Benefits Impact of Working Part Time
This webpage provides an overview of impact on benefits resulting from a reduction in the full-time equivalency (FTE) of a benefited University position. This document presumes that that the position remains benefited (50+% time) position.
Benefit accruals: sick and vacation accruals are pro-rated based on the FTE of a position. For instance, if a full-time time position normally accrues 10 days of paid vacation annually, a half-time position would accrue 5 days of paid vacation annually. Personal leave is unaffected as long as the employee is on the payroll the first paydate in the calendar year.
Health Insurance: contribution toward health and basic life insurance premiums for coverage through the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is unaffected by a reduction in FTE. The GIC is agency of record for all GIC benefits (tel: 617.727.2310).
Long-term Disability Insurance (LTD): if an employee is enrolled in GIC LTD insurance, LTD premiums and coverage will be pro-rated based on the pro-rated reduction in annual salary.
Optional Life Insurance (OLI): if covered under a GIC OLI insurance policy, neither coverage nor premium will automatically be reduced. Employees may complete a GIC Enrollment/Change form to reduce OLI coverage effective the first day of any future month. If one reduces coverage, premiums and coverage will reduce commensurately.
Benefited employees may apply to increase coverage any time. The GIC's life insurance vendor will approve or deny coverage based on a medical evidence of insurability process.
GIC Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): if contributing to a Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), a change in FTE is an opportunity to pro-actively change annual DCAP election online with the GIC's FSA vendor. This request must be initiated within 30 days of the change in FTE. A change in FTE is not an opportunity to change a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) election.
Dental insurance: dental (or dental/vision) coverage is not impacted by a reduction in FTE.
Mandatory Retirement: payroll-deducted contributions to the Massachusetts mandatory retirement systems are a percentage of your regular compensation and reduce commensurate with a reduction in regular compensation paid.
- MA State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS / pension system / defined benefit plan): The MA State Retirement Board is agency of record for MSERS benefits (tel: 617.367.7770)
Creditable service toward retirement is pro-rated for periods of part-time service after January 28, 1993. For example, if the benefited University position is half-time the MSERS member accrues 6 months of creditable service toward retirement for every 12 months worked.
- If you do not have part-time, benefited service in MSERS prior to January 28, 1993 your pension will be calculated using the highest three* consecutive years of FTE salary (if you became a member of MSERS on/after April 2, 2012 the basis of your pension will be the average of your highest five consecutive years of FTE salary*).
For example if one was a member of SERS prior to April 2, 2012 and the highest three consecutive years of half-time salary is $20,000 per year, the pension will be calculated using the full-time equivalent of this, or $40,000.
- If one does have part-time, benefited service in SERS prior to January 28, 1993 the pension will be calculated in two ways and the retiree receives the higher of the two calculations:
Calculation 1: granting full-time creditable service for part-time service prior to 1/28/93, using the average of the highest three (or five*) consecutive years of actual salary paid.
Calculation 2: granting pro-rated creditable service for part-time service prior to 1/28/93, using the highest three (or five*) consecutive years of FTE salary paid.
Optional Retirement Program (ORP):
The MA Department of Higher Education is agency of record for the ORP (tel: 617.994.6960).
A reduction in salary (eg, due to reduction in hours) will result in a commensurate reduction in ORP contributions, Commonwealth of Massachusetts matching contributions and ORP long-term disability and life insurance coverages (www.mass.edu/forfacstaff/orp/benefits.asp)
Voluntary Retirement: if contributing to a voluntary retirement plan via payroll deduction (eg, University 403b or Massachusetts 457b/SMART plan) the employee may have elected to contribute a percentage of income or a flat dollar amount bi-weekly. Percentage of income contributions reduce automatically with decreased income. Employees can adjust your contributions to the 403b plan online biweekly in the Fidelity NetBenefits system and 457b/SMART plan contributions to take effect the next calendar month online in Empower Retirement's system.
Tuition Discount: tuition discounts are reduced for part-time benefited employees. Please reference the UMass Trustee Tuition Discount policy for full details.
Compass/Corestream deductions: post-tax Compass/Corestream payroll deductions generally represent a MetLegal and/or home/ auto insurance premium. Employees may elect to discontinue a MetLegal enrollment during February open enrollment; please discuss desired home/auto insurance policy changes directly with your insurance company.
Massachusetts and US federal income tax withholdings adjust commensurately with changes in income. Note if an employee has elected to have a flat dollar amount (or additional flat dollar amount) of income tax withheld they may wish to reevaluate that additional withholding and can change your withholding election online in the HR Direct system.
Please always review pay statements carefully - this webpage is intended to provide a general overview of benefits and the impact of a change in FTE on those benefits. Employees may have other benefits payroll-deducted (eg, a union-based short- or long-term disability insurance plan which the University does not administrate).
Unemployment benefits: a reduction in the FTE position may result in eligibility for Unemployment income. Employees should work directly with the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance via telephone (877-626-6800) or online (https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance) regarding eligibility for unemployment benefits.