A. Employee Benefits
1. Definition. The University System of New Hampshire benefit program is the sum of the components described below. These employer-sponsored benefit plans are available to faculty and staff as indicated, unless they are otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
2. Authority. The Board of Trustees delegates to the designated committee of the Board of Trustees oversight responsibility for the administration of the employee benefits program. Oversight and authority will be described in Trustee Charters, by-laws, and/or Board of Trustee policy.
2.1 The Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend or terminate components of the USNH's benefits program at any time.
2.2 The Board of Trustees delegates to the Chancellor the authority to design the University System benefits program according to financial and benefit parameters authorized by the Board of Trustees. The Chancellor shall report to the designated committee of the Board of Trustees at least annually on the effectiveness and suitability of the current program with recommendations for changes to such program, if appropriate.
2.3 The Board of Trustees authorizes the Chancellor to produce and/or authorize the production of any materials necessary to accurately describe the terms and conditions of each benefit plan.
2.3.1 The System Human Resources Office produces, distributes, and/or posts on USNH web sites materials that describe the terms and conditions of each benefit plan. Additional information is available from the Campus Human Resources Office or System Human Resources Office and on their web sites.
2.3.2 System Human Resources Office is responsible for determination and selection of benefit vendors and carriers, interpretation of policy and eligibility status, exceptions to policy, and payment and reconciliation of benefit accounts.
2.3.3 Each campus Human Resources Office is responsible for communication and dissemination of benefit information on its campus.
2.4 The component institutions may adopt such institutional policies as are necessary to meet the requirements of the University System of New Hampshire's benefits programs.
2.5 The Board of Trustees acknowledges employees of the University of New Hampshire School of Law (the "School of Law") as University System of New Hampshire employees effective January 1, 2014. School of Law employees will transition into participation into System benefits over a period of years. Accordingly, except as provided in USY.V.A.3 below, any University System employee including all status and adjunct faculty/staff who primarily provide services to the School of Law as common law employees, contract employees or in any other capacity shall not be eligible for any University System benefit plan or benefit program. If a University System employee is providing services to multiple institutions including the School of Law, USNH Human Resources Office shall determine USNH benefit eligibility (in collaboration with the appropriate Campus Human Resources Office).
3. Benefits Provided to All Employees. Some benefits are provided to all status and adjunct faculty and staff. Effective January 1, 2014, employees of the School of Law shall be eligible for the following System benefits: USY.V.A.3.1, Social Security; USY.V.A.3.2, Workers' Compensation Benefits; and USY.V.A.3.3, Unemployment Compensation Benefits.
3.1 Social Security
3.1.1 Description. A basic part of the University System's retirement program is the federal Social Security program.
3.1.2 Contributions. Both USNH and the faculty/staff member contribute a legally defined percentage of the faculty/staff member’s earnings to the Social Security program as mandated by the Social Security Administration.
3.2 Workers' Compensation Benefits
3.2.1 Description. The New Hampshire Workers' Compensation law, RSA 281-A, covers all faculty, staff, and volunteers. It provides non-taxable payment for loss of earnings and payment of medical expenses due to injury, occupational disease, or death arising out of and in the course of employment. It is not considered compensation under IRS regulations.
3.2.2 Contributions. The University System of New Hampshire assumes the cost of the workers' compensation insurance.
3.2.3 Authority and Responsibility. The University System of New Hampshire shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding the administration of the Workers' Compensation program and shall have oversight responsibility for workers' compensation policy and budget. Biennially, on January 1, USNH will compile USNH's safety program from the campuses' safety program information and file it with the State Commissioner.
22.214.171.124 Institution. Each component institution shall adopt such institutional policies and practices as are necessary to comply with New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Law, and shall be responsible for the administration for Workers' Compensation. Institutional responsibilities include the following:
126.96.36.199.1 Establish and administer a Work Safety Committee, with a minimum of four members, composed of equal numbers of employer and employee representatives. Employee representatives shall be selected by employee constituency groups or collective bargaining representatives.
188.8.131.52.2 Each year the Work Safety Committee will document the campus safety program, including specific rules and regulations regarding worker safety and references to disciplinary actions for violations of such rules and regulations, and submit it to the System Human Resources Office.
184.108.40.206 Supervisors. Supervisors are responsible for compliance with and implementation of institutional policies and practices regarding the Workers' Compensation programs.
220.127.116.11 Faculty/Staff responsibility. Faculty and staff members are required to promptly submit an accident report for an injury occurring during working periods to their immediate supervisor, the Human Resources Office, or other appropriate administrator, so the campus can file the First Report of Injury or Illness with the State of New Hampshire's Workers' Compensation Review Commission and/or the USNH Workers' Compensation insurance carrier.
3.2.4 Medical documentation is required to support workers' compensation claims and concurrent implementation of Family Medical Leave (see USY V.C.19), earned time/sick pool for non-exempt status staff, and sick leave/interim disability for status faculty and exempt staff. If, after three months of absence, such documentation indicates absence from work will extend six months or longer, the status faculty/staff member is eligible to apply for long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1) and should contact the System Human Resources Office.
3.2.5 Payment. Workers' compensation payments are based on federal and state laws.
18.104.22.168 Status faculty and staff members who have paid leave may supplement the workers' compensation benefit by electing to use applicable accumulated sick/vacation leave, or earned time/sick pool; however, the combination of paid leave plans and workers' compensation benefits shall not exceed the faculty/staff member's budgeted salary.
22.214.171.124.1 Staff members on the earned time program who choose to supplement workers' compensation must use earned time for the first five calendar work days before they may supplement with their sick pool leave (see USY V.A.4.10.5). Earned time will be accrued on that portion of time represented by the non-workers' compensation portion of the payment and is accrued only on the first 15 calendar workdays of sick pool usage.
126.96.36.199.2 If using accrued paid leave, faculty and exempt staff members will continue to accrue vacation and sick leave on that portion of time represented by the non-workers' compensation portion of the payment.
3.2.6 Position Status. While on approved Worker's Compensation leave, a faculty/staff member's position will normally be held for 18 months from the date of absence due to the work-related illness/injury. If the disability continues beyond 18 months, the position will not be held for the individual.
3.2.7 Continuation of Benefits. With the exceptions noted below, a status faculty/staff member will be eligible to continue applicable coverage under the USNH benefits program for up to 18 months by continuing her/his employee contributions. (See also USY V.A.8.2)
188.8.131.52 Faculty/staff members will be billed for benefit contributions unless the faculty/staff member is being paid accrued leave time with enough value to cover the benefit costs. Benefits will terminate if the faculty/staff member fails to pay his/her portion of the benefit premiums.
184.108.40.206 Exceptions. If the faculty or staff member is receiving accrued paid leave with workers' compensation payments, retirement contributions can be made only on the leave payment, not the workers' compensation payment. The tuition waiver will be in effect for spouse and eligible children, but only authorized for the faculty/staff member's personal use on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with an approved Workers' Compensation program.
3.2.8 Return to Work. Medical documentation supporting the faculty/staff member's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to return to work. Reasonable accommodations shall be made consistent with the guidelines of ADA.
220.127.116.11 Upon written request, a faculty/staff member may return to his/her position of employment for up to 18 months from the date of injury.
18.104.22.168 If the position has been eliminated, a faculty/staff member shall be placed in any other vacant position for which s/he is qualified.
22.214.171.124 A status faculty or staff member is expected to return to work for at least 30 calendar days following the period of workers' compensation leave.
3.2.9 Re-hire. If a former faculty/staff member is able to work following a period of workers' compensation which extended beyond 18 months or the position was not held, the individual may apply for positions within USNH. If rehired, a status faculty/staff member shall receive credit for prior years of service as referenced in USY V.C.10.
126.96.36.199 Medical documentation concerning a former faculty/staff member's ability to return to employment following a long-term worker's compensation leave will be required.
188.8.131.52 Reasonable accommodations shall be made consistent with the guidelines of ADA.
3.2.10 Temporary Alternative Work Assignments. In an effort to facilitate the faculty/staff member's return to work, the USNH shall develop temporary alternative work options, when appropriate, for faculty/staff members on Worker's Compensation who can return to work, but are unable to immediately resume all of the functions of their positions.
184.108.40.206 Temporary alternative work options shall be limited and transitional in nature with job requirements that will increase in capacity as the faculty/staff member's work capacity increases.
220.127.116.11 If the faculty/staff member fails to accept a temporary alternative work assignment, workers' compensation may be reduced or terminated.
3.3 Unemployment Compensation Benefits
3.3.1 Definition. Unemployment compensation is administered by the State of New Hampshire and provides partial income replacement to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
3.3.2 Contributions. The University System of New Hampshire assumes the cost of the workers' compensation insurance.
4. Benefits Available to Status Faculty and Staff
4.1 Description. All status USNH employees are eligible to participate in the benefits plans described below. Effective January 1, 2014, status employees of the School of Law shall be eligible to participate in the following System benefit plans as appropriate to their employee category: USY.V.A.4.9, Paid Holiday Leave; USY.V.A.4.10 Earned Time; USY.V.A.4.11 Vacation/Personal Leave; and USY.V.A.4.12, Sick Leave. The percent time of appointment and/or salary may determine the employee contribution amounts. Research and clinical faculty with appointments between 50-75% may be eligible for benefits on a pro-rated basis. Information regarding such appointments is available at the campus Human Resources Office.
4.1.1 Visiting faculty and job exchange.
18.104.22.168 Visiting faculty members who are not eligible to retain their home institution's benefits are eligible to participate in the USNH benefits program if they are appointed 75% time or more.
22.214.171.124 Visiting faculty members appointed at least half-time for the full academic year who are eligible to retain their home institution's benefits are not eligible to participate in the USNH benefits program. However, they and their dependents are eligible for the tuition waiver.
126.96.36.199 In cases where a visiting faculty member retains his/her home institutions benefits but is unable to retain the medical benefits portion of the program, he/she will be provided that coverage (Option B) by USNH. Contributions are outlined in USY V.A.188.8.131.52.
184.108.40.206 Job Exchange. A faculty or staff member on an exchange program at USNH is expected to retain the benefits of his/her home institution. However, his/her spouse and dependent children are eligible for the tuition waiver portion of the benefits program.
220.127.116.11.1 In cases where the medical benefits plan from the home institution is not transferable, the faculty/staff member on the exchange program will be provided Option B medical coverage by USNH. Contributions are outlined in USY V.A.18.104.22.168.
4.2 Eligibility for Benefits. USNH definitions for coverage of spouses and/or dependents are defined in plan summary documents for each benefit. Those documents will include coverage for the spouse or partner (and the dependents of such spouse or partner) of USNH employees who are legally married or legally civil-unioned1, or who have received a hardship exception pursuant to USY V.A.4.2.1, as provided below. Civil union partners and domestic partners who are eligible under the hardship exception are considered equivalent to a legally-recognized spouse for the purposes of USNH policies. The requirements to submit documentation of a civil union or marriage will be administered in the same way. Summary plan documents for medical benefits also include a description of a one-time new hire option for medical coverage for 60 days for those same sex partners who move to NH upon hire from a state which does not have a civil union or civil marriage option.
4.2.1 A benefits-eligible USNH employee may apply for a hardship exception to the above eligibility requirement that compels them to be in a legally-recognized marriage or civil union in order to obtain benefits for their domestic partner. Application for a hardship exception must provide appropriate details and documentation of the circumstances that warrant a hardship exception. Hardship exceptions will be granted only for a set period of time, after which the employee must re-establish that the conditions which give rise to the hardship continue to exist. Hardship exceptions will only be granted where:
22.214.171.124 The USNH employee is legally resident in a jurisdiction that does not allow their marriage or civil union;
126.96.36.199 Marriage or civil union would result in the USNH employee or their domestic partner losing a cognizable legal right or privilege that would not be lost but for the sexual orientation of the partners to the marriage or civil union (e.g., eligibility for military service); or
188.8.131.52 Circumstances exist that constitute an undue hardship to warrant exception to the requirement that the employee enter into a marriage or civil union. The determination as to whether an undue hardship exists under this section will be determined by a three-person committee established for each USNH institution, which will include a member of USNH Human Resources, the institution's Human Resources, and another member of the institution.
4.2.2 Applications for a hardship exception must include an affidavit certifying that the relationship meets the following criteria:
184.108.40.206 The partners have been each other's sole partner for at least six (6) months and plan to remain so indefinitely;
220.127.116.11 Either (a) the employee is legally resident in a jurisdiction that does not allow their marriage or civil union; (b) marriage or civil union would result in the employee or their domestic partner losing a cognizable legal right or privilege that would not be lost but for the sexual orientation of the partners to the marriage or civil union; or (c) circumstances exist that constitute an undue hardship to warrant exception to the requirement that the employee enter into a marriage or civil union. The applicant must provide appropriate details and documentation related to this section.
18.104.22.168 Neither partner is legally married or civil-unioned to another individual, and their relationship is otherwise eligible for recognition as a legal marriage or civil union under the law of the State of New Hampshire (e.g., neither party is a minor nor are the parties related by blood to a degree that would prohibit marriage or civil union);
22.214.171.124 The partners are each at least eighteen (18) years of age and are mentally competent to consent to contract;
126.96.36.199 The partners are responsible for each other's common welfare and financial obligations as defined in the section on procedural requirements.
4.2.3 The USNH Human Resources office shall establish a procedure to register eligible domestic partnerships that have been approved for a hardship exception. This will include a partnership form requiring the signature of both partners which shall be notarized.
188.8.131.52 The affidavit must indicate two (2) forms of evidence of responsibility for each other's common welfare and financial obligations, from the following list (items a-e): a) a legally executed domestic partnership agreement or contract; b) joint mortgage or joint ownership of primary residence; c) two (2) items from the following: (c.1) joint title to a motor vehicle; (c.2) joint banking account; (c.3) joint credit account; (c.4) joint lease; d) designation of the domestic partner as primary beneficiary on the employee's will, retirement contract or life insurance; e) designation of the domestic partner in durable property or health care powers of attorney.
4.2.4 Submission of application and affidavit. The completed application for hardship exception and affidavit will be submitted at the campus Human Resources Office or USNH Human Resources Office.
184.108.40.206 Upon submission, the application and affidavit will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness, compliance with policy, for notarization of the affidavit, and for indication of evidence of hardship pursuant to USY V.A.4.2.1 and of responsibility for common welfare and financial obligations.
4.2.5 Termination of Domestic Partnership
220.127.116.11 Any employee who is receiving benefits in a domestic partnership pursuant to a hardship exception under USY V.A.4.2.1 will notify the campus Human Resources Office or USNH Human Resources Office of the termination of a domestic partnership by completing the form "Termination of Domestic Partnership" within thirty (30) days of the termination of the partnership.
18.104.22.168 The written termination statement affirms that a copy of the termination statement has been mailed to the other partner.
22.214.171.124 The original is to be filed at the campus Human Resources Office or System Human Resources Office.
126.96.36.199 By USNH policy, a domestic partner is eligible for COBRA medical and dental options upon termination of the domestic partnership.
4.2.6 Taxation. The University System will comply with all state and federal laws regarding the taxation of employee benefits.
4.2.7 Change in Law. In the event that applicable state or federal law (or the law of any other applicable jurisdiction) is changed so as to impede the intent of USY V.A.4.2 to provide access to medical and dental benefits without regard to employees’ sexual orientation, USNH and its component institutions will endeavor to achieve this intent under the existing law.
4.3 Flexible Benefit Plan
4.3.1 Authority. The USNH Human Resources Office shall establish a flexible benefits plan. The plan shall provide eligible faculty/staff members with an opportunity to select coverage and plan features from a variety of medical, dental, life and long-term disability options as well as opportunities for a Flexible Spending Account for medical expenses not covered by the plan and/or for child care expenses.
188.8.131.52 The USNH Human Resources Office shall establish the design, terms and conditions of each plan, the conditions and time frames for open enrollment, plan year dates, and Flexible Benefits coverage options, and shall be responsible for selection and contracting of vendors for the Flexible Benefits Plan.
184.108.40.206 Premium rates are set annually, based on market costs.
4.3.2 Definition. The USNH Flexible Benefits Plan includes options for medical, dental, life, long-term disability insurance and Flexible Spending accounts. Plan details are described in flexible benefit materials. The plan is a 125 plan under IRS regulations which allows employee benefit contributions to be made on a pre-tax basis, and the plan is subject to other federal laws and regulations.
220.127.116.11 Each plan shall have a core-coverage "Option B" that represents the standard for USNH's contributions.
18.104.22.168 USNH contributions to other options, (medical options C, D and E, dental option C, life options C and D and disability option C) shall be the same as to the core Option B plan or the actual premium, whichever is less. The employee shall contribute the difference when applicable.
22.214.171.124 Employees may also select medical, dental, life, and long term disability options that provide less coverage than the core benefit plans but require no employee contribution. The medical and dental plans offer the option of no coverage.
126.96.36.199 Employee/employer contribution for medical plans under the flexible benefit plan and any other medical plans with premiums below that of USNH's standard plan, Plan B, are based on the cost sharing formula described below. Any plan with premium or cost in excess of the standard Plan B will have the same contribution percentage as that for Plan B. These are the contribution rates in effect as of January 1, 2009:
188.8.131.52 Other Flexible Benefits. There are no employee contributions required for the flexible benefit individual Option B dental, life and long term disability plan.
184.108.40.206 Flexible Spending Accounts.(FSA's). Faculty and staff enrolled in flexible benefit plans may choose a health care and/or dependent care FSA and set aside a fixed amount of their pre-tax wages in a calendar year to an account for reimbursement of qualified expenses, such as uncovered medical expenses or child care.
220.127.116.11.1 The faculty/staff member must make an annual election during benefit open enrollment and/or upon hire or eligibility.
4.3.4 Effective Date of Benefits Coverage for Medical, Dental, Life Insurance, Long Term Disability and Flexible Spending Accounts. Flexible benefits and enrollment in a Flexible Spending Account will be effective the first day of the month following the date of appointment if the faculty/staff member completes enrollment within 30 days of her/his appointment date. If enrollment is completed between the 31st and 60th day, benefits are effective the first day of the month following completion of enrollment.
18.104.22.168 If the faculty/staff member fails to meet the enrollment deadlines as noted above, he/she shall not receive benefit coverage. The faculty/staff member may enroll during the next period of open enrollment.
22.214.171.124 Last Day of Benefits Coverage. When a faculty or staff member terminates, the last day of active service is considered the benefits termination date. Active service is exclusive of any type of paid or unpaid leave (including sick, vacation, or Earned Time) as well as non-work periods for flex-year employees and academic year faculty.
4.3.5 Enrollment. Once each year, faculty and staff members will be given the opportunity to make changes or initially select their plan options for medical, dental, life, long term disability, and Flexible Spending Account selections. This period is called "open enrollment" and lasts approximately 30 days. It occurs in the fall of each year with new coverage effective on January 1 of the following year.
126.96.36.199 Coverage selections made by a faculty/staff member are irrevocable during the plan year and may be changed only during the annual open enrollment, unless the faculty/staff member has a change in family status as noted in section USY V.A.4.3.6.
4.3.6 Change in Family Status. A change in family status is defined by IRS regulations and includes such events as marriage, divorce or legal separation, the addition of a dependent by birth or adoption, gain or loss of spouse's employment, involuntary loss of spouse's medical coverage, death of a spouse or dependent, change in USNH employment status or taking an unpaid leave of absence (see USY V.C.16).
188.8.131.52 Faculty and Staff members must notify USNH of a change in status within 30 days of the qualifying event in order to be eligible to change their coverage selection. Changes in coverage must be consistent with the change in status and, based on proper notification, will be effective on the date of the event.
4.3.7 Leave Status. Employees on a paid or unpaid leave of absence are permitted to maintain their coverage in the Flexible Benefits Plan. When applicable, employees will be billed by the USNH Benefits Office for the appropriate employee/employer premium contributions.
4.4 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance for Police and Public Safety Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
4.4.1 Description. If a USNH police or public safety officer dies while in the line of duty, a $100,000 death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary designated by the employee. If there is no designated beneficiary at the time of the employee's death for any amounts of benefits payable because of death, that amount will be paid to the employee’s estate. (See summary plan description for additional information.)
184.108.40.206 "Police officer" shall include all status USNH employees classified as Public Safety Officers I, II, III, IV, V or VI as well as Police Captains, Police Sergeants, Police Lieutenants, and Directors/Assistant Directors of Campus Safety and Security.
4.4.2 Eligibility. This benefit shall be paid in addition to any other benefits (such as Life Insurance and AD&D) the employee elected and enrolled in at USNH including any life insurance benefits provided by collective bargaining contract.
4.4.3 Contributions. There is no employee contribution for this benefit.
4.4.4 Enrollment in this benefit is automatic and begins the first day of appointment.
4.5 Other Insurance Benefits
4.5.1 Authority. The USNH Human Resources Office may establish insurance benefits in addition to the flexible benefit plan. These will have no employer contribution. These optional insurance plans may provide faculty/staff members with the opportunity to select coverage and plan features for such programs as additional life insurance, additional accidental death and dismemberment insurance, long-term care insurance, and short-term disability coverage. These programs are normally paid through employee payroll deductions.
4.6 Voluntary Retirement and Deferred Compensation Plans
4.6.1 USNH's 403(b) and 457 (b) Retirement Plan
220.127.116.11 Description. The University System of New Hampshire offers its eligible faculty and staff members the opportunity to participate in a 403(b) voluntary defined contribution retirement. The Summary of Plan Provisions describes plan information, including, but not limited to eligibility, enrollment, contribution levels, vesting (including breaks in service), beneficiaries, withdrawals, involuntary termination, additional retirement contributions, and annual limits. The Plan is subject to federal laws, such as the Internal Revenue Code (IRS) and other federal and state laws. The provisions of the Plan are subject to revision due to changes in laws or to pronouncement(s) by the IRS.
18.104.22.168 Enrollment. This is a voluntary retirement plan. Retirement contributions begin on the first day of the month following successful enrollment.
22.214.171.124 Contributions. Both the University System and the participant contribute a fixed percentage of regular budgeted salary. Faculty/Staff contribution options are outlined below. Plan participation and contributions, including changes in contribution level; begin the month following enrollment and/or change in the USNH Retirement Plan. Enrollment and other information is in the Retirement Summary Plan Provisions.
126.96.36.199.1 Effective December 1, 2012 contribution levels for those hired or enrolled in retirement on or after July 1, 2011.
188.8.131.52.1.1 Initial Contribution Level. The initial contribution level in the USNH Retirement Plan provides for the University System to contribute 6% and the participant to contribute 6%. After one full year of participation at the Initial Contribution Level, the University System contribution will increase to the Standard Contribution Level of 10%.
184.108.40.206.1.2 Standard Contribution Level. The standard contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 10% and the participant to contribute 6%.
220.127.116.11.1.3 Alternate Contribution Level. The alternate contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 4% and the participant to contribute 2.5%.
18.104.22.168.1.4 Middle Contribution Level. The middle contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 6% and the participant to contribute 4%.
22.214.171.124.2 Effective December 1, 2012 contribution levels for those hired and enrolled in retirement prior to July 1, 2011.
126.96.36.199.2.1 Initial Contribution Level. The initial contribution level in the USNH Retirement Plan provides for the University System to contribute 5% plus ARC (see USY V.A.188.8.131.52.2.5) and the participant to contribute 6%. After one full year of participation at the Initial Contribution Level, the University System contribution will increase to the Standard Contribution Level of 10% plus 1% ARC.
184.108.40.206.2.2 Standard Contribution Level. The standard contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 10% if the participant elected MCP, or 10% plus 1% if the participant elected ARC, and the participant to contribute 6%.
220.127.116.11.2.3 Alternate Contribution Level. The alternate contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 4% if the participant elected MCP or 4% plus 1% if the participant elected ARC, and the participant to contribute 2.5%.
18.104.22.168.2.4 Middle Contribution Level. The middle contribution level provides for the University System of contribute 6% and if the participant elected MCP or 6% plus 1% if the participant elected ARC, and the participant to contribute 4%.
22.214.171.124.2.5 Additional Retirement Contribution (ARC). In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty and staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had the opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution (ARC) made by USNH or the Medicare Complimentary Plan. Those who chose ARC and those hired and enrolled between 1994 and June 30, 2011 receive this additional 1% USNH contribution to their retirement plans.
126.96.36.199.3 Contribution based on Salary over the IRS Permitted Level. The USNH does not consider regular budgeted salary in excess of the IRS prescribed limit (in 2011 this limit was $245,000), the limit is indexed for inflation per IRS Section 401(a)(17)B for the purpose of calculating contributions to the USNH's defined contribution retirement plan. The difference between the amount contributed based on the salary maximum above and the amount the employee is eligible for based on their regular budgeted salary will be contributed into a personal annuity.
188.8.131.52.4 Vesting of contributions. Faculty and staff are fully and immediately vested in the accrued benefits arising from their contributions. For purposes of vesting of employer contributions, years of service begins when a status faculty/staff member starts contributing to the retirement plan at a level, either 6% or 2.5%, which is matched by a USNH contribution. After 3 years or more of service as defined above, the faculty/staff member is 100% vested in the employer contributions.
4.7 Tuition Benefit Plan
4.7.1 Authority. The USNH Human Resources Office shall be responsible for the development of tuition policy and administration of the tuition benefit plan.
184.108.40.206 The campus Human Resources Office is responsible for determining eligibility for tuition benefits for faculty/staff members and spouse or dependent children.
220.127.116.11 The Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs will verify eligibility of campus chaplain and ROTC personnel, spouses, and their dependent children by providing a list of eligible participants to the campus office responsible for personnel administration no later than the Monday preceding the first day of classes.
4.7.2 Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefits
18.104.22.168 Description. For faculty and staff members, the tuition benefit covers enrollment in any regular credit courses offered by USNH institutions with a USNH course identifier, and where the tuition is paid to a USNH entity. This benefit includes full employer paid coverage at the in-state rate of tuition (equals the tuition rate charged to New Hampshire residents and varies by institution and program) for both the courses (at the rate indicated below) and any mandatory fees that all students are assessed as a prerequisite for registration, unless specifically exempt. The costs for food and/or accommodations are not covered.
22.214.171.124.1 Non-credit Course Benefit. The plan also provides a 50% tuition benefit for non-credit courses for employees only. Mandatory fees for non-credit courses that all students are assessed as a prerequisite for registration, unless specifically exempt, will be paid under this benefit. The costs for food and/or accommodations are not covered. The benefit is included with the total number of courses permitted and outlined in USY V.A.126.96.36.199.3. (Effective 6/1/93)
188.8.131.52.2 The tuition plan does not apply to institutes or courses offered by other educational institutions on campuses of the University System of New Hampshire.
184.108.40.206.3 Coverage. The level of coverage for the tuition benefit (payment for courses - credit and/or noncredit) is up to five (5) courses in a fiscal year. Part-time Clinical Faculty with status appointments of at least 50% are eligible for the tuition benefit.
220.127.116.11.4 The basic measure of the tuition benefit is by course rather than by credit hour. For example, both a two-hour course and a four-hour course will count as one (1) course.
18.104.22.168.5 If a faculty/staff member chooses to enroll for more courses/credits than those provided for in USY V.A.22.214.171.124.3 above, he/she will be charged for the additional tuition at the in-state rate.
126.96.36.199 Eligibility. A faculty/staff member is eligible for the tuition benefit following successful completion of the initial introductory period following employment in a benefits eligible position (see USY V.C.8.1.4). For faculty, for purposes of this policy, the completion of the initial introductory period shall mean following two (2) semesters of benefits eligible employment. A faculty or staff member must be employed in a benefits eligible position for one year on or before the first day of classes in the semester for which application is made for a tuition benefit for his/her spouse/dependents (see USY V.A.4.7.3). Flex-year employees remain eligible for tuition benefits during periods of non-active service.
188.8.131.52.1 Approval by the employee's supervisor is required in order for a staff member to enroll in a course that is scheduled to meet during the staff member's normal work hours.
184.108.40.206.2 The employee tuition benefits and/or family tuition benefits are also available to campus chaplains and ROTC personnel, spouses, and their dependent children in accordance with the terms and conditions as outlined in this policy.
4.7.3 Spouse and Dependent Children Tuition Benefit
220.127.116.11 Description. The spouse and dependent children of full-time status faculty/staff members may enroll in any of the regular credit courses offered by the University System of New Hampshire at one-half of the current in-state tuition rate. The tuition benefit policy applies to official student exchange programs (has a USNH course identifier, and the tuition is paid to a USNH entity), in which the student remains fully registered at his/her home institution and also covers administrative fees paid by students in the junior year abroad program.
18.104.22.168.1 This benefit is not cumulative; that is, if both father and mother are employed by USNH, one-half of the current in-state tuition for their dependent child or children must be paid.
22.214.171.124.2 The tuition paid by the employer is prorated for the spouse and dependent children of flex year employees and is equal to the faculty/staff member's percent time of appointment. Example: The spouse of a faculty/staff member with a 75% time appointment is eligible for a tuition payment by the employer equal to 75% of one-half of the in state tuition rate.
126.96.36.199 Eligibility -- Children. For the purposes of this benefit, children are considered dependent if, at the time of class registration, they are unmarried, have not reached the age of 24, and are dependent on the faculty/staff member for more than half of their financial support.
188.8.131.52 Eligibility -- Spouse. For the purpose of this benefit, a spouse is any person who is legally defined as a "spouse" by the State of New Hampshire or domestic partner as defined by USNH policy.
4.7.4 Employer Paid Tuition Benefits for Children of Deceased Faculty/Staff Members. Children of deceased faculty/staff members who, at time of death, were either a tenured faculty member or had been employed in a status position for at least five (5) years are entitled to the same educational benefit as indicated above.
4.7.5 Termination. A faculty or staff member who terminates during a semester, in which the educational benefit is being used, shall be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the benefit provided to the employee, spouse and/or dependent children (see USY V.F.10.4.12).
4.7.6 Taxability. The University System will comply with all state and federal laws regarding the taxation of tuition benefits.
4.8 Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides counseling, assessments and referrals to outside professional resources for faculty/staff members and their eligible family members to assist in resolving problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, marital conflicts, and job performance issues (see also USY V.D.5.4).
4.8.1 Contributions. The University System of New Hampshire assumes the cost of the EAP.
4.8.2 Eligibility. All status faculty and staff, their spouses, civil union partners or domestic partners who have received a hardship exception are eligible to participate in the Employee Assistance Program.
4.8.3 Coverage. The faculty or staff member, her/his spouse, civil union partner or domestic partner, and dependent children will receive a number of free visits to the EAP for each situation.
4.9 Paid Holiday Leave
4.9.1 Authority. The Board of Trustees has authorized paid leave for 11 holidays and designated eight common holidays. The three additional days designated as floating holidays will be determined by each institution's Chief Executive Officer and communicated to the USNH Director of Human Resources by September 1 for the following calendar year.
4.9.2 Designated paid holidays. The following days are designated as common holidays, and all facilities will be closed except for essential operations: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veteran's Day; Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
4.9.3 Eligibility. To receive paid holiday leave, a faculty/staff member must hold a status appointment; her/his appointment dates must encompass the holiday, and s/he must not be in a leave without pay situation immediately prior to or following a holiday. If a faculty/staff member is on paid leave when a designated holiday occurs, he or she will receive paid holiday leave, and the time will not be charged as vacation leave or earned time.
184.108.40.206 Percent time appointments. A faculty/staff member appointed in a status position of at least 75% time earns holiday benefits based on his/her percent time of appointment, based on the staff member's working schedule and when the holidays fall (see USY V.F.5.2).
220.127.116.11 Academic Year Faculty. Holidays for faculty members with academic year appointments are determined by the academic year calendar (see also USY V.A.18.104.22.168).
4.9.4 Holidays occurring on weekends. For those faculty and staff members who normally work from Monday through Friday, the following applies: when a common holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is the official holiday, and when a common holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is the official holiday.
4.9.5 Special considerations for non-exempt operating staff. When a designated holiday falls on a full-time operating staff member's regularly scheduled day off, he/she may take the same number of holiday hours off with pay during the same or following week; or, if approved by the supervisor, be paid for the holiday hours (see USY V.F.7.3.6) to which s/he is entitled at his/her usual pay rate. (For percent time staff see USY V.F.22.214.171.124)
4.9.6 Special considerations for exempt faculty/staff. If an exempt faculty or staff member is required to work on a holiday, s/he will be granted another day off with pay in lieu of the holiday at a time approved by the supervisor.
4.10 Earned Time
4.10.1 Description. Earned Time is an alternative approach to the traditional manner of covering absences for vacation, sick leave, interim disability, maternity leave, and short term military leave by combining all these plans into one program. It provides for the pay off at termination or retirement of all unused hours. Instead of dividing benefits into a specific number of hours for each benefit, Earned Time puts these hours together into a single benefit. Earned Time can be used for a variety of purposes, including a payment in cash at the time of voluntary termination. Earned Time is available as soon as it is "earned." The exact amount of Earned Time accrued each year will depend on the years of service to the University System of New Hampshire.
4.10.2 Eligibility. All non-exempt employees who are employed in a status position.
4.10.3 Accrual Rate. Non-exempt staff members accumulate Earned Time based on the number of hours they work in their budgeted position and their number of years of status employment within the University System.
For the purpose of this policy, one year of employment will equal 12 consecutive months of employment from date of hire. Non-exempt staff members accumulate Earned Time based on pay status hours up to those hours budgeted, and worked for the position, and years of employment to the University System. There is no maximum accumulation of Earned Time.
Accrual Rate for those with status employment start dates effective to July 1, 2011 or later:
|Years of Employment||Rate Earned Per Hour||Approx. Days Per Month|
|At Least||Up To|
|12 and over 12||.125||2.718|
Accrual Rate for those with status employment start dates prior to July 1, 2011:
|Years of Employment||Rate Earned Per Hour||Approx. Days Per Month|
|At Least||Up To|
|18 and Over||.149||3.250|
For the purpose of this policy, one year of employment will equal 12 consecutive months of employment from date of hire in a status position. There is no maximum accumulation of Earned Time.
4.10.4 Usage. Earned Time may be used any time after being earned, including during the staff member's introductory period. It is expected that all planned absences will be mutually agreed upon by the staff member and his/her supervisor prior to the date of absence.
126.96.36.199 Increments. Earned Time may be used in units of one-quarter hour or more.
188.8.131.52 When Earned Time is used to cover work time lost due to illness or injury, medical documentation may be required at any time to substantiate an absence and/or to indicate the ability of the individual to return to work following an illness or injury (see USY V.C.12.2.1).
184.108.40.206 The use of Earned Time for extended illness or injury requires medical documentation and may indicate the need for use of the Family Medical Leave Act and the need to contact the System Human Resource Office for information concerning long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1).
220.127.116.11 Minimum Usage. Minimum usage is calculated each pay period at 45% of the earned time accrued for that pay period. The total number of minimum usage hours derived from this calculation is compared to the total number of earned time hours used at the end of the fiscal year. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by June 30, remaining minimum usage hours will be subtracted from the staff member's Earned Time balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year.
18.104.22.168 New Operating Staff hired prior to January 1 will be required to satisfy the minimum usage requirement by June 30 of the end of their first partial year of employment.
22.214.171.124 Computation of minimum usage will occur as of June 30 of each year. Employees with less than six months of service are exempt from minimum usage requirements.
126.96.36.199 Hours converted into the Sick Leave Pool do not count toward minimum usage requirements.
4.10.5 Sick Leave Pool
188.8.131.52 Description. The Sick Leave Pool is intended to provide additional security by allowing staff members the opportunity to exchange Earned Time hours for Sick Pool hours at the equivalent rate of three Sick Pool hours for each hour of Earned Time. Each institution establishes a one-month period each year for "open enrollment" in the Sick Leave Pool. In addition, an employee who completes her/his initial introductory period will then be allowed a 30 day period to convert accrued Earned Time hours to Sick Pool Time.
184.108.40.206 Sick Pool time is used for extended periods of illness or injury and is not eligible for pay off at retirement or termination. Earned Time benefits accrue only during the initial three weeks (15 working days) of each separate use of the Sick Leave Pool.
220.127.116.11 Usage of Sick Pool days commences with the sixth consecutive day of absence from work due to illness or injury. A physician's report must accompany the request to use Sick Pool time. Periodic updates from the staff member's physician may be required.
18.104.22.168.1 The Human Resources Office may grant an exception to the policy that requires the usage of the equivalent of five (5) Earned Time days before being permitted access to the Sick Pool when either of the following circumstances occur: (1) when an employee returns to work after using Sick Pool time but is disabled again within 10 working days, or (2) when the disability is certified by a physician to be the same as for the original use or from the same cause as the original Sick Pool usage.
22.214.171.124 It is not necessary to use up all Earned Time days before using Sick Pool time. The staff member may continue to use Sick Pool time until her/his accrued Sick Pool time is exhausted or until s/he is no longer disabled.
126.96.36.199 The maximum Sick Pool time a staff member may accumulate is the equivalent of 150 days (1,125 hours for staff on a 37.5 hour work week and 1,200 hours for those on a 40-hour work week). A staff member may add to her/his Sick Pool time once each fiscal year according to the procedures adopted by each individual institution.
188.8.131.52 The use of the Sick Pool may indicate the need for Family Medical Leave. After three months of absence from work, the staff member should contact the System Human Resources Office for information concerning long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1).
184.108.40.206 Exhaustion of Earned Time/Sick Pool. A staff member on an approved absence who has used all Earned Time and Sick Pool time will be placed on leave without pay. If the illness/injury qualifies for FMLA leave, benefits will continue for the period of the family medical leave (see USY V.C.19). Other continuance of benefits during a leave without pay is set forth in USY V.C.16.
220.127.116.11 Position Status. When there is supporting medical documentation of a staff member's absence due to illness or injury, the University System will normally not terminate an individual from her/his position for six months from the first date of absence. For those individuals in their initial introductory period, the position will not be held unless the disability is due to pregnancy or covered by worker's compensation.
18.104.22.168 Return to Work. Following a period of absence due to illness/injury, medical documentation supporting the staff member's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to returning to work (see USY V.C.12.2.1).
22.214.171.124 Use of Sick Pool for family leave. Operating Staff with at least one year of benefits eligible service may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued Sick Pool time per fiscal year (75 hours for staff on a 37.5 hour work week and 80 hours for staff on a 40 hour work week prorated for staff working part-time) for family leave. This leave may be used for medical appointments, illness, or medical needs of an immediate family member; prenatal or postnatal care; or for purposes of caring for a new baby or adoptive/foster child after placement and/or for crime victim leave (see USY V.C.20.2). Access to the Sick Pool for the use of family or crime victim leave does not require the prior use of five earned time days.
126.96.36.199.1 Immediate family member is defined as spouse, parent, legally dependent child, or any person living in the staff member's household.
188.8.131.52.2 Bereavement leave. After supervisory notification, a staff member may use family leave for bereavement leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member. Bereavement leave follows the same parameters described in USY V.A.4.14, USY V.A.4.14.4 and USY V.A.4.14.5.
4.10.6 Record keeping. The institution is responsible for maintaining accurate records that verify the usage and current Earned Time/Sick Pool leave balances of each staff member.
4.10.7 Cash-out of Earned Time Hours. Cash-out of Earned Time Hours. Operating staff have the opportunity during a predesignated month once a fiscal year to cash-out up to a maximum of 40 hours of earned time, based on the Operating Staff member's work week base. The Operating Staff member's cash out hours will be paid at the hourly rate in effect for her/him at the time of the cash-out. Any hours cashed-out do not count towards the Earned Time minimum usage requirement.
184.108.40.206 Eligibility. Operating Staff who have completed their initial introductory period will be eligible to participate in the annual cash-out option.
220.127.116.11.1 Each USNH institution shall determine what month in the fiscal year the cash-out option will be available to its Operating Staff, will pay within 60 days of a cash-out request, and will maintain records of all cash-outs and subsequent adjustments of accrued earned time.
18.104.22.168.2 Cash-out payments must be made in the same calendar year they are requested.
22.214.171.124.3 Cash-out payments are subject to taxation. (See USNH Financial Procedures for specifics regarding payments and taxes, http://finadmin.usnh.edu/pol_proc/chapter_08/pro08-008.aspx)
126.96.36.199.4 The staff member must have a minimum of 24 hours of Earned Time remaining following the cash-out.
4.10.8 Payoff at Termination, including Retirement. In no instance shall Earned Time be used to extend employment beyond the last day of work. Earned Time is paid off at the base rate of pay at time of termination. The value of longevity is not calculated in the payment of Earned Time. All unused Earned Time, less any earned time needed to meet the minimum usage requirement (see USY V.A.188.8.131.52), will be paid off at the time of termination or retirement if the termination occurs under normal circumstances and does not involve an act of gross misconduct such as theft or immoral conduct. Staff members laid off may leave Earned Time intact pending recall.
4.10.9 Conversion from Earned Time to Vacation/Personal & Sick Time (For conversion from Vacation/Personal Leave & Sick Time to Earned Time see USY V.A.4.11.7)
184.108.40.206 When a staff member transfers, is promoted, or reclassified into an exempt status position, Earned Time benefits are converted using the following procedure:
220.127.116.11.1 If the staff member has a total Earned Time accumulation of the equivalent of twenty (20) or fewer days (160 hours), the total amount accumulated would be converted to Vacation/Personal Leave and transferred with the staff member.
18.104.22.168.2 For any Earned Time credit in excess of the equivalent of 20 days, an option allowing the remaining accumulation to be either transferred to Sick Leave or Vacation/Personal Leave or paid to the staff member is provided. In the event a staff member is promoted or transferred into a position that does not accumulate vacation, i.e., an AY faculty position, the staff member will be paid accumulated Earned Time.
4.11 Vacation/Personal Time
4.11.1 Eligibility. All members of the fiscal year faculty and exempt staff who are employed in a status position are eligible for vacation/personal time. Vacation/personal time is earned from the first day of employment and may be used after it is earned. Vacation/personal time is taken at a time mutually agreeable to the faculty or staff member and the supervisor.
22.214.171.124 Faculty. Vacations and holidays for faculty members with academic year appointments are determined by the academic year calendar. For those faculty members appointed on a fiscal year basis (12 months) reference USY V.A.4.11.2 for accrual rate.
4.11.2 Accrual Rate
126.96.36.199 The accrual rate for eligible Exempt Staff is one and a half (1.5) days per month for the first five years of status employment and two (2) days per month thereafter.
188.8.131.52.1 Exception. For those with a current status employment start date prior to July 1, 2011, the accrual rate will be two (2) days per month, including the first five years of status employment (see USY V.C.11 for Breaks in Service policy.)
4.11.3 Flex Year Appointments. Staff members with flex year status appointments earn vacation on a prorated basis.
4.11.4 Maximum Balance. The maximum balance at the end of each month is 45 days year, but the days accumulated over 30 days will have no cash value. The maximum number of days for payout at termination, including retirement, will be 30 days.
184.108.40.206 Staff members promoted or transferred into a new employee classification, i.e., Operating staff, PAT staff or Faculty are entitled to carry their accumulated vacation leave with them to the new position. In the event an employee is promoted or transferred into a position that does not accumulate vacation, i.e., an academic year faculty position, the employee will be paid off for their accumulated vacation/Earned Time prior to reporting to the new position. (For conversion of Earned Time to Vacation/Personal Leave, see USY V.A.4.10.8)
4.11.5 Vacation/Personal Leave Use. Exempt staff members may use vacation leave in increments of one-half day or more. Planned use of vacation/personal leave must have the approval of the supervisor prior to taking the leave. Vacation/personal leave time may be used without prior approval when personal emergencies prevent prior approval. In such cases, the staff member is responsible for notifying the supervisor of the absence due to a personal emergency. If the staff member's vacation/personal time includes an approved holiday, he/she will receive holiday pay, and the time will not be charged as vacation/personal leave.
220.127.116.11 Minimum usage. Staff members are required to take, and supervisors are required to grant, a minimum of 9 days of vacation/personal leave per year for staff with less than five years of service from date of hire/rehire and 12 days of vacation/personal leave per year for the staff with five or more years of service at times mutually agreeable. Minimum usage is calculated on a fiscal year basis, July 1 through June 30. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by the end of the fiscal year, remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year.
18.104.22.168.1 New staff members hired prior to January 1 will be required to satisfy the minimum usage requirement by June 30 of the end of their first partial year of employment. The minimum usage amount is calculated by counting .75 days of minimum usage for each month of employment prior to June 30. For the purpose of calculating minimum usage, a month is counted as a full month of employment if the staff member's date of hire is on or before the 15th of the month, or if the staff member terminates on or after the 16th of the month. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by June 30, remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year.
For example, a new staff member hired October 2 would need to use a minimum of 6 days by the following June 30. An employee hired July 5 would need to use a minimum of 12 days of vacation/personal leave. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by June 30, remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year. If the staff member hired October 2 used 4 days as of June 30, two days would be subtracted from the carry-forward leave balance into the next fiscal year.
Note: Employees with six months or less of service are exempt from minimum usage requirements for the fiscal year in which they were hired.
22.214.171.124.2 The minimum usage requirement is prorated for percent time staff members.
126.96.36.199.3 For the purpose of calculating the amount of vacation pay off at termination, minimum usage will be prorated through the date of termination, and any remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance.
188.8.131.52 Exempt staff members are encouraged to use vacation leave in increments of one-half day or more. Non-exempt staff shall use vacation in increments of one hour or more.
184.108.40.206 Vacation/Personal time may be used without prior approval when personal emergencies prevent prior approval. However, the employee is responsible for notifying the supervisor of the absence due to a personal emergency and any planned vacation time must be approved.
220.127.116.11 If the staff member's vacation/personal time includes an approved holiday, he/she will receive holiday pay and the time will not be charged as vacation/personal or Earned Time.
4.11.6 Vacation Pay off at Termination. In no instance shall vacation time be used to extend employment beyond the last day of work. All unused vacation time up to thirty days will be paid to the staff member or fiscal year faculty member (or his/her estate in the case of the individual's death) at the time of termination or retirement, if the termination occurs under normal circumstances and does not involve an act that demonstrates unfitness for continued employment within the University System, such as theft or immoral conduct.
4.11.7 Vacation at Layoff or Leave. Staff members may leave accumulated vacation intact pending recall if the nature of their absence from employment is layoff. In cases of unpaid leaves of absence, unused vacation will be carried forward through the period of the leave. If the staff member does not return to work any unused vacation will be paid at termination.
4.11.8 Conversion from vacation/personal and sick time to Earned Time. When a staff member transfers, is promoted or reclassified into a non-exempt position, vacation and sick leave are converted using the following procedure:
- Vacation/personal leave: Ratio 1 full-time day to 8 hours of Earned Time
- Sick leave (conversion pro-rated depending on years of service)
18.104.22.168 Conversion Table for Transfer of Existing Sick Leave into Earned Time/Sick Pool Days
Accumulated Sick Leave
Years of Full-Time Service
1 day/8 hrs
1 day/8 hrs*
1 day/8 hrs
*A special appeal will be allowed for employees whose sick leave converts at less than the 1:1 ratio. Where medical evidence exists to support high usage of sick leave, the 1:1 conversion may be authorized by the Campus Human Resources Director.
22.214.171.124 If the vacation/personal leave conversion exceeds 480 Earned Time hours, the additional hours will be automatically converted to Sick Pool hours. The maximum Sick Pool time is the equivalent of 150 days (1,125 hours for staff on a 37.5 hour work week and 1,200 hours for those on a 40-hour work week).Thus, if a staff member has a total conversion of 110 days or more, the staff member will begin the Earned Time program with 480 Earned Time hours and either 1,125 or 1,200 Sick Pool hours.
126.96.36.199 Prior to converting vacation/personal days to Earned Time hours, an exempt staff member may cash out up to five (5) vacation/personal days at the pre-conversion salary rate to bridge the gap between exempt and non-exempt pay schedules.
4.11.9 Record Keeping. It is the responsibility of each department to maintain accurate records that verify the usage and current vacation/sick time balances of each staff member. That information will be sent to the campus Human Resources department on a regular basis.
4.12 Sick Leave
4.12.1 Eligibility. Faculty and staff members with status appointments who are not covered by the Earned Time program (see USY V.A.4.10) are eligible for sick leave.
4.12.2 Description. Sick leave is designed to provide salary continuation for absences due to personal illness and injury or family leave as described below in USY V.A.188.8.131.52. Medical documentation may be required at any time to substantiate an absence and/or to indicate the ability of the individual to return to work following an illness or injury (see USY V.C.12).
184.108.40.206 If documentation indicates the potential for an illness or injury of the faculty/staff member to last more than six months, the faculty/staff member should contact the System Human Resources Office for information concerning long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1).
220.127.116.11 Use of sick leave for family leave. Full-time staff with at least one year of benefits-eligible service may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued sick leave per fiscal year (prorated for percent time staff) for family leave. This leave may be used for medical appointments, illness, or medical needs of an immediate family member; prenatal or postnatal care; or for purposes of caring for a new baby or adoptive/foster child after placement. It may also be used for extended bereavement leave (see USY V.A.18.104.22.168.2) and/or crime victim leave (see USY V.C.20.2).
22.214.171.124.1 Immediate family member is defined as spouse, parent, legally dependent child, or any person living in the staff member's household.
126.96.36.199.2 Extended bereavement leave. After supervisory notification and the use of bereavement leave, a staff member may use family leave for extended bereavement leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member. Bereavement leave follows the same parameters described in USY V.A.4.14.
4.12.3 Accumulation. Faculty and staff accumulate sick leave at the rate of 1 1/4 days each month based on a full-time appointment; flex-year appointments accumulate sick leave based on their percent time of appointment. The maximum accumulation of sick leave is 130 (working) days.
188.8.131.52 Introductory Period. Sick leave is accumulated during an individual's introductory period and may be used after it is accumulated.
4.12.4 Record keeping. Each department is responsible for maintaining accurate records that verify the usage and current sick leave balances of each staff member. That information will be sent to the campus Human Resources Office on a regular basis.
184.108.40.206 Faculty records. When faculty members are absent from their duties because of illness, and other faculty members assume their responsibilities on a temporary basis, no formal report of absence is required unless the absence exceeds one month or is of a serious nature as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act (see USY V.C.19). If the absence exceeds one month, the illness may qualify for interim disability (see USY V.A.4.13).
4.12.5 Position Status. When there is supporting medical documentation of a faculty/staff member's absence due to illness or injury, the University System will normally not terminate a faculty/staff member from his/her position for up to six months from the first date of absence. For those individuals in their initial introductory period, the position will not be held unless the disability is due to pregnancy or is covered by worker's compensation.
4.13 Interim Disability Leave
4.13.1 Eligibility. Faculty and staff members with status appointments who are not covered by the Earned Time program (see USY V.A.4.10) are eligible for interim disability benefits.
4.13.2 Description. In situations where medical documentation concerning a faculty or staff member's inability to work indicates that the duration of the illness/injury will cause an absence from work of six months or more, interim disability provides the continuation of the individual's salary and benefits up to a total of six months absence from work inclusive of sick leave.
220.127.116.11 During the period of sick leave/interim disability, the faculty or staff member will be placed on Family Medical Leave as outlined in USY V.C.19 and should apply, through the System Human Resources Office, for long term disability which may provide income and continuance of benefits following the expiration of interim disability.
18.104.22.168 If there is a subsequent period of disability after use of all or part of the interim disability benefit provided above and if the subsequent disability is unrelated to the first, the policy set forth in USY V.A.22.214.171.124 will apply.
126.96.36.199 Should a faculty or staff member's repetitive disabilities create an inability to perform the essential functions of the position, appropriate action shall be considered, i.e., application for long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1) or an accommodation as outlined in USY V.C.4.5.
4.13.3 Compensation. If accrued sick leave is exhausted, and medical documentation states that the faculty/staff member is unable to return to work, salary is continued through paid interim disability leave up to a total of six months' absence from work inclusive of sick leave.
4.13.4 Continuation of Benefits. Faculty and staff members' benefits shall continue during the period of interim disability, with the exception of vacation/personal leave time and sick leave accrual and personal use of the tuition waiver.
4.13.5 Position Status. A faculty/staff member's position will be held during the period of sick leave/paid interim disability leave for a maximum of six months from the first date of absence from work. For those individuals in their initial introductory period, the position will not be held unless the disability is due to pregnancy or is covered by worker's compensation (see USY V.A.8.2).
188.8.131.52 When medical documentation indicates that a faculty or staff member (for eligibility see USY V.A.4.13.1) is unable to perform her duties and responsibilities because of medical conditions related to pregnancy and/or childbirth, the woman who plans to return to work may use accrued sick leave/interim disability leave/Family Medical Leave, and her position will be held for her return (see USY V.C.19).
184.108.40.206 The period of leave is determined on a case-by-case basis from medical documentation. Such leaves usually extend for the period from childbirth through six weeks. As with all leaves for interim disability, the period of leave shall first include the use of accumulated sick leave.
220.127.116.11 When the woman's medical condition no longer requires absence from work, she is expected to return to work. However, the Family Medical Leave Act provides the option of up to a total of 12 weeks of leave from her position for child rearing purposes. Continuance of salary under FMLA is contingent on use of her accrued vacation/personal leave time (see USY V.C.19).
4.14 Bereavement Leave
4.14.1 Description. Faculty and exempt staff members are entitled to five days of bereavement leave for the death of an immediate family member and one day for the death of other relatives.
18.104.22.168 Staff members in the Earned Time Program may use Family Leave for the death of an immediate family member. See USY V.A.4.10.1 Earned Time.
4.14.2 Those individuals considered immediate family include spouse, mother, father, stepparents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepchildren, sister, brother, stepbrother, stepsister, and individuals living within the faculty/staff member's household.
4.14.3 Other relatives include grandfather, grandfather-in-law, grandmother, grandmother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandson, granddaughter, uncle, spouse's uncle, aunt, spouse's aunt, nephew, spouse's nephew, niece, spouse's niece, great uncle, spouse's great uncle, great aunt, spouse's great aunt, first cousin, spouse's first cousin.
4.14.4 Additional Time Off. If additional time off is necessary due to the death of a family member, special arrangements may be made to permit the employee to use vacation leave/Earned Time or take time off without pay.
4.14.5 Documentation supporting the use of bereavement leave may be requested by the immediate supervisor or Human Resources Office.
1Civil union is the legal term currently used in New Hampshire to designate a civil relationship between same-sex parties that is equivalent to marriage. For purposes of this policy, civil union refers to any civil "marriage-equivalent" relationship between same-sex partners that is recognized by law, by whatever name designated. Civil union and marriage are not intended to include common law marriage, even if such relationship is recognized by law in the jurisdiction of the employee's residence.
5. Benefits Available to Adjunct Faculty and Staff. Adjunct faculty and staff are eligible to enroll in the benefit plan outlined below.
5.1 Defined Contribution Retirement Plans – TIAA/CREF and Fidelity. Faculty and staff may make contributions to one or both of USNH's defined contribution plans on a tax-deferred basis or as a Roth contribution through payroll deductions. There is no employer contribution.
5.1.1 Standard Contribution Level. The standard contribution level provides for the employee to contribute 6%.
5.1.2 Middle Contribution Level. The middle contribution level provides for the employee to contribute 4%.
5.1.3 Alternate Contribution Level. The alternate contribution level provides for the employee to contribute 2.5%.
6. Benefits Following Termination
6.1 Last Day of Benefits Coverage. When a faculty or staff member terminates, the last day of active service is considered the benefits termination date. Active service is exclusive of any type of paid or unpaid leave (including sick, vacation, or Earned Time) as well as non-work periods for flex-year employees and academic year faculty.
6.1.1 Academic Year Faculty. The last day of medical and dental benefits coverage for academic year faculty may be extended up to the start of the next official USNH institution’s academic year, in circumstances when the faculty member performs service to the institution outside the established academic year dates. This service may be paid adjunct work, or may be unpaid work associated with completion of teaching or research responsibilities. This extension is normally recommended by the Dean or Institute Director with final approval by the institution's Provost's Office and written notification to the USNH Benefits Office 30 days prior to the end of the academic year.
6.2 Medical and Dental Benefit Continuation. The Consolidated Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is the federal law that provides faculty and staff members who lose their medical and/or dental coverage the opportunity to purchase that coverage.
6.2.1 Eligibility. All faculty and staff members covered by the USNH's medical and/or dental plan are entitled to elect to remain covered by the plan(s) at their own expense and without proof of good health after coverage would otherwise terminate.
6.2.2 Description. Coverage may be continued for up to 18 months following a qualifying event such as voluntary or involuntary loss of employment and for up to 36 months following death, divorce or legal separation from a covered faculty/staff member. Coverage may also be continued for a dependent child no longer eligible under the terms of the plan(s).
6.2.3 Faculty/Staff Member Responsibility. In order to continue coverage, the faculty/staff member must notify the USNH, or its designee, as soon as possible, but in no case may it be later than 60 days from the date of the qualifying event. Specific details regarding COBRA's terms and conditions are outlined in the medical and dental plan descriptions.
6.2.4 Survivors -- Deceased Faculty/Staff Member. The spouse and dependent children of a deceased faculty/staff member will be provided with continuation of USNH's contribution to the medical and dental plan for up to six months from the date of death. After the six months have expired, the surviving spouse and dependent children will be offered the opportunity to continue coverage under COBRA.
6.3 Flexible Spending Accounts.
6.3.1 The deadline to incur FSA expenses is the last day of employment, and the deadline to submit claims is 90 days from the termination date.
6.4 Health Reimbursement Accounts.
6.4.1 The deadline to incur expenses against the HRA is 18 months from last day of employment. After 30 days, there is an administrative fee charged to the HRA balance. The deadline to submit claims is 90 days from the end of the 18-month coverage period.
6.5 Tuition Benefit. A faculty or staff member who terminates during a semester, in which the educational benefit is being used, shall be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the benefit provided to the employee, spouse and/or dependent children. See USY V.A.6.1 and USY V.F.10.4.12.
6.6 Life Insurance. A faculty/staff member may convert USNH’s group life insurance to an individual life insurance policy within 31 days of termination. The conversion notice and request form will be furnished by the life insurance vendor.
7. Benefits Following Retirement
7.1 Normal Retirement Age. The USNH considers age 65 as the "normal retirement age" in accordance with the retention of this age by the Social Security Administration as the age for retirement. Its only purpose is to provide a reference point for faculty and staff in their retirement considerations. USNH faculty and staff may be considered to be "retirees" as defined in employment policy (USY V.C.9.2). In addition any police officer who retires at age 45 or older with 20 years of service as a full-time certified law enforcement officer or at age 60 or older with three years of such service will be considered a "retiree."
7.2 Social Security
7.2.1 Full benefits under the federal Social Security Program are available at age 65 or other federally mandated age, but may begin on a reduced basis as early as age 62.
7.2.2 Eligibility. To qualify for Social Security benefits a faculty/staff member must have contributed for a minimum number of covered years as defined by the Social Security Administration. Faculty/staff members should contact a local Social Security Office at least three months prior to retirement to discuss benefits and make arrangements to receive them.
7.3 Retirement Income from USNH Sponsored Retirement Plans. Retirement income benefits are subject to IRS regulations.
7.3.1 Benefits may begin any time after the faculty/staff member fully retires or terminates his/her employment or as described in USY V.C.9.
7.3.2 Income from USNH Defined Contribution Retirement Accounts – TIAA/CREF and Fidelity. Faculty and staff must contact the vendors to discuss options for retirement account fund distribution.
7.3.3 Income from Defined Benefit Plan. The University System of New Hampshire maintains a defined benefit plan called the Operating Staff Retirement Plan for those staff members who joined the plan prior to January 1, 1987.
7.4 Medical Coverage for Retirees Age 62 through age 65 and for Full-time Certified Police Officers
7.4.1 All faculty/staff members who meet the qualifications of a USNH retiree (see USY V.C.9.2 for definition) and are enrolled in a USNH medical plan prior to retirement and retire, may continue coverage per University System guidelines until they are eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65.
7.4.2 In order to maintain medical coverage per University System guidelines, effective 1/1/06, retiring faculty/staff members will pay the same premium contributions as active employees up to a maximum period of three years.
22.214.171.124 Spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner who is eligible under the hardship exception, and/or dependent coverage. The faculty/staff member must be covering a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner under her/his medical plan at retirement in order for them to be eligible for continued coverage. Coverage for family members ends on the same date as coverage for an employee ends. (See USY V.A.7.5 and USY V.A.7.6 below.)
7.4.3 USNH police officers may be eligible for medical coverage between the ages of 45 and 62 as defined and approved by the Board of Trustees. Officers retiring at age 62 or after will be eligible to select either the same medical plan, coverage and contributions as all other employees retiring at age 62 or later, or the USNH police officer medical retirement plan.
7.5 Medical Coverage for Retirees Over Age 65 with the Additional Retiree Contribution (ARC). The ARC contribution was implemented to provide funds for retirees to purchase a medical plan to supplement Medicare, which takes effect the first of the month in which a retiree attains age 65. There is no option for USNH medical coverage for faculty/staff under ARC, except for those subject to COBRA provisions.
7.5.1 Coverage for family members ends on the same date as coverage for an employee ends.
7.6 Medical Coverage for Retirees Over Age 65 with the Medicare Complementary Plan
7.6.1 Eligibility. In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty/staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had the opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution (ARC) or the Medicare Complementary Plan. Only those who selected the Medicare Complementary Plan at that time are eligible for the plan at retirement. In order to meet the USNH definition of a retiree, faculty/staff in this plan begin accumulating years of service toward this benefit starting at age 52. Faculty/staff must meet all of the criteria of a retiree as defined in USY V.C.9.2 and be participating in a USNH medical program prior to retirement.
7.6.2 Spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner who is eligible under the hardship exception, and/or dependent coverage. The faculty/staff member must be covering a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner under her/his medical plan at retirement in order for them to be eligible for continued coverage.
126.96.36.199 If a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner is age 65 or older, s/he will be transitioned to the USNH Medicare Complementary Plan.
188.8.131.52 If spouses, civil union partners, domestic partners, and/or dependents of retirees are less than age 65 and are eligible for coverage after a faculty/staff member reaches age 65, the faculty/staff member will pay the same premium as active employees for a maximum of three years after the faculty/staff member's retirement date. Following the three years, the faculty/staff member will contribute 50% of the total cost of the coverage.
184.108.40.206 In the event the retiree dies, the spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner may continue in the Medicare Supplemental Plan for the rest of her/his life or until remarriage or the establishment of a new USNH-defined domestic partnership.
220.127.116.11 If the faculty/staff member who chose the Medicare Complementary Plan is over age 52 and has at least 10 years of service and dies either while on active service or while on an approved early retirement plan, long-term disability, or chronic worker’s compensation, her/his spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner is still eligible for the Medicare Complementary Plan at age 65, unless made ineligible by remarriage or the establishment of a new civil union or domestic partnership.
18.104.22.168 In the event a spouse, civil union partner, or domestic partner of a retiree covered by the Medicare Complementary Plan dies, the retiree is not permitted to add a new spouse or domestic partner to the plan.
7.7 Retirees with Additional Retiree Contribution Guarantee
7.7.1 Eligibility. In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty/staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had an opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution or the Medicare Complementary Plan. Those who chose no retiree medical coverage had a guarantee of a minimum of $10,000 in their ARC account at retirement. The campus Human Resources Office has information concerning the individual application of this ARC guarantee to a faculty/staff member.
7.8 Flexible Spending Accounts
7.8.1 The deadline to incur FSA expenses is the last day of employment, and the deadline to submit claims is 90 days from the termination date.
7.9 Health Reimbursement Accounts
7.9.1 The deadline to incur expenses against the HRA is 18 months from last day of employment. After 30 days, there is an administrative fee charged to the HRA balance. The deadline to submit claims is 90 days from the end of the 18-month coverage period.
8. Benefits Following End of Service Due to Disability
8.1 Long-term Disability
8.1.1 Eligibility. All status faculty and staff who enroll in the long-term disability plan are eligible to apply for the benefit (see USY V.A.4.3). An individual may not receive long-term disability income concurrently with income from a USNH retirement plan, Separation Incentive Plan or a USNH Early Retirement Plan.
8.1.2 Description. If a faculty or staff member is approved for long-term disability, the plan provides income, as described in the flexible benefit plan choices and coordinated with Social Security and worker's compensation payments as applicable, and continues certain benefits as outlined in USY V.A.8.1.4. A faculty or staff member who is unable to work her/his regular schedule for an extended period (more than six months) due to an illness or injury may apply through the System Human Resources Office to the disability insurance carrier for the benefit. The carrier makes the determination whether medical documentation supports an individual's inability to work, based on the plan's provisions.
22.214.171.124 Waiting period. There is a six-month waiting period from the onset of a disabling illness or injury that requires the individual's absence from work until the beginning of long-term disability income. After a three-month absence from work, a faculty or staff member must apply to the System Human Resources Office for the long-term disability benefit. During the waiting period, salary continuance is dependent on applicable leave policies. (See Earned Time/Sick Pool, USY V.A.4.10; Sick Leave, USY V.A.4.12; Interim Disability Leave, USY V.A.4.13).
8.1.3 Position Status. A faculty or staff member's position is held for a time period not to exceed the six-month waiting period, except in cases of worker's compensation. When a faculty or staff member is placed on long-term disability, the individual's position is no longer held. While his/her employment is terminated, certain benefits may continue as outlined below.
8.1.4 Continuation of Benefits. When the former faculty/staff member is on long-term disability, the disability plan will contribute both the employer and employee contributions toward the regular retirement plan in which the individual is enrolled (USY V.A.4.6.1). According to the schedule below, the USNH will continue its contributions toward the faculty or staff member's medical, dental and group life insurance plans (subject to vendor approval) and continue tuition waivers for spouse and eligible children; however, the tuition waiver policy will not continue for the faculty or staff member's personal use.
Years of Service
Continuation Period for Benefits
|Less than 5 years||Applicable COBRA provisions (18 months; 29 months if determined to be disabled under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act)|
5 years up to 10 years
|1 year, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first|
10 years up to 20 years
|5 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first|
20 years up to 25 years
|10 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first|
|Continuation until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age, whichever comes first|
Note: All continuation periods of coverage for medical and/or dental run concurrently with COBRA provisions. Employees with less than five (5) years of service are required to pay the full COBRA rate for continued coverage. Employees with five (5) or more years of service are required to pay contributions at the same level as active employees and such contributions are subject to change.
126.96.36.199 If the individual meets the requirements for a USNH retiree, he/she receives either retiree Medicare supplemental coverage through USNH or ARC (see USY V.A.6.2).
8.1.5 Reinstatement. If a former faculty or staff member is able to work following a period of long-term disability, the individual may apply for positions within USNH; and if re-hired, the individual shall receive credit for prior years of service as referenced in USY V.C.10.
8.1.6 End of Disability Payments. When long-term disability income ends, the former faculty or staff member may elect to receive income according to his/her retirement plan.
188.8.131.52 If the individual has reached at least age 62, he/she may be considered a USNH retiree, if eligible, as defined in USY V.C.9.
8.2 Workers' Compensation
8.2.1 Continuation of Benefits. A status faculty/staff member will be eligible to continue applicable coverage under the USNH benefits program after 18 months according to the schedule below. (Note: The campus Human Resources Office has the continuation of benefits schedule applicable to faculty/staff employed in status positions prior to 9/1/2002.)
Years of Service
Continuation Period for Benefits
Less than 5 years
Applicable COBRA provisions (18 months; 29 months if determined to be disabled under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act)
5 years up to 10 years
|1 year, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first|
10 years up to 20 years
|5 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first|
20 years up to 25 years
|10 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first|
|Continuation until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for long-term disability or reaches retirement age, whichever comes first|
Note: All continuation periods of coverage for medical and/or dental run concurrently with COBRA provisions. Employees with less than five (5) years of service are required to pay the full COBRA rate for continued coverage. Employees with five (5) or more years of service are required to pay contributions at the same level as active employees and are subject to change.