Faculty Handbook: Benefits and Employment
The fringe benefit package for eligible university employees is designed to protect employees and/or their families from significant financial loss resulting from illness, disability, or death, while providing for a generous retirement income. Coupled with vacation and sick leave, educational benefits, and holidays, the university’s comprehensive benefits package adds a value of many hundreds of dollars to an employee’s regular income. See the Human Resources Benefits website at http://hr.uark.edu/benefits/default.aspx for more detailed information.
The following list represents several major elements of the fringe benefits package. Please note that all faculty members appointed at least half-time in a regular position are eligible to participate in the following programs. As a condition of employment, all employees must enroll for benefits within 31 days of the appointment date to be guaranteed enrollment.
- Medical Insurance: Employees may choose from the Point of Service Plan or the Classic Plan. The University of Arkansas health coverage plan is administered by UMR, a division of United Health Care. Through UMR, employees will have access to a nation-wide network of participating providers. For a comparison of the coverages available see http://hr.uark.edu/Medical_Plan_Comparison.pdf. The university's contribution for 75-100 percent appointed employees for the Point of Service Plan will average 73.519 percent (Fayetteville) and 74.295 percent (Division of Agriculture). The university's contribution for 75-100 percent appointed employees for the Classic Plan will average 81.178 percent (Fayetteville) and 79.905 percent (Division of Agriculture) (Premiums for employees with appointments of 50-74 percent will be prorated.) For a full premium listing, see http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf. The Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas reserves the right to change, amend, discontinue or terminate the plan at any time.
- Dental Insurance: Employees are eligible to participate in a dental plan through Delta Dental of Arkansas. For a review of coverage see http://hr.uark.edu/Dental_Benefits_Summary.pdf The university’s contribution for 75-100 percent appointed employees will be 50 percent (Fayetteville) and 51.46 percent (Divisions of Agriculture). (Premiums for employees with appointments of 50-74 percent will be prorated.) See http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf for a list of premiums.
- Vision Insurance: Employees are eligible to participate in a vision insurance plan through Superior Vision. For a review of coverage see http://hr.uark.edu/81.aspx Employees pay 100 percent of the premium. See http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf for a list of premiums.
- Regular Life Insurance: provides coverage equal to the employee’s salary, up to a $50,000 maximum. The university pays the entire cost of this life insurance coverage. This program is mandatory for all eligible employees.
- Optional Life Insurance: provides coverage based upon one, two, three or four times the employee’s salary. The employee pays the entire cost for this coverage. Rate is based upon the employee’s age and the coverage is a $500,000 maximum. For a list of premiums see http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf.
- Dependent Life Insurance: provides coverage of $10,000, $15,000, or $20,000 for the employee’s spouse and 50 percent of spouse coverage per eligible dependent child to age 19 (unless a full-time student, then to age 25). The employee pays 100 percent of this coverage. For a list of premiums see http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance: may be elected in $25,000 increments from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $300,000 (for salaries under $20,000: limited to closest $25,000 increment equal to 15 times the annual salary). The employee may also cover a family with 60 percent of employee coverage for spouse and 20 percent of the coverage for eligible dependent child(ren) to age 25. The employee pays the entire amount for this coverage. For a list of premiums see http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf.
- Optional Short Term Disability Insurance: Effective January 1, 2014, Non-Classified employees will be able to purchase Optional Short Term Disability Insurance that will cover their salaries up to a maximum covered salary of $216,000. Employees will be able to enroll in the Optional Short Term Disability Insurance during the Open Enrollment period held in November, with the coverage effective January 1, 2014. This Open Enrollment period will be the last time that eligible employees will be able to enroll in the Optional Short Term Disability coverage without having to complete Evidence of Insurability requirements (subject to underwriting approval). You can get the Short Term Disability application from Human Resources (222 ADMN, 479-572-2167, or firstname.lastname@example.org). The application is also available from the Benefits Section of Human Resources website, http://hr.uark.edu/benefits/default.aspx (see “How do I....File a disability claim?”).
- Long-term Disability Insurance: provides 60 percent of salary (after a waiting period) that is coordinated with Social Security and Workers’ Compensation benefits. The university will provide coverage, at no cost, for up to $20,000 in salary. This program is mandatory for all eligible employees.
- Supplemental Long-term Disability Insurance: provides the same coverage as basic long-term disability for salary amounts above $20,000 per year up to a maximum covered salary of $100,000. The employee pays the entire cost for this coverage. For a list of premiums see http://hr.uark.edu/Insurance_Premiums.pdf
- Participation in a retirement plan: is mandatory for all benefits-eligible faculty/staff. At new hire, eligible employees will have 31 days to make an irrevocable decision to participate in either a Defined Contribution Plan (403B/457B) or a Defined Benefit Plan (Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System). The UA providers for the Defined Contribution 403B/457B plans: are TIAA-CREF and Fidelity. The University will contribute a sum equal to 5 percent of the employee’s salary into TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity for retirement benefits with no employee contribution required for benefits-eligible employees. Employees may elect to have a portion of their salaries contributed to their retirement accounts on either a tax-deferred or Roth after tax basis. Benefits-eligible employee contributions to retirement will be matched by the University, not to exceed a 10 percent University contribution. Employees may also contribute an amount greater than 10 percent up to maximums allowable by IRS regulations. The Defined Contribution Plans are immediately vested for faculty and non-classified staff and delayed vested for classified staff. The 457B plan allows employees to tax defer additional contributions after they have reached their tax-deferred limits under the 403B plan. PLEASE NOTE: The combined total of matching employer contributions for Defined Contribution plans cannot exceed 10 percent of the employee’s salary, including the 5 percent mandatory employer contribution. See Human Resources website at http://hr.uark.edu/benefits/default.aspx for the most current retirement information.
- The provider for the Defined Benefit Plan is the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS). APERS is available to all benefits-eligible employees and has a mandatory employee contribution of 5 percent with an employer contribution of 14.88 percent. APERS contributions are subject to change pursuant to changes in Arkansas law. APERS retirement accounts are vested after five years of participation in the plan.
- Voluntary Products: See http://hr.uark.edu/benefits/530.aspx for the Voluntary Products section. The university offers as Voluntary Products Group Rated Auto/Home Insurance (administered by Liberty Mutual), Critical Illness Insurance (administered by MetLife), and Long Term Care Insurance (administered by CNA).
- The Cafeteria Plan (per IRS Code, section 125): allows employees to “tax shelter” major medical, dental, and vision insurance premiums from federal, state, and Social Security taxes. This requires employees to sign-up and a “drop” period is allowed once a year. In addition, the university also offers a “flexible spending account” program for unreimbursed medical and dependent care expenses.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): The EAP provides confidential counseling, information, and management consultation for employees who experience some form of personal distress. See http://hr.uark.edu/benefits/124.aspx for additional information.
- Dual Career Network: The Dual Career Network is designed to inform the relocating partners of UA employees of employment resources and opportunities in Northwest Arkansas. This resource is free to partners of employees recently relocated or candidates being actively recruited by the University of Arkansas. For additional information see http://hr.uark.edu/391.aspx.