patients; for breathing life into our mission at a time of continued COVID hardship; and for making SLU a better, more welcoming, and more successful University. 

In recognition of your commitment and dedication, the leadership team has decided to add December 29 and 30 as two bonus holidays. This means that the University will be closed from December 24 through January 3. This will give our non-clinical staff 11 consecutive days off.

As always, due to the nature of their work, our health care professionals at SLUCare and other essential workers will still be required to work those two days. But each of those employees will be able to bank that time for future use without affecting their vacation time. 

I hope these extra days allow you to spend more time reenergizing, reflecting, and relaxing in the company of loved ones. You certainly deserve it. 

Fran and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.