Human Resources and Payroll

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Classified Staff

Classified Benefits Summary

Below is a summary of benefits available to classified staff. When you visit the New Employee Welcome (NEW) Center, you will be signed up for a benefits orientation during which a member of the Benefits team will discuss these topics in detail. For more information on each topic, please click the hyperlinks which will guide you to our website, or visit hr.gmu.edu/benefits

Retirement

Virginia Retirement System Hybrid - Combination Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC) plan. The DB portion has a mandatory employee participation of 4% with an actuarially determined employer contribution and vesting after 5 years of service. There is a mandatory employee contribution of 1% in the DC and a 1% employer match. Participants may contribute up to an additional 4% in the DC portion with a corresponding employer match (see table below).

VRS Hybrid Contribution Schedule

  Employee Employer
Defined Benefit:
Total Mandatory Contribution 4.0% Actuarially Determined Rate
Defined Contribution:
Total Mandatory Contribution: 1.0% 1.0%
Voluntary Contributions 0.5% 0.5%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.5%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.25%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.25%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.25%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.25%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.25%
Voluntary Contributions +0.5% +0.25%
Total Voluntary Contributions 4.0% 2.50%
Total Maximum Contributions 9.0% 3.50% + reduced Actuarially Determined Rate

Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)

Classified Staff are automatically enrolled in the VSDP. Under VSDP, full-time staff are credited with the following VSDP leave hours on January 10th each year:

Years of State Service Sick Leave Family/Personal Leave
Less than 5 64 32
5 to 9 72 32
10 or more 80 40

Unused sick and family/personal leave may not be carried forward from one year to the next and staff are not paid for any unused leave at separation. (New full-time staff hired on or after July 10 will receive 40 sick leave hours and 16 family/personal leave hours for that calendar year.)

Part-time classified staff are credited with the following hours on January 10th each of year:

Years of State Service Sick Leave Family/Personal Leave
Less than 10 32 32
10 or more 40 40

Unused sick and family/personal leave may not be carried forward from one year to the next and staff are not paid for any unused leave at separation. (New part-time faculty hired on or after July 10 will receive 20 sick leave hours and 16 family/personal leave hours for that calendar year.)

VSDP also includes short-term and long-term disability benefits. There is a one year waiting period before the staff member is eligible for VSDP short-term disability coverage.

After one year of employment, new hires and rehires will be eligible for a 60% benefit for the first 5 years. After you have satisfied the waiting period, short-term disability benefits are payable during periods of total disability, partial disability, maternity leave, or periodic absences due to a major chronic condition, as determined by the VSDP administrator. Short-term disability benefits provide an income replacement for a maximum of 125 workdays. You become eligible for long-term disability payments after you satisfy a 180 calendar-day (26 weeks) waiting period, following the commencement of your disability. Long-term disability benefits provide you with an income replacement of 60% of your compensation and are payable during periods of total or partial disability.

VSDP participants are also covered under the VRS Long-Term Care Program. There is no cost to you. This long-term care plan assists you in paying for nursing home care, assisted living facility care, hospice care, at-home services and community-based care. The maximum daily benefit amount is $96 with a lifetime maximum of $70,080.

Supplemental Retirement Accounts


Tax-deferred annuity or tax-sheltered annuity (TSA) investment plans are available to all Mason employees. These plans allow you to contribute a portion of your income towards a supplemental retirement plan through salary reduction. Mason employees may participate in one or both of the plans up to the annual IRS limit. Contributions to either plan may be made pre-tax or under a Roth post-tax designation.

403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity, offered through TIAA & Fidelity Investments.

VA 457 plan, offered through the Commonwealth of Virginia. The record-keeper for investments is ICMA-RC.

The Cash Match Plan is available to salaried employees enrolled in the 403(b) plan or the 457 DCP who are not enrolled in the VRS Hybrid Plan or have maximized their voluntary contributions to the VRS Hybrid Plan. This plan provides a match equal to 50% of your contribution up to a maximum of $20 per pay check (The maximum cash match is $18.46 for bi-weekly employees paid over 26 pays)

Rehired employees not participating in the VRS Hybrid Plan will be automatically enrolled in a 403(b) plan after 90 days of employment if they do not either enroll in a supplemental retirement account or complete an opt-out form. Mason will deduct $20 per pay period and deposit it with Fidelity Investments, the default vendor for auto-enrollment. Mason will open a second account with Fidelity Investments and contribute a $10 per pay period cash match. Both accounts will be invested in Fidelity Freedom Funds, a fund tied to the estimated year of retirement based upon age.

Health Insurance

Classified Staff who work at least 20 hours per week may choose one of the following health insurance plans through the Commonwealth of Virginia:

Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield (PPO or HDHP)

Aetna (CDHP)

Kaiser Permanente (HMO)

TRICARE Supplement

Plans include prescription and dental coverage (with the exception of the Tricare Supplement which has no dental). For more information on up-to-date rates and coverage information please visit the DHRM website.

Plans include prescription and dental coverage (with the exception of the Tricare Supplement which has no dental). Staff who work at least 30 hours per week have their premiums shared between the employee and Mason. Part-time classified staff who work at least 20 hours but less than 30 hours per week are eligible for health benefits, but must pay the total premium (employee plus employer contribution). Premiums are payroll-deducted on a pre-tax basis. For more information on up-to-date rates and coverage information please visit http://www.dhrm.virginia.gov/hbenefits/employeestoc.html.

A decision to waive or enroll in single, dual, or family coverage must be made within 30 days of the employment date. For staff hired after the first of the month, health insurance will take effect the first of the month after the first date of employment. Staff hired on the first calendar day of the month will have coverage effective the first of that month if the form is received within 30 days of the first working day.

Plan or membership changes can be made during the Annual Spring Open Enrollment for an effective date of July 1. Membership changes can also be made within 60 days of a qualifying mid-year event and will take effect on the first of the month following receipt of a completed enrollment form or the event, whichever is later (except in the case of birth/adoption or divorce when coverage is retroactive to the first of the month in which the event took place).

Flexible Reimbursement Accounts

Mason Classified Staff may enroll in Flexible Reimbursement Accounts (FRA) through the Commonwealth of Virginia:

The Dependent Care Flexible reimbursement account allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible dependent care expenses (child or elder care). If you are married and file taxes separately, you may deposit up to $2,500 per plan year. If you are single or married filing jointly, you may deposit up to $5,000 per plan year.

The Medical Flexible reimbursement account allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for IRS-approved medical expenses. You may deposit up to $2,600 per plan year and the funds may be used for the expenses of anyone in your household.

The initial election period for the flex accounts is within 30 days of the employment date. The effective date is the first of the month after the first date of employment. Staff hired on the first calendar day of the month will have an effective date on the first of that month if the form is received within 30 days of the first working day. You may also enroll, stop, or modify within 60 days of a qualifying mid-year event. Any mid-year event change will take effect on the first of the month following the event or receipt of the completed election form, whichever is later. Election changes based on a mid-year event must be on account of, and correspond with, the event involved.

The contract administrator for the Flexible Reimbursement Accounts is Anthem BC/BS of Virginia. If elected, the minimum annual contribution for each plan is $10 per pay. There is an administrative fee of $3.65 that is deducted pre-tax once per month. If you do not enroll during the initial eligibility period, you must wait until the Spring Annual Open Enrollment period with an effective date of July 1. You must re-enroll in a Flexible Reimbursement Account each year during the Annual Spring Open Enrollment.

Basic Life Insurance

Mason automatically provides basic life insurance policy through Securian Financial for full-time and part-time classified staff (50% appointment time or greater) effective on the employment date. Mason pays the entire premium. The basic benefit is two times the individual's annual salary. There is also an accidental death and dismemberment provision of four times the individual's annual salary. A benefit amount above $50,000 is subject to taxes, per IRS regulations.

Optional Insurance Plans


Optional Life Insurance: Designed to supplement the basic VRS group life insurance coverage, VRS Optional Life, underwritten by Securian Financial, gives you the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for you and your family. The plan offers limited guaranteed issue within 31 days of employment. These plans are available to staff who are benefits eligible.

Family Medical Leave Act


Employees who have been employed with George Mason University for at least a year, and who have worked at least 1,250 hours during that year, are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under FMLA, the University is required to provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. For more information, please visit FMLA.

Annual Leave


Full-time classified staff earn annual leave on an accrual system in accordance with the number of years of state service.

Part-time classified staff earn annual leave on a proportionate basis.

Leave must be earned before it is used and may not be advanced. Once separated from employment, classified employees are paid for unused annual leave up to the allowable maximum. Please note that no leave is accrued in a pay period during which an employee has unpaid leave hours. An employee must have worked or have been paid for the entire pay period in order to accrue leave in that pay period. The chart below shows the hours earned per years of service and the allowable maximums for each category for semi-monthly classified staff:

Years of Service Hours Accrued per Pay Period Hours Accrued per Year Maximum Carryover Limits* Maximum Payment Limits
Up to 5 years 4 hours
(bi-weekly = 3.69 hours)
96 hours
(12 days)
192 hours
(24 days)
192 hours
(24 days)
5 years 5 hours
(bi-weekly = 4.62 hours)
120 hours
(15 days)
240 hours
(30 days)
240 hours
(30 days)
10 years 6 hours
(bi-weekly = 5.54 hours)
144 hours
(18 days)
288 hours
(36 days)
288 hours
(36 days)
15 years 7 hours
(bi-weekly = 6.46 hours)
168 hours
(21 days)
336 hours
(42 days)
288 hours
(36 days)
20 years 8 hours
(bi-weekly = 7.38 hours)
192 hours
(24 days)
384 hours
(48 days)
336 hours
(42 days)
25 years 9 hours
(bi-weekly = 8.31 hours)
216 hours
(27 days)
432 hours
(54 days)
336 hours
(42 days)

*As of January 9th each year

For further information on annual leave for classified staff please refer to DHRM Policy 4.10.

Parental Leave


Full-time and part-time classified employees who become parents via birth, adoption, or foster or custodial care placement may take parental leave provided they are eligible for FMLA coverage.

Up to 320 hours of paid parental leave are available for full-time classified staff. Those working part-time will be allocated a prorated amount as appropriate.

Parental leave can be used starting from the date of birth/placement of the child. Employees have six (6) months from that date to take the leave. Any unused hours after six (6) months will be forfeited. Holidays and weekends cannot be used to extend the parental leave usage window. For example, an employee whose baby was born on July 10, 2018 has until January 10, 2019 to use up their parental leave allotment.

Employees should contact a Benefits Administrator at least thirty (30) days in advance of the leave period to begin the parental leave process. Proof of birth or legal custody documentation will be required.

Please see DHRM Policy 4.21 for more information.

Commuter Choice Transit Benefit


Full time (1.0) FTE employees may participate in the Commuter Choice program, which provides eligible employees with a monthly benefit to cover the cost of commuting by public transit or vanpool (up to the maximum amount allowed by federal law). Please see the Commuter Choice page for enrollment details.

Employee Tuition Waiver Program

Faculty and staff (including adjunct faculty and non-student wage) are eligible for tuition waiver. Conditions apply; for important details, please see the Tuition Exemption policy and the Tuition Waivers page.

Please note: Classes must be scheduled outside of working hours (unless you are on an approved formal flexible work agreement) and on a space available basis. To pursue a degree using a tuition waiver you must be accepted in the degree program. Dependents are not eligible for tuition waiver. Law School courses are excluded unless you have been accepted into the degree program.

Please contact the Registrar’s Office at 703-993-2441 for enrollment information.


Benefits Action Summary

Action Needed

Time frames are based upon first day of employment.

Within 30 days 1

• Health insurance (complete form even if waiving coverage)

• Flexible spending accounts 2

• Additional life insurance

After 1 Year

• VRS faculty and classified staff become eligible for short-term disability after a one-year waiting period. The date of any eligible event must occur after one year of employment to invoke short-term disability for that event.

1 Next time to enroll will be during Open Enrollment in May of each year with an effective date of July 1. Eligible employees may also enroll, stop, or modify within 60 days of a qualifying mid-year event (e.g. marriage, divorce, or birth of a child). Any mid-year changes will be effective on the first day of the month following receipt of the completed election form except for adding newborns, adopted children, or children placed for adoption. In these cases, health coverage is retroactive to the first day of the month in which the birth, adoption or placement for adoption occurred.

2 You must enroll every plan year in a Flexible Spending Account to have an account, so if you want to continue using your FSA or enroll in one for the first time, be sure to take action during Open Enrollment.

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