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440 Fringe Benefits

440.01 Social Security

All full-time and part-time employees who are members of a retirement system are enrolled and protected by Social Security from the first day of employment. Part-time employees who do not join a retirement system are not eligible to participate in Social Security, but such employees hired or rehired after March 31, 1986, will be covered for Medicare and have the applicable premium deducted from their checks. Employees are not required to participate in the Social Security program if they hold a J-1 or F-1 visa, yet, they may select a retirement program. The Social Security plan helps provide a retirement allowance for employees and their spouses, provides a survivor's allowance for children under 18 and for dependent parents, and disability benefits for employees who become disable before age 65. Additional information may be obtained from the local Social Security Office located in Rochester.

440.02 Survivor's Benefits

If, at retirement, an employee elects a retirement benefit option, which provides income benefits to a named beneficiary following the death of the employee, the beneficiary becomes eligible for Survivor's Benefits under the following conditions. Employees will be eligible to have a Survivor's Benefit paid on their behalf if:

  1. While in state service, they either:
    1. Retire from any retirement system or pension plan supported by state funds other than the State University Optional program; or
    2. Retire from the State University Optional Retirement program after age 55; or
    3. Leave state service after age 62; and
  2. They had at least 10 years of full-time service within the 15 years immediately prior to leaving or retiring from state service. State service includes only employment for which a salary was paid directly by the state. The amount received will depend upon date of retirement. For employees who retired between October 1, 1966 and March 31, 1970, the benefit is $2,000. For employees retiring after April 1, 1970, the benefit is $3,000. Employees must designate a beneficiary at the time of retirement if the Single Life Option is chosen.

440.03 Worker's Compensation

  1. All state employees (faculty, professionals, classified) are covered by Worker's Compensation Insurance for on the job injuries. Accidents or injuries should be reported immediately to your supervisor and the Personnel Office.
  2. As soon as possible after the injury, employees must complete a Worker's compensation claim form. A claim form should be completed even for injuries that, at the time, seem insignificant.

440.04 Retirement Plans

All full-time employees must join a retirement plan. Three plans are available: New York State Teachers' Retirement System (TRS), New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (ERS), and Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF). Full-time appointees to the professional staff must elect one of these plans within 30 days of their appointment or they will be required by statute to join the New York State Teachers' Retirement System. Part-time employees may enroll in one of the state defined benefit plans only, but are not required to do so unless they already have active memberships, in which case they must continue those memberships. Civil Service employees are only eligible to join the New York State Employees' Retirement System.

All employees hired since July 27, 1976 must contribute three (3) percent of gross salary as their share of the cost. In addition, for TIAA-CREF members, the State contributes nine (9) percent of the first $16,500 of salary and 12 percent of the salary in excess of $16,500 each calendar year. For employees appointed before July 27, 1976, the State contributes an additional three (3) percent at each level bringing the State's contribution rate to 12 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The state's contribution percentage for enrollees in the two state systems is actuarially determined at the time of enrollment and averages about 10 percent. Credited full-time service of at least 10 years is required for vesting in the state systems. TIAA-CREF members are vested after 13 months of continuous full-time service. The state systems are "defined benefit plans" under which retirement benefits are computed as a percentage of final average salary for each year of service. The TIAA-CREF retirement program is a "defined contribution plan" under which premiums are remitted to an annuity account and the retirement benefits are actuarially determined based upon the value of the annuity fund at retirement.

Questions relating to retirement should be directed to the Benefits Officer in the Personnel Office.

440.05 Health Insurance

Eligible SUNY Brockport employees may select a health insurance option from among four health insurance plans. The Empire Plan provides hospitalization coverage through Blue Cross and medical and major medical insurance through the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) coverage is offered through the Genesee Valley Group Health Association, Preferred Care, and Blue Choice.

For all full-time employees and eligible part-time employees, the state pays 90 percent of the cost of individual coverage and 75 percent of dependent coverage for all options during periods of active service. The difference, if any, between the state's contribution and the premium for the selected health insurance option is paid by the employee through payroll deduction. For Empire Plan members, other costs include annual deductibles and co-payments. For all options, employees on leave without pay must pay the full cost of benefits through direct payments in order to continue their coverage.

Assuming an employee files a timely application, coverage under the elected health insurance option begins on the 43rd day following employment. Appointees not applying within 43 days of appointment will be considered late enrollees and coverage will not become effective until the first day of the fifth pay period following enrollment. All employees may request a change in option during an option transfer period each November. Such requests will be effective at the beginning of the next calendar year.

Part-time academic employees teaching two courses or more, or employed at salaries of $8000 or more, are eligible for full participation in the health insurance program. Part-time professional employees are eligible if their salary rate ensures that they will receive $8,000, $8,500, and $9,000between July 1 and June 30 for periods ending in 1989, 1990, 1991 respectively. Part-time employees who do not meet the eligibility criterion shall be permitted to participate in a health insurance program only by paying the full premium cost.

Detailed booklets explaining the coverage provided by the various health insurance options and lists of participating physicians are available from the Benefits Officer in the Personnel Office.

440.06 Dental Insurance

The dental insurance plans available to employees are comprehensive plans designed to provide financial assistance to employees and their families in meeting the cost of dental care. Generally, the Dental Program provides paid-in-full coverage when participating providers are used, and reimbursement according to a schedule of fees when non-participating providers are used. Claim forms and booklets describing benefits are available from the Benefits Officer in the Personnel Office.

440.07 Long-Term Disability

Members of the professional staff automatically are enrolled in the Long-Term Disability Insurance Program upon initial appointment. There is no cost to employees for participation in this program. Coverage becomes effective for eligible employees on the first of the month following completion of one year of service. All full-time employees are eligible. Part-time professional employees are eligible if they are employed at a salary rate of $8000, and part-time academic employees are eligible if they either teach two or more courses in any one semester or are employed at an $8000 salary rate.

When an employee is disabled for a period beyond six months, this insurance, together with any applicable Workers' Compensation or Social Security benefits, will maintain the employee's salary at 60 percent of the base monthly salary, up to a maximum of $5,000 per month.

This insurance program also includes payments to a TIAA-CREF retirement annuity as a percentage of base annual salary. For TIAA-CREF members, such contributions would be remitted to their existing accounts. For members of ERS or TRS, an annuity account would be established with TIAA-CREF, and, at retirement, employees would receive benefits from this annuity account as well as from the retirement system which they joined.

440.08 Life Insurance

  1. TIAA Group Life Insurance (optional) is available in renewable five year terms. For a copy of TIAA's descriptive brochure, contact the Personnel Office.
  2. Management/Confidential Life Insurance is available to all Management/Confidential Employees.
  3. UUP Free Life Insurance: UUP provides $6,000 in term life insurance for the professional staffs it represents. Contact your local UUP chapter president for details.

440.09 Unemployment Insurance

State employees are eligible for unemployment insurance the same as employees in private industry. Employees can get information about eligibility from the local office of the New York State Department of Labor and from the Personnel Office.

440.10 Tax Sheltered Annuities

Several tax sheltered programs are now available to employees depending on their negotiating unit. Tax sheltered programs allow employees to enter into an agreement with their employer to reduce their salaries and have the amount of reduction contributed to a retirement annuity account. Funds so contributed are before tax dollars and employees do not have to pay taxes on these earnings until they actually start drawing them out of the annuity account at retirement. For details on these tax sheltered savings programs contact the Benefits Officer.

440.11 Savings Bond Program

The College participates in the Payroll Savings Bond. Enrollment cards and descriptive brochures are available from the Personnel Office.

440.12 Credit Union

  1. All state employees are eligible to become members of the New York State Employees' Federated Credit Union which is a cooperative savings and loan associate owned and operated by its members. The purpose of our credit union is two-fold:
    1. To promote thrift among its members through systematic savings.
    2. To establish a source of credit at reasonable rates of interest for those members who find it necessary to borrow.
  2. For further information about the credit union contact the Credit Union Office in Rochester (272-0020). The office is open Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It is located on the Brighton Campus, 2024 West Henrietta Road, which is located on the east side of West Henrietta Roadbetween Crittenden Road and the 390 expressway.

440.13 Miscellaneous Insurance

A number of additional insurance programs are available to employees as a function of their employment and their negotiating unit, but the employee or the employee's union must pay premiums. They include: Automobile & Homeowner/Tenants Insurance, Catastrophe Major Medical Insurance Plan, NYSUT Legal Service Plan, AFT Life Insurance, AFT Medicare Supplement Insurance, and the AFT Retired Teachers Supplemental In Hospital and Nursing Home Plan.

440.14 Tuition Waivers

Tuition Assistance - Professional staff who wish to take courses within SUNY may receive tuition assistance through two programs.

  1. The Tuition Assistance Program is provided to professional employees as a result of negotiations between the State and (UUP), which allows employees to register for one tuition-free course per semester on a "space available" basis through a special registration process.
  2. The Tuition Waiver Program: Employees who are at least half-time and have six months of continuous State service are eligible for tuition waivers. Fifty percent of cost is routinely waived as long as funding lasts. One hundred percent of tuition cost is waived only when an educational program is job required and is approved by the appropriate vice president. Courses must be SUNY-sponsored and they must be for college credit. The number of tuition waivers available is limited by funding.
  3. Approval for study at a unit external to SUNY can be given only if the course is not offered at a SUNY unit. Assistance will be for tuition only and is limited to $25.00 per credit hour at the 100 percent reimbursement level.
  4. Prior to registration for courses, interested staff should call the Personnel Office for an explanation of procedures.
  5. Tuition waiver allocations are received each year from Central Administration, and the College must limit its total dollar waivers to these allocations.

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