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Benefits Overview and FAQs

 News and Updates


Check out the FAQ section for answers to commonly asked benefits questions. 2016 health plan summaries of benefits and coverage have been added to the  SBC page
Learn more about 2016 benefits in the  Detailed Guide to Open Enrollment .  

Program Information

Vanderbilt is pleased to offer a comprehensive and flexible benefits package. Read this overview carefully and select the benefits that fit you and your family.

Current employee overview (VUnetID required) Future employee overview (no VUnetID required)
Health insurance

403(b) Retirement Plan

Dental insurance Tuition Assistance
Vision insurance Go for the Gold
Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health care
  • Dependent day care
Optional insurance
  • Auto and homeowners (Contact MetLife at 800.GETMET8)
  • Pet 
Short-Term Disability  Time off (flexPTO)
Long-Term Disability  Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Life Insurance  
Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)  Summary plan descriptions and reports

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and timing Retirement plan
Health plan Tuition assistance
Dental plan Vision plan
Time off/flexPTO Payroll
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) Parking and directions
Disability insurance General questions
Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)  

Eligibility and timing

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Health plan

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Dental plan

  • How do I find a dental provider?

    For Cigna, go to the Cigna website and choose the Cigna Dental Care HMO network or call Cigna Dental Care Customer Service at 1.800.367.1037. Instructions are as follows: 1. In the orange bar in the middle of the page, FIND A DOCTOR. 2. Click on FOR PLANS OFFERED THROUGH WORK OR SCHOOL. 3. Choose Find a DENTIST. 4. Under Select a Plan, click on PICK. 5. Under DENTAL PLANS, choose Cigna Dental Care. For BlueCross BlueShield DentalBlue, go to the BlueCross BlueShield website, select Find a Provider and then select Dentist from the options menu. Choose DentalBlue Network as the network for Tennessee. You also can call the Dental Member Service at 1.800.523.1478 between 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. EST Monday-Friday. If you use or plan to use the Vanderbilt Dental Clinic, please call the clinic at 615.322.2193 for insurance details.

  • Where can I go to find out about covered procedures and patient charges for each dental plan?

    Cigna DHMO Patient Charge Schedule, BlueCross BlueShield Summary of Benefits and DentalBlue Covered Services, Limitations and Exclusions

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 Vision plan

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Time off/flexPTO

  • How soon will I accrue vacation and sick time?

    Vanderbilt's flexPTO (Flexible Paid Time Off) program allows you to use your time off in ways that suit you best. The program includes a centralized bank of time that combines your vacation, personal, holiday and sick days. You can use this time for planned time off, including vacations and holidays, and for brief illnesses. University central employees accrue flexPTO each pay period, while Medical Center employees receive an allotment once per year. Medical Center employees hired during the course of the year will receive their allotments at the beginning of the following quarter. (For example, the allotment for employees hired between July 2 and October 1 will be available to use beginning October 1.) Visit the university central and Medical Center flexPTO sites for accrual and allotment rates and calculators, bank limits and FAQs.

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Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

  • What are FSAs?

    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) enable you to direct some of your pay, on a pre-tax basis, into an account to pay for eligible health care or dependent day care expenses. "Pre-tax" means you do not pay federal income or FICA taxes on the amount of money you put in the FSA. Because your income is going into your FSA account pretax, you save money by not paying income tax on that amount. Click here for more information.

  • Are there different types of FSAs?

    Vanderbilt offers a health care FSA and a dependent day care FSA to employees.With a health care FSA, you can pay for your and your dependents’ health-related expenses, up to the IRS limit of $2,550 (2015 limit). You have access to the full amount when you become eligible, even though the account is funded evenly from each paycheck you receive in the calendar year. Visit the HR website for a list of eligible health care expenses and for details on how to submit a claim.With a dependent day care flexible spending account, you can pay for daycare services for eligible dependents, up to the IRS limit of $5,000 (2015 limit). Dependent day care FSAs are not for medical expenses for your dependents. You can use the health care FSA for your dependents’ medical expenses. The dependent day care flexible spending account is “pay as you go,” meaning the amount contributed per pay period is accessible at that time.

  • How can I check my flexible spending account balance?

    1. Log into My VU Benefits.
    2. On the welcome page, scroll down to the section that says "Reimbursement Accounts (FSA/HRA)."


    3. Click on "View My Reimbursement Account."


  • How do Flexible Spending Accounts save me money?

    Putting pre-tax money from your paycheck into a flexible spending account lowers your taxable income, so you pay less income tax. Ask Alex, your interactive benefits advisor can further explain how FSAs can save your money.

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Disability insurance

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Retirement plan

  • Does Vanderbilt have a 401(k)?

    Vanderbilt has a 403(b) retirement plan for employees (nonprofit equivalent of a 401(k) plan). The Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan is a mandatory long-term investment program for eligible faculty and staff to prepare for retirement. Fidelity Investments is the plan’s administrative services provider.

  • Can I enroll in the retirement plan right away?

    Generally, you can enroll in the plan after your start date and begin making voluntary contributions the first of the month following your hire date. For full-time regular staff, mandatory and matching contributions begin the first of the month following one year of employment. For more details, visit the Retirement webpage.

  • How much does Vanderbilt match on the retirement plan?

    Vanderbilt will match up to 5% of your retirement plan contributions, in the following ways: • After one year of service, you will be automatically enrolled in the plan and mandatory pre-tax contributions as a condition of employment. The contribution is fixed at 3% (6.47% for VMG) of your salary and 3% is matched 100% dollar-for-dollar by Vanderbilt. • Also after one year AND 1,000 hours of service, Vanderbilt will match up to an additional 2% of your salary dollar-for-dollar if you choose to make additional voluntary contributions of 2 %. This can be done on a pre-tax or Roth (after tax) basis. The IRS sets an annual limit for voluntary retirement plan contributions. You are immediately vested 100% in their contributions and in the University's matching contribution upon your eligibility for participation. This means you immediately owns your contributions and Vanderbilt's contributions upon eligibility and may take them if/when your employment with Vanderbilt ends.

  • Can I combine my 401(k) from my previous employer into my Vanderbilt retirement account?

    Yes. The Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan accepts rollovers of taxable distributions from other pre-tax, qualified retirement plans. Only active employees currently contributing to Vanderbilt’s plan may roll over money into the plan. To process a rollover, call the Fidelity Retirement Service Center at 800.343.0860.

  • How do I change contributions in my retirement plan?

    If you already have a NetBenefits account, simply log in to change your contributions. If you don’t have an account yet, click here to register. Click here for more information about the Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan.

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Tuition assistance

  • How much of a discount do I get on tuition?

    Eligible staff receive a 70 percent discount (47 percent for faculty) on course work at Vanderbilt or 70 percent reimbursement at another accredited college or university for one course per semester, or three courses per academic year. For classes taken at Vanderbilt and at other colleges/universities, you must submit the Tuition Benefit for Myself or My Spouse/Partner form before the class begins. If the form is not submitted on time, the benefit may be denied. For classes taken at Vanderbilt, the benefit is calculated and posted at the beginning of the term (as opposed to a reimbursement received after the class is completed). For classes taken at other colleges/universities, you will be reimbursed after the class is completed. You must submit the Request for Reimbursement of Tuition Expenses form before the start of your next class and include your final grade report with an itemized invoice. The benefit will pay for grades “C” and above. The reimbursement is included in your next paycheck after verification and approval by the HR Tuition Office. Any reimbursements over $5,250 in a calendar year may be subject to tax. Since this is a conditional reimbursement, no communication is made with the school. Eligible staff members may also audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, provided the staff member has the instructor's and the supervisor's written permission to attend. No credit is given for audited classes. Click here for additional details.

  • Can my spouse/same-sex domestic partner take advantage of a tuition discount?

    Your spouse/same-sex domestic partner will receive a 47 percent discount on tuition for one course per semester taken at Vanderbilt, or three courses per academic year, provided coursework is not in pursuit of a degree and your spouse or partner is not enrolled in a full-time program. Spouses/partners of eligible staff members may also audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, with written permission from the instructor. Click here for additional details.

  • Is there a tuition discount for children?

    Dependent children of employees with five or more years of service may receive the greater of: • 100 percent of up to $2,000 of the total tuition per semester, or • 55 percent of the total tuition, not to exceed 55 of Vanderbilt’s tuition for similar coursework. • Tuition will be paid directly to the college or university on your child’s behalf. Each eligible dependent child may receive tuition assistance for up to eight academic semesters or 12 academic quarters of undergraduate courses. The maximum family tuition benefit is 24 semesters or 36 quarters for all of the employee’s children; or a maximum of 48 semesters or 72 quarters for all of the children if Vanderbilt employs the eligible employee and his/her eligible spouse or eligible same-sex domestic partner. Click here for additional details.

  • Did you receive my tuition form?

    Once you submit your tuition reimbursement form, please allow at least two pay cycles to have your reimbursement processed and reflected in your paycheck. Remember that dependent tuition benefit payments are made directly to the college or university your child attends. If you have questions, you may email or contact the Employee Service Center.

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Parking and directions

  • Where do I park?

    Your supervisor should provide you with parking information and let you know where to park on your first day of employment. Click here for information on Medical Center parking or here for information on university central parking. Visit the maps page for parking maps.

  • Do I have to pay for parking?

    Most employees have to pay a moderate fee for parking. Rates depend on where you park. Check with your supervisor.

  • Is there a campus map?

    This campus map allows you to search by building.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

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General questions

  • How do I get a VUnetID?

    If you don’t have a VUnetID yet, ask your supervisor. If you think you have a VUnetID but forgot it, contact the VUIT Help Desk at 343-4357, and ask the support provider to “reclaim” your account. Then, go to the AccessVU website, click on “Re-Authenticate” and follow the directions to reset your password. You’ll need the last five digits of your social security number, your birth date and your legal first and last names.

  • How do I log into C2HR?

    Go to the HR home page and click on the C2HR tab (second from right at top of page). Then simply log in with your VUnetID and password.

  • How do I change an address?

    Go to the HR home page and click on the C2HR tab (second from right at top of page). Then log in with your VUnetID and password. Click on “Personal Profile” (second tab listed under your name and Employee ID) then “Edit” at the bottom of the page. Enter your information, and then click “Next” at the bottom of the page. Click “Confirm” to save your changes.

  • Where do I get my ID badge?

    If you are a university central employee, you can get your badge at the University Card Services Office located at Sarratt Student Center, Room 184. If you are a Medical Center employee, you can get your badge at the Medical Center Card Services Office located at Medical Center North, S-2311. Click here for directions to both locations.

  • Can I view my benefits from any computer? How about a tablet or phone?

    You can view your benefit from any Internet-connected computer or device, anywhere in the world. All you will need is your VUnetID and password to access My VU Benefits.

  • I am not that familiar with using computers. Who can help me?

    Visit HR Express located on the 2nd floor of the 2525 West End building, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.

  • Can I make insurance payments at HR Express?

    No. Insurance payments are payroll deducted or direct billed if you are on leave.

  • Who is the HR consultant for my area?

    Visit the HR Service Delivery Teams page and search by department number or name.

  • How will my performance be evaluated?

    University central staff receive annual performance evaluations in the spring. Your evaluation may include goals you set with your manager and the university’s leadership model and be done using a paper or Word form, or in the Vanderbilt Performance Evaluation System (VPES). Talk to your manager to learn which system your department uses for evaluations. Medical Center staff use Performance Central for end of orientation evaluations, mid-year conversations and annual performance evaluations. Visit the Performance Central webpage to find job aids, a link to online training and log in to the system.

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