New Benefit Eligible Employees
Below you will find all the information you need to learn about your benefits as a new benefit-eligible employee at the University of Alaska.
Benefits Open House
Drop in and ask your questions every Wednesday from 10-11 am Alaska. The link to this Zoom is provided in your welcome email from the benefits team.
Are you a temporary employee?
Temporary employees should review our temporary employee webpage for specific benefit information for temporary employees.
Action Required: Submit a form
Medical, Dental, and Vision Coverage Dates
First Day Coverage
Coverage can begin on the first day of employment. To qualify for first-day coverage, a new employee must submit their form by 5:00pm on the Thursday prior to the end of their first pay period. Review the chart of pay periods to see when your form must be submitted for first-day coverage.
Other Coverage Begin Dates
If a form is not submitted by the deadline listed above, coverage will begin on the first day of the pay period in which you submit your form. Review the chart of pay periods to see when your coverage will begin based on what pay period you submit your form.
If no form is submitted within your first 30 days, you will automatically be defaulted into basic medical, basic dental, and vision for employee only. You will not be able to update this unless you experience a life event or you participate in Open Enrollment each April.
Medical, Dental, and Vision Overview
Our plan year runs on our fiscal year: July 1 - June 30.
Open enrollment is in mid-April each year and allows you to make any changes to your plans. All changes made during open enrollment will be effective the following plan year (July 1).
Life Event Changes
Outside of open enrollment, you may also make health care changes for life events within 30 days of the event. More information can be found on our qualifying life event webpage.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)
We have FSA health care and FSA dependent care accounts. We also have an HSA qualifying plan with the HDHP.
We have a wellness program that UA employees can participate in. This allows you to earn some of your premiums back! You can earn up to $600 and, if you have a spouse or FIP on the plan, they can earn up to $600 back as well. More information can be found on our wellness page.
Premera Additional Programs
We also have several additional programs that are available through Premera. More information can be found on our additional Premera programs webpage.
Action Required: Submit a form
The retirement forms are generated by the benefits team based on prior employment with UA and/or the State of Alaska. These are prepared and sent to you via DocuSign.
If no form is submitted within your first 30 days, you will automatically be defaulted into either the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) or Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) with TIAA for the UA Pension Plan (if eligible).
The information provided in this section may not be specific for your retirement - particularly if you have prior service with UA or another State of Alaska employer. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on your retirement or what applies to you.
|Faculty Work Status
|I am faculty and I have never worked for the University of Alaska or any State of Alaska employer before.
|I will choose between TRS and ORP within my first 30 days.
|I am faculty and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a faculty benefit-eligible position.
|My retirement plan will be the plan I previously selected (either ORP or TRS with or without UA Pension Plan).
|I am faculty and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a staff benefit-eligible position.
If I previously selected ORP with my staff position, I will be placed back in ORP.
If I previously selected PERS with my staff position, I will be placed in TRS with our without the UA Pension Plan.
|I am faculty and I have worked for a State of Alaska employer before (either faculty or staff) but this is my first faculty position with the University of Alaska.
My retirement plan will be my previous TRS plan if I was a faculty member.
If I was previously staff with another State of Alaska employer, I will choose between TRS and ORP within my first 30 days.
|Staff Work Status
|I am staff and I have never worked for the University of Alaska or any State of Alaska employer before.
|My retirement plan will be PERS DC Tier IV with UA Pension Plan.
|I am staff and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a staff benefit-eligible position.
|My retirement plan will be the plan I previously selected (either ORP or PERS with or without UA Pension Plan).
|I am staff and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a faculty benefit-eligible position.
If I previously selected ORP with my faculty position, I will be placed back in ORP.
If I previously selected TRS with my faculty position, I will be placed in PERS with our without the UA Pension Plan.
|I am staff and I have worked for a State of Alaska employer before (either faculty or staff) but this is my first staff position with the University of Alaska.
My retirement plan will be my previous PERS plan if I was a staff member.
If I was previously faculty with another State of Alaska employer, I will move to the PERS retirement plan.
Participation in PERS, TRS, or ORP is required.
The university will contribute 5% for PERS , 7% for TRS, and 12% for ORP.
Fixed Employee Contribution Amount
The percentage you contribute will be dependent on your plan. Many new employees will go into PERS Tier IV, TRS Tier III, or ORP. In each of these cases you are required to contribute 8% (no more, no less).
We also have a supplemental Tax-deferred Annuity (TDA) 403(b) or a Roth 403(b) which allows you to contribute additional pre- or post-tax dollars toward retirement. More information can be found on our 403(b) webpage.
Medical Coverage in Retirement
The University contributes 12% to the ORP contribution rate because there is no health care component built into the ORP. The additional contribution from UA is to help you budget for health care when you retire.
PERS and TRS both have medical components build into their plans that UA contributes to in addition to the 5% and 7% contributions to your personal retirement account. More information on the medical aspect of the PERS and TRS retirement plans can be directed to the State of Alaska at 1-800-821-2251.
The ORP is only available to 4 types of employees:
- New faculty who have never worked for the University of Alaska before
- New executives who have never worked for the University of Alaska before
- Employees transferring from staff to faculty/executive and have never been given the option to ORP
- Returning employees who have already selected the ORP with their previous position
Vesting in a retirement plan depends on your plan and prior employment with UA and/or another State of Alaska employer. PERS Tier IV and TRS Tier III have a 5 year tiered vesting schedule and the ORP and UA Pension Plan have a 3 year cliff vesting schedule. More information on vesting can be found under the specific retirement plan you are in on on the retirement webpage.
Rehired Retiree - Bona Fide Retirement
If you are an employee who is re-entering the workforce after retirement from a PERS or TRS plan with the State of Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits), you must meet the bona fide termination regulations.
- You cannot return to work in any capacity with the same employer from which you retired for at least 6 months if under 62 years old at retirement or 60 days if over 62 years old at retirement.
- There can be no pre-arranged return to work agreement - either written or verbal.
If you have retired from PERs or TRS and are returning to the workforce, please reach out to the DRB at 1-800-821-2251. The DRB also provides bona fide retirement resources on their website.
Action Required: Complete training
Most training can be found in myUA. There are three tiers of training:
Tier 1: Required training for all UA employees
Tier 2: Required training for specific positions (check with your supervisor on these)
Tier 3: Professional development
All employees must complete Tier 1 trainings, including a yearly Title IX training. The Title IX training is located on Black Board.
You can access the trainings via your single sign on (SSO) on myUA. If you are having issues with your login, please contact our Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Team at email@example.com.
Action Required: Confirm HR Address
Please log into UAOnline and confirm your HR address. This can be updated at any time. All HR regulatory mailings will be sent to this address (i.e. tax forms). This is also the address that will be sent to our vendors (Premera, VSP, retirement plan vendors, etc). It's important to make sure this address is correct so that you receive all mail from UA HR and the vendors that you participate with.
To confirm and/or update your address, log into UAOnline and click on "Personal" followed by "Manage Your Address, Email, and Phone."
Action Required: Submit a form
All University of Alaska employees in a benefit-eligible position are automatically enrolled in Basic Life Insurance in the amount of $100,000. More information can be found on our Basic Life Insurance webpage.
Keep this up-to-date!
Remember - you can update your beneficiary at any time by completing a new form. Any new form submitted will automatically replace any form submitted under a previous date.
Additional Coverage for employee, spouse/FIP, or child(ren)
Resources below have no required action item.
Paid Time Off
Staff earns annual leave each pay period. There is no waiting period to accrue hours and you will begin accruing immediately. The accrual rate is 5.54 hours per pay period and increases with years of service. You can only accrue up to a total of 240 hours per fiscal year. Any hours over 240 will be removed from your annual leave balance each June 30. More information can be found on our annual leave webpage.
Faculty Time Off (FTO)
Full-time, represented and non-represented, faculty members are provided 15 days of time off during their nine-month or alternate contract period. More information can be found on our Faculty Time Off webpage.
Sick leave accrues each pay period for faculty and staff. There is no waiting period to accrue hours and you will begin accruing immediately. The accrual rate is 4.62 hours per pay period and there is no cap on sick leave accrual. There is also no cash value for sick leave. More information can be found on our sick leave webpage.
The university has 12 paid holidays each calendar year. More information on the schedule can be found on our holiday webpage.
Please review our website for more information on other leaves including Jury Duty, Military Leave, Family Medical Leave (FML), Parental Leave, leave without pay, Short-term Disability (STD) and Long-term Disability (LTD). More information can be found on our general leaves page.
Employees are eligible to take 8 credits per semester (16 credits per year). Dependents (unmarried and under the age of 24) and spouses/FIPs of UA employees are eligible to participate in the tuition waiver, as well. Dependent children and spouses have no cap on credits like employees. More information can be found on our tuition waver webpage.
The Alaska 529 allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars toward education. More information can be found on our Alaska 529 webpage.
More information can be found on our sabbatical webpage.
The benefits team is dedicated to keeping you informed on your benefits. Stay up-to-date!
TouchCare is available to assist you with questions on your health care coverage. They can help you:
- Compare and contrast plans and make the best selection for you and your family
- Billing assistance
- Primary care provider
- Price transparency
More information, including how to contact TouchCare with your health care questions can be found on our TouchCare webpage.
ComPsych offers several benefits to UA employees. The benefits are also extended to members of your family who live in your household. Many services are free of charge or at a discounted rate.
More information on the services provided, as well as contact information, can be found on our ComPsych webpage.
The University of Alaska has partnered with Securian LifeWorks to provide professional services at no additional cost. More information on what services are provided, as well as how to access the services, can be found on our LifeWorks webpage.