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Benefits

Wenatchee Valley College has an excellent benefit package including health, dental, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement and optional tax-deferred retirement programs.

The benefit information presented below is a summary of college provided benefits. This information is subject to change and subject to the provisions of any legislative mandates, collective bargaining agreements and college policy changes. For more detailed information about Wenatchee Valley College employee benefits, please contact the human resource office at 509.682.6440 or email asmith@wvc.edu or tmarker@wvc.edu.

The college health benefits are negotiated through the state of Washington Health Care Authority. Coverage begins on the first day of the following month or if you start work on the first working day of the month, coverage begins that day. Non-permanent hourly employees who work at least half-time and are expected to be employed for less than six months are not eligible. However, if the employment continues beyond the initial six-month period, the employee may apply for coverage to be effective on the first day of the seventh calendar month of employment. The Health Care Authority also has eligibility rules regarding seasonal employees.

Faculty employees who are tenured, tenure track and interim appointees who work half-time or more in an instructional year or equivalent 9 month seasonal basis are eligible for college sponsored health benefits for a full twelve month period. The employee premiums for summer coverage are deducted in June.

Employees who have other options for comprehensive medical insurance do not have to participate in the college’s health benefit’s plan, although dental coverage is mandatory.

Employees can choose from four plans. Employees pay a portion of their medical care cost through payroll deduction. The employee premium is based on the employee’s choice of plan and coverage for lawful spouses, state-registered domestic partners, and dependent children.

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Benefit eligible employees have a choice of dental plans. Options include, Uniform Dental, a state of Washington preferred provider plan and DeltaCare, a managed care plan. The coverage options vary based on plan selection. Currently, employees do not pay a premium for dental insurance.

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Vision insurance is included with both employee health insurance plans. Annual eye exams are covered in full and glasses and/or contact lenses are covered up to $150 over two calendar years. Employees do not pay a separate premium for vision coverage. The $150 starts on each even numbered year (e.g. 2020, 2022).

This is a calendar year plan whereby benefit-eligible employees can set aside money from each paycheck—before taxes—to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. This is a “use it or lose it” Internal Revenue Code governed plan. Annual contributions can be between $240 and $2,500. Medical expense reimbursements can be requested for the employee, their spouse, and their IRS eligible dependents.

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Employees enrolled in the consumer-directed health plan will also be enrolled in an HSA. An HSA is a tax-exempt account that the employee, employer or anyone can deposit funds into on your behalf. Any amount that you contribute can be deducted from your taxable income, giving you a tax savings. You can use the funds in your HSA to pay for IRS qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses (such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance), including some expenses and services that may not be covered by your health plan. You can spend HSA funds on medical expenses for your spouse or other tax dependents, even if they are not covered under your plan.

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SmartHealth is Washington's voluntary wellness program that supports you on your journey toward living well. Employees and their spouse or state-registered domestic partner enrolled in PEBB medical coverage can participate and employees can qualify for a $125 wellness incentive and other random prize drawings.

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The college provides $35,000 in basic life insurance for death from any cause and $5,000 basic accidental death and dismemberment insurance at no cost to the eligible employees. Part-time faculty employees who are eligible for health insurance are also eligible for term life insurance benefits. Employees can enroll in additional low cost optional life insurance benefits for themselves, their spouse, state-registered domestic partner and dependents. Upon retirement, employees can apply for conversion of their term life insurance into a whole life policy. If you already have a MetLife account and wish to check your coverage or add or change a beneficiary, login at the following link: https://online.metlife.com/edge/web/public/benefits/index?groupNumber=164995.

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The college provides a basic long term disability plan at no cost to the employee. Part-time faculty employees who are eligible for health insurance are also eligible for long-term disability coverage. This plan pays a benefit between $50 and $240 per month 90 days after disability certification or the period of accumulated sick leave, whatever is longer. Employees can also participate in an optional long-term disability plan that provides 60 percent of the first $10,000 of monthly pre-disability earnings, reduced by any deductible income. This is an after-tax benefit; therefore, any benefits received from this plan are tax free. 

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Classified employees are eligible to participate in a state of Washington Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) plan. PERS has two plans that a new employee can participate in. The PERS Plan 2 is a defined benefit plan. The PERS Plan 3 is a defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan component. Learn more at PERS retirement plans.

Exempt and faculty employees, first hired on or after July 1, 2011, are eligible to participate in either the State Board Retirement Plan (SBRP) or the state of Washington Public Employees’ Retirement (PERS) plan 3 (for exempt) or the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) plan 3 (for faculty). The PERS and TRS 3 plans are defined benefit plans with a defined contribution plan component. The SBRP is administered by the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). This plan has a dollar for dollar college match. Employees begin the plan on their first date of hire. Employees are immediately 100% vested in their contributions and the college’s contributions. The employee and employer contributions are 5% (up to age 35), 7.5% (ages 35-50) and 10% (age 50+). More information about these options is available at SBRP or PERS 3 or TRS 3.

Part-time faculty employees, first hired on or after July 1, 2011, are eligible to participate in either the State Board Retirement Plan (SBRP) or the state of Washington Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) plan 3 if they work a cumulative total of at least fifty percent of a full-time workload, as defined by the college, at one or more college districts for two consecutive quarters. The retirement benefit begins at the beginning of the second consecutive quarter. The part-time faculty employee continues retirement participation unless they have a break in service (other than summer quarter). If a break in service occurs, the employee must re-qualify under the two consecutive quarter rule. More information about these options is available at SBRP or TRS 3.

Part-time faculty employees who currently belong to a state-sponsored plan can continue with that plan in lieu of participation in the SBRP (i.e. Public Employee Retiree System (PERS), Teachers Retirement System (TRS)). Learn more at Department of Retirement Systems.

Can you retire early? Important information and questions to ask yourself.

The college offers the opportunity to participate in supplemental retirement programs in addition to the employee’s regular retirement. An employee can voluntarily set aside a portion of their income in a tax-deferred or after tax (Roth) State Board voluntary investment (403(b)) programs. Employees of the college can also participate in the state of Washington’s deferred compensation (457) program. These programs are easily set-up and provide for employee flexibility. Learn more at State Board Voluntary Investment Program or Washington state Deferred Compensation Program. Click here for a comparison of the two different supplemental retirement programs.

If you choose to enroll in the 403(b) plan with TIAA, you will also need to fill out a supplemental retirement salary reduction agreement form available on our HR website under resources.

Employees can set aside pretax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket dependent care expenses. This program provides a simple, efficient and cost-effective opportunity for savings. Employees may be able to save hundreds of dollars in taxes annually if they have children under the age of 13 or dependent spouse who require care assistance. Employees can sign up to participate upon hire or during the open enrollment period offered each year.

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Classified and exempt employees are entitled to bereavement leave to and accrue sick, vacation, personal holiday and personal leave.

Full-time faculty employees are entitled to accrue sick leave and personal leave.

Part-time faculty employees are entitled to accrue sick leave.

Part-time hourly employees are entitled to accrue sick leave.

The Washington Guaranteed Education Tuition Program, or GET, is a qualified tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. GET offers Washington families a safe, affordable and easy way to save for college. Since GET began in 1998, Washington families have opened more than 140,000 accounts.

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The college is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries works with the college to explore workplace solutions for employees needing ergonomic assessments. Please visit the Labor and Industries website for information, training modules and other resources.

If you have questions about workplace ergonomics, please contact the human resources office for more information.

Employees can take most credit classes at a reduced cost when space is available and certain conditions are met.

Faculty employed at 50% or more and permanent classified or exempt staff may take almost any credit class on a space-available basis if requirements and prerequisites have been met. The basic cost is $5.00, plus any fees associated with that class. To get the reduced tuition rate, the employee may not register until the date listed in the enrollment calendar (usually the sixth day of the quarter). Hourly and probationary employees are not eligible for this reduced tuition. Contact the registration office for details and/or click on Tuition Fee Waiver under the Resources and Forms tab.

Benefit-eligible employees can get a special discounted rate on auto, home, and renters insurance through Liberty Mutual, a respected insurer since 1912. Liberty Mutual offers the convenience of paying through payroll deduction; members who do not qualify for payroll deductions will be given other payment options.

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Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program as an incentive to recruit and retain full-time public service employees.  The PSLF program offers complete federal student loan forgiveness benefits in return for qualifying public service work, meaning that it allows you to wipe out your outstanding federal loans in exchange for working in a public service field (like teaching, nursing, military, government positions, etc.). Employees must meet all qualifications in order to be eligible for the PSLF program such as full-time employment, 120 student loan payments, Federal Direct student loans, etc. The PSLF program is open to ALL qualified public service employees, including Washington State government employees.

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Upon retirement, all eligible, participating employee groups can have a tax-free transfer of one quarter of sick leave benefits into a health reimbursement plan in lieu of a cash sick leave payout which would be taxable compensation. This is an IRC governed plan and mandatory participation is required based on a group election. These dollars can be used for post-retirement health expenses including health insurance premiums.

 Please Note: All information above is subject to change and subject to the provisions of any legislative mandates, collective bargaining agreements and college policy changes.