Texas Tech University

Benefits and Services

Credit Union

Employees of TTU and TTUHSC are eligible to join Texas Tech Credit Union. Member perks include free cash-back checking, 2% APY savings, new and used vehicle loans, personal loans, mortgage loans, and line of credit. The credit union also offers 24-hour online and mobile banking, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. video banking, free bill pay, direct deposit, instant-issue debit cards, and over 25,000 free ATMs. Branches are located at 1802 Texas Tech Parkway, Room #1A98 in the Health Sciences Center, and 4005 98th Street. For more information, visit TexasTechFCU.org or call 806.742.3606.

Holiday and Sick Leave

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.

Group Insurance

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 of Texas, a self-funded managed care plan that offers network and non-network benefits.

Secondary Option for Health Coverage. Consumer Directed Health Select is available to employees who are not eligible for Medicare. The plan is made up of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) that offers network and non-network benefits and a health savings account (HSA). The amount of premium contributed by the university is the same percentage as HealthSelect of Texas.

Both health insurance plans utilize the same network of doctors.

For more details on the premiums and benefits provided refer to www.ers.texas.gov.

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 health maintenance organization plan is a DHMO and provides benefits when the employees utilize the DHMO 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.ERSdentalplans.com.

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.texas.gov.

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.texas.gov.

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.texas.gov.

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. The maximum month salary available for insuring is $10,000. 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.texas.gov.

Vision Insurance. Benefits eligible employees may elect vision insurance through Superior Vision Service, Inc. Vision insurance allows employees to visit eye care providers and purchase eyeglasses or contact lenses at a discounted rate. Enrollment must be completed during the first 31 days of employment or during annual enrollment.

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Other Insurance

Workers' Compensation (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 (TTUSORM) is the point of contact for all employees. Timely reporting and submission of associated documentation are the responsibility of the employee and employee's supervisor. TTUSORM 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. Texas Tech University System Office of Risk Management administers a self-funded program on behalf of the university to cover university-owned or leased vehicles. Employees who must operate such vehicles as a part of their assigned duties must be designated "approved" by The Texas Tech University System Office of Risk Management (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. For any questions, please contact the Office of General Counsel.

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.

TEXFLEX Programs (IRS Section 125 Cafeteria Plans)

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, term life, LTD and STD, and AD&D 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. QLEs include things such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, and loss of other coverage. Employees have 30 days from any qualifying life event to change/modify insurance coverage. For more information refer to www.ers.texas.gov.

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 $2,750 per year to an FSA-Health for plan year 2022. 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 and 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 $550 roll-over from the previous plan year. For more information refer to www.ers.texas.gov.

Flexible Spending Account – Dependent Care (FSA-Dependent Care). A benefits eligible employee may elect to contribute as little as $15 per month ($180 annually) on a pre-tax basis to an FSA-Dependent Care. The maximum contribution for the plan year is $5,000 per family ($2,500 if married but filing separately). FSA-Dependent 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-Dependent 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.texas.gov.

Limited Flexible Spending Account (LFSA). A benefits eligible employee may elect to contribute on a pre-tax basis to an LFSA when they are enrolled in Consumer Directed HealthSelect, the high-deductible health plan. This account lets you set aside money for on a limited basis, to pay for dental and vision expenses only. 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.texas.gov.

Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA is part of the Consumer Directed HealthSelect. It helps employees save money to prepare for out-of-pocket costs. Limits for contributions are set annually by the IRS and depend on single or family coverage enrollment in Consumer Directed HealthSelect. The calendar year 2022 limit for individuals is $3,650 or $7,300 for family. The calendar year 2021 limit for individuals is $3,600 and $7,200 for family. Employees must be enrolled in Consumer Directed HealthSelect to open an HSA. Funds deposited into an HSA do not have a "use it or lose it" provision. The funds are accessible to the employee year after year for medical or dental expenses, even upon changing of employment.

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Retirement

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.

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.texas.gov. For a comparison of ORP and TRS refer to the benefits link at www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/EmpBenefits/Retiring/RetirementPlans.php.

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.

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, Optional Retirement Program. For a comparison of ORP and TRS visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board at www.highered.texas.gov.

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.

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Supplemental Retirement Programs

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 plans. These programs are offered as a supplement to the retirement benefits provided by the Teacher Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program. The institution does not make contributions to these accounts.

For more information on the TSA program, refer to OP 70.09, Tax Deferred Account Program, and the benefits link on the retirement program website at www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/EmpBenefits/Retiring/RetirementPlans.php.

Employees can enroll in the Texa$aver plan to have payroll deductions up to specified limits on a tax-deferred basis under IRS 457. Empower Retirement currently serves as the third-party administrator for the program. Refer to the Texa$aver link at www.texasaver.com for more information. Employees can enroll in the optional 403(b) plan online at www.myretirementmanager.com/?ttu.

Ticket Privileges

Athletics. Benefits eligible full-time faculty and staff are eligible to receive a 20 percent discount on season tickets (up to six per sport) in football, baseball, and men's and women's basketball. Interested persons may contact the Athletic Ticket Office at 806.742.TECH.

Music, Dance, Lectures, Art Exhibits, and Theatre. The School of Art features programs of exhibitions, speakers, symposia, and workshops offering hands-on experience with working professional artists. These are normally open to the public and free of charge. Call 806.742.3826 for additional information. To schedule an exhibition group tour, call 806.742.1947 or email landmarkarts@ttu.edu. 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 School of Theatre & Dance offers faculty $10 tickets to any performance in the season. For ticket reservations, season subscription pricing, and ticket information, call the Texas Tech University Theatre Box Office at 806.742.3603.

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University Recreation

The Department of University Recreation is a comprehensive fitness, leisure, and recreation department with world-class facilities and cutting-edge programs and services! Texas Tech University faculty are eligible to purchase individual or household memberships for a month-long or annual basis. Faculty who purchase a University Recreation and Student Recreation Center membership are not just joining a gym but are rather investing in their quality of life and sustaining life-long healthy behaviors.

Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center. With over 242,000 square feet of recreational activity space, the Student Recreation Center has a variety of exercise, fitness, and leisure opportunities for the Red Raider campus community. Highlights include:

  • Seven gym courts ideal for badminton, basketball, pickleball, and volleyball
  • Multi-activity court (MAC) perfect for indoor soccer or floor hockey
  • The Free Weight and Machine Weight with over 175 weightlifting stations, dumbbells, and barbells
  • Raider Power Zone, which is a combination of functional fitness training and power-lifting racks
  • Over 90 cardiovascular fitness machines from leading commercial manufacturers including Concept 2, Life Fitness, Matrix, Precor, and Woodway
  • A 1/8 of a mile elevated track with stretching and core fitness spaces
  • A 53-foot-tall climbing and bouldering wall
  • Racquetball courts
  • Multiple fitness studios including the Raider Ride Cycling Studio
  • Men's and women's locker rooms
  • Equipment Issue with a variety of equipment to support and complement your activities

Outdoor Pursuits Center. Perfect for the outdoor enthusiast, the Outdoor Pursuits Center has all the rental equipment and regional park information for the weekend or weeklong adventure! Items available for rental include:

  • A fleet of watercraft including canoes, kayaks, and personal flotation devices
  • Single and multi-person tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Cookware
  • Skis, boots, bindings, and poles
  • Snowboards
  • Maps and informational guides regarding local, state, and national parks

Fit/Well Suite. Home to personal training, massage, and expert information regarding fitness and wellness programs and services available through University Recreation, this space will help members meet and exceed fitness and wellness goals!

  • Purchase and register for a variety of personal training packages
  • Purchase a massage package to help smooth out the aches and pains from exercise
  • Learn more about our complimentary group fitness class program with over 50 classes per week
  • Purchase and become a member of the Texas Tech Cross-Fit Box
  • Learn about monthly educational wellness demonstrations and programs
  • Purchase a Muscle Milk or other beverage for pre- or post-workout satisfaction

Indoor Aquatic Center.

  • Ideal for fitness swimming, the indoor aquatic center can be set at 50- or 25-meter lengths
  • Register yourself or other family members for our regionally recognized American Red Cross Learn 2 Swim Program
  • Men's and women's locker rooms

Outdoor Leisure Pool. Nationally recognized with multiple design awards, the outdoor leisure pool space is the ideal location for fun in the sun! Picture-perfect for fitness swimming, family activities, or relaxing alone, this fitness and leisure activity area has something for everyone. Additionally, this space is great for family gatherings and birthday party rentals.

  • Competition and activity pools for lap and fitness swimming
  • Double T splash pad and slide area
  • Three-tier wet deck ideal for relaxing and soaking up vitamin D
  • Spa
  • 645-foot-long lazy river
  • Sam's Place poolside dining

Urbanovsky Park. When the weather is just too perfect to exercise indoors, take your fitness activities to Urbanovsky Park. This outdoor lighted park is a great space to enjoy fresh air while exercising.

  • 9-hole disc golf course
  • 8 tennis courts
  • 4 basketball courts
  • 3 sand volleyball courts
  • 1-mile running trail
  • Soccer and Rugby fields
  • Functional fitness and chin-up bar exercise zone

West Rec Turf, Natural Grass, and Softball Complex. Located near HSC, this outdoor competition complex is open to members who purchase a University Recreation and Student Recreation Center membership.

  • West Rec Turf is available for late afternoon and evening activities and is typically home to intramural sports flag football and soccer competitions.
  • West Rec Natural Grass is a lighted complex perfect for soccer or other informal activities.
  • The softball complex consists of four fields and is ideal for a weekend tournament rental.

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