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Policies and Procedures

4.50 Fringe Benefits

Purpose

The University's fringe benefits are designed to attract and maintain a highly-motivated faculty and staff.  The University offers a comprehensive benefits package to meet the diverse needs of our employees and eligible dependents. The University contributes towards the cost of several benefit plans and for other benefit plans the University contributes the full amount. These benefits are provided to contribute to the financial health and well-being of our employees and help protect against economic hardships posed by illness, maternity, retirement, or death.

Policy

  1. Life Events 

    When an employee enrolls in benefits, the elections remain in effect through the end of the plan year. An employee cannot make any changes until the next open enrollment period unless there is a qualified life event and the benefit change is consistent with the event. In most cases, unless otherwise noted on the Human Resource Services website, employees have 30 days from the date of the event to make a change in benefits. Employees who do not make the change within the time period will not be able to enroll until the next open enrollment period. Examples of qualified events include, but are not limited to: change in marital status, birth or adoption of a child, loss of eligibility status by a covered dependent, or change in employment status that affects eligibility for coverage. For more information, view https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/life-events.

  2. Life Insurance 

    Life insurance provides a sum of money to designated beneficiaries upon the death of the insured employee. The University pays the full premium. Participation in the life insurance program is automatic for employees with a permanent appointment of half time (20 hours a week) or more for a minimum of nine months. Coverage is effective on the first day of active employment. For more information, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/life-ins.

  3. Long Term Disability Insurance and Retirement Protection Insurance 

    Long term disability (LTD) insurance provides salary replacement if an employee becomes totally disabled and unable to work. Employees qualify for LTD benefits if they become disabled under the terms of the Group Policy and have satisfied a waiting period of the latter of 90 working days or the date their accumulated sick leave expires. The University pays the full premium. Participation in the long term disability program is automatic for employees with a permanent appointment of half time (20 hours a week) or more for a minimum of nine months. Coverage begins on the first day of active employment. For more information, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/ltd.

     

    If enrolled within the TIAA university-sponsored retirement plan, the retirement protection insurance plan will continue both the employee and university contributions for employees who qualify for disability. Coverage is automatic and the premium cost is paid in full by the University. IPERS participants receive retirement protection insurance through IPERS. For more information, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/rpp.


  4.  Worker’s Compensation 

    All university employees are covered by Iowa Workers' Compensation. In the event of a workplace injury, all UNI employees are covered by Iowa Workers' Compensation which pays medical and indemnity benefits for employees injured on the job.

     

    Employees are required to report any injury on the job, regardless of how minor it may be, to their supervisor. An Employer's First Report of Injury form should be completed and submitted, preferably by the supervisor, within 24 hours of the injury. For additional instructions, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/workerscomp. For detailed information regarding Iowa Code for Workers’ Compensation benefits, visit Iowa Workforce Development web site (link to https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/).


  5. Retirement Annuity Plans 

    The State of Iowa requires all state employees to participate in an approved university-sponsored retirement program. The only exceptions are foreign nationals who are in the United States as trainees, professors, teachers, research assistants, specialists, and exchange scholars. Eligible employees must elect to participate in either Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) plan or the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) plan. If an employee does not choose a university-sponsored retirement program within 30 days of their eligibility date, they will be defaulted to IPERS participation. Once in a permanent appointment, participation, either by election or by default, is irrevocable and cannot be changed at any time during the University of Northern Iowa permanent appointment. An employee cannot make withdrawals from a university-sponsored retirement plan(s) while continuously employed at the University.

     

    IPERS

    The Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) is a defined benefit retirement plan. IPERS guarantees a lifetime monthly benefit payment, which is calculated using a formula based on years of service and salary. The University and the employee contribute to the plan. To learn more about IPERS, visit http://www.ipers.org/. For university eligibility requirements, coverage start date, coverage end date, vesting, and contribution rates, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/ipers.

     

    TIAA

    The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) is an employer-sponsored 403(b) defined contribution plan. The University and the employee contribute to the plan. To learn more about TIAA, visit http://www.tiaa.org/. For university eligibility requirements, coverage start date, coverage end date, vesting, and contribution rates, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/tiaa.

     

    Tax-Deferred Annuity Plans

    Employees may set aside additional contributions to a supplemental retirement annuity by an approved supplemental retirement account. Supplemental retirement annuity programs are in addition to the University’s basic retirement plan (e.g., IPERS and TIAA) and are subject to IRS guidelines for maximum exclusion amounts. In order to participate, the employee must receive a monthly income for the requested month(s). UNI does not contribute matching funds. For more information, visit  https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/td.

     

    Summer Session and Special Compensation Contributions

    Annuity program participation applies to non-temporary faculty members listed in the summer session budget or addendum when those members have participated during the preceding academic year. Participation does not apply to faculty or staff Extension Class service, non-credit program instruction, or other special compensation involving activities such as summer sports camps, summer theatre repertory, cheerleader clinics, honoraria, etc.

     

    Returning to Work

    If a retiree returns to work at UNI and previously participated in TIAA, they cannot return in a TIAA eligible position and receive distributions.

    If a returning employee has retired and previously participated in IPERS at the University of Northern Iowa or another state agency, they cannot receive IPERS distributions if they earn an annual salary of $30,000 or more at any state agency.


  6. Health and Dental Insurance 

    Eligible employees may select optional health and dental insurance coverage. The University health and dental insurance plans have no waiting period of exclusions for pre-existing conditions for employees who enroll within 30 days of their qualifying appointment. Employees and their eligible dependents have full coverage as of the effective date. The employee may continue such coverage following retirement. Employees leaving the University are eligible to continue health and dental coverage as provided under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986. For university eligibility requirements, coverage start date, coverage end date, plan options, coverage manuals, and rates, visit https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits.

 

Human Resource Services, approved April 17, 2017

 

President’s Cabinet, approved May 8, 2017

 

President and Executive Management Team, approved June 14, 2017