The Catholic University of America

Archived 6/13/13

Benefits

I. Introduction

The university offers employees and qualified dependents a variety of valuable and affordable benefits. This section is a brief description of the benefits available to regular employees of The Catholic University of America. For complete information on benefits, contact the Office of Human Resources.

 II. Group Health and Dental Plans

The Catholic University of America offers a choice of managed care health plans and dental plans and a freestanding dental insurance plan to regular full-time and regular part-time employees and qualified dependents. Participation is optional and the cost of the premiums for the health insurance is shared by the employee and the university. The university does not contribute to the premiums for the freestanding dental plan or to the health plan premiums for the employees on unpaid leave of absence except as required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Employees who wish to enroll in one of the health insurance plans must do so within the first thirty days of employment. Employees who do not enroll during the first thirty days of employment will not be able to enroll until the next open enrollment period unless extenuating circumstances exist. Employees may enroll in the freestanding dental plan at any time. For specific information, contact the Office of Human Resources.

Post-Termination Health Care Continuation - COBRA

Under Title X of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), the university offers continuation of health and/or dental insurance under certain circumstances. A regular employee is eligible for continuation of health care coverage if coverage was lost because of a reduction of hours or termination for reasons other than gross misconduct. Spouses and dependent children of employees or former employees may have the right to continue coverage in certain circumstances and within the limits required by COBRA.

In the event of the death of a retiree enrolled in family coverage in one of the health plans offered by CUA, the retiree's surviving spouse and eligible dependents may continue their coverage at the full group rate. The university does not contribute to the premium.

Persons electing to continue health care coverage under COBRA will be responsible for the full cost of the premium plus a 2 percent administrative fee. Premium rates and payment information are available from the Office of Human Resources.

Retiree Health Insurance

CUA retirees, as defined in the Retirement Policy, Section I, may continue their health care coverage after retirement (contingent upon the terms of the university's contracts with its insurance companies) at the full group rate with no contribution from the university. Rates and payment information are available from the Office of Human Resources.

 III. Group Life Insurance

At no cost to employees, the university provides regular full-time and part-time employees with term life insurance. The amount of the insurance is equal to the employee's annual salary rounded to the next higher multiple of $1000. It increases automatically as the employee's salary increases, up to a maximum of $500,000. The employee must complete a Beneficiary Designation Form within the first thirty days of employment.

Retirees (as defined in CUA's Retirement Policy, Section I) are covered by life insurance in the amount of $5,500. This amount decreases as the retiree's age increases. Contact the Office of Human Resources or the Life Insurance brochure previously distributed for details on the amount of coverage for each age group.

 IV. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all benefits eligible employees, their spouses and their dependents. A broad range of confidential assistance is available at no cost to employees and their families. The university pays the full cost of the EAP.

Employees and their dependents have access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to counselors trained to provide support in dealing with personal, family or work-related issues.

Additional information on the EAP is available through the Office of Human Resources.

 V. Long Term Disability

Every regular full-time and regular part-time employee who works thirty (30) hours or more per week is covered by the Long Term Disability Income Plan beginning on the first day of the month following one year of employment with the university. Regular faculty are eligible for coverage immediately upon employment. The university pays the full premium.

An employee who is absent for 90 consecutive calendar days because he/she is unable to work for medical reasons may be eligible for long term disability payments. If an employee believes that he/she may be eligible for long term disability income, the employee need not wait until the end of the 90-day waiting period to file an application. All sick leave and annual leave must be exhausted before long term disability payments can begin. The insurance carrier underwriting the university's plan determines an employee's eligibility for long term disability payments based on the terms and limits of the plan, and is responsible for payments made under the plan.

Any employee who wishes to apply for long term disability income should contact the Office of Human Resources.

 VI. Flexible Spending Accounts

The university offers employees the opportunity to enroll in either or both of two Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). Employees who enroll in a FSA can use pre-tax dollars to pay for certain unreimbursed medical expenses up to $3600 per year and/or dependent care expenses up to $5000 per year.

Use of the FSA will reduce an employee's taxable income. Employees designate, at the time of enrollment, the amount that will be withheld from each paycheck and forwarded to the employees' accounts. After incurring a covered expense, the employee submits receipts to the company administering the university's FSA benefit and is reimbursed. The amount designated by the employee at the time of enrollment cannot be stopped or changed during the plan year, except in the case of a family status change. A family status change is considered to be marriage, divorce, death or an immediate family member whose expenses were being paid by the FSA, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a spouse's employment.

Employees are advised to calculate the amount to be deposited each pay period very carefully. If the amount deposited in the FSA exceeds the actual covered expenses, the unused money is forfeited by the employee. In addition, money deposited for dependent care expenses cannot be used for unreimbursed medical expenses and vice versa.

Additional information on the Flexible Spending Account Program is available on the Office of Human Resources web site or in the Office of Human Resources.

 VII. Retirement

A. Eligibility

An employee is eligible for retirement if he or she is at least 60 years of age and his or her age plus continuous years of service in a regular benefits eligible position equal at least 75. The university values the contributions of its employees and encourages employees who have retired to remain a part of the university community. Several of the retiree benefits described in this policy are intended to encourage retirees to participate in university courses and events.

In the case of a tenured faculty member, the Provost, in consultation with the President, may determine that it is in the best interest of the university to approve retirement before age 60 provided that the faculty member's age and continuous years of service in a regular, benefits eligible position equal at least 75.

B. Retirement Planning

During their employment at CUA, employees are strongly encouraged to set financial goals and plan for retirement. The Retirement Plans established for eligible employees are administered by TIAA-CREF, the largest private pension plan in the United States. Employees in regular full-time or regular part-time positions who are at least 26 years old and who have at least one year of service with the university are required to participate in the university supported Retirement Annuity Plan. Eligible employees may elect to contribute 0.0 percent, 2.5 percent or 5.0 percent of their pre-tax incomes to their retirement plans. The university then contributes 5.0 percent, 7.5 percent or 10.0 percent, respectively, of the employees' pre-tax incomes to the plan. In addition to the Retirement Annuity plan, regular full-time and regular part-time employees may elect to participate in the Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA). There is no minimum age to participate in the SRA and there is no university contribution to the SRA.

Employees who are considering retirement may wish to meet one-on-one with a TIAA-CREF representative. TIAA-CREF and the university publish a list of dates when TIAA-CREF representatives are on campus to meet with employees. Additional information on scheduling a meeting with TIAA-CREF is available in the CUA Office of Human Resources

C. CUA Retirement Benefits

CUA retirees, as defined in section I, are eligible for several benefits, many of which are awarded to encourage retirees to continue to participate in aspects of the university which interest them. Retirement benefits include the following:

·       Retirees may continue their group health and dental care coverage after retirement (contingent upon the terms of the university's contracts with its insurance companies) at the full group rate. The university does not contribute to the premium. Rates and payment information are available in the Office of Human Resources. In the event of the death of a retiree enrolled in family coverage in one of the health plans offered by CUA, the retiree's surviving spouse and eligible dependents may continue their coverage at the full group rate.

·       The university provides retirees with life insurance in the amount of $5,500 at no cost to the retiree. The amount decreases as the retiree's age increases. Contact the Office of Human Resources or the life Insurance brochure distributed to benefits eligible employees for details on the amount of coverage for each age group.

·       Upon request, the university will issue to a retiree a permanent CUA identification card indicating retirement status. No annual update of the card is required.

·       Retirees may continue to receive tuition assistance benefits for spouses and dependent children by birth or adoption with the limitation that the benefit will be extended only if the spouse and dependent children were eligible at the time the employee retired and only for undergraduate programs. Retirees and their spouses may audit courses without charge, subject to the permission of the instructor of each course.

·       Borrowing privileges are continued at the CUA libraries upon presentation of a CUA identification card.

·       Retirees are invited to participate in CUA ceremonial, liturgical, and social functions. A CUA identification card may be required.

·       Retirees are welcome to request and receive copies of selected university publications.

·       Retirees may use their CUA identification cards to obtain a one-day temporary parking permit when visiting the campus.


For additional information about the CUA Retirement Plan or retirement benefits, contact the Office of Human Resources.

*See also the Tuition Assistance Policy for another benefit.