This page is designed to outline all benefit information as you prepare to joining the university. If you have any questions on these topics or would like to discuss details specific to you as you plan your next steps, please email us at ua-benefits@alaska.edu.​
Temporary employees should review our temporary employee webpage for specific benefit information for temporary employees.

 

 

Benefit Overview Information for New Employees

A Benefit Overview is your chance to meet with a member of the benefits team to go over the details of the benefits that are available to you. If you are unable to attend, please email ua-benefits@alaska.edu so additional accommodations can be made. 

You will automatically be signed up by a member of the benefits team. You will be schedule for the first available overview after your hire date. If you have a scheduling conflict, please reach out to ua-benefits@alaska.edu to let us know. 

Benefits Overview is held on the first and third Wednesday of each month. It begins at 8:30 am Alaskan and will last about 2 hours in total. You will automatically be signed up for the first available overview after your hire date. If you have a scheduling conflict, please reach out to ua-benefits@alaska.edu to let us know. 

The Benefits Overview goes over many important topics for new UA employees. Some of these topics are:

  1. The required action items that you must complete within your first 30 calendar days of employment
  2. General information about the University of Alaska system and UA HR
  3. Health care information
  4. Retirement information
  5. Annual leave, sick leave, Faculty Time Off, and leave without pay
  6. Additional benefits

 

The 5 Required Action Items for New Employees

You will receive a Due Date Guide the Friday prior to your scheduled Benefits Overview. There are 5 required items that must be completed within your first 30 days. The benefits team will go into detail on each of these items at your Benefits Overview. 

  1. Health Care options
  2. Retirement options
  3. Required training on myUA
  4. HR Address update on UAOnline
  5. Beneficiary form for UA Paid Basic Life Insurance
The New Employee Health Care Form can be completed at any time for new employees prior to the 30 day deadline. More information can be found on our health care webpage and during your scheduled Benefits Overview.

There are 4 health care options for new employees:

1. Summary of Benefits and Coverage - 750 Plan
2. Summary of Benefits and Coverage - HDHP
3. Summary of Benefits and Coverage - CDHP
4. Opting out because you have coverage elsewhere

You must complete a health care form to enroll in a UA Choice Plan or to opt-out because you have coverage elsewhere. 
Within the first 30 days of your hire date.
You will be defaulted into employee only coverage for medical, dental, and vision, on our mid-tier plan. No dependent enrollment will be allowed.

You have 30 calendar days from your hire date to submit a health care form.

The retirement forms are generated by the benefits team based on prior employment with UA and/or the State of Alaska. These are prepared and sent to you via DocuSign after your Benefits Overview.

You must complete the retirement forms to enroll in your specific retirement plan.
Within the first 30 days of your hire date.
You will be defaulted into either the PERS or TRS retirement plan, depending on your position. Your UA Pension Plan will be defaulted into Fidelity. 

Staff Work Status Retirement Plan
I am staff and I have never worked for the University of Alaska or any State of Alaska employer before. My retirement plan will be PERS DC Tier IV with UA Pension Plan.
I am staff and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a staff benefit-eligible position. My retirement plan will be the plan I previously selected (either ORP or PERS with or without UA Pension Plan). 
I am staff and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a faculty benefit-eligible position.

If I previously selected ORP with my faculty position, I will be placed back in ORP.

If I previously selected TRS with my faculty position, I will be placed in PERS with our without the UA Pension Plan. 

I am staff and I have worked for a State of Alaska employer before (either faculty or staff) but this is my first staff position with the University of Alaska.

My retirement plan will be my previous PERS plan if I was a staff member. 

If I was previously faculty with another State of Alaska employer, I will move to the PERS retirement plan. 


Faculty Work Status Retirement Plan
I am faculty and I have never worked for the University of Alaska or any State of Alaska employer before. I will choose between TRS and ORP within my first 30 days. 
I am faculty and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a faculty benefit-eligible position. My retirement plan will be the plan I previously selected (either ORP or TRS with or without UA Pension Plan). 
I am faculty and I have worked for the University of Alaska before in a staff benefit-eligible position.

If I previously selected ORP with my staff position, I will be placed back in ORP.

If I previously selected PERS with my staff position, I will be placed in TRS with our without the UA Pension Plan. 

I am faculty and I have worked for a State of Alaska employer before (either faculty or staff) but this is my first faculty position with the University of Alaska.

My retirement plan will be my previous TRS plan if I was a faculty member. 

If I was previously staff with another State of Alaska employer, I will choose between TRS and ORP within my first 30 days.

You have 30 days from your hire date to submit your retirement form. 

Most training can be found in myUA. There are three tiers of training:

Tier 1: Required training for all UA employees
Tier 2: Required training for specific positions (check with your supervisor on these)
Tier 3: Professional development

All employees must complete Tier 1 trainings, including a yearly Title IX training. 

The Title IX training is located on Black Board.

You can access the trainings via your single sign on (SSO) on myUA.  If you are having issues with your login, please contact our Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Team at ua-hrishelpdesk@alaska.edu

You have 30 days from your hire date to complete your training. 

Please log into UAOnline and confirm your HR address. This can be updated at any time. All HR regulatory mailings will be sent to this address (i.e. tax forms). This is also the address that will be sent to our vendors (Premera, VSP, retirement plan vendors, etc). It's important to make sure this address is correct so that you receive all mail from UA HR and the vendors that you participate with. 

To confirm and/or update your address, log into UAOnline  and click on "Personal" followed by "Manage Your Address, Email, and Phone."

You have 30 days from your hire date to confirm your HR address. 

All University of Alaska employees in a benefit eligible position will receive Basic Life Insurance in the amount of $50,000. This is a university paid benefit - meaning there is no cost to you! More information can be found on our Basic Life Insurance webpage.

The only required action for Basic Life Insurance is to ensure that we have record of a current beneficiary on file.  You can find the beneficiary form by navigating to our Basic Life Insurance webpage and clicking on the "beneficiary" drop down menu. 

Remember - you can update your beneficiary at any time by completing a new form. Any new form submitted will automatically replace any form submitted under a previous date. 

If you would like to purchase additional life insurance beyond the Basic $50,000 policy, please review the options for Supplemental Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D). Both Supplemental Life and AD&D are provided to you in the New Employee Health Care Form, should you wish to enroll beyond the Basic $50,000 policy. 

You have 30 days from your hire date to submit your beneficiary form. 

 

Additional Resources

Here are a few quick facts on our health care plan. For more detailed information please visit our health care webpage and select the box you wish to learn more about.

  • We have a comprehensive health care plan to include medical, dental, pharmacy (through Premera) and vision (through VSP). We currently do not allow carve out options. This means when you enroll, you are enrolling in medical, dental, pharmacy, and vision as one package.

  • Our plan year runs on our fiscal year: July 1 - June 30.

  • Open enrollment is in mid-April each year and allows you to make any changes to your health care plan. All changes made during open enrollment will be effective the following plan year (July 1).

  • Outside of open enrollment, you may also make health care changes for life events within 30 days of the event. More information can be found on our qualifying life event webpage.

  • We have FSA health care and FSA dependent care accounts. We also have an HSA qualifying plan with the CDHP.

  • We have a wellness program that UA employees on a UA Choice Plan can participate in. This allows you to earn some of your premiums back! You can earn up to $600 and, if you have a spouse or FIP on the plan, they can earn up to $600 back as well. More information can be found on our wellness page.

  • We also have several additional programs that are available through Premera. More information can be found on our additional Premera programs webpage.

Here are a few quick facts on our retirement plans. For more detailed information please visit our retirement plans webpage and select the box you wish to learn more about.

  • Participation in retirement plans is required.

  • The percentage you contribute will be dependent on your plan. Many new employees will go into PERS Tier IV, TRS Tier III, or ORP. In each of these cases you are required to contribute 8% (no more, no less).

  • The university will contribute 5% for PERS , 7% for TRS, and 12% for ORP. The ORP has a 12% contribution rate because there is no health care component built into the ORP. The additional contribution from UA is to help you budget for health care when you retire.
  • PERS and TRS both have medical components build into their plans that UA contributes to in addition to the 5% and 7% contributions to your personal retirement account. More information on the medical aspect of the PERS and TRS retirement plans can be directed to the State of Alaska at 1-800-821-2251.

  • The ORP is only available to 4 types of employees:

    1. New faculty who have never worked for the University of Alaska before

    2. New executives who have never worked for the University of Alaska before

    3. Employees transferring from staff to faculty/executive and have never been given the option to select between ORP and PERS or TRS previously (employees transferring from faculty/executive to staff will NOT be given the option of ORP unless they are currently in the ORP in their position prior to their transfer to a staff position)

    4. Returning employees after a break in service of 10 days or greater who have already selected the ORP with their previous position will go back into the ORP 

  • Vesting in a retirement plan depends on your plan and prior employment with UA and/or another State of Alaska employer. PERS Tier IV and TRS Tier III have a 5 year tiered vesting schedule and the ORP and UA Pension Plan have a 3 year cliff vesting schedule. More information on vesting can be found under the specific retirement plan you are in on on the retirement webpage.

  • We also have a supplemental Tax-deferred Annuity (TDA or 403(b)) which allows you to contribute additional pre-tax dollars toward retirement. More information can be found on our TDA webpage.

  • The information provided in this section may not be specific for your retirement - particularly if you have prior service with UA or another State of Alaska employer. Please reach out to ua-benefits@alaska.edu if you have any questions on your retirement or what applies to you. 

Who do I contact for questions?

Plan Plan Administrator Contact Information
PERS/TRS State of Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits

1-800-821-2251

ORP University of Alaska

ua-benefits@alaska.edu or your fund sponsor (Fidelity, TIAA, Lincoln, VALIC)

UA Pension Plan University of Alaska

ua-benefits@alaska.edu or your fund sponsor (Fidelity, TIAA, Lincoln, VALIC)

 

Here are a few quick facts on our annual leave, sick leave, and Faculty Time Off plans. For more detailed information please visit our holidays & leaves webpage and select the box you wish to learn more about.

Staff earns annual leave each pay period. There is no waiting period to accrue hours and you will begin accruing immediately. 

The accrual rate is 5.54 hours per pay period and increases with years of service. You can only accrue up to a total of 240 hours per fiscal year. Any hours over 240 will be removed from your annual leave balance each June 30. 

More information can be found on our annual leave webpage.

Full-time, represented and non-represented, faculty members are provided 15 days of time off during their nine-month or alternate contract period.

More information can be found on our Faculty Time Off webpage.

Sick leave accrues each pay period for faculty and staff. There is no waiting period to accrue hours and you will begin accruing immediately. 

The accrual rate is 4.62 hours per pay period and there is no cap on sick leave accrual. There is also no cash value for sick leave. 

More information can be found on our sick leave webpage.

The university has 12 paid holidays each calendar year.

More information on the schedule can be found on our holiday webpage.

Please review our website for more information on other leaves including Family Medical Leave,  the Leave Share Program, leave without pay, and Long-term Disability.

More information can be found  on our general leaves page.

Here are a few quick facts on our education benefits. For more detailed information please visit our education webpage and select the box you wish to learn more about.

Employees are eligible to take 8 credits per semester (16 credits per year).

Dependents (unmarried and under the age of 24) and spouses/FIPs of UA employees are eligible to participate in the tuition waiver, as well. Dependent children and spouses have no cap on credits like employees. 

More information can be found on our tuition waver webpage.

The Alaska 529 allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars toward education. More information can be found on our Alaska 529 webpage.

More information can be found on our sabbatical webpage.

Here are a few quick facts on our employee support programs. For more detailed information please visit our employee support webpage and select the box you wish to learn more about.

TouchCare is available to assist you with questions on your health care coverage.  They can help you:

  1. Compare and contrast plans and make the best selection for you and your family
  2. Billing assistance
  3. Primary care provider
  4. Price transparency

More information, including how to contact TouchCare with your health care questions can be found on our TouchCare webpage.

ComPsych offers several benefits to UA employees. The benefits are also extended to members of your family who live in your household. Many services are free of charge or at a discounted rate. 

More information on the services provided, as well as contact information, can be found on our ComPsych webpage.

The University of Alaska has partnered with Securian LifeWorks to provide professional services at no additional cost. More information on what services are provided, as well as how to access the services, can be found on our  LifeWorks webpage.

If you are an employee who is re-entering the workforce after retirement from a PERS or TRS plan with the State of Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits (DRB), you must meet the bona fide termination regulations.

  • You cannot return to work in any capacity with the same employer from which you retired for at least 6 months if under 62 years old at retirement or 60 days if over 62 years old at retirement.
  • There can be no pre-arranged return to work agreement - either written or verbal.

If you have retired from PERs or TRS and are returning to the workforce, please reach out to the DRB at 1-800-821-2251 to see how this will affect you. The DRB also provides bona fide retirement resources on their website. 

 

 

The benefits team is committed to keeping you up to date. The benefits news website contains the archives of our benefit news. We send a benefits email out to all benefit-eligible employees twice a month - typically on Tuesdays. If you have any questions on the news items or the emails that you receive, please reach out to us at ua-benefits@alaska.edu