Benefits Overview and FAQs
Last Modified: 2017-01-05
News and Updates
- Check out the FAQ section for answers to commonly asked benefits questions.
- Click here for the Detailed Guide for 2017 Open Enrollment. (VUnetID required)
- ICYMI: Fidelity webinar recordings are available on demand:
- Fundamentals of Retirement Income Planning
- Fundamentals of Retirement Income Planning: On Your Own
- Make the Most of Social Security
- You can download benefits mobile apps from your favorite Apple or Android apps store. Some of the apps are also compatible with Apple Watch, iPad, and Windows Phone 8.
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. See eligibility.
2017 Benefit Overview for current employees
2017 Benefit Overview for future employees
2016 Benefit Overview for current employees
2016 Benefit Overview for future employees
|Health insurance||403(b) Retirement Plan|
|Dental insurance||Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)|
|Vision insurance||Go for the Gold|
Flexible Spending Accounts
|Short-Term Disability||Tuition Assistance|
|Long-Term Disability||Time off (PTO)|
|Life Insurance||Employee Assistance Program (EAP)|
Summary plan descriptions and reports
Am I eligible for benefits right away? Which ones? When will they take effect? Are there deadlines to enroll?
Refer to the following charts as well as your manual for guidance.
Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health, dental and vision hire date 30 days from your hire date 403(b) retirement plan Your hire date, but employer match availability varies. Mandatory contributions begin automatically after one year and the completion of 1,000 hours for staff. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none Life Insurance hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days from date of eligibility Accidental Death & Dismemberment hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days from date of eligibility Short-term disability
Traditional - First day of the month following 30 days of employment
Enhanced - First day of the month following 1 year of employment
Traditional and Enhanced: 30 days from date of eligibility
Long-term disability First day of the month after 1 year of employment 30 days from date of eligibility Flexible Spending Accounts First day of the month following 90 days of employment 30 days from date of eligibility Tuition assistance (employee) 90 days from your hire date; Refer to Tuition Assistance website for additional details none
Benefit Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health, dental and vision hire date 30 days from your hire date 403(b) retirement plan Your hire date. Mandatory and matching contributions begin automatically. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none Life Insurance hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days from your hire date Accidental Death & Dismemberment hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days from your hire date Long-term disability First day of the month after 1 year of employment 30 days from your hire date Flexible Spending Accounts First day of the month following 90 days of employment 30 days from date of eligibility Tuition assistance (employee) hire date none
Benefit Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health, dental and vision hire date 30 days from your your hire date 403(b) retirement plan hire date, but employer match availability varies. Mandatory contributions begin automatically after one year and the completion of 1,000 hours for staff. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none Life Insurance hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days from date of eligibility Accidental Death & Dismemberment Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days from date of eligibility Short-term disability
Traditional - First day of the month following 30 days of employment
Enhanced - First day of the month following 1 year of employment
Traditional and Enhanced: 30 days from date of eligibility Long-term disability hire date 30 days from your hire date Flexible Spending Accounts First day of the month following 90 days of employment 30 days from date of eligibility Tuition assistance (employee) 3 months from your hire date; Refer to Tuition Assistance website for additional details none
Benefit Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health hire date 30 days from your hire date 403(b) retirement plan hire date, but employer match availability varies. Mandatory and matching contributions begin automatically after one year and the completion of 1,000 hours for staff. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none
When can I sign up for the health plan? Dental? Vision?
Anytime during the first 30 days of your employment with Vanderbilt. Log into My VU Benefits to sign up. You can access My VU Benefits from the Benefits tab of Vanderbilt’s HR homepage or through C2HR.
How long do I have to I enroll in benefits?
For most benefits, you have 30 days from your hire date or from the date of eligibility. Refer to the chart above for additional benefit deadlines.
How can I confirm my elections were saved/updated correctly?
Log into My VU Benefits. From the Welcome page, click on "Benefits" then "Confirmation."
Next click "View" next to the specific enrollment window you want to confirm. You will then see the confirmation page for that enrollment.
Can I drop my benefits at any time?
You can only make changes to certain benefits if you experience a qualifying life event or during Open Enrollment for the following year. Some common qualifying life events include marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, death of a covered dependent, termination of employment, or a change in your spouse’s coverage. See the Family Status Change page for more information.
I waived out of my insurance in the first 30 days, but I was still charged. Will I get a refund?
You should get a refund as long as you waived the health plan in My VU Benefits within your 30-day window. If you do not see a refund within one to two pay periods, contact Human Resources.
I’m having trouble adding dependents in My VU Benefits. When I click the button to add one, the icon spins but nothing happens. Why is this happening?
You may be using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. My VU Benefits may not function correctly in Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. Try logging into the system in Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. If you aren’t able to upgrade or access one of these browsers, come to the Human Resources front desk for assistance.
How many health plan options do we have?
We have three health plan options: Aetna Plus, Aetna Select, and Aetna HealthFund.
What are the main similarities and differences between the health plans options?
All three options:
• Allow you to see providers and specialists without a referral.
• Provide 100% coverage for preventive care and screenings, with no deductible or co-pay required, as long as the service meets the guidelines for a preventive care service and is not for the screening of a diagnosis.
• Give you a choice of in-network and out-of-network providers by providing benefits under three network tiers:
-Tier 1 - Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network – Vanderbilt’s preferred network with the best savings, comprised of Vanderbilt University Medical Center providers and others located in Tennessee and the surrounding states.
-Tier 2 - Aetna National network – A larger national network –(Aetna POS II)
-Tier 3 - Out-of-network. These providers may be used, but you will not have the advantage of the network discount. Out-of-network expenses have their own deductible and co-insurance.
The only differences in the plans are the cost of the premiums, deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. Refer to the Benefits Overview or the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for each health plan for more details. For an explanation of the terms above, please refer to the glossary of terms.
What’s the best way to decide which plan to choose?
Choosing your health plan is a personal decision. Read the Benefits Overview thoroughly and visit Vanderbilt’s health plan page to help you decide. The Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for each plan provides an easy-to-understand summary about benefits and coverage. To request a printed copy, call the Human Resources front desk.
Ask Alex is a virtual benefits counselor that can help you select the health plan option that’s best for you and your family. Just answer a few questions about how you think you will use your coverage and Alex will give you a custom recommendation. Go to Ask Alex.
How do I find providers covered under the health plans?
To find providers covered on the health plans go to Aetna’s DocFind. You can also call Aetna at 800.743.0910.Instructions to find a provider at Aetna’s DocFind are as follows:
- Click “Enter DocFind”
- Under the General Search section enter the required fields
- Geographic Information
- Provider Category
- Provider Type
- Click “Start Search”
Where do I find the premiums?
The premiums can be found in three places:
- In the Benefits Overview
- In the New Staff Orientation booklet
- In My VU Benefits, as you enroll
Premiums are based on your Annual Base Benefits Rate (ABBR). For most employees, you ABBR is equal to your annual salary. Premiums are broken up into five bands:
Band 1: For employees with salaries up to $49,999.99
Band 2: For employees with salaries of $50,000-99,999.99
Band 3: For employees with salaries of $100,000-149,999.99
Band 4: For employees with salaries of $150,000-199,999.99
Band 5: For employees with salaries of $200,000 or more
Will my premiums come out of each paycheck?
Yes, monthly premiums will come out of each check. If you are paid weekly or bi-weekly, these amounts will be divided between four or two paychecks of each month.
What happens if I don’t go into My VU Benefits and make my elections?
If you are fully benefits-eligible, you will default into the Aetna Plus plan at the individual coverage rate, starting on your hire date. If you do not want coverage under the Vanderbilt Health Plan, you must go in to My VU Benefits within 30 days of your hire date and waive coverage.
Why did I receive a COBRA general notice as a new hire or newly-benefits eligible employee?
Group health plan administrators must give new plan enrollees a general notice describing COBRA rights within 90 days of their coverage effective date.
Are part-time and temporary employees eligible for health plan coverage?
Some part time and temporary employees are considered partially benefits-eligible, which means they and their dependent children are eligible for Vanderbilt Health Plan coverage. See the Benefits Eligibility page for full details.
Summarized partial-benefits eligibility for 2017 includes:
- Regular and term exempt faculty and staff working part-time schedules (less than 30 hours per week / less than 75% of full time)
- Regular and term non-exempt employees who are regularly scheduled to work at least 20, but less than 30 hours per week (50% time or more)
- Temporary employees, such as VTS and flex employees who work 30 hours per week or more on average, for any 3 months within a 12 month period
Student workers, including graduate teaching and research assistants; professional students, and undergraduate student workers, who work 30 hours per week or more on average for any 3 months within a 12-month period (although students need prior approval to work such hours, may already have other coverage, and should consider carefully before electing employee healthcare, even if eligible).
Vanderbilt Health Plan coverage for partially benefits-eligible employees is optional and you must enroll to receive coverage. If you are already covered on someone else’s plan or prefer to purchase a plan from the healthcare.gov marketplace, you do not need to take any action.
Spouses are not eligible for partially benefits-eligible employee coverage.
Can I waive health plan coverage?
Yes. When you enroll, indicate in My VU Benefits that you want to waive health coverage. If you are a fully benefits eligible employee and you don't waive, you will default into coverage. If you are a partially benefits- eligible employee, you will not have coverage unless you enroll.
How can I find my annual base benefits rate, so I know my band for health plan payroll premiums?
To find your annual base benefits rate, log in to C2HR, click on the "Job Information" button, and look for your "Annual Base Benefits Rate" (ABBR).
I do a lot of foreign travel. How does Aetna handle my care when I am overseas?
Aetna provides coverage while traveling internationally. However, it requires you pay the provider and then submit a claim form to Aetna. Foreign emergency/urgent care claims are paid at the Tier 2 or Aetna in-network level of coverage (not at the Tier 1 Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network level). Foreign non-emergency claims are paid at Tier 3 (out-of-network) level, as long as they were medically necessary. Also see the FAQs for AD&D coverage.
Who is eligible for the tobacco credit?
If you and your covered family members (any dependent covered under your Vanderbilt Health Care Plan) are committed to being tobacco-free you are eligible to receive the $20 per month tobacco credit on your health plan premiums. Tobacco-free means that you and your covered family members do not use any form of tobacco, including e-cigarettes. Just indicate your tobacco usage status when completing enrollment in My VU Benefits. The $20 credit lowers your health care payroll premium.
Does Vanderbilt offer help if I’m trying to quit using tobacco?
Health & Wellness offers a variety of Tobacco Cessation Resources including self-help, medical, and one-on-one coaching services to help support you in becoming smoke-free. The Quit Rx Smoking Cessation program offers counseling and treatment services, including prescription medication when recommended. More than 500 employees have participated in this program since its launch. Let the program help you begin your plan to quit today. Call the Occupational Health Clinic at 615-936-0955 for an appointment or more information. Licensed counselors at Work/Life Connections-EAP are available to teach relaxation techniques and help you build your stress resilience. Make an appointment by calling 615.936.1327. Contact Health Plus to receive a free tool-kit or to schedule one-on-one coaching. Additional information can be found on the Health & Wellness Tobacco Cessation Resources website.
What is the spousal fee?
If your spouse has access to health coverage through another employer, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but prefers using the Vanderbilt Health Plan, you will be charged a $100 monthly fee. This fee will not apply if you both work for Vanderbilt University. The fee will be added to your health care payroll premiums
Medicare coverage does not count as employer-sponsor coverage. If your spouse has Medicare the fee will not apply.
Why does Vanderbilt University have a spousal coverage fee?
The fee encourages spouses to take the coverage offered by their employers. We recognize there are circumstances where the Vanderbilt University plan is more attractive – whether for family convenience, providers, or cost. In that case, the $100 per month fee would apply. Some organizations do not offer coverage for spouses with other health insurance options. At Vanderbilt University, only spouses with access to health insurance through an outside employer, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, would pay the fee. We compared this cost with other employers and learned that for the majority, the fee is $100 per month. This amount keeps the University aligned with similar-sized organizations and is enough to encourage people to consider other available health insurance options with their employer.
If my spouse is currently covered on his or her employer's health plan, and he or she loses that coverage, am I able to add them to my Vanderbilt plan?
Yes. Your spouse's loss of coverage would be considered a qualifying life event. You should declare a Life Change in My VU Benefits, and the fee will be waived. You may be audited and required to submit documentation proving your qualifying event– and there are limitations in allowable changes. See Life/Work Changes for more information.
If my spouse enrolls in his or her employer's health plan, can he or she stay on my Vanderbilt Health Plan and use it as secondary coverage?
Yes, he or she can remain on your Vanderbilt Health Plan, but you will pay the coverage fee. We generally do not recommend carrying secondary coverage.
If I earn less than normal during a pay period and my paycheck does not cover my premium deduction, how can I pay the balance?
If this happens, the unpaid balance will be automatically deducted from your next paycheck. You do not need to take any action.
Same-sex marriages are now performed and legal in all U.S. states. Will this affect same-sex domestic partner coverage?
As of Jan. 1, 2017, unmarried same-sex domestic partners are no longer eligible for benefit programs, including dependent tuition assistance and FMLA.
I regularly work 20 hours per week, but my work schedule is inconsistent throughout the year. I could go months without working. How will I pay insurance premiums when I am not working?
If you will not be working for a month or more, you should request your department place you on unpaid leave. Once on unpaid leave, you can make payments through direct billing with Vanderbilt’s benefit administrator, Benefit Express. You will pay the same premium amount on leave as you do when you are activity working, even though you will pay through direct billing. If your department keeps you in an active status, but you happen to not work for a month or so, any premiums you missed will be collected through subsequent paychecks until your balance is up-to-date.
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. Follow these instructions online:
- Click FIND A DOCTOR(should be an orange box near the top and/or the middle of the page)
- Click on FOR PLANS OFFERED THROUGH WORK OR SCHOOL.
- Choose Find a DENTIST.
- Under Select a Plan, click on PICK.
- Under DENTAL PLANS, choose Cigna Dental Care HMO.
For BlueCross BlueShield DentalBlue, go to the BlueCross BlueShield website or call the Dental Member Service at 1-800-523-1478 between 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. ET Monday-Friday. Instructions for finding a dentist online are as follows:
- Click on “Find a DentalBlue Dentist”
- Click on “Find Dental Care”
- Select Dentist from list. If you are looking for a specific dentist, you can search by name in the search bar at the top of the page.
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 - You can see a list of covered procedures and patient charges under the Cigna DHMO Patient Charge Schedule.
BlueCross BlueShield – You can see an overview of covered services and patient costs under the DentalBlue Summary of Benefits. A more complete list of covered services can be found in BlueCross BlueShield DentalBlue PPO Evidence of Coverage booklet.
How do I find a vision provider?
Go to the Superior Vision website and click on Locate a Provider map in the banner. You can also call Superior Vision at 800-507-3800.The Superior Vision plan is widely accepted by providers such as the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Target, WalMart and LensCrafters.
How often can I get new frames and/or contacts?
The plan offers an allowance of $120 every 12 months for contacts and a $130 every 24 months for frames.
How often can have an eye exam?
Eye exams are offered annually and there is a $15 co-payment.
Where can I learn more about covered procedures and patient charges for the Superior Vision Plan?
Your coverage includes eye exams, prescription eyeware and contact lenses as well as discounts for refractive surgery(LASIK). See the Superior Vision Plan Benefits brochure (VUnetID required) for details.
How do I print my Superior Vision ID card?
If you have an account, simply log in with your user name and password and click on Print ID Card (blue button on left of screen). If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one at superiorvision.com with your last name, ID number and email. Your ID number is your employee ID preceded by 86. Your seven digit employee ID can be found on C2HR. From Superior’s home page, click on “Login” under “Members,” then “Create a new account” under “New Member” and follow the steps.
How do I view my vision plan benefits?
If you have an account, simply log in with your user name and password and your benefits will be displayed on the page. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one at superiorvision.com with your last name, ID number and email. Your ID number is your employee ID preceded by 86. Your seven digit employee ID can be found on C2HR. From Superior’s home page, click on “Login” under “Members,” then “Create a new account” under “New Member” and follow the steps.
Is there additional information about the vision plan?
Visit the vision plan page for more information. You can also review the Vision Plan information within My VU Benefits, our benefit enrollment portal.
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. The money contributed to your FSA account must be used during the calendar year and does not carry over from year to year. You do have a grace period (March 15 of the following plan year), in which you are allowed additional time to incur claims for reimbursement. Money not used will be forfeited. Please plan your election amount carefully. For additional details, please visit our Flexible Spending Account page.
Are there different types of FSAs?
Yes. Vanderbilt offers a health care FSA and a dependent day care FSA.
- With the health care FSA, you can pay for your and your dependents’ eligible health-related expenses, up to the IRS limit of $2,600 per year. If both spouses work, both can claim up to $2,600. 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. For additional details, including how to submit a claim, please visit our Flexible Spending Account page. A complete list of eligible expenses can also be found in the Flexible Spending Account Summary Plan Description.
- With the dependent day care FSA, you can pay for eligible daycare services for your eligible dependents. You can contribute up to the IRS limit of $5,000 per household. If both spouses work, both can claim $2,500 - for a total household limit of $5,000. Dependent day care FSAs are not for medical expenses and can only be used for eligible daycare services for your eligible dependents. The dependent day care flexible spending account is “pay as you go,” meaning that you only have access to the funds that you have contributed at that time. In most cases, you would pay for eligible daycare services up front and then submit a claim for reimbursement. For additional details, please visit our Flexible Spending Account page.
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 virtual benefits counselor can further explain how FSAs can save you money.
Do staff automatically get disability insurance?
No, but you can enroll in traditional short-term disability (STDI) during your first 30 days of employment/eligibility, and coverage begins on the first of the month following 30 days of employment/eligibility. Enhanced STDI coverage and long-term disability (LTDI) coverage* begin automatically the first of the month after one year of employment/eligibility. *LTDI coverage begins immediately for post-docs.
What’s the difference between short- and long-term disability insurance?
Short-term disability insurance (STDI) replaces part of your income if you are unable to work for an extended period due to an approved medical condition. If approved and once you have fulfilled the two-week (14 calendar day) waiting period, STDI provides income protection up to 66 2/3% of your annual base benefits rate (ABBR) (up to $2,500 per week). STDI benefits may continue for up to 24 weeks.
Long-term disability insurance (LTDI) replaces part of your income if you are unable to work for six months or longer. If approved, LTDI provides income protection of up to 60% of your ABBR, (up to $33,000 per month), including a 10% monthly pretax contribution to your retirement account if you participate in the Vanderbilt University 403(b) Retirement Plan.
Can I waive the one-year waiting period for short or long-term disability coverage?
You may be able to waive the one-year wait if you had group LTDI coverage within 90 days prior to coming to work at Vanderbilt. Complete and submit the Long-Term Disability Certification of Prior Coverage Form within 90 days of your hire date to waive the one-year wait. If approved, full LTDI coverage must be effective on your hire date. Any missed LTDI premiums will be collected from future paychecks. The one-year waiting period for enhanced STDI cannot be waived. However, you do have the option to enroll in traditional STDI during your first year of employment.
There are two types of short-term disability (STDI). Who is eligible for each type?
Traditional STDI is for newly benefits-eligible staff within their first year of benefits-eligible service.
Enhanced STDI is for benefits-eligible staff with more than one year of benefits-eligible service. It does not apply to faculty or post-doctoral fellows. Those with house staff benefits are eligible for STDI. Automatic enrollment in the base and buy-up enhanced STDI plan occurs on the first of the month after your one-year anniversary. You may waive the employee-paid buy-up STDI coverage at any time in My VU Benefits.
If I am already enrolled in short-term disability insurance, is there anything I need to do for next year?
No. As a currently covered Vanderbilt employee, your existing STDI coverage will automatically roll over into the new plan year.
What is traditional short-term disability insurance?
Newly eligible staff with less than one year of service have access to Vanderbilt's traditional STDI. Traditional STDI covers your annual salary and is voluntary for those within their first year of benefits-eligible service. Premiums are 100% employee paid. If you are approved for a claim, benefit payments are 66 and 2/3% of your covered salary. There is a pre-existing conditions clause for traditional STDI. Any conditions you receive medical care for in the six months prior to the effective date of your coverage will not qualify for a claim.
What is enhanced short-term disability insurance?
For employees eligible for enhanced STDI, Vanderbilt pays for base coverage which covers the first $24,000 of your annual base salary. You can pay for the buy-up portion, which covers the amount of your annual base salary above $24,000. If you are approved for a claim, benefit payments are 66 and 2/3% of your covered salary. Learn more.
Enhanced STDI provides a no-cost base coverage, which is paid for by Vanderbilt, and buy-up coverage, which is paid for by the employee. The base portion pays 66 and 2/3% of your weekly wages on the first $24,000 of annual base salary after a two-week waiting period (14 calendar days). Costs for the buy-up depend on your annual salary. You may opt out of buy-up coverage at any time. If you wish to re-enroll in the buy-up coverage at another time, you will be subject to medical review and you could be denied.
I previously opted out of the buy-up coverage, but now I'd like to add it. How do I do that?
You can enroll at any time on My VU Benefits. You will be subject to medical review and the insurer may deny you coverage.
How much does the buy-up coverage cost?
When you enroll in My VU Benefits, you will see the cost, which is based on your annual income.
Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before the short-term disability benefit payment begins? How does that work?
Yes, there is a 14 calendar day waiting period. You can use grandfathered sick time, PTO,or parental leave (if eligible) until the STDI benefit payment begins. If you enrolled only the base option, you must use your grandfathered sick time balance before STDI begins. STDI benefit payments can last for up to 24 weeks. Note that you will need to a file a claim to receive the benefit and have your physician complete paperwork before you return to work. Click here for how to file a claim.
Can I use short-term disability for my spouse’s or child’s illness?
No, STDI is only for a staff member’s covered medical condition.
Is there a pre-existing condition clause in the enhanced short-term disability insurance program?
There is no pre-existing condition clause in the enhanced STDI program. If you enrolled in the buy-up coverage as a new employee, there is also no medical review required. If you enrolled in the buy-up coverage during Open Enrollment or during the year, however, you will be subject to a medical review and coverage may be denied. Please review the Summary Plan Description for full details.
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 AND 1,000 hours of service, you will be automatically enrolled in the plan and mandatory contributions of 3% of your pre-tax salary as a condition of employment. The contribution is matched 100% dollar-for-dollar by Vanderbilt. Also after one year AND 1,000 hours of service, Vanderbilt will also match 2% of your voluntary contributions, dollar for dollar, if you voluntarily contribute 2% or more. 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 for instructions.
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 take advantage of a tuition discount?
Your spouse will receive a 47 percent discount on tuition for one course per semester taken at Vanderbilt, or three courses per academic year, provided coursework does not count toward a degree and your spouse is not enrolled in a full-time program. Eligible staff members' spouses 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?
See the Dependent Tuition Assistance policy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Human Resources.
What is AD&D Coverage?
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is a plan that pays a benefit if you lose your life, limbs, eyes, speech, or hearing due to an accident. Full-time regular staff are eligible for AD&D coverage. You can elect individual or family coverage in increments of $10,000 up to a maximum of 10 times your Annual Base Benefits Rate up to $500,000. Visit the Accidental Death and Dismemberment page for more details.
Does AD&D coverage include a benefit for travelers?
If you purchase $10,000 or more of AD&D insurance, you are eligible for MetLife's Travel Assistance. Participants have access to assistance when faced with an emergency while traveling internationally or domestically more than 100 miles from home. Learn more by reading the MetLife Travel Assistance brochure .
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.
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 Human Resources on the 10th Floor of the Baker Building.
Can I make insurance payments at Human Resources?
No. Insurance payments are payroll deducted or direct billed if you are on leave.
How can I update my records?
Submit the following forms, available on the Tools & Forms page, to Human Resources:
- Marital status-Submit a copy of your Marriage certificate and the Personal Information Change Form. Please allow up to 10 business days for your information to be updated.
- Name Change-Submit a copy of your Social Security Change form or new social security card and the Personal Information Change Form.
- New Social Security card-Submit a copy of your new card and finish your I9.
- Dependent Social Security card issued-Submit the Dependent Information Change Form to add this to your child’s record.
What is the Benefits Fiduciary Oversight Committee?
The Committee’s primary responsibility is to provide overarching fiduciary oversight of the University’s benefit plans. The Committee provides guidance on the design and administration of the University’s health and welfare benefit plans and provides fiduciary oversight for the investments offered under the University’s 403(b) and 457(b) retirement plans. The committee sets overall benefit strategies and objectives; reviews plan performance; assesses investment strategies for the retirement plans; monitors investment performance; and adds, modifies, or removes benefits when warranted from time to time, among other responsibilities.
Why was the committee established?
The Committee was established in August 2012 as the Retirement Plan Oversight Committee to help ensure that Vanderbilt’s retirement plan is managed in the interests of plan participants and in compliance with applicable regulations. Following the legal separation of the University and VUMC in 2016, the committee was reconstituted and its oversight was broadened to include oversight of the University’s health and welfare plans.
Who are the Committee Members?
The Committee is composed of senior University officers with the appropriate fiduciary and administrative authority and responsibility to serve in this oversight role, to advise the Chancellor, and to represent the interests of the institution and its faculty and staff.
Voting Members . Anders Hall Vice Chancellor and Chief Investment Officer Barbara Carroll Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer Brett Sweet Vice Chancellor and Chief Finance Officer Eric Kopstain Vice Chancellor and Chief Administration Officer Susan Wente Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Professor, Cell & Developmental Biology
The Committee is advised by Audrey Anderson, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel and staffed by members of Human Resources’ benefits team, as well as external consultants as deemed appropriate.
What is the Committee’s role?
- Administrative oversight: Uses appropriate due diligence in selecting vendors, consultants and investment options for the University’s 403(b) and 457(b) plans, and implements contractual service arrangements. Develops retirement plan investment objectives, policies, and procedures for the Plan. Oversees changes to plan documents, and ensures that the plans are operated in accordance with those documents and that they satisfy the legal and regulatory requirements issued by the federal entities – such as the Department of Labor, the Department of Treasury (including the Internal Revenue Service), and the Securities and Exchange Commission -- that oversee the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and other guiding regulations for such plans.
- Oversees plan costs: Understands administrative and investment fees paid from plan assets, including those charged directly to participants, helping to sure they are at defensible and reasonable levels.
- Investment selection and monitoring: Ensures the retirement plans offer a variety of investment options for a variety of risk tolerance levels.
- Understands, reviews, and determines health and other welfare plan designs to ensure programs that are financially viable and that support the university’s mission of excellence.
- Ensure that costs are appropriately allocated among the employer, employees, and the plans (where applicable), and that costs incurred by the plans are reasonable.
What are the Committee’s fiduciary duties
- Exclusive benefit: Exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries and defraying reasonable expenses.
- Prudence: Act with care, skill, prudence, and diligence.
- Diversification: Ensure well-diversified investment selections.
- Documents: Fiduciaries must follow the terms of the plan document unless inconsistent with ERISA.