Summary of Benefits - 2014
The University of West Georgia is an institution of the University System of Georgia. ADP is the HR vendor for payroll and benefits. The processing of payroll and benefits is handled in one centralized location for University System of Georgia institutions—the USG Shared Services Center. Contact information at the USG Shared Services Center for payroll and benefits issues is listed below:
- RETIREMENT PLANS
- VOLUNTARY SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLANS-403b and 457b
- LIFE INSURANCE
- HEALTH INSURANCE
- FLEXIBLE SPENDING REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNTS
- HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT (HSA)
- LIMITED PURPOSE FSA
- DENTAL INSURANCE
- VISION INSURANCE
- SHORT TERM DISABILITY (STD)
- LONG TERM DISABILITY (LTD)
- DIRECT DEPOSIT
- EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
- TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TAP)
- ELECTING YOUR BENEFITS
- BENEFITS FOR RETIRED EMPLOYEES
- DISABLED EMPLOYEES INSURANCE
- DEPENDENTS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES, RETIREES, OR DISABLED EMPLOYEES
TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF GEORGIA
All regular non-exempt (bi-weekly paid) staff employees who work one-half time or more are required to participate in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Georgia plan. The employee contribution rate is 6.00% of gross salary, on a federal and state tax-deferred basis. The university contribution matching rate is 12.28% of gross salary. Contributions are retroactive to date of hire.
If your employment ends and you request a refund of your contributions, you will be subject to federal and state taxes plus a 10% penalty if under age 59 ½. You may avoid this penalty if you roll over your contributions to another qualified retirement account or an IRA.
Your retirement account is considered a “vested” account when you have at least 10 years of credible service. Vesting means that you have a right to a retirement benefit at age 60.
The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia web site can be accessed at www.trsga.com. The TRS Member’s Guide can be accessed and printed from this site (Publications Link).
OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PLAN OF THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA
Regular faculty members and all exempt (monthly paid) employees may elect to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) of the University System of Georgia in lieu of active membership in the TRS of Georgia plan. Selection of a retirement plan must be made within 60 days of date of hire for faculty members and eligible staff employees. All required retirement election forms must be submitted to the Human Resources Office within 60 days of hire date or the employee will automatically be enrolled in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia plan. Contributions are retroactive to date of hire, and enrollment is irrevocable during the tenure of employment in a covered position with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
Members contribute 6.00% of their gross salary to the ORP retirement plan. The university contribution matching rate is 9.24% of gross salary.
For additional information, please refer to the University System of Georgia website at www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/retirement_plan_information/.
DEFINITION OF A UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF GEORGIA RETIREE/ELIGIBILITY FOR RETIREMENT
Effective November 1, 2002, to be eligible for retirement from the University System of Georgia, an employee must meet one of the following four conditions at the time of his/her separation from employment, regardless of the retirement plan elected by the employee:
- An employee must have been employed by the University System of Georgia for the last 10 years in a regular, benefited position and have attained age 60; -OR-
- An employee must have at least 25 total years of benefited service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, of which the last 5 years of employment must have been continuous and with the University System of Georgia. An early pension benefit penalty will apply to an individual who elects to participate in the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia if he/she decides to retire with between 25 and 30 years of benefited service, prior to attaining age 60; -OR-
- An employee must have at least 30 total years of benefited service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, of which the last 5 years must have been continuous and with the University System of Georgia; -OR-
- An employee must be deemed to be totally and permanently disabled, as documented through the receipt of disability benefits from Social Security or from the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, following 9.5 years of continuous service to the University System of Georgia in a regular, benefited position.
An individual who has retired from another State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan may not count such retirement service toward meeting the eligibility criteria for retirement from the University System of Georgia.
Note: Employees should consult their professional financial planners, retirement counselors, tax advisors, etc., for retirement planning advice and services. Staff members of the University of West Georgia are not to be considered as professional retirement consultants or tax advisors. No official retirement records are maintained at the University of West Georgia. Official retirement records for members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) are maintained at the TRS Office, Two Northside 75, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30318, phone no. 1-800-352-0650. The TRS web site can be accessed at www.trsga.com. Official retirement records for Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) members are maintained by the individual ORP company; and information may be obtained from representatives of the individual ORP company.
Employees may choose to enroll in optional supplemental plans at any time of the year. Payroll deduction for a 403b or 457b is available for the following authorized companies: Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, and VALIC. Employee contributions to the 403b and/or 457b are not subject to Federal and State taxes, but are limited to the annual maximum amounts set by the IRS. Employees may contribute to both a 403b and a 457b if they choose to do so. To participate in one of these plans, an employee must enroll with the representative of his/her chosen company, and then complete a salary reduction/ payroll authorization form to be submitted to UWG’s Payroll Department.
- Basic: The University system provides each employee with a $25,000 basic life insurance policy. This is a double indemnity policy and would be doubled in the event of accidental death of the employee.
- Supplemental: Employees have the option to elect supplemental life insurance (with matching AD&D) based on 1-8 times their benefits base (annual salary) up to a maximum of $2.5 million. The premiums are based on age and salary. Application for enrollment in supplemental life insurance outside of the first 30 days of employment requires Evidence of Insurability (EOI). EOI is also required for coverage over $500,000.
- Spouse Life: Employees may elect up to $50,000 of spouse life without EOI during the initial employment period, and may apply for up to $500,000 of spouse life (in $10,000 increments) with EOI. Application to increase spouse life after the initial employment period requires EOI.
- Child Life: Child life to cover all eligible dependent children in the amount of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 can be elected during the initial employment period or within 30 days of a qualifying event without EOI.
Employees have the option to elect supplemental voluntary stand alone AD&D:
- Employee Only: $ 0.016
- Family: $ 0.028
The life insurance plan booklet may be accessed/printed at www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/life_insurance/.
IMPORTANT- Newly eligible employees will have 31 days from date of hire to enroll in benefits. Per Board of Regents policy, the coverage effective date for new eligible employees electing benefits will be the first day of the month following enrollment. For those employees who begin employment on the first day of the month, benefits may begin on the first day of the month if enrolled on or before that day. Otherwise, the benefits effective date will be the first day of the month after enrollment.
Health insurance plans offered to benefits eligible employees are:
- Open Access POS Plan (uses Blue Open Access POS GA network)
- HSA/Open Access POS (uses Blue Open Access POS GA network)
- Blue Choice HMO (uses BCBSGA Blue Choice HMO network)
- Kaiser Permanente HMO (uses Kaiser Permanente HMO network)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia administers claims for all the plans except for the Kaiser Permanente HMO plan. Plan features and resources are accessible at www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/health_insurance/.
The healthcare premium contribution for active, eligible employees will be paid with pre-tax dollars. Employees must enroll during the first 30 days of employment or during the annual open enrollment period. Open enrollment is generally held in the Fall of each calendar year, with the actual dates set by the USG Board of Regents Office for each year. Healthcare plan elections made during an open enrollment period will become effective at the beginning of the new plan year (January 1st). The plan year is currently a calendar year (January 1 – December 31). During an open enrollment period, an active and eligible employee may elect to: (1) enroll in a healthcare plan; (2) drop healthcare coverage; (3) participate in a different healthcare plan option; and/or (4) change his/her level of coverage (i.e., single, employee + child, employee + spouse, or family).
Because the employee share of the cost for healthcare plan premiums is paid with pre-tax dollars, the Internal Revenue Service rules state that the choices made by a covered member during an annual open enrollment period must remain in effect for the entire plan year. The only exception permitted is when a covered member has a qualifying event (change in family status). If you have a qualifying event, you may add, change, or discontinue healthcare coverage within 30 days of the qualifying event. Appropriate documentation must be presented to the Human Resources Office before a change in healthcare coverage can be granted. Some examples of qualifying events include: the birth or adoption of a child, death of a dependent, change in employment status of a covered member, his/her spouse, or his/her covered dependent, the loss of eligibility status by a covered dependent, member or spouse being called to full-time active military duty, losing or gaining healthcare coverage eligibility under Medicare or Medicaid, or a change in residence to a location outside of a healthcare plan’s service area. Failure to complete any eligible changes within 30 days of a qualifying event prohibits making such changes until the next University System open enrollment period.
ELIGIBLE DEPENDENT: Legal spouse and dependent children up to age 26. New employees who enroll dependents are required to provide dependent documentation to the Human Resources Office within 30 days of hire date. A list of required documents can be found here. Failure to provide the required dependent documentation within the 30 day period will result in the dependents being dropped from coverage.
Plan booklets/resources for all healthcare plans can be accessed and printed at www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/health_insurance, and detailed summaries can also be found on the Human Resources website at www.westga.edu/hrpay.
HEALTH CARE SPENDING ACCOUNT PLAN
Eligible expenses include costs that are not reimbursable by insurance plans such as deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance payments, dental expenses, vision care, charges in excess of reasonable and customary allowances and charges in excess of insurance plan limits. Funds must be used by the end of the year or they are forfeited. The current maximum contribution is $2,500 per year. A monthly maintenance fee of $2.50 applies.
DEPENDENT CARE SPENDING ACCOUNT PLAN
Eligible expenses include costs for care of qualifying dependent children and/or parents who meet the requirements to be claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. You may contribute up to a maximum of $5,000 per year to this plan as a single or married individual but only $2,500 per year if you are married and file a separate return.
Eligible employees may enroll in the flexible spending plans during their initial employment period. Employees may also enroll during the annual open enrollment period for the upcoming calendar year (effective January 1st). Employees who wish to continue this benefit from one plan year to the next must re-enroll during each annual open enrollment period for the upcoming year.
The Health Savings Account (HSA) is an option to employees enrolled in the HSA Open Access POS Health insurance plan (high deductible plan), as a pre-tax payroll deduction with US Bank. Employees may contribute up to the IRS maximum each calendar year to the HSA, and use the money from this account to pay for qualified out of pocket medical expenses. Any unused funds in the HSA roll over from year to year and accumulate toward future health care expenses. Once an employee enrolls in the HSA, U.S. Bank will mail the employee a welcome kit with instructions for activating the account with them. U.S. Bank will then mail a Health Savings Solution debit card to the participant for use in paying for qualified out of pocket medical expenses. For plan year 2014, the University System of Georgia will match the HSA contribution (dollar for dollar) for both current and new enrollees, up to an annual maximum of $375 for single coverage, and $750 for family coverage. The current maximum contribution limits are as follows: Single: $3,250 (or $2,875 net of employer match), Family: $6,440 (or $5,700 net of employer match), and Catch-up: $1,000 for employees 55 or older.
A Limited Purpose FSA is an additional tax-free account for those enrolled in the HSA Open Access POS plan only. You may contribute up to $2,500 for eligible dental and vision expenses. Funds must be used by the end of the year or they are forfeited. A monthly maintenance fee of $2.50 applies.
The dental plan is a self-insured indemnity plan through the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Delta Dental administers the plan and payment of claims. Dental coverage may be elected at the time of initial eligibility (within first 30 days of employment) or during the annual open enrollment period. A qualifying event during the year also allows for enrollment, or change in enrollment, to the dental plan coverage. Requests must be made within 30 days of qualifying events with presentation of appropriate documentation.
The dental insurance plan booklet and dental network information (participating providers) can be accessed from the University System of GA web site at www.usg.edu/hr/benefits/dental_insurance/.
A Vision Plan with EyeMed Vision is available to benefits eligible employees, to provide coverage for vision related expenses. A summary of benefits under this plan is available from Human Resources. Employees can visit the EyeMed website at www.eyemedvisioncare.com to access plan and network provider information, or employees may call 866-723-0514. The monthly premiums for the vision plan are:
Premiums paid by an employee for participation in the health, dental and vision benefit plans are automatically deducted before taxes.
This is an optional plan offered to employees via payroll deduction. Met Life is the provider of this plan. This plan offers coverage to provide a portion of earnings if unable to work because of a disabling illness or injury. Coverage of 60% of weekly earnings for up to 11 weeks from the end of a fourteen day waiting period. The premiums are calculated based on age and salary. Application for enrollment in this plan outside of the 30-day new hire window will require Evidence of Insurability and approval by Met Life. A summary of the plan is available from Human Resources.
This is an optional plan offered to employees via payroll deduction. Met Life is the provider of this plan. This plan offers coverage for 60% of income replacement in the event of long term disability that is certified by a physician. A summary of the plan is available from Human Resources. The premiums are calculated based on age and salary.
As a condition of employment, employees are required to accept all payroll-related payments by direct deposit. Employees must comply within 30 days of employment to establish direct deposit.
The University of West Georgia offers an Employee Assistance program through Tanner EAP for UWG benefits-eligible employees and their dependents. The Employee Assistance Program is a service that provides short-term confidential counseling and assistance associated with resolving life problems such as family issues, job stress, substance abuse issues, traumatic events, and other personal concerns. For more information, contact the Human Resources Office at 678-839-6403, or Tanner EAP at 770-834-8327.
Full-time, benefits-eligible employees of UWG (employed full-time for at least six months by TAP application deadline of the semester for which they plan to attend) may be eligible to participate in the Tuition Assistance Program for approved courses for academic credit. Tuition is waived for approved courses (maximum of 9 credit hours per term). Participants are allowed to register for courses on a space available basis only, during the designated TAP registration period for each term. Request forms must be approved by Human Resources by established deadlines prior to employee registration for each term. Copies of the Tuition Assistance Policy and TAP application forms may be obtained from the Human Resources Office or from the following web address: www.westga.edu/hrpay/index_2452.php
All employees will elect benefits using their personalized ADP Portal https://portal.adp.com. Your personalized portal will be available to you after you complete your orientation and all paperwork is submitted to Human Resources. You will have 30 days from your hire date to elect your benefits. If you do not elect your benefits within 30 days of your hire date, you will not be enrolled and you will have the option to elect benefits in the next open enrollment period, which is usually in November. If you are hired on the first day of the month and elect your benefits on that first day of the month, your benefits can start that day. If not, your benefits will start on the first day of the following month.
The only enrollment form you will need to return to Human Resources is your Retirement Election Form; if you do not submit your Retirement Election Form within 60 days, you will automatically be enrolled in the Teachers Retirement Plan. All other benefit elections will be made on your ADP Portal.
Note: The Benefits Summary is designed solely for the purpose of providing information regarding current benefits available at the University of West Georgia to eligible employees. The policies addressed are subject to change at any time. This Benefits Summary is not intended as a legal or binding document, and does not imply or guarantee employment or entitlement to benefits. The University of West Georgia is a unit of the University System of Georgia (USG). The Benefits Summary is not intended to be a substitute for official University System Policy. University System of Georgia benefits information can be found at the USG web site: www.usg.edu/hr/benefits.
Career employees of the University System who retire by meeting the criteria for the definition of a University System of Georgia employee eligible for retirement, shall remain eligible to continue as members of the basic and dependent group life insurance and health benefits plans. The University System shall continue to pay its portion of the cost of group insurance for retired career employees. Nothing in this statement of policy shall be interpreted to reduce the benefit committed to existing career employees. A state employee who is employed by the University System of Georgia, a previous University System of Georgia employee who is rehired by the System, or a new hire of the University System of Georgia after October 31, 2002, shall not be entitled to career employee status and must otherwise meet the definition of a retiree as set forth to be eligible for benefits continuation into retirement. An individual who has retired from another State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan may not count such retirement service toward meeting the criteria for being a career employee.
For employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, the Employer Contribution for healthcare insurance will be based on years of service with the University System of Georgia. Employees retiring with 10 years of service with the University System of Georgia will receive a 15% employer contribution toward their retiree health plan costs. For each additional year of service, the employer’s contribution will increase by 3% up to 25 years of service, after which the employer contribution will increase by 2% to a maximum of 70%.
Employees who become permanently and totally disabled under the criteria established by the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia and who also have at least 9.5 years of continuous service with the University System of Georgia, even though they may not be members of the Teachers Retirement System, shall remain eligible for employee and dependent group health and life insurance benefits. The University System shall continue to pay its portion of the cost of group insurance for disabled career employees.
Other employees who are disabled based on the same criteria may remain in the group health and life insurance program for a period of twelve months with full University System participation in the cost. The inclusion in the group may continue after the twelve month period, but University System participation in the cost shall cease.
The dependents of an employee who dies while in active service or the dependents of a retired employee (either of whom was eligible for retirement under the criteria established by the Teachers Retirement System and who has at least ten years of service with the University System of Georgia, even though he/she may not be a member of the Teachers Retirement System) may remain in the group for life and health insurance purposes with the University System participation in the cost.
Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA), an employee or dependents may have the option of continuing coverage under the benefits plan(s) for a period of time, paying the required premiums, after termination of employment.