The College makes contributions (effective calendar year 2013) to Emeriti Health Accounts on behalf of eligible members of the faculty and professional staff during their working years. Employees do not pay federal or state income tax on the contributions the College makes on their behalf, or on any associated investment earnings. Employees may also make their own contributions on an after-tax basis. Contributions, and any investment earnings, can be accessed once they “vest” as described below, and following retirement. Contributions and associated earnings may be accessed on a tax-free basis to help pay health insurance premiums and to receive reimbursement for other eligible health care expenses. Funds in the Emeriti Health Account are held in a “VEBA Trust” and are administered by TIAA.
The following employees are eligible to receive College-funded contributions to an Emeriti Health Account, if in an eligible status as of January 31 during the year in which the contribution is made. These groups may also make voluntary contributions to an Emeriti Health Account. Except as noted, the information below applies only to employees who were hired after December 31, 2012 and upon retirement, are considered Ben Franklin Retirees.
- Franklin & Marshall faculty and professional staff classified as “full-time”: exempt and non-exempt employees who are appointed to positions designated as fulltime by the College and who are authorized and regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week for wages, either for the full fiscal year (12 months) or for 9, 10, or 11 months per year.
- Faculty members on an approved, shared appointment: two faculty members sharing one full-time faculty position (each faculty member is considered an individual Plan participant while on an approved, shared appointment).
- Faculty members participating in the Phased Retirement Program or Preretirement Leave of Absence Program, if otherwise eligible (i. e., such faculty members will remain eligible for the College’s annual Emeriti Health Account contribution until they fully retire from College service).
- Employees appointed to full-time temporary positions with the College, including full-time visiting faculty members.
- Employees appointed to full-time positions by the College which are funded in part or fully through a grant or gift.
- Full-time employees of the Centennial Conference who work on the Franklin &Marshall campus and are paid through the College’s payroll system.
- Professional staff appointed to those part-time positions which are authorized by the College, in writing, and budgeted to work 1,000 hours or more for wages per employment year, regardless of age as of December 31, 2012.
Ineligible Employees—The following groups are not eligible to receive College contributions or to make their own contributions to an Emeriti Health Account:
- Faculty and professional staff who were employed in a full-time status with Franklin & Marshall on December 31, 2012, and were age 55 or older as of December 31, 2012. (These employees receive a subsidy toward their Emeriti health plan premiums during retirement in lieu of contributions to an Emeriti Health Account. )
- Part-time employees budgeted to work less than 1,000 hours for wages each year.
- Temporary “summer workers” even if working a full-time schedule on a temporary basis, and other seasonal or part-time employees.
- Adjunct faculty members and other part-time faculty members.
- Employees who retired from full-time College service prior to January 1, 2013, and were later rehired.
- Faculty members who signed a Phased Retirement or Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Agreement by December 31, 2012.
- Independent contractors, consultants, and contracted service employees.
- Students, student employees, and interns.
- Non-College employees other than full-time Centennial Conference employees who work on the Franklin & Marshall campus.
- Unpaid College volunteers including faculty research associates.
- Employees of the Lancaster City Alliance.
Additionally, an otherwise eligible employee who is not employed in an eligible status on January 31 of a given year will not receive a College-funded contribution that calendar year.
Plan Entry Date-- An employee becomes eligible to receive College-funded contributions to his/her Emeriti Health Account as of the date he/she is appointed to an eligibleposition as outlined above. However, the College’s contribution is submitted on behalf of each employee only once per year, generally each February. An employee must be employed by the College in an eligible status, as summarized above, on January 31 to receive the contribution for that calendar year.
An employee in an eligible status may initiate his/her own contributions, on an after-tax
basis, as of the first day of employment in an eligible status.
Date College-funded Contributions are Submitted— The College’s Emeriti Health Account contribution made on behalf of each eligible employee is submitted to Accounts once per year, generally each February. An employee must be employed in an eligible status, or on an approved leave of absence which provides for continued contributions, as of January 31 to receive the College’s annual contribution to his/her Emeriti Health Account for that year. Faculty and professional staff who are not eligible as of January 31 but become eligible on a later date, including employees hired in to an eligible status after January 31 and faculty on unpaid leave of absence as of January 31, will receive a College contribution the following calendar year if eligible at that time.
Suspension of College Contributions—The College will continue to make contributions to the Emeriti Health Account of an eligible employee for a total of 25 years (25 annual contributions to an employee’s Emeriti Health Account). However, contributions may cease earlier in some circumstances. The College will continue to make contributions to an eligible employee’s Emeriti Health Account on an annual basis until the earlier of:
- the date an employee’s full-time employment terminates, including due to retirement, death, or a change to ineligible part-time or adjunct status,
- the date a part-time employee is no longer authorized by the College to work 1,000 or more hours per year for wages,
- the date an employee is otherwise no longer employed in an eligible status,
- the date an employee begins a leave of absence which does not provide for continued contributions (see below),
- the date an employee has received contributions for 25 years (25 annual contributions to his/her Emeriti Health Account), or the date the Plan is terminated by the College or College-funded contributions are suspended.
If one of the events listed above occurs prior to or on January 31, the employee will not receive the College’s contribution which is made following that January 31.
Suspension of Elective Contributions-- Once an employee begins making voluntary contributions, he/she generally remains eligible to continue to make contributions through transfers from a personal savings or checking account to the Emeriti Health Account, even following employment termination. Faculty, professional staff, and College retirees may contact The Emeriti Service Center, (866) 363-7484, for further information about making elective contributions following termination of employment.An employee may voluntarily suspend elective contributions at any time, with proper
notice to his/her bank and to the Emeriti Service Center, (866) 363-7484.
Leave of Absence— An otherwise eligible member of the faculty or professional staff taking one of the following types of approved leave as of January 31 of a given year will receive a College contribution to his/her Emeriti Health Account for that year:
- paid sabbatical, paid Junior Faculty Leave, other paid faculty research leave, or paid professional development leave for an exempt staff member,
- an approved, unpaid faculty research leave of 12 months duration or less, paid short-term disability leave (“sick” leave),
- paid maternity/paternity leave, or paid family care leave of up to 6 months duration,
- paid or unpaid leave per the College’s Family & Medical Leave Policy,
- paid vacation,
- paid or unpaid military leave, or
- approved, unpaid personal leave of 6 months duration or less.
Additionally, a full-time faculty member participating in the Phased Retirement Program or Pre-retirement Leave of Absence Program will remain eligible for the College’s annual Emeriti Health Account contribution until he/she fully retires from College service (if the faculty member was under age 55 as of December 31, 2012, or hired by the College after December 31, 2012).
An employee on one of the following types of leave, or otherwise on inactive employment status as of January 31 of a given year, will not receive the College’s contribution to his/her Emeriti Health Account that year:
- unpaid faculty research leave of more than 12 months duration,
- long-term disability leave (disability leave of more than 6 months), even if the individual is receiving income benefits through the College’s long-term disability plan, and
- unpaid personal leave of more than 6 months duration.
Re-employment-- A former full-time employee will be eligible for a College contribution to his/her Emeriti Health Account upon re-appointment to a full-time or other eligible position. The former employee’s first contribution will be made at the same time the College makes its annual contribution for all eligible faculty and professional staff (generally in February), if the employee is in an eligible status as of the prior January 31. A former full-time employee who is again appointed to an eligible position may initiate elective contributions as of the first of the month following re-appointment. An employee who is re-appointed will receive College contributions to his/her Emeriti Health Account for a total of 25 years, and any employer contributions made prior to the
original employment termination date will count toward the 25 year limit.