Benefits and Services
Employees of Texas Tech University and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center can become members of the Texas Tech Federal Credit Union (TTFCU). Members can enjoy the many services that TTFCU offers, including free cash-back checking accounts, instant- issue Texas Tech debit cards, online banking and free bill pay. The credit union also offers new and used vehicle loans, signature loans, mortgage loans, home equity loans and low-rate credit cards. Members enjoy the ease of direct deposit, payroll deduction, 24-hour Telephone Teller, Internet banking and over 25,000 free ATMs. There are two full-service branches on campus: 1802 Texas Tech Parkway and 1A098 at the Health Sciences Center. A third branch is located at 98th Street and Miami. For more information, visit www.texastechfcu.org, or call 806.742.3606.
Holidays. The Texas Legislature sets the number of holidays to be observed each year by state employees. The university observes the same number of holidays as other state agencies. The holiday schedule is adjusted each year by the Board of Regents to permit efficient academic scheduling.
Sick Leave. Regular full-time faculty members accrue 8 hours sick leave per month. The accrual for part-time faculty members is proportional to their FTE. Faculty members must submit leave reports via web time entry for all sick leave taken if the absence occurred during the normal workday for regular employees, even if no classes were missed. See OP 32.11 for Faculty Sick Leave Policy.
Texas Tech University participates in the State of Texas Employees Group Insurance Benefits Program. The Employees Retirement System (ERS) is the state agency that administers this program.
Health Insurance Coverage. Each full-time benefits eligible employee is automatically covered for employee-only medical, $5,000 term life, and $5,000 accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance at no cost to the employee. Eligible dependents may be covered with the employee paying 50 percent of the dependent cost. Part-time benefits eligible employees pay 50 percent of the premium for the employee-only coverage and 75 percent of the cost for dependent coverage. The amount contributed by the university toward the employee’s health insurance is subject to change by the Texas Legislature. New employees are eligible the first day of the month following 60 days of employment. Employees are enrolled in HealthSelect, a self-funded managed care plan that offers network and non network benefits. For more details on the premiums and benefits provided refer to www.ers.state.tx.us.
Enrollment in health insurance is not required in order to enroll in the optional coverages listed below. Premiums for optional coverages are fully paid by the employee through payroll deduction.
Dental Coverage. Benefits eligible employees have a choice between two dental plans. The dental maintenance plan is a DMO and provides benefits when the employees utilize the DMO network of dentists. The State of Texas Dental Choice Plan does not restrict the dentist an individual can use; however, the benefits are greater if the individual selects and sees a dentist from the plan’s provider network. Enrollment must be completed during the first 31 days of employment or during annual enrollment. The full premium for dental coverage is paid by the employee through payroll deduction. For more details on the premiums and benefits provided by these choices refer to www.Humanadental.com/ers.
The State of Texas Dental Discount Plan is a discount program for dental services. Under this plan, participating dentists have agreed to accept a discounted fee from participants as payment-in-full for dental services performed.
Optional Term Life Insurance. Benefits eligible employees may elect term life coverage with AD&D with options of one, two, three, or four times annual salary not to exceed $400,000 (three or four times salary requires evidence of insurability). Enrollment must be completed during the first 31 days of employment. Subsequent application for enrollment will be subject to satisfying evidence of insurability. For more information refer to www.ers.state.tx.us.
Dependent Term Life Insurance. Benefits eligible employees may elect $5,000 term life insurance with $5,000 AD&D for all eligible dependents. Benefits are payable to the employee. Enrollment must be completed during the first 31 days of employment. Subsequent application for enrollment will be subject to satisfying evidence of insurability. For more information refer to www.ers.state.tx.us.
Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D). Benefits eligible employees may elect additional accidental death and dismemberment coverage between $10,000 and $200,000 in increments of $5,000. This plan also provides an option for dependent coverage based on a percentage of the employee’s coverage. Enrollment must be completed during the first 31 days of employment or during annual enrollment. For more information see www.ers.state.tx.us.
Short-Term (STD) and Long-Term (LTD) Disability Coverage.Benefits eligible employees may elect STD and/or LTD to provide income replacement upon becoming totally disabled and unable to work. STD and LTD benefit payments are offset by any disability benefits received from other sources (such as Social Security, Workers Compensation, and retirement disability benefits). Enrollment must be completed during the first 31 days of employment. Subsequent application for enrollment will be subject to satisfying evidence of insurability. For more information see www.ers.state.tx.us.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance (WC).WC is regulated by the state of Texas and may provide medical and income benefits for injuries and occupational illnesses that arise out of the course and scope of employment. This program is available to all employees whose names appear on the payroll. The Texas Tech University System Office of Risk Management is the point of contact for all employees. That office will report to the State Office of Risk Management, the state agency that administers the program. The Texas Department of Insurance Workers’ Compensation Division promulgates rules and regulations governing WC (OP 70.13)
Automobile Liability Insurance. The university maintains an automobile liability insurance policy to cover university-owned or leased vehicles. Employees who must operate such a vehicle as a part of their assigned duties must be designated “approved” by The Texas Tech University System Office of Risk Managementt (OP 79.13 and 80.07). Additional information is available through the Office of Risk Management.
Legal Liability Insurance. In litigation against the university and any employees sued for acts within the course and scope of their employment, the Office of the Attorney General provides a defense. In those cases, indemnity is provided to the employees pursuant to state law. The university does not purchase general liability insurance.
Unemployment Compensation Insurance (UCI). Each employee in a position not requiring student status as a condition of employment is covered by the Unemployment Compensation Insurance Program. Through the UCI program, an employee may be eligible for weekly benefit payments during a period of unemployment which occurs through no fault of the employee.
An employee of the university cannot be paid UCI benefits for any week of unemployment that begins during the period between two regular academic terms, or which begins during an established vacation period or holiday recess, if the employee worked the first of such terms or work periods and has a reasonable assurance to work in the second of such terms or periods.
Premium Conversion. All benefits-eligible employees enrolling in the insurance program are automatically enrolled in premium conversion. Insurance premiums, with the exception of dependent life, LTD and STD, are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis, before federal income and social security taxes are calculated. The result is that employees save money on taxes and receive more take-home pay. Premium conversion prevents employees from adding, dropping, increasing, or decreasing any group insurance coverage during the plan year unless a qualifying life event (QLE) occurs. Employees have 30 days from any qualifying life event to change insurance coverage. For more information refer to www.ers.state.tx.us.
Flexible Spending Account – Health Care (FSA-Health). A benefits eligible employee may elect to contribute as little as $15 per month ($180 annually) or as much as $2,.500 per year to a FSA-Health. This contribution is deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis resulting in more take-home pay for the employee. The FSA-Health can then be used to pay for health care expenses not covered by insurance such as, eyeglasses, co-payments for physician and dental visits. Reimbursement accounts, by federal law, have a “use it or lose it” provision which necessitates caution in estimating reimbursable expenses for the plan year. The plan allows for a $500 roll-over from the previous plan year. For more information refer to www.ers.state.tx.us.
Flexible Spending Account – Day Care (FSA-Day Care). A benefits eligible employee may elect to contribute as little as $15 per month ($180 annually) on a pre-tax basis to a FSA-Day Care. The maximum contribution for the plan year is $5,000 per family ($2,500 if married but filing separately). FSA-Day Care can be used to save money on a dependent child’s daycare or after-school care (until age 13) or dependent care for an adult family member. FSA-Day Care may save more money in taxes than the Child Care Tax Credit; however, it depends on your income. Reimbursement accounts, by federal law, have a “use it or lose it” provision which necessitates caution in estimating reimbursable expenses for the plan year. For more detailed information refer to www.ers.state.tx.us.
The recreational facilities and programs of the university are available to faculty members who purchase a membership from the Department of Recreational Sports. Facilities include the Student Recreation Center, Aquatic Center and Leisure Pool. There are eight lighted tennis courts, a one-mile track, and athletic fields surrounding the Recreation Center. The Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center has 242,000 square feet of activity and recreational space, making it one of the largest student recreation centers in the nation. The building includes seven basketball/volleyball courts; an indoor soccer arena; a free weight room; 105 cardio machines; a selectorized machine weight room; and a four-lane, 1/8 mile elevated jogging track. Also available are three fitness/dance studios, a 53-foot high climbing center, an outdoor pursuit’s center, eleven racquetball courts, a spin room, a fitness/wellness center, locker rooms and equipment check-out.
The Aquatic Center is an indoor 50-meter swimming facility that is open during the cool weather months. A 65,000-square foot outdoor leisure pool allows for great outdoor swimming opportunities during warm weather months. Included in this facility are lap lanes, a 645-foot lazy river, wet deck sunning areas, water basketball and volleyball areas, a diving board and drop slide, as well as food options with Sam’s Place Poolside. Semester or annual passes can be purchased.
Programs include intramural competition, adult fitness classes, adventure trips, biking and many noncredit recreational instructional classes and clinics. Personal training and licensed massage therapy are available in the Fitness/Wellness area throughout the year. In addition, Recreational Sports offers youth swimming instruction and a youth sport camp during the summer for staff members and their families on a fee basis.
Each regular employee of the university at the time of employment is required as a condition of employment to be a member of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). An Optional Retirement Program (ORP) is available in lieu of TRS for full-time faculty and certain executive management, professional, and administrative employees. Contributions to TRS and ORP are on a tax-deferred basis.
Teacher Retirement System (TRS). The TRS is a traditional defined benefit state retirement program in which investment risks are absorbed by the state. Contributions go into a large trust fund that is managed by knowledgeable professionals with a prudent, yet very successful investment strategy. This type of plan provides stability and does not require any investment decisions by the individual members. Retirement benefits are based on legislatively determined formulas.
State law requires both the employee and the state to make contributions based on a percentage of the employee’s salary. State contribution rates are established biennially by the Texas Legislature and may fluctuate over time. For more information on the TRS, refer to www.trs.state.tx.us. Refer to the benefits link at www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/empRetiring/RetirementPlans.php for a comparison of the TRS and ORP.
Optional Retirement Program (ORP). ORP is an individualized defined contribution plan in which each participant selects a variety of investments such as annuity contracts or mutual funds with an authorized company. Because participants manage their own personal investment accounts, ORP entails more individual risk and responsibility than that associated with TRS membership. Benefits are a direct result of the amounts contributed and any return on the investments selected by each participant.
Upon termination of employment from Texas public higher education, ORP participants with more than one year of participation retain control over all investments (both employee and employer contributions). Participants who terminate with one year or less of initial participation forfeit employer contributions made during that term of employment. State law requires both the employee and the state to make contributions based on a percentage of the employee’s salary. State contribution rates are established biennially by the Texas Legislature and may fluctuate over time.
An employee must exercise an option to participate in the ORP within 90 days following the date of eligibility. If no election is made within the 90 days, the employee will be deemed to have chosen membership in TRS. This decision is irrevocable.
For more information refer to OP 70.07. For a comparison of ORP and TRS, refer to the benefits link at www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/empRetiring/RetirementPlans.php
Old-Age Survivors Insurance Program (OASI) (Social Security). Unless visa exempted or student status exempted, each employee of the university is required to participate in the Federal OASI Program. The payroll deduction is based on a percentage of salary. The employee’s and employer’s portion and the maximum covered wage are subject to change by the Social Security Administration. For information regarding OASI benefits, refer to www.ssa.gov.
In addition to participation in the Teacher Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program, employees of Texas Tech are eligible to set aside additional amounts of salary, up to certain limits, without paying current income tax on those amounts. This income tax deferment is available under the Tax Sheltered Annuity Program, 403(b) and the Deferred Compensation Program (457). Participation in these programs is voluntary, and employees may elect to participate in either or both programs. There is a ROTH option available under both the 403(b) and 457 plan. These programs are offered as a supplement to the retirement benefits provided by the Teacher Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program.
For more information on the TSA program, refer to OP 70.09 at www.depts.ttu.edu/opmanual and the benefits link at www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/empRetiring/RetirementPlans.php.
Employees can enroll in the Texa$aver plan to have payroll deductions up to specified limits on a tax-deferred basis under IRS 457. Great-West currently serves as the third-party administrator for the program. Refer to the Texa$aver link at www.ers.state.tx.us for more information.
Benefits eligible full-time faculty and staff are eligible to receive a 20 percent discount on season tickets (two per sport) in football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. Interested persons may contact the Athletic Ticket Office at the north end of Jones AT&T Stadium (806.742.4412).
Music, Dance, Lectures, Art Exhibits, and Theatre
The School of Music presents faculty and student concerts and recitals and a series of guest performances throughout the year. Faculty and their families are invited. There is normally no admission charge. However, some special events are ticketed. Call 806.834.4829 for information. The Department of Theatre and Dance offers a season subscription to its Mainstage season that is a 50 percent savings over individually priced tickets. For ticket reservations, pricing, and ticket information, call the Texas Tech University Theatre Box Office at 806.742.3603. The School of Art features programs of exhibitions, speakers, symposia and workshops offering hands-on experience with working artists. These are normally open to the public and free of charge. Call 806.742.3826 for further information. To schedule an exhibition group tour, call 806.742.1947 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.