Chapter 20: Human Resources and Benefits

An important value of the Emory community is that its members have access to a comprehensive benefits program that is flexible to meet the needs of individual faculty members and their families. Emory's program is updated on a frequent basis to take into account the best interests of the members of the community. Emory's overarching policy (4.22) related to employee benefits is to provide benefits that are competitive and generally equivalent to those of other similar employers. Faculty eligibility for various benefits can be found in a table on the Human Resources website. 

The Human Resources staff is available to answer questions and provide information. The Human Resources office is located at 1599 Clifton Road, 1st floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30322; 404-727-7611. There is an annual Benefits Guide that describes a brief overview of benefits, eligibility, enrollment process, coverage changes during the year, various benefits and associated options, and additional resources. The Emory Human Resources website has detailed and up-to-date information about benefits. 

20.1 Medical, Prescription Drugs, and Dental Plans

Emory University offers its faculty medical plan choices (traditional and nontraditional plans) with associated behavioral mental health benefits, and vision exam discount programs. More information can be found on the HR website and at the following links: 

20.2 Eligibility to Continue Benefits Into Retirement (Policy 4.24)

Emory offers eligible employees the ability to continue certain benefit programs into retirement. Faculty are eligible if they work at least 20 hours or more per work week, and are at least age 55, have at least 10 years of service of at least half time with breaks not to exceed a 12-month period or 24-month period if due to a reduction in force, are retiring from a paid status or a disability leave of absence, and their total years of age and service equal at least 75. Faculty members are encouraged to contact the Benefits Department at least three months in advance of a pending retirement so a Benefits Specialist can process the retirement benefit requests. Benefit programs available to eligible retirees include health care coverage, prescription drug benefits, behavioral health benefits, and basic term life insurance coverage. 

Retirees can retain their permanent Emory identification card (Emory Card) and have continued access to the courtesy scholarship. They have access to parking, university libraries and library search services (only emeritus faculty are granted remote access to online databases and ejournals) and continued access to the physical education center. They also have continued access to discounts offered through Sparkfly (800-687-2359). In addition, retirees may participate in Emory University Convocations and Commencements. 

They may have access to the facilities and catering services of the Houston Mill House. They may have access to Alumni University and Alumni Travel. They may have either lifetime forwarding of email address to an external email account or web-based access to an existing Emory email account for as long as that particular email system is supported by the Office of Information Technology. 

View Policy 4.24

20.3 Other HR Benefits

20.3.A Retirement Plans

Emory offers a 403(b) Saving Plan, a 403(b) Roth, and a 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan for employees who meet the salary criteria. Employees can make contributions to one or more of the following retirement vendors: Fidelity Investments, TIAA and The Vanguard Group. All full-time and part-time faculty who are at least 21 years of age are immediately eligible to contribute to the Savings Plan using pre-tax dollars only. All full-time and part-time faculty who are at least 21 years of age are eligible for Emory contributions to the savings plan after completion of one year of service, and 1,000 hours worked in a 12-consecutive-month period. In the event you need a distribution from your retirement plan while you are an employee of Emory and a participant in the retirement plan, there are several options available: plan loan, hardship withdrawal, or in-service withdrawal. 

Faculty can elect to make a basic contribution to the plan up to 2 percent of regular salary. This basic contribution will be matched by Emory. Faculty may elect to contribute over the basic 2 percent (supplemental) up to the IRS maximum deferral limits. If an employee elects to make a basic contribution to the 403b Savings plan, Emory will match the employee contribution as follows: (1) Employee contributes 1 percent of regular salary—Emory matches it with a 1.5 percent contribution; and (2) Employee contributes 2 percent of regular salary—Emory matches it with a 3 percent contribution. Matching contributions made by Emory on behalf of an employee are vested once the employee completes 3 years of service. In addition to Emory Matching Contributions to the 403b Savings Plan, Emory also provides an Employer Basic Contribution of 6 percent towards an eligible faculty member's retirement. Employees are eligible to receive this 6 percent contribution once they have completed one year of service with Emory. However, faculty members who had a previous employer contributing to any retirement plan can waive the one-year wait period. 

20.3.B Disability Benefits

Emory offers long-term disability to faculty who work at least 20 hours a week and are classified as regular full-time or part-time and who have been disabled more than six months. Temporary employees are not eligible for long-term disability. Emory also offers a Supplemental Income Protection (SIP) Option which provides the ability for a faculty member to purchase an additional 15 percent, marking the total income replacement benefit 75 percent if the person is disabled. 

20.3.C Life Insurance

Emory offers Basic Term Life Insurance and Supplemental Term Life Insurance. The value of the basic life insurance benefit is increasing to 1x annual base salary, with a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $50,000 (for active employees). Employees on Leave of Absence must first return to active status to qualify for the increase. Enrollment is automatic, but you must select beneficiaries. You can elect supplemental life insurance coverage in increments of $10,000, up to a maximum of $750,000. You can elect life insurance coverage for your spouse/ same-sex domestic partner in increments of $10,000, up to a maximum of $500,000. You can elect life insurance for your eligible child(ren) in increments of $2,000, up to a maximum of $10,000. 

20.3.D Personal Accident

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) , also known as Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, pays a benefit in the event of an accidental death. It also pays a full or partial benefit in the event of dismemberment, loss of vision, or loss of hearing because of an accident. This insurance may be purchased in $10,000 increments, not to exceed $250,000. If you wish to purchase this coverage for your spouse, same-sex domestic partner and/or children, you must also purchase it for yourself. Spouse, same-sex dependent partner, or dependent children coverage amounts may not exceed your coverage. 

20.3.E Other Optional Benefits

MetLife gives Emory employees competitive group rates for Auto/Homeowner/Renters insurance. Emory offers the opportunity to enroll in Long Term Care insurance provided by UnumProvident. Family members (spouse, same-sex domestic partner, adult children, siblings, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law) are also eligible for Long Term Care Insurance. Emory offers Group Legal Services. 

20.4 Education, Training and Career Development Benefits

20.4.A Courtesy Scholarship (Policy 4.96)

To promote and support the continued educational development of Emory employees and members of their families, Emory offers attractive educational benefits. The Courtesy Scholarship is a tuition-only scholarship available to you and your eligible family members who apply and are admitted for enrollment in an academic program at Emory University. 

View Policy 4.96

20.4.B Tuition Reimbursement (Policy 4.97)

Emory University encourages employees to take advantage of all opportunities that will assist them in the development of their job-related skills and, in turn, enhance their job proficiency. In order to endorse and facilitate such skills development, Emory provides a Tuition Reimbursement Program to eligible faculty for enrollment in job-related or career path directed coursework at educational institutions other than Emory University. 

View Policy 4.97

20.4.C Sabbaticals

The Statement of Principles Governing Faculty Relationships ("Gray Book") includes information about leaves of absence. This principle pertains to sabbaticals. Specifically, it states the following: "Emory strongly encourages faculty members to take such leaves of absence as may benefit themselves and the university. At intervals of at least six years of continuous service at Emory University, leaves of absence may be granted for a half year on full pay or for a year on half pay by the Dean of the academic unit. Other leaves of absence may be granted on such terms as may appear justified in individual cases." 

However, it should be noted that Emory does not have a specific sabbatical policy that is uniform across the institution. Rather, each individual school and college is free to develop its own sabbatical practices and policies that are appropriate to that particular unit. Check with your dean regarding your school or college's policy related to sabbaticals.

View Gray Book (PDF)