People Services

Employee Handbook- Chapter 5

Insurance and Related Benefits


The College is committed to providing full-time and part-time regular employees with a comprehensive benefits package designed to afford you and any legal dependents financial security and peace of mind in the event of illness, injury, disability, retirement or unemployment. The benefits package includes:

  • Medical Insurance Plan
  • Group Term Life Insurance
  • Dependent Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Domestic Partner Benefits
  • Section 125 FLEX Plan for Medical Spending Account and Dependent Care Spending Account
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Retirement Plan
  • Child Development Laboratory for Children ages six weeks to six years
  • Seabury Center Membership
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Professional Liability and Personal Loss Insurance
  • Use of Campus Facilities, Programs and Services
  • Tuition Reimbursement

Summary Plan Descriptions of all benefit plans are available at the time of enrollment or may be obtained through the Office of People Services. Eligibility for coverage under these insurance plans varies dependent on the employee’s enrollment date.

This section of the Employee Handbook lists some features of these benefit programs. Complete descriptions of these programs are contained in master contracts. In the event of any contradiction between the information appearing in these policies or in the summary plan descriptions and the information that appears in the master contracts or master plan documents, the master contracts and master plan documents govern in all cases. The College may amend or terminate any of these employee benefit programs with or without prior notice or may require or increase employee premium contributions toward any of these benefits at its sole discretion. These reserved rights may be exercised even in the absence of financial necessity.

Revised: 2/2013


Full-time and part-time regular employees of the College may purchase medical insurance. Employees are eligible to participate on the 1st of the month after date of hire, during the annual open enrollment period, or with evidence of a qualifying event. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description and Benefits Summary Brochure found here: for detailed information about specific insurance provisions and current premiums.  These benefits are subject to termination or change at any time.


You and your eligible dependents may have the right to continue to participate in the College’s group health insurance plans for 18 to 36 months at your expense, depending upon the nature of the “qualifying event,” including but not limited to termination of your employment with the College or a reduction in work hours. Contact People Services regarding “COBRA” benefits if you have questions.You also have the right to convert your group life insurance policy to an individual policy upon termination of your employment.


A life insurance/accidental death and dismemberment policy is available for purchase by each employee on a cost-sharing basis with the College. This policy is effective on the first day of the month following 30 days after your date of hire, provided you decide to purchase the coverage.

As a newly hired employee, you are guaranteed the right to purchase life insurance regardless of any health issue or concern. If you choose not to enroll in the life insurance plan as a new hire, you may be required to submit evidence of medical insurability if you subsequently decide to purchase the life insurance. You may or may not be granted access to this policy by the insurance carrier.

In the event of your death as an employee of Berea College, your designated beneficiary will be paid an amount equal to 1 1/2 times your current base salary (rounded to the next higher $1000), up to a maximum of $250,000. Those employees working past age 65 should consult with People Services regarding age-related reductions in this policy. For further information on your life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment benefits, see your insurance plan booklet.



Full time and part employees who are eligible for and choose to purchase the Group Term Life Insurance policy for themselves, are also eligible to purchase one of four (4) different levels of Dependent Life Insurance on all their family members who qualify as dependents.

This insurance is offered to new hires without the necessity of providing evidence of medical insurability. Current employees who would like to enroll in this coverage should contact the Benefits Office at x3051 to obtain application forms to purchase this insurance.
The insurance commission does place regulatory requirements on how much dependent life insurance coverage can be purchased.  The regulation that comes into play in this situation is as follows:  it is not permissible for you to insure your spouse for MORE THAN 50% OF YOUR PERSONAL LEVEL OF COVERAGE under this type of employer plan.  Therefore, if you earn LESS THAN $33,333.34 per year, Option D is NOT AVAILABLE.  If you earn MORE THAN $33,333.34, you ARE ELIGIBLE to purchase this level of coverage.




Full time and part time regular employees are eligible to be enrolled in the Long Term Disability Insurance Plan after six (6) full months of employment.  This plan provides a benefit of 60% of salary (inclusive of Social Security or Workmen’s Compen­sation) in the event of total disability. (Partial disability benefits are also available in the event the employee is able to work on a reduced work schedule but cannot work full time.) Claims for disability are filed with the insurance carrier; benefits may commence after six (6) months after the onset of the disability. The full cost of this coverage is paid by the College.

The insurance company underwriting and administering this coverage will be solely responsible for any disability determination or decision. All claims are determined by the insurance company, not Berea College.



In an effort to assist College employees in balancing life’s many issues, free confidential counseling services are provided to all employees. The EAP is very helpful in assisting individuals in dealing with personal problems that often interfere with peace of mind and the ability to enjoy work or time away from work. The EAP provides you with a professional, objective person with whom you may share your thoughts and concerns in a private setting. Go to  to learn how to access this service.




The College provides a program whereby employees have a flexible and convenient method to use tax-sheltered dollars to pay for their personal share of healthcare costs and/or child and dependent care expenses. These two benefit options are called Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). They are designed to increase your disposable income by reducing the amount of taxes you pay.

The “FLEX” Plan year is July 1 to June 30. When you enroll in one of the FLEX plans, you choose to have a specific amount of your annual salary withheld from each of your paychecks and deposited into a FSA. These withholdings are on a pre-tax basis (before federal and state income taxes are levied on your wages).

Newly hired employees may enroll immediately. Current employees are eligible to enroll during the annual open enrollment period or with evidence of a qualifying event.


Dental Insurance 

Full and part-time regular employees of the College may purchase dental insurance.  Employees are eligible to participate on the 1st of the month after date of hire, during the annual open enrollment period, or with evidence of a qualifying event.  Please refer to the Summary Plan Description and Benefits Summary Brochure found here: for detailed information about specific insurance provisions and current premiums.  These benefits are subject to termination or change at any time.

Berea College Child Development Lab (CDL)


High quality, childcare services are available to faculty, staff and students for children ages 6 weeks through third grade. Although fees are based on full time enrollment, children who attend school are charged a reduced rate. Administratively housed with the Department of Child and Family Studies, the CDL also serves as a learning laboratory for College students.

All full-time and part-time employees are eligible immediately after date of hire and children are admitted on a space-available basis.

Although the College subsidizes this educational facility, employees have a weekly charge for these services. Information regarding current rates and the application process are available from the CDL at 985-3620. Employees are required to utilize payroll deduction for childcare expenses and are encouraged to participate in the Dependent Care Spending Account (Flexible Spending Account) to maximize their tax savings.



As a full time or part time employee of the College, you, your spouse and dependents are provided with a free membership to an outstanding fitness and recreation center. This $10.6 million facility, completed in 1995, has a championship basketball court, championship volleyball courts, an indoor natatorium, five racquetball courts, an indoor track, and separate cardio and weight training areas.  Externally, the center has 11 tennis courts, and a well maintained outdoor track.

Membership and locker rentals are available by contacting x3428 or the Center director at x3423.



The following is a brief outline of certain highlights of the College’s Retirement Plan. You should not rely on these highlights as a complete description of the Plan. Rather, you should take the time to read the Summary Plan Description and keep it with your other important papers.

The Berea College Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan that operates under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Plan was established on October 1, 1922, for the purpose of providing retirement benefits for participating employees.

Benefits are provided through: 

  1. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and
  2. College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF), a companion organization providing variable annuities.



All full time and part time regular employees are eligible for this benefit.  Temporary or “leased” employees are not eligible for participation. You will begin participation in the Plan on the first day of the month after you fulfill the following requirements:

  • You complete one year of service at the College;
  • Years of service with other educational organizations will be counted for satisfying this requirement.
  • Former College employees who are reemployed, and who previously completed the service requirement for Plan eligibility prior to terminating their employment, will begin participation in the Plan immediately after re-employment if working in a full time or part time regular position.


Participant Contributions

  • For 2013, pre-tax contributions may not exceed $17,500. (Employees who are over age 50 are eligible to contribute up to an additional $5,500 annually.)
  • Participants may make after-tax contributions in addition to pre-tax contributions.
  • Participants may also make qualifying rollover contribu­tions.
  • Contribution amounts may be changed once per month.

Employer Contributions

When you begin participation in the Plan, contributions will be made automatically to the funding vehicles that you’ve chosen. The contributions are based on a percentage of your compensation, according to the schedule shown below. If you participate in the Plan for only part of a year, your allocation will be based on the portion of compensation earned during the period in which you participate.

Plan Contributions as a Percentage of Compensation By the College       8%


You are fully and immediately vested in the benefits arising from contributions made under this Plan. Such amounts are non-forfeitable.


Loans from the Plan are permitted. Contact your TIAA-CREF representative at 1-800-842-2776 for more information about securing a loan and your responsibilities for repayment.

Revised: 2/2013



All distributions of Plan funds are governed by the Summary Plan Description. The normal retirement age under the Plan is age 65. You may begin to receive retirement income at any time, which may be either earlier or later than the normal retirement age. If you begin receiving benefits under this Plan before termination of employment, no further contributions will be made on your behalf.



The Plan is administered by the College through the Office of People Services and is responsible for Plan operation. This summary contains only highlights of the Plan and is not intended to constitute a summary plan description. You should refer to the Summary Plan Description for further detail regarding the Plan.

Revised: 2/2013


  The College complies with state laws requiring Workers’ Compensation coverage. In the event you have an injury covered by Workers’ Compen­sa­tion, the amount of benefits payable and the duration of payment depend upon the nature of your injury or illness. If you are injured or have a work-related illness while on the job, you must immediately report this injury or illness to your supervisor, to the Office of Public Safety (contact x3333) and to the Office of People Services (contact x3051) so that the College can assist you in contacting the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier. You are required to notify the College within 48 hours of any work related accident or injury.



 Unemployment insurance is funded entirely by the College. The purpose of this insurance is to provide assistance to those employees who have lost their job through no fault of their own. An example would be if you were laid off or if your position were to be eliminated. Unemployment compensation is not automatic, nor is the payment of benefits a decision made by the College. Any right to collect benefits is determined by the State Unemployment Insurance Division and its staff.

Professional  Liability  and  Personal  Loss  Insurance

All members of the professional and support staff are protected by a variety of institutional insurance policies. In the performance of professional or institution responsibilities every member of the staff is covered by general liability insurance in the event of suit against the individual or the College. Statutory workman’s compensation covers every employee for work-related injuries. Subject to policy conditions and limitations, the loss by fire, theft, or other peril of a teaching faculty member’s personal property located on campus is covered. While traveling on College business on a commercial carrier, all employees are covered by a travel accident policy.

Automobile insurance is carried on all College-owned vehicles, and this insurance protects any employee driving such a vehicle on College business. If an employee is using his or her own vehicle on College business, and has an accident, the individual’s personal insurance has primary coverage. The College’s insurance is applicable if, and only to the extent that, claims for bodily injury and property damage exceed the limits of the individual’s own coverage.

For current information about the level of coverage, conditions and limitations, contact the Office of Business and Administration.  Revised: 2/2013

 Use  of  Campus Facilities  by  Off-Campus  Groups

Throughout the academic year and the summer the campus is a popular place for off-campus groups to hold conferences, continuing education activities, workshops, camps, and other meetings. There are more requests for such use of campus space each year than the College can accommodate. The planning, administration, and coordination of these activities is done by the Office of Special Programs. The Director of that office handles all such requests, schedules those events that can be arranged, and insures that campus facilities and other resources are not overextended.

Any member of the faculty or staff involved with a group interested in holding an event on the campus should consult with the Director about availability of space and related matters. The Director’s approval is necessary before any commitment is made. In setting fees for the use of College facilities, a distinction is made between College-sponsored events and those not sponsored by the institution.



Berea College Coursework for Employees

The opportunity to enroll in academic courses is consistent with the College’s commitment to create a continuous and integrated learning environment. Full time employees may apply to take one Berea College course per semester, excluding short term. The application and approval process should begin with a discussion between the employee and her/his immediate supervisor to see how, or if, taking a course might be accommodated on non-work time. The next step is for the employee to obtain and complete an application form available through the Student Services Department. Written approval by the immediate supervisor and the divisional vice-president is required prior to the commencement of the course.  (Please note that due to the business needs of the College, it may not be possible to grant all requests submitted.)

All credit-bearing courses taken as an employee may count toward a Berea College degree. Unlike other non-degree students, employees seeking a degree may request entry into a closed class; additionally, they may register ahead of other non-degree students.

Employees who receive approval to take courses are responsible for the costs of their books, course fees and related expenses. The Student Service Center is available to answer fee-related questions.

Admission to Berea College for Degree-Seeking Dependents

Dependents of full time staff members must meet the College’s academic requirements, apply for admission in a timely manner, and may be admitted to the College regardless of demonstrating the financial need. Those dependents accepted for admission are required to reside on campus and are responsible for all books, fees, related expenses and room and board charges.

Dependents of full time staff members may also enroll as non-degree students without being residents of Madison County or adjacent counties. Cost of books, course fees and related expenses are the responsibility of the individual.

Tuition Exchange Programs for Dependents of Berea College Employees

All employees of Berea College who work in a full-time regular appointment are eligible to apply for participation for their children in a tuition exchange program sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) or for participation at a limited number of Co-op member institutions within the Tuition Exchange (TEP) program. The CIC exchange includes approximately 380 institutions across 40 states. All full-time regular employees who have worked for the College a minimum of three years are also eligible to apply for participation at any of the institutions in the Tuition Exchange program including 600 institutions in 47 states.

Both the CIC and TEP programs consist of a network of colleges and universities willing to enroll, on a competitive basis, students from families of full-time employees of other participating institutions (full-time as designated by the employer/institution) with tuition remission. In some cases, participating institutions within the Tuition Exchange program whose tuition costs are in excess of $29,000 may restrict remission to that amount. No such remission limit exists within the CIC tuition exchange program.

Specifically, each institution in the network agrees to accept (import) an institutionally derived number of students from other colleges on the same admission basis as they accept all other students. Students are typically responsible for all non-tuition charges—room, board, books and fees—at the institution in which they enroll (host institution), although some institutions provide additional incentives by waiving part or all of the room and board costs, as well as tuition, for a qualifying student.

The Tuition Exchange Program is limited to a maximum of two years. The Co-op Program is available for four years of participation and there is no waiting period for new employees. Some restrictions apply at various participating institutions, so it is advisable to begin the process of inquiry with the Berea’s Director of Financial Aid at the earliest point of interest.

Students must also complete the admissions process to the schools they wish to attend. Normally, students aren’t selected for the tuition exchange programs until they have completed all admission requirements. To find more about each program please follow the links below. No password is needed to view either of the programs.

Tuition Exchange Inc. Program –

Council of Independent Colleges – CIC Tuition Exchange Program

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