Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance
SECTION: PERSONNEL INDEX: C-2
SUBJECT: EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
The University of Houston System provides a number of standard benefits programs for eligible employees including: group insurance covering health, dental, disability, life, and pre-tax reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent care, retirement programs, paid holidays, paid and unpaid leave, staff development and training, longevity pay, hazardous duty pay, unemployment compensation insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and Social Security. This policy presents a general description of these programs.
Standard employee benefits programs are developed and administered in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and other applicable state and federal laws and regulations. The university human resources department is responsible for administration of most standard benefits programs.
It is the policy of the University of Houston System that employee eligibility, premium sharing, and other aspects of benefits programs shall be uniform and consistent throughout all component universities and shall be in accordance with provisions of the General Appropriations Act, the regulations of the Coordinating Board and other applicable state and federal agencies.
For the purpose of this policy statement, a regular employee is defined as one who is employed to work at least 20 hours per week for a period of at least 4.5 continuous months, or a full semester or more than four (4) months, excluding students employed in positions which require student status as a condition of employment.
All regular employees are eligible to receive coverage for themselves and eligible family members in the group insurance program under the Group Benefits Program (GBP), administered through the Employees Retirement System (ERS). The program provides coverage for basic health and life as well as the employee elections for dependent coverage and optional life, AD&D, dental, long and short-term disability, pre-tax premiums, and pre-tax reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent care.
Eligible full time employees are automatically enrolled in basic plan coverage for themselves on the first day of the month following their 90th day of employment. The State credit is applied and pays the premium cost for basic plan coverage. Eligible employees that are less than full time are required to pay the designated premium for health coverage and must complete an enrollment form within the required enrollment period according to ERS regulations. Dependent enrollment must also be completed within the required ERS enrollment period.
An employee may elect optional coverage to become effective on the first day of employment by completing and submitting the enrollment forms to the human resources department on or before the first day of employment. Otherwise, the employee may submit completed forms for optional coverage to become effective on the first day of the following month. Completed forms for enrollment in optional coverage must be received by the human resources department within the first 30 days of employment in order to become effective on the first day of the following month.
Insurance coverage requested through completed forms for enrollment for optional coverage received by the component university human resources department after the first 30 days following the effective date of employment will be subject to approval by the insurance company through the evidence of insurability process, and cannot become effective until approval is granted by the insurance company.
Booklets and brochures that contain detailed information regarding coverage and premium costs may be obtained in the human resources department and the ERS Web site at www.ers.state.tx.us.
A regular employee is required, as condition of employment, to be a member of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) or the Optional Retirement System (ORP). All regular employees are eligible to participate in TRS, but only employees holding certain positions are eligible to participate in ORP. System Administrative Memorandum 02.C.05, Mandatory Retirement Programs, contains detailed information regarding TRS, and detailed information regarding ORP. http://www.uh.edu/policyservices/sam/2HumanResources/2C5.pdf
A State contribution is made through the System toward the employee's retirement plan (TRS or ORP), based on a percentage of the employee’s gross salary. The employee is also required to contribute a specific percentage of his or her gross salary toward the retirement plan. The percentage rate for the State contribution and the rate for the employee contribution are set by the State Legislature. The employee's contribution is tax-deferred.
A regular employee may also participate in supplemental retirement plans, with no contribution from the State or System, through the State's Deferred Compensation program (457) and/or the Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) program and/or the Roth 403 (b) program. For more detailed information on these programs, refer to System Administrative Memorandum 02.C.02 Supplemental Retirement Programs. http://www.uh.edu/policyservices/sam/2HumanResources/2C2.pdf
Regular employees are eligible for certain paid legal holidays authorized by the State Legislature. The schedule of specific holidays to be observed by employees is established by the System Board of Regents on recommendation of the Chancellor, based on recommendation by the component university presidents. System Administrative Memorandum 02.E.03, Holidays, contains detailed information regarding paid holidays. http://www.uh.edu/policyservices/sam/2HumanResources/2E3.pdf
The System provides paid leave for regular employees in accordance with State and federal guidelines. Please refer to UHV Policy C-1, Leaves of Absences for more detailed information regarding paid leave. http://www.uhv.edu/fin/policy/C/c-1.aspx
The System provides unpaid leave for regular employees in accordance with State and federal guidelines. The following listed System Administrative Memoranda and local policy contain detailed information regarding such leave:
Leave Without Pay – AM No. 02.D.03, UHV Policy C-1
Family Medical Leave – AM No. 02.D.06, UHV Policy C-26
STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
The university provides staff development and training benefits to all regular employees under the State Employees Training Act. Refer to UHV policy C-18, Employee Training and Development for detailed information. http://www.uhv.edu/fin/policy/C/c-18.aspx
The State of Texas provides longevity pay for each regular full-time non-academic employee in accordance with State Government Code 659.043. Detailed information concerning longevity pay may be obtained from the human resources department.
EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAM
Wellness activites are open to all employees; however, participation in some activities will require Supervisor approval. While employee participation is encouraged, it is completely voluntary. For details, please refer to UHV policy C-32, Employee Wellness Program. http://www.uhv.edu/fin/policy/c/C-32.aspx
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)
The University of Houston-Victoria currently contracts with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to provide an comprehensive, university-wide Employee Assistance Program. The program is open to all benefits eligible employees. More information about this program can be found at the UT EAP website: http://www.uteap.org
All faculty and staff are covered by the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act and may be eligible for weekly benefits payments during a period of unemployment. The Texas Workforce Commission determines if a former employee is eligible for unemployment compensation. The cost of unemployment compensation insurance is paid the university and no deductions are made from the employee pay for this purpose.
All employees paid through the payroll system are eligible, under the provisions of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act to receive monetary compensation and medical coverage for job-related injuries or illnesses in the event of injury, illness, or death while performing services for the university. Detailed information pertaining to reporting worker’s compensation accidents may be found on the web site at http://www.uhv.edu/fin/Safety/manual/workcompclaims.htm
As an employer, the university complies with the relevant provisions of the Social Security Act. All employees are required to participate in the federal Social Security program as a condition of employment.
Dr.Tim Hudson Date
Originating department: Human Resources New review date: May 2013
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