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II. Salary and Benefits

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A. Salary - General Policies

1. Salary Scales

The Vassar faculty salary scale, showing the range of salaries in the different ranks, is published and distributed to faculty members annually. Faculty members who have not received the current scale may obtain it in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

2. Method of Salary Payment

The college’s first payment of salary to a member of the faculty just beginning a term of service to the college will be made on or about July 25 in the year in which the contract begins. The salary for a faculty member is paid in twelve installments. For those on a July-June pay cycle, the salary payments made in July and August are advances against the upcoming contract year. If for some reason actual employment does not occur, such advances must be returned to the college. 

All faculty members are paid via direct deposit only. Deposits can be made to virtually any bank or credit union. Upon hire, faculty members are provided with direct deposit authorization forms that are required to be completed and returned to the controller’s office within 30 days of hire. Direct deposit forms are also available in the payroll office and the controller’s office if needed for changing banks, changing account numbers, etc. Questions regarding direct deposit should be directed to the payroll office (x5881).

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B. Employee Benefits for Members of the Faculty

Full descriptions of Vassar's comprehensive benefits package are available in the benefits office. We urge you to read the complete description of each benefit before making benefit choices. The descriptions of the benefits provided in this handbook are necessarily brief. In the event of discrepancy between information in this handbook and that in the plan document for a specific benefit, the plan document shall govern. Further questions on a specific benefit should be directed to the benefits office at ext. 5850.

Vassar College may revise or discontinue at any time, for both active and retired employees, any of the benefit plans. 

Employees who terminate their employment or are discharged may have the right to continue certain benefits at their own cost (see the Continued Coverage under COBRA section of the individual plan descriptions or contact the Benefits Office). No rights to employment or benefits accrue to any employee, dependent, or beneficiary by any statement in or omission from this handbook.

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C. Reimbursement of Moving Expenses for New Appointees

Moving expenses are provided for tenure track appointments and visiting appointments of more than one year.

The College contributes to moving expenses as follows:

up to 750 miles = $2,500
751 to 2,000 miles = $3,500
over 2,000 miles = $5,000

Payments are made on a reimbursement basis only since the payment is subject to taxes. Receipted invoices covering the cost of moving household possessions, personal effects, books, and the candidate’s travel expenses must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. Reimbursement of receipts received by the 10th of the month will be included in the next paycheck. Receipts received after the 10th of the month will be reimbursed in the following month’s paycheck.

Arrangements with regard to any exceptional moving expenses should be settled at the time contracts are negotiated.

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D. Health Insurance Benefits

Vassar College offers a choice of medical plans to all eligible faculty. Health plans and their costs are subject to change annually, effective January 1. Upon becoming eligible for health benefits, faculty are asked to select a medical plan. If an employee does not select a medical plan within 30 days of eligibility, they will not be able to enroll until Open Enrollment, with insurance effective January 1 of the following year.

The annual open enrollment process allows employees the opportunity to change health and other benefit plans and/or to add family members whom they have not previously enrolled. During open enrollment, also, the college informs employees of any changes in benefits policies, costs, or options.

Eligibility—Faculty members on full-time, full-year contracts, faculty members on full-year contracts of half-time or more, and faculty members on one-semester contracts with a teaching load equivalent to a full year at half time (presently 3.0 teaching units) are eligible for medical coverage. Health insurance for faculty members with contractual start dates on or before September 1 begins September 1, except that faculty members coming to Vassar from countries or employers with no COBRA continuation provision may, by arrangement with the Benefits Office (ext. 5850), begin coverage on the first day of the month coinciding with or following their contractual start date. Faculty members with contractual start dates after September 1 are eligible for coverage on the first day of the month coinciding with or following their contractual start date.

Medical coverage continues until the end of the month in which employment with the College ends.

Cost—The college currently contributes 85% of the cost of individual coverage, and 70% of the cost of individual-plus-dependents policies. The College’s contribution is based on the EPO plan, with the faculty member saving the premium differential for the High Deductible plan and paying the differential for the PPO plan. The cost of medical coverage is paid through payroll deduction. With the exception of domestic partner coverage, medical premiums are deducted from employees’ paychecks on a pre-tax basis. This means that the employee pays no federal, state or FICA tax on the cost of the medical plan. By law, domestic partner coverage is fully taxable. Contribution levels may change. As with most benefits changes, any contribution or cost change for health insurance will be effective January 1.

Contact the benefits office, 3rd floor Baldwin hall, ext. 5850, for information on specific health plans currently available.

Dependents—For purposes of determining medical benefit eligibility, dependents are:

  1. spouse
  2. dependent children

    unmarried dependent children under age 26 claimed on the employee's federal income tax return

    Children are defined as: natural children, legally adopted children, stepchildren who are claimed as dependents on the employee’s federal income tax return and/or a child for whom the employee is the proposed adoptive parent and who is dependent on the employee during the waiting period prior to the adoption being final.
  3. unmarried children of any age who are unable to work or support themselves because of mental illness, developmental disability or mental retardation as defined in the New York State Mental Hygiene Law, or because of physical handicap. A physician must certify the disability.
  4. domestic partner (of the same or opposite sex). Please contact the benefits office for specific details of domestic partner eligibility/coverage and to receive the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership that must be completed along with the appropriate application for benefits.

Changes in Medical Insurance Coverage: Adding/Removing Dependents

Adding Dependents

Dependents can be added to medical insurance at these times only:

Within 30 days of the employee’s date of hire at Vassar.

Open Enrollment Period—Vassar holds an annual open enrollment period during which all employees have the opportunity to change from one medical plan to another or to add dependents. This period is generally held in November and the change in coverage takes effect on the following January 1.

Life Status Change—Dependents may be added within 30 days of a life status change. Life status changes include:

  • birth or adoption of a child
  • marriage
  • death of a spouse/domestic partner
  • spouse/domestic partner loses employment and benefits
  • spouse/domestic partner loses benefits at work

Employees must contact the benefits office within 30 days of the date of the life status change to add dependents to their medical plan option.

Removing Dependents

Dependents may be removed from medical insurance at any time using workday benefits self-service.

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E. Medical Insurance Cash-Out Agreement

Vassar’s medical plan cash‑out program allows employees who have medical insurance through a source other than Vassar to receive a cash payment in lieu of medical coverage provided by Vassar.

In order to receive this cash incentive, the employee must actively elect it as a “medical plan” option at hire and every year during open enrollment.

The cash-out payment equals $400 for the calendar year paid in $33.00 monthly installments. 

All cash awards will be paid via payroll and will be included as income in the employee’s pay. Appropriate taxes will be deducted from these payments.

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F. Life Insurance

1. Group Life Insurance

All full-time faculty members working at least 1,000 hours per year become eligible for this coverage on the first day of their fourth full month of employment. However, if within three months prior to the commencement of employment at Vassar, an employee was insured under another employer’s group life insurance plan, that employee becomes eligible for this coverage on the first day of the first full month of employment.

In order to waive the waiting period, employees must provide the benefits office with evidence of insurability from their former employer.

The college assumes the full cost of this coverage.

Employees must complete an enrollment/beneficiary designation card prior to their eligibility date in order for this coverage to become effective.

The amount of life insurance is equivalent to the employee’s annual salary, or $50,000, whichever is higher. The maximum benefit is $200,000. Employees aged 70 or above have a benefit reduction of 50%. Federal taxes apply to any Vassar-paid life insurance in excess of $50,000.

If the resulting amount of insurance is not a multiple of $1,000, it will be raised to the next higher multiple of $1,000.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits are also provided under this plan. In the event of accidental death, the principal amount of this benefit is equal to the term life insurance amount. A full schedule of accidental death and dismemberment benefits is available from the benefits office. Eligibility for AD&D insurance is the same as the eligibility for the term life insurance benefit, shown above.

Vassar also provides all employees with business travel accident coverage. This policy provides additional life insurance in the event of injury or death while traveling on Vassar College business. Questions on the business travel accident coverage should be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

2. Supplemental Life Insurance

Within 30 days of hire, or during periodic life insurance open enrollment offerings, faculty may purchase additional life insurance through payroll deduction with amounts under $200,000 issued without medical underwriting..

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Supplemental life insurance requested at any other time is dependent on medical underwriting by our insurer.

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G. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

FMLA is a federal law which protects a faculty member’s job and benefits for up to twelve weeks per year of medical-related absence, provided the faculty member worked at least 1,250 hours before the absence. Vassar tracks annual FMLA use on an academic-year basis (July through June.)

Here are the details of Family Medical Leave, as published by the Department of Labor:

Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for the following reasons:

  • The birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • To bond with a child (leave must be taken within one year of the child’s birth or placement);
  • To care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a qualifying serious health condition;
  • For the employee’s own qualifying serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job;
  • For qualifying exigencies related to the foreign deployment of a military member who is the employee’s spouse, child, or parent.

An eligible employee who is a covered servicemember’s spouse, child, parent, or next of kin may also take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for the servicemember with a serious injury or illness. An employee does not need to use leave in one block. When it is medically necessary or otherwise permitted, employees may take leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule. Employees may choose, or an employer may require, use of accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. If an employee substitutes accrued paid leave for FMLA leave, the employee must comply with the employer’s normal paid leave policies. While employees are on FMLA leave, employers must continue health insurance coverage as if the employees were not on leave. Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to the same job or one nearly identical to it with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. An employer may not interfere with an individual’s FMLA rights or retaliate against someone for using or trying to use FMLA leave, opposing any practice made unlawful by the FMLA, or being involved in any proceeding under or related to the FMLA. An employee who works for a covered employer must meet three criteria in order to be eligible for FMLA leave. The employee must:

  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
  • Have at least 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months before taking leave; and
  • Work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite.

Generally, employees must give 30-days’ advance notice of the need for FMLA leave. If it is not possible to give 30-days’ notice, an employee must notify the employer as soon as possible and, generally, follow the employer’s usual procedures. Employees do not have to share a medical diagnosis, but must provide enough information to the employer so it can determine if the leave qualifies for FMLA protection. Sufficient information could include informing an employer that the employee is or will be unable to perform his or her job functions, that a family member cannot perform daily activities, or that hospitalization or continuing medical treatment is necessary. Employees must inform the employer if the need for leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified.

FMLA job and benefit protection “overlays,” i.e. runs concurrent with, any disability benefits such as short or long-term disability (see below,) paid maternity leave, or workers compensation leave. It also covers unpaid medical-related leaves, such as unpaid time away to care for an ill family member. 

FMLA provides job and benefit security only; it does not provide payment for leaves. Faculty members wishing to take time away from work to care for a family member should arrange the leave with their department chair. Usually family leaves are unpaid (see Unpaid Leaves of Absence below) and granted by the department in consultation with the benefits office according to FMLA provisions.

Any questions on FMLA leaves should be directed to benefits, ext. 5850.

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H. Short-Term Disability Salary Continuation

1. After six months of total disability, if the claim is accepted, the policy provides a monthly income benefit for the maximum periods defined below:

Disability Commencement Date Maximum Coverage Period
59 years or younger To 65th birthday
60 through 68 years 60 months or to 70th birthday, whichever occurs first
69 years or older 12 months

The disability income benefit is payable directly to the disabled employee. The income payable on a monthly basis equals 60% of the employee’s basic monthly salary to a maximum payment of $10,000 per month. The term “basic monthly salary” is defined as 1/12th of the basic annual salary rate and does not include any other forms of additional compensation. Payments will be reduced if the disabled employee receives other disability income.

Additionally, the monthly annuity premium benefit provides for the continuation of contributions toward the employee’s retirement account during the period of disability. The monthly annuity premium amount will be based on the employee’s salary at the onset of the disability. If disabled employees become newly eligible for the retirement benefit during their disability, new retirement account contracts will be established with a benefit amount based on the employee’s salary at the onset of the disability.

Questions on the effect of a disability upon a faculty member’s employment status should be directed to the dean of the faculty.

2. Supplemental Long Term Disability Insurance

During periodic open enrollment periods, faculty may purchase additional long-term disability coverage through payroll deduction. Medical underwriting may apply.

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I. Retirement Account

Eligibility

Full-year, full-time professors and associate professors: Participation begins on the first day of the month coinciding with, or next following, the date of employment.
Full-year, part-time (one-half time or more) professors and associate professors, and full-year part-time (one-half time or more) assistant professors, lecturers, and instructors: Participation begins on the first day of the month coinciding with, or next following, the completion of one year of service.

The college contributes an amount equal to a percentage of the faculty member’s base salary to a retirement account in which the faculty member is fully vested. The contributions may be invested among approximately 20 Fidelity Investments and TIAA- funds. The contributions earn interest and dividends until faculty members receive them as income at the time of their retirement. Funds are not available for withdrawal under any circumstances until the faculty member terminates employment with the college. The percentage of base salary that is contributed to a faculty member’s retirement account is determined by the faculty member’s age on July 1 as follows

Attained Age on July 1 College Contribution
21 but less than 30 7%
30 but less than 40 11%
40 12%

This benefit is subject to change at the discretion of the college. Faculty members will be notified, approximately two months prior to the date of entry into the retirement plan, of their options in investing their retirement account contributions. If faculty members do not choose investment allocations for their retirement accounts, their funds will be allocated by default 50% to an age-appropriate Fidelity Investments Freedom Fund and 50% to an age-appropriate TIAA Lifecycle Fund. These self-rebalancing “Target-Date” funds provide a diversification of assets appropriate, in our vendors’ judgment, for the amount of time before the participant’s retirement.

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J. Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA)

Faculty members may elect to participate in a Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) upon their date of hire with a default contribution of 4%. This contribution amount can be changed at any time, using a dedicated website. Contributions may be directed to Fidelity Investments, TIAA, or both. Information on the investment funds available from both vendors is available via website, in person from vendor consultants, and from the Benefits Office. SRA funds not allocated as specific investments will be defaulted to target-date funds as described above.

Federal Law sets the maximum contribution by an individual to an SRA. The benefits office (x5850) can provide annual maximum information.

Under the group SRA, faculty members have the option of borrowing against their fund balance, within IRS guidelines. (Contributions towards the retirement account are not available for loan.) Bear in mind that SRA loans have significant tax consequences.

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K. Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts

All faculty members become eligible to participate in the flexible spending accounts on their date of hire. Only faculty members who are enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan, with no secondary coverage (including Medicare) may open a Health Savings Account (HSA) instead of a flex account.

No employee can have both an HSA and a medical flex spending account, though a limited dental/vision flex plan is available for HSA participants.

HSA: Contributions to the HSA are tax-free if used for Qualified Medical Expenses (see IRS definition.) During the year, the HSA funds may be used to pay medical expenses under the deductible of the High Deductible Health Plan, or for any other medical or dental expense,

The faculty member may set and change the amount of paycheck HSA contribution any time, up to an annual maximum as set by the IRS. Unused funds in the HSA carry over to future years and may be accumulated, tax-free, into retirement. Retirement distributions are taxed only if used for non-medical expenses.

Flex Spending Accounts

Faculty members who do not elect to participate within 30 days of their date of hire may only elect future participation during the annual open enrollment period

Flexible spending accounts are designed to reduce employees’ taxes by using pre-tax income to pay for non-reimbursed medical, dental, vision and/or dependent care expenses.

By participating in a flexible spending account, faculty members authorize Vassar to reduce their salary by the amount of eligible expenses they estimate they will have during the calendar year. As faculty members incur these expenses, they use the money in the flexible spending account(s) to pay for them.

Vassar offers flexible spending accounts for medical/dental, dependent care and public transit expenses. Eligible employees may elect to participate in any or all accounts.

The flexible spending account plan year runs from January 1 through December 31, with a “grace period” running to March 15th. Therefore, expenses must be incurred by March 15 to avoid forfeiture of flex funds. The deadline to file a claim for the expenses is March 31 of the year following the end of the plan year.

Medical/Dental Spending Account: A medical/dental account can be used to pay for out‑of‑pocket health care costs that are not covered by the employee’s Vassar medical insurance plan or by other insurance. This account may be used to pay for their own expenses and/or for those of their spouse and other dependents (as claimed on the employee’s federal tax return).

The IRS sets the annual maximum for the medical/dental spending account on an annual basis.

Dependent Care Spending Account: A dependent care account must be used to pay for the expenses of caring for the employee’s dependent child or children under the age of 13 and/or for a spouse or dependent who is mentally or physically disabled and incapable of self‑care. These dependents must reside in the employee’s household. The expenses associated with the dependent care must be for the purpose of allowing the employee and spouse to work.

The IRS sets the annual maximum for the dependent care spending account on an annual basis. This maximum is per family, even if both spouses each have separate dependent care flex accounts at different employers

Transit/Parking Account: Unlike the medical and dependent care accounts, transit /parking accounts may be elected and changed on a rolling, month-to-month basis. Federal law limits the monthly amount to $125. These accounts cover the cost of public transportation to and from Vassar, e.g. Metro – North from Manhattan to Poughkeepsie.

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L. Tuition Benefits

The college supports faculty members’ continued education and that of their children, spouses or partners. Vassar offers tuition remission for study here, as well as grants for children’s study at other colleges.

Details of Vassar’s tuition plans follow. All full-time faculty members, except non-tenure track faculty on appointments of less than three years, are eligible for tuition benefits. Contracts of less than three years do not apply toward the eligibility requirements for tuition benefits. In certain circumstances, the president may grant tuition benefits to part-time faculty who have given at least ten continuous years of service to the college, the majority of which were at half-time or more.

1. Grants for Tuition at Other Colleges (Dependent Children of Faculty Members)

Dependent children of faculty members who attend other accredited colleges or universities as undergraduate full-time students will receive grants of one-half of Vassar’s tuition per year, or the amount of the tuition charged by their college, whichever is less, for a maximum of four years (8 semesters or 12 trimesters). If both parents of the child are members of the faculty, only one parent receives the tuition benefit.

(Amended by the faculty February 10, 2005)

Faculty must complete a tuition grant form and attach the corresponding tuition bill from the college. Forms are available at the benefits office.

Tuition grant checks are made payable only to the college or university (not to the faculty member) and are mailed directly to the institution.

To be eligible for tuition benefits, a dependent child must be under the age of 24 at the beginning of the semester in which benefits are being requested and the child must be claimed as a dependent on the faculty member’s tax return.

Faculty members who leave the employ of the college before the end of a semester for which they, or their dependents, are receiving benefits must reimburse the college, on a pro‑rata basis, for the benefits received for that semester.

Under no circumstances will the dependent child receive tuition benefits for more than the equivalent of eight semesters (or twelve trimesters) of academic work. This limit applies to all tuition benefits (Vassar tuition remission, tuition remission for summer and semester programs abroad, “special student” coursework, and tuition grants at other schools) combined. Summer and special programs are counted as partial semesters based on their academic unit equivalents.

 

In determining whether a school is eligible to receive grants under this benefit, the benefits office will consult Vassar’s Registrar to verify that the institution is an accredited, degree- granting school.

Benefits are not provided for faculty or spouses/partners for study at institutions other than Vassar.

The faculty member must be employed at Vassar on the first day of classes in order for the dependent to be eligible for any tuition benefits during that semester.

For those dependents eligible for the tuition benefit, full tuition remission is granted for study at Vassar, whether matriculating or exchange.

2. Vassar Tuition Remission (Faculty, Spouses/Partners and Dependents)

Eligible faculty members who are accepted by Vassar College in the regular undergraduate program, and who continue to work full‑time in fulfilling their duties, will receive full tuition remission for courses taken at Vassar for a maximum of four years (8 semesters).

Eligible spouses/domestic partners and dependents of faculty members who are accepted by Vassar College in the regular undergraduate program will receive full tuition remission for courses taken at Vassar for a maximum of four years (8 semesters).

Any individual eligible under this benefit, either as a matriculate or on exchange, will receive full tuition remission for up to 8 semesters to attend Vassar.

Eligible coursework pursued off-campus and applied towards the Vassar degree requirement (for example, exchange programs or study away programs) will be covered up to one-half of Vassar’s tuition

High school students (dependents of eligible faculty) taking courses at Vassar for credit are billed for each unit but receive tuition remission. When the student accumulates five units of academic work, Vassar assumes that one semester of the tuition remission benefit has been used.

Five units of academic work taken as a “special student” (see below) will count as one semester of tuition remission.

Under no circumstances will the dependent child receive tuition benefits for more than the equivalent of eight semesters (or twelve trimesters) of academic work. This limit applies to all tuition benefits (Vassar tuition remission, tuition remission for summer and semester programs abroad, “special student” coursework, and tuition grants at other schools) combined. Summer and special programs are counted as partial semesters based on their academic unit equivalents.

Individuals must be employed on the first day of Vassar classes in order to be eligible for any tuition benefits during that semester.

Faculty who leave the employ of the college before the end of a semester for which they, or their dependents, are receiving benefits must reimburse the college, on a pro‑rata basis, for the benefits received for that semester.

To be eligible for tuition benefits a dependent child must be age 24 or younger at the beginning of the semester in which benefits are being requested and the child must be claimed as a dependent on the faculty member’s tax return.

Benefits are not provided for faculty, their spouses or partners for study at institutions other than Vassar.

3. Vassar “Special Student” Program

Full-time faculty, their spouses/domestic partners, and their dependent children may take Vassar courses for credit (without matriculating as a full-time undergraduate), if they have been accepted by the dean of studies as a “special student.”

In all cases, the appropriate academic requirements must be met and space must be available in the class in order to qualify as a “special student.”

Faculty members, their spouses/domestic partners, and their dependent children must pay the registration fee per course, per semester, as a "special student."

This tuition waiver does not apply to courses taken in music performance or to other courses where special course fees are charged.

A maximum of six courses, per student, may be taken as a “special student.”

Five units of academic work taken as a “special student” will count as one semester of tuition remission.

Faculty must be employed on the first day of Vassar classes in order to be eligible for any tuition benefits during that semester.

Faculty who leave the employ of the college before the end of a semester for which they, or their dependents, are receiving benefits must reimburse the college, on a pro-rata basis, for the benefits received for that semester.

To be eligible for tuition benefits a dependent child must be age 24 or younger at the beginning of the semester in which benefits are being requested and the child must be claimed as a dependent on the faculty member’s tax return.

Under no circumstances will the dependent child receive tuition benefits for more than the equivalent of eight semesters (or twelve trimesters) of academic work. This limit applies to all tuition benefits (Vassar tuition remission, tuition remission for summer and semester programs abroad, “special student” coursework, and tuition grants at other schools) combined. Summer and special programs are counted as partial semesters based on their academic unit equivalents.

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M. Workers’ Compensation

Treatment of job-related illnesses or injuries is covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance, provided the proper procedure for reporting is followed, and subject to adjudication by Vassar’s Workers’ Compensation insurer. It is important that all occupational illnesses or injuries, however minor, be reported immediately to your department chair, to the benefits office, or to the director of environmental health and safety.

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N. Social Security

All faculty members participate in the Social Security program. The current FICA (Social Security) contribution rate is 7.65%.

For 2006 the contribution consists of 6.2% for FICA on the first $97,500.00 of earnings and 1.45% for FICA Medicare tax on the full salary.

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O. Banking and Credit Union Membership

All Vassar College employees and their family members are also eligible to join the Taconic Educational and Governmental (TEG) Federal Credit Union. TEG has branches in Poughkeepsie on 1 Commerce Street, Poughkeepsie (off Rte 55 East), in Hyde Park on Route 9, and 196 Old Rte 9, Fishkill. Their website is http://www.tegfcu.org

Bridgeway Federal Credit Union located at 21 Burnett Blvd., Suite 2, Poughkeepsie NY 12603 is open to all residents, workers, and students of Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties of New York. Visit their website at http://Bridgewayfcu.org for more information.

For further information, contact the Vassar payroll department or call the credit union directly, 845. 452.7323.

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P. Other Benefits

TeleMedicine

All benefit-eligible faculty have free phone and/or video-call access to board-certified physicians, both for routine consultations such as renewing a prescription and for expert second opinion on more serious or complicated medical issues.

Libraries

All faculty members and members of their families are able to use the college libraries and athletic facilities free of charge during the year.

Fitness Center and Golf Course

Faculty and emeriti/ae and their spouses or partners may use their identification card and computer account with CIS, and have access to the library, campus activities, and athletic facilities.

There is a reduced fee per round for use of the college nine-hole golf course. Fees are as follows:

Mon–Fri
  • Non Vassar Players $10.00/9 holes, $19.00/18 holes.
  • Vassar Players $5.50/9 holes, $11.00/18 holes.
Sat–Sun
  • Non Vassar Players $11.00/9holes, $21.00/18 holes.
  • Vassar Players $5.50/9 holes, $11.00/18 holes.
All Times
  • Junior Players (under 18 years old) $7.50/9 holes, $14.00/18 holes.
  • Vassar Students $2.00/9 holes, $4.00 18 holes.

Identification cards are required for admittance to all campus activities, the libraries, and the athletic fitness center.

Emeritus faculty and their spouses or partners may retain their identification card and computer account with CIS, and have access to the library, campus activities, and athletic facilities.

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Q. Unpaid Leaves of Absence

All benefits continue during paid leaves of absence up to one year. During a one-semester parental leave at half pay, the college’s contribution to the faculty member’s Retirement Account is computed according to the half salary base. (See Section K. “Retirement Account,” Faculty Handbook, B. “Terms of Employment,” Article II “Benefits”)

Vassar discontinues all benefits and benefit contributions during a faculty member’s unpaid leave of absence. Benefits will be stopped for the duration of the unpaid leave regardless of any pay arrangements that may be made with the payroll department, e.g., six months pay, paid over twelve months.

Faculty members taking unpaid leaves will be notified by the benefits office when their benefits have been stopped. They will be given the necessary paperwork and directions on continuing some of their benefits at their own expense during the period of unpaid leave. Benefits will be reinstated, and Vassar contributions towards these benefits will begin again upon return to active employment at Vassar.

In planning for an unpaid leave, a faculty member should consult with the department chair, the dean of the faculty, and the benefits office. Unpaid leaves require the approval of the dean of the faculty and the president.

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R. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Vassar offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all employees and their families. The EAP, Wellness Corporation, provides access to free, confidential short-term counseling through local therapists. Employees and their families can get help with a range of personal and family issues. . A free thirty-minute phone consultation with a lawyer is provided by the EAP for legal questions, followed by access to discounted legal fees In addition, the EAP provides referral and case-management for other work/life needs such as childcare, elder care, and debt counseling. The EAP is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for crisis intervention, and during regular business hours for counseling appointments. The service can be reached at 800.828.6025.

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S. Preschool and Childcare Options

  1. The Wimpfheimer Nursery School (WNS) is a laboratory school operated by the college located on the Vassar College campus. The school enrolls 60 children age two years and three months through age six (full day Kindergarten). Full-day nursery school is offered from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with after school programs from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. The WNS calendar is closely tied to the academic calendar; the school is closed for two weeks in December and January, and during one week of the college’s spring break. Summer Camp is offered during late May and June when the college is out of session but public schools are still in session and other area campus are not open. Contact the Wimpfheimer Nursery School x5630 for tour dates, school calendars, fees, and related information.

  2. The Infant Toddler Center (ITC) on the Vassar College campus enrolls a total of 21 children ranging in age from six weeks to two years. A professional staff with a teacher/child ration of 1 to 3 directs the program, which is open 50 weeks a year from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact the Infant Toddler Center at x7648 for fees, availability and related matters.

    All arrangements for preschool and childcare are the responsibility of the parents and must be made directly with WNS and ITC. Eligibility requirements, space availability, financial arrangements, etc., are between the parents and the preschool or childcare facility. Vassar employees are eligible for discounted preschool and childcare tuition. College employees via payroll deduction may pay preschool and childcare tuition. Some scholarship funds are available and such financial need should be discussed with the director of either the WNS or ITC.

    During the year both the WNS and ITC occasionally close due to severe weather conditions or safety issues related to licensing requirements. Each facility is also closed for a professional development date in the spring. Families for whom such closures pose difficulty may want to consider other preschool and childcare options in the local area. A list of such options is available on the dean of the faculty website.

    In some instances, Vassar does provide the option of paying for the childcare costs to these schools via payroll deduction. Please contact the nursery school office for further information at ext. 5630.

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T. Retirement

Any faculty member contemplating retirement should consult with the dean of the faculty.

Retired faculty and faculty on phased retirement may continue to use the libraries (and may apply for a library carrel) and college athletic facilities. They may also retain a computer account with CIS.

A Vassar retiree is an employee who elects to retire from active service at the age of 60 or older after having completed a minimum of 10 years of full-time service earned after age 50.

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U. Phased Retirement Program

Tenured faculty with at least fifteen years of full-time service at Vassar who are considering plans for retirement may be interested in phased retirement. During the phased retirement period, a faculty member engages in activities such as teaching on a reduced load, research, writing, service to the College, or some combination of such activities, with the equivalent of half-time responsibilities at half pay. Each year of the phased retirement period, faculty members receive a prorated salary increase based on half-time employment corresponding to the base raise for faculty at the rank held prior to entering phased retirement. Faculty may begin phased retirement in any of the ten academic years following the academic year in which they turn 61. Phased retirement may last for a term of one to four years and in any case must be completed by the end of the academic year during which the faculty member turns 71. By electing to participate in the phased retirement program, faculty members provide irrevocable notice that they will voluntarily give up tenure and retire at the end of the phased retirement period. Faculty members on phased retirement may elect to retire prior to the end of the phased retirement term by providing the Dean of the Faculty at least 30 days notice or a semester’s notice if the phased retirement duties include teaching.

Faculty who wish to participate in the phased retirement program must formally reach agreement with the Dean of the Faculty no later than October 31 of the academic year prior to the academic year in which they intend to begin phased retirement. The agreement specifies responsibilities during the phased retirement term equivalent to a half-time position and addresses office, computer, lab, and studio space needs on an individual basis depending on the duties involved. Academic suffrage rights during the phased retirement term conform to the rules of the Governance. Faculty who may be interested in phased retirement should contact the Dean of the Faculty as early as possible to discuss options and obtain more information.
 (Approved by the Board of Trustees, May 22 2009.)

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V. Post-Retirement Health Benefits

Faculty hired before July 1, 2008 and retiring at age 60 or greater after ten years’ service in a benefits-eligible position may participate in the College’s retiree medical benefit.

The post-retirement medical benefit is designed for faculty over age 65. To retain eligibility for the benefit, a faculty member retiring before age 65 must pay the full monthly cost to remain on the College’s health insurance for active employees.

The College’s post-retirement medical benefit is a Retiree Medical Reimbursement Account, credited by the College to the retiree on an annual basis. The retiree may use the account to reimburse purchase of medical and prescription Medicare insurance supplements. The account also covers other out-of-pocket medical expenses such as co-pays, dental care, Medicare Part B premiums, or spouse’s medical costs, as the retiree chooses. Provided the account funds are used for these “qualified medical expenses,” the account contributions are not taxable income to the retiree.

The annual account contribution is subject to review by the College and may be adjusted from time to time based on current average Medicare supplement costs. Currently, faculty retiring January 1, 2010 or later receive $3,600 per year. Funds unused in any given year accumulate for later use.

Account funds are for medical reimbursement only, and do not survive the death of the retiree as inheritable assets.

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