New Hire Benefits Orientation

  • Please carefully and thoroughly review all of the information below BEFORE registering for a time to attend a new employee benefits meeting. 

    Employee Benefits Overview

    • Permanent employees who work at least 30 hours per week (for at least six full, consecutive months) must be enrolled in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and must receive employer-paid medical insurance for self.
    • Employees in part-time, permanent positions are eligible to receive part-time benefits. Part-time means at least 20 hours per week for at least six full, consecutive months of employment.

    Full-time benefits include:

    • Enrollment in the Teachers' and State Employees’ Retirement Systems Division of North Carolina
    • Enrollment in the State Health Plan for the individual employee

    Annual Leave: All full-time and part-time permanent employees who work or are on paid leave (including paid holidays and workers’ compensation) for one-half or more of the workdays in a monthly pay period are entitled to earn annual vacation leave at the same rate provided for state employees. Leave for a part-time employee is computed on a pro rata basis of the amount earned by a full-time employee in that class of work. A single employee working in two or more positions may not earn more than the benefits allowed for one full-time position.

    Annual vacation leave may be accumulated without any applicable maximum until June 30 of each calendar year. On June 30 or upon retirement accumulated annual vacation leave in excess of 30 days will be converted to sick leave so that only 30 workdays of annual vacation leave are carried forward.

    10-month employees: The first 10 days of annual vacation leave must be scheduled in the school calendar and must be taken as scheduled.

    Years of

    State Service

    Monthly Accrual

    Rates

    Less than 5 years 1.17 days
    5 but less than 10 years 1.42 days
    10 but less than 15 years 1.67 days
    15 but less than 20 years 1.92 days
    20 years or more 2.17 days

    Sick Leave: All permanent, full-time employees working or on paid leave (including paid holidays and workers’ compensation) for one-half or more of the workdays in any monthly pay period earn one sick day per month or the number of hours worked daily by a full-time employee in that class of work up to a maximum of eight hours.

    Accumulated sick leave counts as creditable service towards retirement. One month of credit is allowed for each 20 days of unused sick leave upon retirement. One more month is allowed for any part of 20 days left over. Sick leave converted from excess annual vacation leave is also creditable.

    Extended Sick Leave: This benefit is available to classroom teachers and media coordinators who require substitutes if they are absent due to their own personal illness or injury and have exhausted all available accumulated paid leave (sick leave, annual vacation leave, and bonus leave). In order to be eligible, you must be in a permanent full-time or part-time position.

    Personal Leave: This leave is earned by classroom teachers and school media coordinators who require substitutes. In order to be eligible, you must be in a permanent full-time or part-time position. Personal leave is earned at the rate of .20 days for each full month of employment not to exceed two days per year.

    Transferring Leave: UCPS will send a leave transfer request to the prior NC public school/state agency.

    Voluntary Shared Leave: The purpose of voluntary shared leave is to provide economic relief for employees who are likely to suffer financial hardship because of a prolonged absence or frequent short-term absences caused by a serious medical condition. Only full-time and part-time permanent employees who have exhausted all available accumulated paid leave (sick leave, annual vacation leave, and bonus leave, if applicable) are eligible to receive donated leave. An employee who is receiving benefits or is eligible to receive benefits from the Disability Income Plan of NC is not eligible to receive donated leave. Voluntary shared leave may be used only during the required disability waiting period and may not exceed the period of treatment and recovery.

    Disability Income Plan of NC: Employees with at least one year of contributing membership service with the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System earned within 36 calendar months preceding the disability are eligible for short-term disability benefits. After a waiting period of 60 continuous calendar days from the onset of a disability, an eligible employee may receive a monthly short-term benefit equal to 50% of 1/12th of his or her annual base rate of compensation plus 50% of 1/12th of his or her annual longevity payment, if any, to a maximum of $3,000 per month. Additional information may be found in the Retirement Systems Divisions' disability handbook.

    Longevity: All non-certified permanent full-time or part-time (20 hours per week or more) employees who have at least 10 years of total qualifying state service are eligible for longevity payments.

    Please note: Teachers and instructional support no longer earn longevity benefits. The General Assembly incorporated these funds into the salary schedules to provide higher salaries at each step.

    Years of State Service Longevity Pay Rate
    (% of annual rate of pay)
    10 but less than 15 years 1.50 percent
    15 but less than 20 years 2.25 percent
    20 but less than 25 years 3.25 percent
    25 or more years 4.50 percent

    As a new full-time employee, you will be offered health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and group term life insurance.

    Information about each insurance benefit is provided below.

    Health Insurance: Please review the new employee state health plan enrollment. The effective date of coverage will be the first day of the month following your full-time employment date.    

    Please review NC State Health Plan's Health Insurance Non-Medicare Primary Members Premium Rates. Please click the links below for each plans overview. 

    Traditional 70/30 Plan

    Enhanced 80/20 Plan

    Note for 10-month employees: Insurance premiums are taken in 10 monthly deductions if you are not on the summer pay installment plan, there will be an additional amount taken to cover the two summer months. This additional amount will be payroll deducted from your paycheck each month.

    If you have additional questions regarding the State Health Plan, please visit http://www.shpnc.org.

    Health Plan Annual Enrollment: Changes to your health plan can only be made during annual enrollment which is set by the State Health Plan. If you have changes outside of annual enrollment due to a qualifying life event please contact the UCPS Benefits Department for instructions. When making changes to your health insurance plan due to a qualifying life event, you must provide copies of supporting documentation within 30 days. Examples of this documentation include tax returns and/or birth or marriage certificates.  

    Flexible Benefits: If you choose any of the insurances offered at the time of hire (dental, vision, group term life insurance), the effective date will be the pay period in which you will be in pay status more than one-half of the pay period. This date will be confirmed at the time you return your completed insurance forms and meet with a Human Resources Benefits Specialist.

    If you chose to decline coverage at the time of hire, you will still be required to complete each form noting that you are declining coverage. You can elect coverage during UCPS' annual enrollment.

    Group Term Life Insurance
    Union County Public Schools provides all eligible full-time employees with group term life insurance coverage of $15,000 at no cost to the employee. This coverage cannot be declined.

    Supplemental Group Term Life Insurance: You have the opportunity to purchase up to $200,000 or 5x your salary whichever is less for yourself with no evidence of insurability. You may also purchase up to $50,000 of insurance on your spouse and up to $10,000 of insurance on your dependent child(ren) (up to age 26) with no evidence of insurability. Note: You must elect at least $10,000 supplemental coverage on yourself in order to get spouse and/or child(ren) coverage. Spouse and child(ren) coverage cannot exceed employee's face amount. Limits selected over the Guaranteed Issue Amounts will require approval from our group term life insurance provider.

    Note for 10-month employees: Since you receive 10 checks per year, you will pay slightly more premium per month for your Colonial Term Life Insurance to make up for the summer months when you are not receiving a check. 

    Vision Insurance
    Coverage is provided by Superior Vision. Coverage can be purchased for yourself and dependents.

    Note for 10-month employees: If you are not on the summer pay installment program, we will deduct extra premiums in April and May to cover the summer months.

    Dental Insurance
    Coverage is provided by Interactive Medical Systems. You can purchase dental insurance for yourself and dependents.

    Note for 10-month employees: If you are not on the summer pay installment program, we will deduct extra premiums in April and May to cover the summer months.

    Information and monthly premium amounts for each carrier are provided below:

    Life Insurance

    Vision Insurance

    Dental Insurance

    Summary of Basic and Supplemental Group Term Life Benefits

    Group Term Life Insurance 

    Colonial Life - Group Term Life - Guaranteed Issue Amounts

    Vision Insurance Information Dental Insurance Information

    Additional Information About Flexible Benefits: If you have changes outside of annual enrollment due to a qualifying life event please contact the UCPS Benefits Department for instructions within 30 days of the event.

    Flexible Benefits Annual Enrollment: As a full-time, permanent employee, you will be eligible to purchase additional insurance coverages during the Flexible Benefits Annual Enrollment, which is usually scheduled in October and November each year. This is for coverage that begins January 1 and it is administered by Pierce Group Benefits. Each school/department will have a scheduled date for a Pierce Group Representative to conduct a group meeting and schedule individual meetings.

    NC Retirement: You will also become a contributing member of the North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, which you cannot decline. The employee contribution rate is set at 6%. If you wish to contribute more to a retirement program, 401(k)/457 and 403(b) plans are available.

    Please review the quick reference guide and retirement benefits highlights for more information about becoming vested for retirement and retiree health coverage.

    Approximately 60 days after receipt of your first check, please complete your retirement benefits enrollment by logging on to the NC Retirement Systems Division to set up an account in ORBIT (Online Retirement Benefits through Integrated Technology).Once enrollment is complete, you will be able to designate your beneficiaries online for the death benefit and the return of contributions benefit.

    Additional Information can be found on the NC Department of State Treasurer's website and in the retirement benefits handbook

    Additional Public School Employee Benefits:

    NC Public Schools Benefits and Employment Manual

    Employee Assistance Program