FACULTY/STAFF POLICY & PROCEDURE MANUAL

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5.6. Fringe Benefits


5.6.1 Retirement and Other Statutory Benefits

5.6.1.1 Teacher’s Retirement System of Louisiana

5.6.1.2 Optional Retirement Plan

5.6.1.3 Annuity Options

5.6.2 University–Sponsored Benefits

5.6.2.1 Workers’ Compensation

5.6.2.2 Hospitalization Insurance

5.6.2.3 Group Life Insurance

5.6.2.4 Other Insurance

5.6.2.5 The Nicholls Federal Credit Union

5.6.2.6 Parking

5.6.2.7 Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Materials and Grounds

5.6.2.8 Activities and Events

5.6.2.9 Tuition Waiver

5.6.3 Supplemental Benefits Solicitation

Information on statutory University–sponsored benefits for ranked faculty is available in the Department of Human Resources and the Controller’s Office. Faculty and staff members are responsible for seeking necessary information and choosing appropriate benefit plans in accordance with required timelines.

5.6.1 Retirement and Other Statutory Benefits

The University provides statutory benefits to academic faculty and staff, including but not necessarily limited to, Workers’ Compensation, unemployment insurance, Teacher’s Retirement System of Louisiana, and Medicare. The Department of Human Resources has annual publications available that explain statutory benefits. Faculty and staff members will be informed of any modifications in coverage or options for enrollment.

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5.6.1.1 Teacher’s Retirement System of Louisiana

The Teacher’s Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) was established on August 1, 1936 for the purpose of providing retirement allowances for eligible members in accordance with the option the member selects at the time of application for retirement benefits. The law provides that TRSL is to be administered by the Board of Supervisors.

Eligibility, retirement requirements, Deferred Retirement Option Policies (DROP), benefits formulas, and “Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana—Regular and Plan A” brochures are also available in the Department of Human Resources.

Note: Faculty and staff are reminded that if they are participating in DROP, their last day must be at the end of a semester or before the beginning of a semester.

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5.6.1.2 Optional Retirement Plan

All academic and administrative employees of public institutions of higher education who are eligible for membership in TRSL are also eligible for membership in the Louisiana Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). New employees who are eligible for ORP must sign–up within the first 60 days of employment. Failure to make an election will result in enrollment in the defined benefit retirement plan for TRSL.

Act 92 of the 1992 Legislative session allows teachers initially enrolled in the TRSL to join ORP at any time within (5) five years after their employment date. This decision to join ORP rather than TRSL is irrevocable and therefore most important to retirement planning.

The ORP currently provides for three carriers—Aetna, Valic, and TIAA–CREF. These carriers may contact personnel on campus and can assist personnel about retirement decisions.

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5.6.1.3 Annuity Options

Tax–sheltered annuities such as 403B plans are available through the Controller’s Office and from a number of carriers.

5.6.2 University–Sponsored Benefits

The University sponsors health and insurance benefits including, but not necessarily limited to medical insurance plans, travel insurance, liability insurance, and selected health care services. The actual terms of all policies with carriers control the specific benefits. The Controller’s Office shall distribute an annual publication explaining University–sponsored benefits and shall notify faculty of any modifications in coverage or options for enrollment. Provisions for payroll deductions for employee payments may be arranged through the Controller’s Office.

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5.6.2.1 Workers’ Compensation

Employees of the University are covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance paid for by the University. This insurance is applicable only in the event of an accident while the employee is on duty. In the event the employee is injured on the job, Workers’ Compensation provides financial and medical aid that continues as long as the employee is disabled.

Employees must use sick or annual leave while off work due to injury. The compensation for this period must be paid back to the University, since employees cannot receive both regular salary and Workers’ Compensation. The Workers’ Compensation benefits will buy back some sick or annual leave. Hospitalization insurance will not be applicable if Workers’ Compensation insurance covers a particular injury.

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5.6.2.2 Hospitalization Insurance

The University makes available to all employees (except appointments for 120 days or less) hospitalization insurance under the state contract; the state pays 50% of the premiums. The University also makes available to all eligible employees HMO hospitalization insurance, also under state contract; the state pays a portion of those premiums. When an employee becomes eligible for hospitalization insurance, he or she will be called in to the Controller’s Office where the plans available will be outlined. Payroll deductions are made for the employee’s share of the premium.

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5.6.2.3 Group Life Insurance

All full–time employees (except appointments for 120 days or less) are entitled to group life insurance through a state contract. The state pays 50 percent of the cost of this coverage for this employee. The employee pays 100 percent of the cost for dependent life coverage. The face life amount of insurance for employee and dependents varies; therefore, each employee will be presented this information by the Controller’s Office. Payroll deductions are made for the employee’s share of the premium.

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5.6.2.4 Other Insurance

There are various types of additional insurance offered to full–time employees. These consist of cancer, intensive care, disability and annuities. The employee pays 100 percent of the cost for all of these policies.

Participation by each member of the staff in University hospitalization plans and/or group life insurance is optional.

Group insurance for any employee on leave without pay may be continued for a period of one year only, during which time the employee pays the full premium on a monthly–basis.

Group insurance for any employee who voluntarily resigns can be continued under the COBRA benefits for a period of 18 months providing the plan member pays the COBRA premium each month. Additional information can be obtained in the Controller’s Office.

When an employee is eligible for retirement, the hospitalization and life insurance may be continued under the same conditions as during his or her employment.

When employees or retirees reach age 65, they can retain 75 percent of the amount of life insurance for which they were eligible prior to age 65. When employees or retirees reach age 70, they can retain 50 percent of the amount of life insurance for which they were eligible prior to age 65. Employees who remain actively employed after age 65 continue to be eligible for the same health benefits for which they were eligible prior to age 65.

When an employee or retiree reaches age 70, all AD and D (Accidental Death and Dismemberment) benefits are terminated.

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5.6.2.5 The Nicholls Federal Credit Union

The Nicholls Federal Credit Union operates under laws, by–laws, and provisions of the federal government. The Credit Union was organized by employees of Nicholls State University and is administered by a Board of Directors elected by general membership.

The purpose of the Credit Union is to promote thrift among its members by affording them an opportunity to accumulate their savings through a payroll deduction system and to create for them a source of credit at a low interest rate. The Credit Union also offers alternatives to pay plans through payroll deduction, which may also offer options for balancing health insurance payments. Membership is open to all University employees and their immediate families.

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5.6.2.6 Parking

All vehicles parked on campus by academic faculty and staff must be registered annually. Full–time faculty and staff may obtain a parking sticker after paying a yearly fee. Regulations regarding parking are published in University Parking Regulations, available from the Parking Reinforcement Office.

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Nicholls State University will make every effort to accommodate all personal vehicles present on campus for special events sponsored by the University or by one of its departments or organizations. It will at the same time be sensitive to the inconvenience that is often caused to students, faculty and staff when parking is restricted for the accommodation of visitors’ vehicles. Procedures and forms for arranging parking for special events are available through University Police.

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5.6.2.7 Use of University Facilities, Equipment, Materials and Grounds

University facilities and grounds may be reserved for use for varied activities and events by University personnel and the general public.  Use of these facilities and grounds by university personnel must adhere to Nicholls State University policies and procedures reflected in Section on Conflict of Interest, Outside Employment, and be documented on the Disclosure of Outside Employment Form as outlined in Section on Procedures for Disclosing Conflict or Potential Conflict of Interest.

Use of facilities and grounds must be reserved through the Student Union Office as specified in Student Union operating procedures as approved by the President.  The University reserves the right to restrict the use of facilities, equipment, materials and grounds.

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5.6.2.8 Activities and Events

All faculty and staff members at the University are encouraged to take advantage of all campus activities and athletic events. Information on fees for student activities is available in the Student Life Office; information concerning athletic events is available in the Athletics Office.

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5.6.2.9 Tuition Waiver

The Board of Supervisors provisions for the fee exemption policy for faculty, staff, and dependents are as follows:

Employees of the University of Louisiana System may enroll at any of the eight institutions within the system for undergraduate or graduate instruction at a reduced tuition, plus certain applicable fees.

The following conditions apply to faculty and staff:

  •  Faculty or staff member must be employed on a full-time basis at a University of Louisiana System institution.  Enrollment at an institution other than the home institution requires the joint approval of the home institution president and the president of the institution the employee wishes to attend.
  • An employee requesting approval to attend another ULS institution should submit a letter addressed to the President that includes the name of the host institution and the term attending.
  • This letter should initially be sent to the Controller’s Office for verification that will be forwarded to the President’s office for approval.
  • The President’s Office will submit a letter to the President of the host institution requesting joint approval.
  • Full time System Office staff may also attend any System institution.  Enrollment at an institution requires the joint approval of the system president and the president of the institution the employee wishes to attend.
  • Full time employees may register for up to six (6) hours per semester (or its equivalent under the quarter system) for a reduced charge of $25.00 per credit hour, not to exceed $150.00 for any undergraduate or graduate level courses.
  • In addition to tuition, faculty and staff shall also be assessed the following fees:  Academic Excellence Fee, Operational Fee and Technology Fee.
  • This policy shall apply only to courses and programs for which regular tuition is charged.
  • Retired faculty and staff who have served not less than 25 years in the University of Louisiana System shall maintain eligibility for this tuition and fee policy.

The following conditions apply to spouses and children of full time faculty and staff members:

  • Spouses and children of faculty and staff members employed on a full-time basis by a System institution may attend another System institution with the joint approval of the employee’s president and the president of the host institution.
  • Employees requesting approval for their spouse and/or children to attend another ULS institution should submit a letter addressed to the President that includes the first and last name of the spouse and/or children, the name of the host institution and the term attending.
  • This letter should initially be sent to the Controller’s Office for verification that will be forwarded to the President’s office for approval.
  • The President’s Office will submit a letter to the President of the host institution requesting joint approval.
  • Similar dependents of System Office staff employed in full-time service may also attend any System institution with the joint approval of the System president and the president of the institution the employee wishes to attend.
  • Dependents who qualify will be limited to those who are eligible according to the Internal Revenue Tax Code during the calendar year in which the tuition reduction is issued.  At such time as the dependent is no longer eligible according to IRS Code, the dependent ceases to be eligible for this reduction.
  • Spouses and Dependents of retired faculty and staff (as provided in I(F)) shall be eligible for this tuition and fee policy.
  • Spouses and Dependents of deceased faculty and staff shall be eligible for this tuition and fee policy provided the faculty or staff was in service or retired from the System (as provided in I(F)) and eligible for the reduction when death occurred.
  • Spouses and Dependents of disabled faculty and staff, as determined by the Teachers’ or State Employees’ Retirement Systems but otherwise eligible for this tuition and fee policy, shall maintain eligibility.
  • Only undergraduate coursework for undergraduate students is eligible for the reduced tuition charges.
  • The reduced tuition shall provide for $25.00 per credit hour, not to exceed $300.00 ($200.00 per quarter) for full-time enrollment and shall be pro-rated for part-time enrollees.
  • Spouses and Dependents shall be assessed the following fees:  Academic Excellence Fee, Operational Fee and Technology fee and any and all student assessed fees.

Any exceptions to the provision of this PPM shall be submitted, with a full justification, to the University of Louisiana President who shall determine if such an exception will be made.

The Employee/Retiree should submit a memo addressed to the University President through their respective Vice President requesting any exceptions.  The University President will then request approval through the system President at the University of Louisiana System office.

Forms for filing for fee exemption may be found at the Controller’s Office or on-line under Human Resources forms.  This form should be completed and turned in to the Controller’s Office no later than Wednesday of the first week of Early Registration for the semester of planned enrollment.  A new form must be completed for each applicable semester and original forms must be submitted.

Fee Exemption Schedule may be found on the Tuition and Fees website – Effective August 2009 – Contact Controller’s office for updates to Fee Exemption Schedule

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5.6.3 Supplemental Benefits Solicitation

The official policy regarding solicitation by vendors offering supplemental benefits is available on the Human Resources policies website.

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Changes to Section of Manual
Section Effective Date Origin Change Form
5.6.2.9  3/14/18  Controller’s Office  Change Form 3-20-18