Benefits and Compensation
South Puget Sound Community College has an excellent benefit package including health, dental and life insurance, retirement and optional deferred compensation program.
The benefit information presented below is a summary of college provided benefits. This information is subject to change and subject to the provisions of any legislative mandates, collective bargaining agreements and College policy changes. For more detailed information about South Puget Sound Community College benefits, please contact Samantha Soto, Manager of Benefits and Compensation at 360.596.5433 or email at .
The College health benefits are negotiated through the State of Washington Health Care Authority. Employees can choose from a variety of health plans including a State preferred provider plan and several managed care plans. Coverage begins on the first day of the following month or if you start work on the first working day of the month, coverage begins that day. Non-permanent employees who work at least half-time and are expected to be employed for less than six months are not eligible. However, if the employment continues beyond the initial six-month period, the employee may apply for coverage to be effective on the first day of the seventh calendar month of employment. The Health Care Authority also has eligibility rules regarding seasonal employees. Employees pay a portion of their medical care cost through payroll deduction.
The employee premium is based on the employee’s choice of plan and coverage for lawful spouses, same-sex domestic partners, and dependent children. Learn more at Health Benefits
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Faculty members who are tenured, tenure track and interim appointees who work half-time or more in an instructional year or equivalent 9 month seasonal basis are eligible for college sponsored health benefits for a full twelve month period. The employee premiums for summer coverage are deducted in June.
Employees who have other options for comprehensive medical insurance do not have to participate in the College’s plan, although dental coverage is mandatory.
Vision Insurance is included with all employee health insurance plans and premiums. Optical service frequency and hardware (glasses, contact lenses) vary per type of plan selected. Employees do not pay a separate premium for vision coverage. Learn more at Vision Benefits
Benefit eligible employees have a choice of dental plans. Options include a State of Washington preferred provider dental plan and two managed care plans. The coverage options vary based on plan selection. Currently, employees do not pay a premium for dental insurance. Learn more at Dental Benefits
Medical Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Full time employees, faculty and adjunct faculty may participate in the Medical Flexible Spending Account plan. The College offers an optional flexible spending account for out-of-pocket medical expenses. This is a calendar year plan whereby employees can set aside pretax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. This is a “use it or lose it” IRC governed plan. Employees can set aside between $240 and $3,600 per calendar year. Medical expense reimbursements can be requested for the employee, their spouse, and their IRS dependents. Eligible Employees can begin participation the first day of the month following employment. Learn more at Flexible Spending Accounts
Voluntary Employee Benefit Association (VEBA)
Post-retirement health reimbursement account plan. Contact the Human Resources Office for more information.
- Upon retirement, all eligible faculty members participate in a tax free transfer of one quarter of sick leave benefits into a health reimbursement plan in lieu of a cash sick leave payout which would be taxable compensation. This is an IRC governed plan and mandatory participation is required based on a group election. These dollars can be used for post-retirement health expenses including health insurance premiums.
- Upon retirement classified employees who accrue sick leave participate in a tax free transfer of one quarter of sick leave benefits into a health reimbursement plan in lieu of a cash sick leave payout which would be taxable compensation. This is an IRC governed plan and mandatory participation is required based on a group election. These dollars can be used for post-retirement health expenses including health insurance premiums.
- Administrative/exempt employees participate in a tax free transfer of one quarter of sick leave benefits into a health reimbursement plan in lieu of a cash sick leave payout which would be taxable compensation. Administrative/exempt employees have the opportunity to annually vote on participation in a 100% transfer of accrued annual leave balances into the VEBA plan. This is an IRC governed plan and mandatory participation is required based on a group election. These dollars can be used for post-retirement health expenses including health insurance premiums.
The College provides $25,000 in basic life insurance from any cause and $5,000 basic Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance at no cost to the eligible employees. Academic employees who are eligible for health insurance are also eligible for term life insurance benefits. Employees can enroll in additional low cost optional life insurance benefits for themselves, their spouse, and dependents. Upon retirement, employees can apply for conversion of their term life insurance into a whole life policy. Learn more at: Life Insurance
Long Term Disability Insurance
The College provides a basic long term disability plan at no cost to the employee. All faculty members who are eligible for health insurance are eligible for long-term disability coverage. This plan pays a benefit between $50 and $240 per month 90 days after disability certification or the period of accumulated sick leave, whatever is longer. Employees can also participate in an optional long-term disability plan that provides 60% of the first $10,000 of monthly pre-disability earnings, reduced by any deductible income, plus amounts paid into the higher education retirement accounts. This is an after-tax benefit; therefore, any benefits received from this plan are tax free. Learn more at: Long Term Disability
- Classified employees are eligible to participate in the State of Washington Public Employees Retirement Plan (PERS). The PERS system has two initial plans that a new employee can participate in. The PERS Plan 2 is a defined benefit plan. The PERS Plan 3 is a defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan component. For more information about these plans, employees and potential applicants are encouraged to learn more at: DRS PERS Plans
- Administrative/exempt staff and faculty are eligible to participate in either the State Board Higher Education Retirement Plan or the PERS 3 Plan. The PERS 3 Plan is a defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan component. The Higher Education Retirement Plan (HERP) is administered by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF). This plan has a dollar for dollar college match. Employees begin the plan on their first date of hire. Employees are immediately 100% vested in their contributions and the College’s contributions. For more information about these plans please refer to the plan websites at DRS PERS 3 Plan or TIAA-CREF
Percentages of contributions are age dependent.
- Ages under 35 contribute 5% of their gross income with a 5% college match.
- Ages 35 to age 50 contribute 7.5% of their gross income with a 7.5% college match
- Ages 50 and over contribute 10% of their gross income with a 10% college match
Adjunct faculty members initially participate in the group retirement plan if they work a cumulative total of at least fifty percent of a full-time workload as defined by the college at one or more college districts or the state board for two consecutive quarters. The group retirement benefit begins at the beginning of the second consecutive quarter. The part-time academic employee continues group retirement participation unless he/she has a break in service. If a break in service occurs, the employee must re-qualify under the two consecutive quarter rule
Academic employees who currently belong to a College State sponsored plan can continue with that plan in lieu of participation in the TIAA-CREF plan (i.e. Public Employee Retiree System (PERS), Teachers Retirement System (TRS)).
Learn more at: Department of Retirement Systems
Supplemental Retirement Opportunities & Deferred Compensation Plan
The College offers the opportunity to participate in supplemental retirement plans in addition to the regular matched retirement. An employee can voluntarily participate in a 403(b) plan and set aside a portion of their income in a tax deferred plan. These plans are easily set-up and provide for employee flexibility. Employees of the college can participate in the State’s Deferred Compensation plan. This (457) plan allows an employee to set aside additional pre tax earnings for retirement savings. Employees can participate in the supplemental 403(b) retirement plans in addition to participation in the State plan. Learn more at: Department of Retirement Systems
Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
Employees can set aside pretax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket dependent care expenses. This plan provides a simple, efficient and cost-effective opportunity for savings. Employees may be able to save hundreds in dollars in taxes annually if they have children under the age of 13 or dependant spouse who require care assistance. Employees can sign up to participate upon hire or during the open enrollment period offered each year. Learn more at: DCAP
Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Plan
The Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition Program, or GET, is a qualified tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. GET offers Washington families a safe, affordable and easy way to save for college. Since GET began in 1998, Washington families have opened more than 44,000 accounts valued at over $436 million. Learn more at: GET Plan
GET accounts are for everyone.
GET accounts are for everyone – from newborns to senior citizens. The only requirement is that the student beneficiary live in Washington at the time of enrollment.
GET accounts can be used almost anywhere.
GET accounts can be used at almost any public or private college, university, trade or technical school in the United States, as well as some schools around the world.
GET accounts grow tax-free.
The increased value of GET accounts is tax-exempt when used for tuition and other qualified educational expenses. The IRS also allows generous gift and estate tax exemptions for contributions to GET.
GET accounts are guaranteed.
And best of all, GET is low risk. The state of Washington guarantees that 100 GET units will cover one year of tuition and state-mandated fees at the highest-priced public university in Washington – whether your child is ready for college in five years, 15 years or more.
The College is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries works with the College to explore workplace solutions for employees needing ergonomic assessments. Please visit the Labor & Industries website for more information and resources.
Office Ergonomics: Computer Workstation and Mobile Computing
If you have questions about workplace ergonomics, please contact the office for more information.