Staff Handbook

Benefits

photo of staff members at a presentation

The benefits information contained in this handbook provides a summary for employees of Wright State. This information does not list all the provisions and does not supersede the individual provisions of our group insurance contracts, benefit plans and university policies that it describes. Similarly, the information presented does not guarantee that the university, the State of Ohio, and/or others responsible for these contracts, plans, programs, and policies will not make future changes in the provisions applicable to each.

Medical/Pharmacy, Dental, and Vision Insurance

The university makes medical /pharmacy, dental, and vision insurance with a substantial employer contribution available to staff members who are appointed to work at least 51 percent of full time for a minimum of 90 days.

Medical/pharmacy, dental, and vision coverages are effective the first day of eligible employment. You may also enroll for these benefits during an annual open enrollment or within thirty (30) days after a qualifying life event, e.g. birth, marriage, or divorce. Your paid medical premium contributions are automatically deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis.

In compliance with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), if you are leaving the university for reasons other than gross misconduct and presently receive university-provided medical/pharmacy, dental, and vision insurance, you may purchase, at your own expense, continuing coverages through the university’s group plan  for up to 18 additional months. If your spouse or child becomes ineligible for continuing health coverages due to a loss of dependent status, your spouse or child can purchase continuing coverage for up to 36 additional months through the university’s group plan.

When you terminate employment at the university, your healthcare benefits continue until the end of the month of separation. Visit Human Resources webpage to find more information about healthcare benefits.

Flexible Spending Accounts

If you are appointed to work at least 51 percent of full time based on a 12-month period, you are eligible to enroll for a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). A FSA allows you to set aside money out of your paycheck to pay for eligible expenses on a pre-tax basis (exempt from federal and state taxes). There are two types of FSAs available: a healthcare account and a dependent care account.

A healthcare FSA allows for reimbursement for out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures that you incur on behalf of yourself and/or your dependents. Your elected contributions are deducted from your paycheck on a “pre-tax” basis and are subject to IRS regulations. 

A dependent care FSA can be used for work-related eligible child-care and elder-care expenses, that allows you (and if married, your spouse) to work, seek employment, or attend school full-time. Your elected contributions are deducted from your paycheck on a “pre-tax” basis and  are subject to IRS regulations.

For additional information please visit Flexible Spending Account webpage.

Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

The university provides life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance to you effective the first day of employment if you are appointed to work at least 51 percent of full time, based on a 12-month period. To assure coverage, you must complete enrollment forms as soon as employment begins. You are provided term life insurance in an amount equal to two times your annual salary.  An equal amount of accidental death and dismemberment insurance is also provided. You and your eligible dependents may purchase additional life insurance within the first 30 days of employment or during the annual enrollment period.

The Internal Revenue Service Code stipulates that employer-provided group term insurance coverage in excess of $50,000 is subject to taxation. The amount of tax can be computed using a formula available in Human Resources. You have the option to waive all or a portion of the life insurance provided by the university to limit your taxable income. Forms to waive coverage are available in the employee benefits section of Human Resources.   

Your life insurance is extended for 30 days following termination of university-provided or purchased coverage. During this period you can convert all or a portion of the coverage to another form of individual life insurance without a physical examination.

Short-Term Disability Insurance

Short Term Disability Insurance (STD) is a voluntary benefit available to eligible staff who work full-time, 75% FTE or greater.  Eligible new employees are able to enroll with guaranteed acceptance within 30 days of hire.  Employees that do not currently have STD coverage may apply during annual open enrollment, however, a medical health questionnaire must be completed and acceptance is not guaranteed. 

Employees pay the premium for STD coverage via payroll deduction on a post-tax basis - i.e. the benefit will not be taxed.  The benefit amount is equal to 60% of your regular gross earnings.  The benefit would be reduced by other sources of income e.g. Social Security, OPERS, or another group insurance plan.  Employees may draw the benefit for up to 6 months.  The STD benefit only provides pay during your leave. The leave itself runs concurrently with any leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as WSU Disability leave. 

Long-Term Disability Insurance

Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD) is provided to you if you work at least 75 percent of full time based on a 12-month period. The disability income benefit is 60% of your regular gross earnings, less any income benefits payable to you by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Social Security, or workers’ compensation benefit(s). This benefit becomes effective after six months of disability and usually lasts until age 65 or when the disability is no longer recognized as such by a physician. If disability occurs after age 65, the benefit will cease no later than age 70. The LTD benefit only provides pay during your leave. The leave itself runs concurrently with any leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as WSU Disability leave. 

Faculty and Staff Assistance Plan

Balancing the many priorities of our professional and personal lives can prove to be challenging. Resources for navigating work/life problems are important. The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is a confidential employee assistance resource for all employees—regardless of benefit eligibility—and family members in their home, as well as dependents living away from home and the employee’s parents and parents in-law. FSAP services are provided at no cost to employees, and include:

  • 24/7 live toll-free telephone access to licensed and experienced counselors offering guidance, counseling, problem-solving and referral services
  • A customized local/national provider network offering face-to-face counseling
  • Financial and legal assistance

Additional Benefits

Retirement Plans

Staff members who are appointed to work at least 75 percent of full time based on a 12-month period are eligible to enroll in either the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or the Wright State University Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). This choice must be made within 120 days of the initial hire date or date that the employee becomes eligible.  Staff members whose appointment is less than 75 percent of full time are only eligible to be enrolled in OPERS.

OPERS offers staff members the option to select one of three retirement plans. The plans are: (1) a Traditional Plan where defined benefit retirement, disability, and survivor benefits are determined by formulas using the employee’s age, amount of service credit, and final average salary; (2) a Member-Directed Plan where defined contribution retirement benefits are determined by the amount of money, including investment earnings, which the employee accumulates;  and, (3) a Combined Plan which has some defined benefit plan and some defined contribution plan features. The employee contribution to OPERS, currently 10 percent of the employee’s pay, is deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee’s earnings. The employer contribution to OPERS, currently 14 percent of the employee’s pay, is determined by the OPERS Board.

The Alternative Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan where the retirement benefit is determined by the amount of money, including investment earnings, which the employee accumulates in an annuity account. The employee contribution of 10% to the ARP is deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee’s earnings and is deposited in the employee’s account with an approved annuity provider that the employee selects. The employer contribution to the employee’s ARP account is equal to the OPERS employer contribution less any mandated additional contributions the university must make to OPERS. The current employer contribution is equal to 14 percent of the employee’s pay.

Wright State University does not administer the above retirement plans nor does it have any decision-making authority over these plans.

All staff members are exempt from Social Security contributions on earnings from the university. Staff hired on or after April 1, 1986 are required to pay a Medicare contribution of 1.45 %of earnings.

Supplemental Retirement Plans

At Wright State University, two Supplemental Retirement Plans are available to all staff members to invest via payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis to either a 403(b) or a 457(b) account. Plans such as the 403(b) and 457(b)  are tax-deferred retirement plans available to employees of public educational institutions such as Wright State University. These plans allow you to make pretax contributions (“deferrals”) by convenient, payroll deduction in order to save money for your retirement. These deferrals are then deposited into the account that you set up with an approved provider.

Pre-tax amounts deferred into a 403(b) or 457(b) account, and any earnings on those deferrals, are generally not taxed until you make a withdrawal from the account following a distributable event as described below.

The 403(b) and 457(b) plans were created to encourage long-term savings. Distributions are generally available when you reach age 59 ½ and mandated at 70 ½ years of age. As you discuss the 403(b) or 457(b) plans with eligible vendors, you may wish to talk about distribution opportunities when you leave employment or loan opportunities. Distributions may also be available in the event of hardship, unforeseeable emergencies, death, or disability. Bear in mind that distributions before age 59-1/2 might be subject to federal restrictions and a federal tax penalty.

For more information and a list of approved vendors, visit http://www.wright.edu/human-resources/benefits/retirement/supplemental-r... .

Educational Benefits

Wright State University encourages employees and their dependents to enroll for classes at the university. For this reason, the university offers educational benefits under a Fee Remission Plan.

A. Employees:

Employees who are appointed to work at least 75 percent of full time based on a 12-month period are eligible for educational benefits, for a maximum of eight credit hours of class work per semester at Wright State University.

Fee remission benefits for eligible employees provide for the remission of all of the instructional, general, and out-of-state tuition fees for bachelors, masters and Ph.D. level courses taken at Wright State University. Fee remission benefits are not provided for courses offered in the School of Medicine or the School of Professional Psychology.

Graduate course work taken by the employee under the Fee Remission is not subject to federal income taxation up to the annual maximum amount provided for by Internal Revenue Code Section 127(a) (currently an amount equal to $5,250 per individual per calendar year).  Employee benefits in excess of the Internal Revenue Code Section 127(a) maximum are subject to federal income taxation and appropriate payroll withholding.

An eligible employee may also enroll in certain university workshops and non-credit hour courses with a fee remission benefit equal to 75 percent of the fee for the workshop or non-credit course.  This benefit is not extended to family members.  With your supervisor’s approval, you may take one class or workshop during working hours.

Benefits provided for fee remission for an eligible employee are not subject to income taxation for the employee.

B. Dependents:

Qualifying dependents (spouse, domestic partner, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, and children of domestic partner) of eligible employees receive fee remission benefits for bachelors and masters level courses taken at Wright State University, with no limit on the number of courses per quarter. Qualifying dependents pay an amount equal to 20 percent of the current undergraduate fee for courses taken with fee remission benefits. Tuition and fees waived for undergraduate courses for qualifying dependents are not considered taxable income to the employee. Federal tax laws require that the tuition and fees waived for qualifying dependents for graduate courses be considered taxable income to the employee.  This fee remission amount is included as part of the employee’s gross taxable income for W-2 purposes. In addition, fee remission plan benefits for all undergraduate course work are subject to federal income taxation for all registered domestic partners and their tax dependent children unless the employee has filed a “certification of tax-qualified dependents” with Human Resources certifying the recipient of the fee remission as an Internal Revenue Code defined tax dependent.

Supervisors are encouraged to consider granting release time for employees to attend credit hour courses during working hours, particularly when: the course is a degree requirement and is not offered at another time; the course is sequential and is not offered at another time; the course is pertinent to the employee’s work; or the course will count toward a degree. Released time should not exceed the class time for credit hour courses for which educational benefits are provided.

Employees are expected to cooperate with their supervisors in ensuring that the workplace is operational during periods of released time. Employees should submit requests for released time to attend credit classes, in writing, prior to enrolling for classes during work hours. Employees are also encouraged to be flexible in making up hours granted for released time with their immediate supervisor. Accrued vacation hours may be approved in place of released time at the supervisor’s discretion. 

Credit hour courses taken as a development opportunity should be considered on the same basis as non-credit courses or workshops for purposes of granting released time to attend.  Released time for such professional development opportunities is generally limited to one course or workshop per term.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

As an employee in the State of Ohio,  you are covered by state  worker's compensation laws. Workers’ compensation laws provide medical expense and disability income benefits for you, as well as death benefits for surviving dependents. Disability income compensation is payable effective on the eighth day of total disability. It is the employee’s responsibility to initiate a workers’ compensation claim. Benefits are also payable for the first seven (7) days off work if you are disabled for a minimum of fourteen (14) consecutive days.  

Work-related illnesses or injuries must be reported immediately to your manager and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Your supervisor will complete an incident report describing the occurrence. Visit University Policy 13275 for more information.

Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Your employment at Wright State is covered under Ohio Unemployment Compensation law. If you are dismissed from the university and meet the eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Complete details are available on Office of Unemployment Compensation website.