All eligible employees are required to participate in a Louisiana state retirement system plan in accordance with the guidelines for such. The employee contribution is currently set at 8% of gross and is tax sheltered. The employer contribution rate is set annually.
Current state laws require all eligible employees to enroll in the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System (LASERS). LASERS is a defined benefit plan which guarantees a benefit based on your age, years of service, and final average compensation at retirement. For more information regarding LASERS benefits, you may visit the website at www.lasers.state.la.us. You may register for a pin number on the active member's webpage that will allow internet access to important personal membership account information.
Unclassified Administrators, staff, and faculty
Current state laws require all eligible employees to enroll in the Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL), or an Optional Retirement Program which is an alternative retirement plan provided by a private carrier. TRSL is a defined benefit plan which guarantees a benefit based on your age, years of service, and final average compensation at retirement. For more information regarding TRSL benefits, you may visit the website at www.trsl.org. You may register for a pin number on the member's webpage under member's access that will allow internet access to important personal membership account information.
The State of Louisiana has entered into contract with the following companies to represent the Optional Retirement Program:
The ORP is a defined contribution plan. These contributions are invested by the designated ORP carrier in the options chosen by the member. The performance of the member's investments determines the retirement benefit.
There are limited exceptions to membership in either state retirement plan based on age at hire and/or prior participation/vesting in another federal or state retirement system program.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING SOCIAL SECURITY (FICA TAX WITHHOLDING):
State of Louisiana regulations do not allow withholding for FICA tax (Social Security) when the employee participates in a mandatory state retirement system.
Government Pension Offset: reduction for spouse's or widow(er)'s benefit
Normally, when your spouse retires on Social Security, you are eligible for 51 percent of your spouse's benefit if you are at least age 62. However, since you are eligible for a benefit from TRSL, you may be subject to the Government Pension Offset. You will not have a reduction in your benefit from Social Security, if you meet one of the following conditions:
You were eligible to retire before December 1982, and you meet all the requirements for Social Security spouse's benefits in effect in January 1977. (A divorced woman's marriage must have lasted at least 20 years, and a husband or widower must have received one-half of his support from his wife.); or
You were eligible to retire before July 1, 1983, and were receiving one-half of your support from your spouse.
Windfall Elimination Provision
If you receive a TRSL retirement benefit, a modified benefit formula, known as the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), is usually used to reduce your own Social Security earned benefit.
The WEP was gradually implemented beginning in 1986 and is now in full effect when you reach age 62 or become disabled. The WEP does not apply in the following situations:
You were age 62 or disabled before 1986; or
You qualified for a TRSL retirement benefit (including a reduced benefit) before 1986, even if you continued to work beyond 1986 (excludes LSA-R.S. 11:272[D], as amended by Act 132 of 1995). You can call TRSL at 225-925-6446 or toll-free at 1-877-ASK-TRSL (1-877-275-8775) to request a letter verifying your earliest retirement date; or
You have at least 30 years of "substantial" earnings in a job where you paid Social Security taxes. If you have 21 to 29 years of "substantial" Social Security-covered earnings, you won't be subject to the full reduction. The full reduction is on the order of 50 to 60 percent of the Social Security benefit you would otherwise be due.
The WEP formula is complex, so we recommend that you contact the Social Security Administration for explanations of possible reductions.
TAX DEFERRED ANNUITIES (403B): Payroll deductions for tax-deferred annuities:
Employee pays full contribution.
DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLAN (457): Payroll deductions for the State of Louisiana Deferred Compensation Plan. The plan is a defined contribution pension plan where the participant assumes the investment risk. Employee pays full contribution. For more information please visit: www.louisianadcp.com
GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS: Group health insurance/major medical is available to all full-time university employees (working 75% - 30 or more hours per week - 120 or more consecutive days per year). Premiums are paid through employee and employer contributions. Premiums are payroll deducted. State of Louisiana Office of Group Benefits currently offers three (5) health plans:
- Magnolia Local Plus, administered by BCBS of Louisiana
- Magnolia Open Access, administered by BCBS of Louisiana
- Pelican HRA 1000, administered by BCBS of Louisiana
- Pelican HSA 775, administered by BCBS of Louisiana
- Vantage HMO, administered by Vantage.
More information on each plan may be obtained by visiting www.groupbenefits.org.
Insurance coverage is NOT automatic; IT MUST BE APPLIED FOR WITHIN 30 DAYS OF EMPLOYMENT in the Office of Human Resources. Coverage for each employee who completes the applicable Enrollment Form and agrees to make the required payroll contribution is to be as follows:
If employment begins on the first day of the month, coverage is effective the first day of the following month.
If employment begins on the second day of the month or after, coverage is effective the first day of the second month following employment;
Employee coverage will NOT become effective unless the employee completes an application for coverage within 30 days following the date of employment. An employee who completes an application after 30 days following the date of employment will be considered an overdue applicant.
FLEXIBLE BENEFITS PLAN:
- Premium Conversion: Tax free deduction on eligible insurance premiums.
- General Purpose Health Care Spending Arrangement (GPFSA): allows you to use pre-taxed dollars to pay for eligible out of pocket medical, dental and vision care expenses.
- Limited Purpose Dental/Vision Flexible Spending Arrangement (LPFSA): allows you to use pre-taxed dollars to pay for eligible out of pocket dental and vision expenses only.
- Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangement (DCFSA): allows you to use pre-taxed dollars to pay for eligible dependent care expenses for a child, disabled spouse, elderly parent or other dependent incapable of self-care while you are at work.
- The Health Savings Account (HSA): allows you and your employer to contribute pre-taxed dollars to an HSA. Employee must be enrolled in Pelican HSA 775 in order to enroll.
Employees can participate in the GPFSA, LPFSA and the DCFSA even if not enrolled in a health plan or the premium conversion option.
GROUP LIFE INSURANCE: Offered through Prudential Life.
Eligible employees may choose Basic Life or Basic plus Supplemental Life Insurance. The life insurance includes special payment provisions for cases of accidental death or dismemberment. Rates and coverage amounts are based on salary. Premiums are paid through employee and employer contributions.
Optional dependent life insurance is also available with employee paying full contribution.
VOLUNTARY LIFE AND ACCIDENTAL DEATH & DISMEMBERMENT INSURANCE:
Employee pays full premium.
Current vendor participation:
- Zurich AD&D
- American United Life (AUL)
- AIG Life (rates based on age)
SHORT TERM DISABILITY: Employee pays full premium.
Current vendor participation:
- Washington National
VISION INSURANCE: Employee pays full premium.
Current vendor participation:
The Eye Clinic currently offers, at no cost to the University or the employee, a discount on services.
DENTAL INSURANCE: Employee pays full premium.
Current vendor participation:
- Delta Dental
- Crescent Dental
- Dina Dental
COBRA - Benefits under all insurance plans for a covered employee will terminate on the last day of the calendar month during which employment terminated voluntarily or involuntarily, the employee no longer meets the definition of an employee or coverage under a leave of absence expires unless the covered employee elects to continue at the employee's own expense. Employees terminated for gross misconduct are NOT eligible for COBRA. Employee must notify the Office of Human Resources Services prior to termination/resignation. COBRA and portability applications can be obtained in Human Resources.
WORKERS COMPENSATION: All employees are covered, free of charge, under the State of Louisiana, Office of Workers Compensation in accordance with applicable rules and regulations related to on the job injury or illness. Lost time payments and payment of medical bills will be made to employees for covered injuries or illnesses which occur during the scope of employment.
FEE REDUCTION WAIVER: A McNeese employee may enroll in the University with the approval of his/her immediate supervisor or department head, and dean or vice president/President.
UNIVERSITY PRIVILEGES: The following is a brief summary of available privileges:
- Bookstore discount on selected purchases/free gift wrapping/charge accounts
- Discounted Athletic Tickets
- Dining Facilities
- ID card Library Services
- Join Recreation Complex (payroll deductible)
- Direct Deposit
- Join MSU Federal Credit Union
- Federal Post Office
- Banners Series (payroll deductible)
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP): The State of Louisiana offers the following EAP programs. Eligibility requirements must be met:
- LaCHIP: Louisiana Children's Health Insurance Program. No-cost health insurance for children.1-877-252-2447.
- LaMOMS: Helping Pregnant Women Have Healthier Babies. No-cost Health Insurance for Pregnant Women. 1-888-342-6207.
- Medicare Savings Program (MSP): Pays for your Medicare Part B premiums. 1-888-544-7996.
- Medicaid Purchase Plan: Full medical coverage for workers with disabilities. 1-888-544-7996.
- Region V Office for Addictive Disorders: (337) 475-3100, www.dhh.state.la.us
- Office of Group Benefits Health Plan Members ONLY: The Office of Group Benefits offers Employee Assistance Plans as part of the regular Health Plan coverage. See Plan Information for details
Employees accrue leave according to employment type. Leave accrual rates are based upon years of state service. Classified and Unclassified administrators and staff (12 month employees) accrue both sick and annual leave each pay period in accordance with accrual rate schedule. Faculty members (9 month employees) accrue sick leave only in accordance with accrual rate schedule. Faculty members who teach summer school accrue additional sick leave for the summer session. Leave accrual is pro-rated for part time employees according to FTE percentage.
Upon separation from employment, eligible employees are paid leave as follows:
- Classified employees may be paid up to 300 hours of annual leave.
- Unclassified Administrators and Staff (12-month) employees may be paid up to 300 hours of annual leave and upon retirement or death only up to 200 hours of sick leave additionally.
- Faculty members may be paid up to 200 hours of sick leave upon retirement or death only.
Leave payoff amounts are dependent on leave balances at time of separation.
Benefit eligibility is determined by employment type and percentage of time employed. Please contact Human Resources for information regarding benefit eligibility, benefit programs offered, and current rates. The university strives to provide benefit programs for all employment types.
Charlene Abbott - Director of Human Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org, 337-475-5977
Yvonne Jacobs, Human Resources Benefits Office, Smith Hall, room 101, email@example.com, (337-475-5105)