Section 7.  Benefits

 

7-1 Health Insurance
7-2 Dental Insurance
7-3 Health and Dental Insurance and COBRA
7-4 Reimbursement Accounts for Health and Dependent Care
7-5 Life Insurance
7-6 Short Term Disability Insurance
7-7 Long Term Disability Insurance
7-8 Retirement Plans
7-9 Tax Deferred Annuity Retirement Benefits
7-10 Benefits for Families of Deceased Employees

 

This section provides an overview of insurance benefits. The insurance benefits plan documents are detailed, set forth a number of eligibility requirements, and are controlling and provide the "final word" on the insurance benefits coverage and eligibility. Please contact the Human Resources Office or visit the Benefits section under HR on the My Wellesley portal  for full details of the College's insurance benefit's plan and a copy of those summary plan descriptions.

7-1 Health Insurance

The College currently offers employees two options:

  1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care HMO network includes Harvard Vanguard Centers, which offer most services at a single location, Medical Group Practices, which offer many services at a single location, and thousands of independent primary and specialty care physician providers in the traditional private office setting. Each family member can choose the method of care that provides the best arrangement for that individual.
  2. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care PPO Plus HSA Plan is a preferred provider network organization (PPO). The plan provides incentives for you to work with a physician within the network (the same network as the Harvard Pilgrim HMO) but also provides for care outside the network, subject to deductibles and co-payments. You may also be able to participate in a Health Savings Account with WageWorks if you are a member of this Plan. Please refer to the information about the Health Savings Account (HSA) for details about this plan in the Benefits section under HR on the My Wellesley portal.

Literature outlining specific plan details and currently premium rate information is available in the Benefits Office, as well as in the Benefits section under HR on the My Wellesley portal.

Coverage is effective on the first of the month coincident with or next following your date of employment. There is no waiting period.

Eligibility: All regular administrative employees who work at least 17 1/2 hours per week for at least nine months per year currently are eligible for coverage. You may elect individual coverage for yourself, or family coverage for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under age 26.

College Contribution: The College currently contributes 75% of health plan cost. Rates are subject to change at any time although typically rates change January 1st of each year.

Employee Contribution: Employees currently contribute 25% of the cost of their health insurance. The College makes these deductions on a before-tax basis.

Enrollment: If you chose not to enroll in a health plan, you will be eligible for an opt out incentive.  You may reverse that decision once each year, during the open-enrollment period.  The College reserves the right to eliminate the opt out program at any time.  

If you are covered by health insurance through your spouse's employer and lose your eligibility for that coverage (due to spouse's termination of employment, etc.), contact the Benefits Office for information on off-cycle enrollment within 30 days of your loss of coverage.

Health Insurance For Special Situations:

  1. Health Insurance age 60 with at least ten years of service: For those who have elected to retire at age 60 or more with at least ten years of service and who are enrolled in College health insurance at the time of their retirement, the College will pay the portion of medical premiums it pays for all employees up to the first of the month in which the person reaches age 65, provided such is permitted under applicable law and the College's health insurance plan then in effect.
  2. Health Insurance for Administrative Employees Age 65 and Over: Coverage remains the same for active administrative employees age 65 and over as it was prior to age 65. If you are enrolled in a college sponsored health plan, however, it is not necessary for you to enroll in Medicare until you terminate employment. (link to ssa.gov and/or Medicare.gov)
  3. Health Insurance for Employees on Total Disability: Employees who have been determined to be totally disabled under the College's total disability insurance can remain enrolled in the College's group health insurance during the period of total disability, until such time as they become eligible for Medicare, provided such is permitted under applicable law and the College's insurance plans then in effect.

Health Insurance for Families of Deceased Employees: The College allows surviving family members of deceased employees the option of retaining group coverage at the employee cost for five months. After five months the surviving family members may maintain their coverage under COBRA (see below), but the College does not contribute to the cost.
 

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7-2 Dental Insurance

The College offers dental insurance for eligible administrative staff and faculty. Literature outlining specific plan provisions and current premium rate information is available in the Benefits Office as well as in the Benefits section under HR on the My Wellesley portal.   Coverage is effective on the first of the month coincident with or next following your date of employment. There is no waiting period. Information on dental plans is available in the Benefits Office or through Delta Dental.

Eligibility: All administrative employees who work 17 1/2 hours per week or more for at least nine months per year are eligible for coverage. You may elect individual coverage for yourself, or family coverage for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under age 26.

Employees enrolled in the dental plan who retire before age 65 may continue to participate in the dental plan until the first of the month in which they reach age 65. The college contribution continues during this time

College Contribution: The College currently contributes 80% of the cost of individual coverage and 50% of the cost of family coverage. Rates are subject to change at any time although typically rates change January 1st of each year.

Employee's Contribution: Employees currently contribute 20% of the cost of individual dental insurance and 50% of the cost of family dental insurance. The College makes these deductions on a before-tax basis.

Enrollment: If you choose not to enroll in the dental plan, you may reverse that decision once each year, during the open-enrollment period.

If you are covered by dental insurance through you spouse's employer and lose your eligibility for that coverage (due to spouse's termination of employment, etc.) contact the Benefits Office for information on off-cycle enrollment within 30 days of your loss of coverage.

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7-3 Health and Dental Insurance and Cobra-The Right to Retain Health Insurance

COBRA, The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal law that requires most employers sponsoring group health plans to offer temporary extension of health coverage at 102% of full group rates under certain circumstances in which the coverage would otherwise end. This is called continuation coverage.

Employees of Wellesley College who lose group coverage because of a reduction in hours or because of termination of employment for reasons other than their gross misconduct are entitled to this continuation coverage for 18 months.

Spouse and Dependent family members of Wellesley College employees are entitled to continuation coverage for 36 months if they lose their coverage:

  • Because of the death of the employed family member
  • Because of the termination of that family member's employment for reasons other  than gross misconduct
  • Because of divorce or legal separation
  • Because the employed family member becomes entitled to Medicare
  • Because a dependent ceases to be a "dependent child" under the plan

Continuation coverage may be cut short if:

  • Wellesley College no longer provides any group health/dental plan to any of its employees
  • The premium for coverage is not paid on time
  • The qualified beneficiary becomes entitled to Medicare after the date he or she elects COBRA coverage
  • The qualified beneficiary becomes covered - after the date he or she elects COBRA coverage - under another group health/dental plan.
  • The qualified beneficiary extends coverage for up to 29 months due to disability and there has been a final determination that the individual is no longer disabled.

WageWorks is the third party administrator of the COBRA health/dental plan.  WageWorks will notify you of your eligibility and will issue the invoices for COBRA payments. Invoices must be paid within thirty days of the date of the invoice or COBRA coverage will be terminated.

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7-4 Reimbursement Accounts for Health and Dependent Care

The flexible spending/reimbursement account is administered by WageWorks.

Eligibility: Administrative employees working at least 17 1/2 hours per week, 9 months per year or more may enroll in a redirection agreement which provides a Federal, State and FICA tax shelter for funds used for eligible dependent care expenses or health related expenses that are not covered by health or dental insurance. Further detailed information, including enrollment forms and claim forms, are available in the Benefits Office or through WageWorks.

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7-5 Life Insurance

The College sponsors a group term life insurance plan for eligible employees.

Eligibility: All regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible for the group term life insurance coverage. You are eligible to be enrolled on the first of the month coincident with or next following your employment date.

Eligible employees working a minimum of 9 months per year will be eligible for coverage on the first of the month coincident with or next following date of hire.

Enrollment in the Plan is done through Workday.

Noncontributory Life Insurance: The College provides to all eligible employees noncontributory life insurance equal to 100% of their annual salary rounded to the next highest $1,000.

Contributory Life Insurance: In addition to non-contributory coverage, you may elect to participate in the contributory portion of this plan and receive additional insurance equal to:

You can purchase 1, 2, 3 or 4 times your Basic Annual Earnings up to the Combined Maximum Benefit or $900,000 whichever is less. Guaranteed Issue amount is 2x your Basic Annual Earnings. Benefits cease at retirement.

Contributory insurance payments must be made through payroll deductions.

Insurance Amount at Retirement: If you were hired prior to January 1, 1995 and you retire at 65 or later with at least ten years of full-time service (35 hours per week, nine months per year or more), the College will provide $2,500 of life insurance coverage if you were an exempt employee and $1,000 of coverage if you were a non-exempt employee. The College pays the entire cost of this coverage. Employees hired on or after 1/1/95 are ineligible for this benefit.

Beneficiary: When you enroll in life insurance coverage, you must designate a beneficiary. This beneficiary may be any person or persons, including your estate, but not Wellesley College. You may change your beneficiary at any time.

Conversion Privilege: If your employment with the College terminates, you may exercise your "conversion privilege" and convert to an individual life insurance policy. You must apply within 31 days of termination, and you do not have to submit evidence of insurability. Should you die during this 31-day period, the amount of your life insurance will be paid whether or not you have used the "conversion privilege."

Deductions for Summer Months for Academic Year Employees:

Pre-tax insurance deductions based on either weekly (52) or monthly (12) pay schedules. If you miss a pay period or if your schedule is less than full year, the premiums due will go into arrears (except for HSA, FSA and Retirement plan elections). When you return to work and receive pay, anything in arrears will be double deducted on the next pay cycle until the balance due is paid in full.

For Academic year employees who work in a casual wage position during the summer, insurance deductions will be taken from pay received.

If you are on an unpaid leave of absence you will be direct billed for your insurance premiums. 

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7-6 Short-Term Disability Insurance

Please refer to Section 3-3 of the Administrative Handbook.

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7-7 Long-Term Disability Insurance

Please refer to Section 3-4 of the Administrative Handbook.

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7-8 Retirement Plans

Below appears a brief general summary of retirement benefits. Employees may request a copy of the actual plan documents from the Benefits Office in Human Resources. The plan documents govern the terms of the plan. The descriptions set forth in the Handbook are intended to provide a summary only, and these descriptions do not supersede, modify or replace the terms contained in the plan documents.

Wellesley College 403(b) Retirement Plan

Employees working 17.5 hours per week or more are eligible to participate in the College’s retirement plan effective the first day of the month following12 months from their date of hire as long as the employee completes an Enrollment Form. The College contribution is 9% on compensation up to one-half of the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB) plus 12% on compensation above one-half of the SSWB. The College also offers a match component, as described below. To qualify for the additional match component, employees must open a Tax-Deferred Annuity account with TIAA-CREF and complete a Salary Reduction Agreement Form. The match will occur in even increments up to 1% as follows:

Employee Voluntary Contribution to TDA   College Match to Regular Retirement Account
1% 1/3 of 1%
2% 2/3 of 1%
3% 1%

Vesting: Once eligible, you will become fully vested the first month after you submit the completed application forms. Full vesting means that the contributions by the College to TIAA are fully owned by you as soon as the contracts are issued.

Retirement Benefits: When you retire you are entitled to receive a monthly or other periodic income under one of the several options available. All options provide for income to a spouse or other beneficiary.

To initiate procedures for receipt of retirement income benefits, you should contact TIAA directly by calling 1-800-842-2888, or visit their website.

Death Benefits: If you should die before retirement, the full current value of your TIAA-CREF contracts will be payable to your designated beneficiaries.

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7-9 Tax-Deferred Annuity Retirement Benefits (TDA)

Under the IRS Code 403 (b)(7), you are permitted to set aside tax-deferred supplemental retirement funds in addition to the amounts being contributed by the College to the TIAA regular retirement plan. Currently, the College has a TDA arrangements with TIAA. Employees may request a copy of the plan brochures from the Human Resources Office.

Eligibility: All benefits-eligible employees are eligible to participate. You may begin, change or discontinue contributions at any time after you have completed the appropriate application forms and a Salary Reduction Agreement.

Plan Contributions: Contributions to a TDA are made entirely by you; there is no College contribution. Any contributions you make are tax-deferred for purposes of federal income tax and state taxes also; you will still pay FICA taxes on these funds. You will pay income tax on these funds at the time of withdrawal. Funds withdrawn before you are age 59 1/2 are subject to severe tax penalties.

The maximum allowable amount may change each calendar year; if you wish to know the maximum amount you may contribute, you may call the Human Resources Office. You may change your monthly reduction more than once each calendar year, as long as you do not exceed your maximum allowable amount.

Retirement Benefits: At your retirement, you may begin receiving a monthly annuity or other periodic payments under one of several options available or you may take a lump sum withdrawal.

Social Security (FICA): The College and its employees participate in the Social Security Program. The College matches dollar for dollar the FICA taxes withheld from employees' pay and pays that amount to the employee's account under the Social Security system. Benefits are payable for death, disability, and retirement under Social Security. Descriptive literature is available from the Social Security Office or on-line at www.ssa.gov.

Wellesley College Pension Plan "Frozen Benefit": The Wellesley College Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan established on June 1, 1952 and is designed to provide monthly income at retirement. There is a five-year vesting requirement in this Plan.

All eligible administrative employees are now enrolled in the Wellesley College 403(b) Retirement Plan. However, if you were employed prior to June 30, 1982 in a position classified at that time in Grades 10 through 16, however, you may have a vested benefit under the Wellesley College Pension Plan. The following schedule indicates when non-exempt employees became eligible for TIAA:

Grade 16...7/1/77
Grade 15...7/1/78
Grade 14...7/1/80
Grade 13...7/1/81
Grades 12, 11, 10...7/1/82

At the time you became eligible for TIAA, the benefit accrued based on a normal retirement age of 65 under this Plan was frozen, and may be payable to you at retirement at age 65 or older or if you meet the "years of service" requirement. Staff members with frozen vested benefits were notified by the Human Resources Office.

Eligibility: As a Classified employee (grades 10-16) you were eligible to participate in the Plan if you met the following requirements:

  • You were employed on a regular basis and worked at least 17.5 hours per week
  • You were hired prior to your 60th birthday, and
  • You were not eligible for the TIAA plan

Waiting Period: There was no waiting period under the Plan. Eligible employees were automatically enrolled on the 1st day of the month following their date of employment.

Statement of ERISA Rights

Participants in benefit plans are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

ERISA provides that all participants shall be entitled to:

  1. Examine, without charge, at the Human Resources Office all plan documents, (including collective bargaining agreements) and copies of all documents filed by the plan with the U.S. Department of Labor (such as detailed annual reports and plan descriptions.)
  2. Obtain copies of all benefit plan documents and other plan information upon written request to the Plan Administrator. The Administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.
  3. Receive a summary of the annual ERISA reports to the Department of Labor. The Administrator of the plans is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of the summary annual reports.

ERISA sets forth the duties of the people who are responsible for the operation of benefit plans. The people who operate the plans have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries. No one, including the employer, may discharge or otherwise discriminate against participants in any way to prevent them from obtaining benefits to which they are entitled under the plans or exercising their rights under ERISA. If an application for benefits under a plan is denied in whole or in part, the participant or beneficiary must receive a written explanation of the reasons for the denial. Participants have the right to have the Administrator review and reconsider denied applications or requests on eligibility, participation, or other aspects of the operation of any plan and to have the insurance company review and reconsider denied claims under a group insurance contract.

Under ERISA, participants may take steps to enforce their rights. For example, if a participant requests materials from a plan and does not receive them within 30 days, he or she may file suit in a federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Plan Administrator to provide the materials and pay the participant up to $110 a day until he or she receives the materials, unless the materials were not sent due to reasons beyond the control of the Administrator. If a claim for benefits is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, the participant may file suit in a state or federal court. If the Plan Administrator's responsibility to remit any plan premiums is not discharged according to the terms of a benefit plan or if a participant is discriminated against for asserting ERISA rights, he or she may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or may file suit in a federal court. The court will decide who should pay the court costs and legal fees. If the participant is successful, the court may order the person sued to pay these costs and fees. If the participant loses, the court may order him or her to pay these costs and fees if it finds, for example, that the claim is frivolous.

Contact the Plan Administrator if you have any questions about the benefit plans. If a participant has any questions about this statement or about rights under ERISA, he or she should contact the nearest Area Office of the U.S. Labor-Management Services Administration, Department of Labor.

Summary Plan Descriptions are available in the Benefits Office.

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7-10 Benefits for Families of Deceased Employees

Health Insurance for Families of Deceased Employees: The College allows surviving spouse and dependent family members of deceased employees the option of retaining group coverage at the employee cost for five months. After five months the surviving family members may maintain their coverage under COBRA (see below), but the College does not contribute to the cost.

Wellesley College 403(b) Retirement Plan: If you should die before retirement, the full current value of your TIAA contracts will be payable to your designated beneficiaries.

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