Frequently Asked Questions - Benefits

  1. If I have a change in status from part-time to full-time employment what is the procedure to continue health coverage? Will there be a waiting period for full-time health benefits?
  2. How many vacation days may I carryover to the next following fiscal year?
  3. If I have a doctors appointment, may I use a sick day?
  4. May I use sick time to care for a seriously sick family member?
  5. How many days of bereavement am I entitled upon the death of a relative?
  6. How can I obtain information regarding my beneficiary?
  7. What is vesting?
  8. How can I save additional monies toward retirement?
  9. When am I eligible for Family Leave?
  10. Is non-contributory life insurance over $50,000 a taxable item?

 

1. Q. If I have a change in status from part-time to full-time employment what is the procedure to continue health coverage? Will there be a waiting period for full-time health benefits.

A. Complete a State Health Benefits Program Application. Return the completed Application to: Human Resources, Blumenthal Hall Rm. 202, Newark, NJ 07102.
Coverage will be effective after a two month waiting period from your full-time employment date.

2. Q. How many vacation days may I carryover to the next following fiscal year?

A. Generally, vacation time is not carried over. However, if the employee and supervisor mutually agree that the pressure of work or special circumstances make it difficult to use all of the vacation days, then carry over is allowed. No more than one year’s vacation can be carried over. Vacation carryover must be noted on the Staff Absence Record card and noting supervisory approval.

3. Q. If I have a doctors appointment, may I use a sick day?

A. No, you can only use an administrative leave day, personal holiday or vacation day. Sick time with pay is defined as a necessary period of absence because of illness or exposure to contagious disease. The illness of an employee should be recorded in the Absence Reporting System as "S" for sick. Sick time should not be taken for attending planned, routine medical or dental appointments.

4. Q. May I use sick time to care for a seriously sick family member?

A. Yes, sick leave is used for the purpose of caring for a seriously ill family member up to a maximum of five days per fiscal year. Union employees may refer to their contract agreements for specifics.

For administrative professional (MPSC) employees the first day is charged as sick leave for the emergency attendance of a family member; thereafter, the employee must charge an administrative leave, personal holiday or vacation day.

5. Q. How many days of bereavement am I entitled upon the death of a relative?

A. An employee who is absent from work due to death in the immediate family (mother, father, spouse, child, foster child, sister, brother, grandmother, great grandmother, grandfather, great grandfather, or any relative of the employee residing in the employee's household) may charge up to three days for such absence to bereavement leave. For the purpose of this bereavement leave, the term spouse shall also refer to bona fide sole domestic partner.

In the event the funeral of a member of the immediate family is held at some distant location, and the employee will attend, an exception to the above may be requested by the employee to provide for up to five days of absence to be charged to bereavement leave. Distant location means a place to which travel for the better part of a day would be necessary. An employee is eligible to receive one day of bereavement leave for attendance at the funeral of the employee's mother-in-law, father-in-law, son/daughter-in-law, or grandchild.

Always refer to the appropriate collective negotiations Agreements for any variations or additional details in the above policy.

6. Q. How can I obtain information regarding my beneficiary?

A. You may request a confirmation of designated beneficiary by writing to the Division of Pensions and Benefits at 50 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625-0295 or, you may update your beneficiary information by completing a new designation of beneficiary form. Forms are available on our website (http//:hr.newark.rutgers.edu) or you may request the form from the Newark Human Resources Office.

7. Q. What is vesting?

A. PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) Pension- After 10 years of contributing to the pension system you will be vested and eligible to collect a retirement allowance at a future date based on the Service Retirement formula. The basic retirement benefit under the PERS is determined by years of membership in the system, divided by 55, times the Final Average Salary.

Years and Months of Service x *Final Average Salary/55

*Average of three highest years paid

ABP (Alternate Benefit Program) Pension- Vesting usually occurs when the employee commences the second year of employment. However, if the employee meets the following criteria upon joining Rutgers, s/he is immediately vested.

a. Employee owns a retirement contract(s) containing employer and employee contributions that is based upon employment in the field of higher education. Or,
b. Employee is an active or vested member of a state-administered retirement system in NJ or in the US. The contract must be in force, meaning that the employee is entitled to receive benefits from the contract at a future date.

Employees not meeting the above criteria are placed in delayed vesting. Employees who are in delayed vesting may direct their ABP contributions to only one carrier and may not transfer funds between carriers. Delayed vesting ends when the employee commences the second year of employment in an eligible position.

8. Q. How can I save additional monies toward retirement?

A. You may voluntarily tax shelter a portion of your salary from federal income taxes while saving for retirement. Federal income tax is not due on deferred amounts or accumulated earnings until you receive a distribution (payment) from your account.

If you are in the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) you are eligible to contribute to:

Type of Plan
SRA( Salary Reduction Agreement)
IRC Section 403(b)

Employee Contribution may be to a maximum of:
Under age 50 $15,500 in 2007
Over age 50 $20,500 in 2007

How to Enroll
-Complete enrollment forms from your investment carrier and return them to your carrier. Keep a copy for yourself
- Complete a Salary Reduction Agreement Form
- Submit copies of the above-mentioned items to Newark Human Resources, Blumenthal Hall, Rm 202.
- Online enrollment

How to Make Changes
You may change your salary reduction amount by completing and submitting a Salary Reduction Agreement.

If you are in the Police and Fireman Retirement System (PFRS) or the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) you are eligible to contribute to:
Type of Plan
Additional Contributions Tax-Sheltered Programs (ACTS)

IRC Section 403(b)

Employee Contribution may be to a maximum of:
Under age 50 $15,500 in 2007
Over age 50 $20,500 in 2007

How it Works
You may voluntarily tax shelter a portion of your salary from federal income taxes while saving for retirement. Federal income tax is not due on deferred amounts or accumulated earnings until you receive a payment from your account.

How to Enroll
- Complete the following forms: ACTS Carrier Election and Allocation Form, ACTS Salary Reduction Agreement, and the Investment Carrier(s)' Enrollment Application(s)
- Send carrier enrollment application directly to the carrier. Keep a copy for yourself
- Send the ACTS Carrier Election and Allocation form and the ACTS Salary Reduction Agreement Form to Newark Human Resources, Blumenthal Hall, Rm 202.

How to Make Changes
You may change your salary reduction amount by completing and submitting an ACTS Salary Reduction Agreement form to Newark Human Resources, Blumenthal Hall, Rm 202. Forms must be returned by the 10th of the month to be effective the first payroll of the following month.

AND/OR

Supplemental Annuity Collective Trust (SACT)
Type of Plan
IRC Section 403(b)

Employee Contribution:
You may contribute between 1% and 10% of base salary. Up to a maximum of:
Under age 50 $15,500 in 2007
Over age 50 $20,500 in 2007

How it Works
SACT is a voluntary investment program that provides retirement income in addition to your basic pension plan. Contributions are invested conservatively in the stock market

SACT Regular Plan
Contributions are made post-tax. When funds are withdrawn, contributions are not subject to federal tax (earnings are)

SACT Tax-Sheltered Plan
A portion of your salary is tax deferred. Federal income tax is not due on deferred amounts or accumulated earnings until you receive a distribution (payment) from your account

How to Enroll
-Enrollment is done on a quarterly basis
-Complete a SACT Enrollment Request, available from Newark Human Resources
-Complete a SACT Salary Reduction Agreement required for SACT Tax Sheltered Plan
-Mail completed forms Newark Human Resources, Blumenthal Hall, Rm 202
Newark Human Resources will certify the enrollment and forward it to the SACT office. Enrollment will be effective the 1st of the next quarter

How to make Changes
- You may change or suspend your salary reduction amount by completing and submitting a SACT Salary Reduction Agreement form to Newark Human Resources
- Newark Human Resources will certify the change and forward it to the SACT office. change will be effective the 1st of the next quarter.
- The SACT Salary Reduction Agreements may be filed once each calendar year quarter

Investment Carriers
AIG-VALIC 800/448-2542
Equitable 866-786-0856
The Hartford 800-243-7782, ext. 207 or 259
ING Financial Services 877-873-0321
Met Life 800-545-0108
TIAA-CREF 800-842-2047

Full-time employees in ABP, PERS, PFRS or any hourly (T4) or temporary employee with at least 12 continuous months of employment, may contribute to:

State Employees' Deferred Compensation Plan (NJSEDCP)
Type of Plan
IRC Section 457

Employee Contribution may be to a maximum of:
Under age 50 $15,500 in 2007
Over age 50 $20,500 in 2007

Investment Options
A broad array of investment options.

How to Enroll
Enroll over the phone by contacting Prudential Retirement at 1-866-657-3327 or visit the Prudential Deferred Compensation website. (www.prudential.com/njsedcp)

9. Q. When am I eligible for Family Leave?

A. A Rutgers staff employee is eligible for Family Leave when he/she has been employed by Rutgers for at least 12 months (which need not to be consecutive), and when he/she has worked at least 1000 hours in the 12 months immediately prior to the date when the leave will begin. The eligibility criteria also applies to Type 4 casual/temporary employees and Type 5 student employees.

10. Q. Is non-contributory life insurance over $50,000 a taxable item?

A. The Internal Revenue Service classifies all life insurance coverage over $50,000 as a fringe benefit subject to taxation. The amount of life insurance coverage is not taxable but rather the premium required to pay for the life insurance coverage is taxable. (Non-contributory Group Life Insurance applies to employees in Police and Fireman Retirement System and the Alternate Benefit Plan). For additional information contact Newark Human Resources at 973-353-5500.