Benefits Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This FAQ provides answers for the most commonly asked questions of a general nature regarding the health and life insurance benefits and retirement plan options offered by the university.  

If your question is not answered by the FAQ, you may choose from a number of resources for assistance:

Benefits Guide: Describes the benefit options available to our employees

MHBT Assistance Line: Assistance with medical, dental, and vision coverage questions and claims issues.

Service email address:

Service phone number: 1-866-812-1765

Office of Human Resources:

Main Number: 512-448-8587

Angi Bustamante, Sr. HR Generalist    512-428-1392

Christina Martin, Operation Manager 512-637-5697


How can I get a quick overview of the benefits offered by St. Edward’s?

A summary of benefits is available for faculty and staff employees:

Retirement FAQs

What’s the difference between the Regular Retirement Plan and the Supplemental Retirement Plan?
The Regular Retirement Plan is a “co-contributory” plan. This means that when you contribute 5% of your monthly salary to the plan on a before-tax basis, the university contributes 7%. Employees participate in the Regular Retirement Plan after one year of benefits-eligible service. The Supplemental Retirement Plan is open to all employees. It is voluntary, requires no waiting period, and contributions are not matched by the university.
Can I contribute more than 5% on a before-tax basis to the Regular Retirement Plan, and if so, will the university increase its percentage (more than 7%)?
No; the employee's contribution to the Regular Retirement Plan is fixed at 5%, and the university’s contribution is fixed at 7%. However, the Supplemental Retirement Plan allows you to contribute variable amounts of before-tax dollars.
Why would I want to participate in the Supplemental Retirement Plan when the university doesn’t match my contribution?
For two reasons: First, you are eligible to participate without satisfying a waiting period. Second, it is another way to set aside tax-deferred dollars toward retirement.
When can I begin participation in the Regular Retirement Plan?
All regular employees 21 years of age and over may participate in the Regular Retirement Plan on the first day of the month following the completion of one year of eligible service. For example, if you began employment on January 17, 2011, you are eligible to begin participation on February 1, 2012.
How much do I have to contribute in order to take advantage of the university’s contribution?
By participating in the Regular Retirement Plan, you contribute 5% of your salary to the plan and the university contributes an additional 7%.
When will my Regular Retirement Plan be effective?
You will be automatically enrolled into the Regular Retirement Plan on the first day of the month following the completion of one year of eligible service. You may choose from one of the investment choices offered by the retirement vendor, or choose to be enrolled into the appropriate university default LifeCycle Fund. 
When will my Supplemental Retirement Plan or Supplemental Retirement Plan Roth Option be effective?
You are eligible to participate in the Supplemental Retirement Plan and/or Supplemental Retirement Plan Roth Option on the first of the month coinciding with or following employment. Your first deduction will be withheld on the first payroll of the month after completing the emrollmen process. 
What is the maximum amount per year that I can contribute toward my retirement fund?
The maximum amount may change each tax year. IRS Retirement Topics – 403(b) Contribution Limits outlines the maximums for the current tax year. Can someone in Human Resources help me select an investment provider? No. HR staff members aren't trained retirement professionals and cannot assist you in selecting an investment provider.
Will I be automatically enrolled in the Regular Retirement Plan when I am eligible?
Yes. You may select from the investment choices offered by the retirement vendor by completing their enrollment documents, or you will be automatically enrolled in the university’s default retirement plan. You are strongly encouraged to schedule an individual appointment with the retirement vendor to compare investment options and make your own choice.
What is the default retirement plan?
The default plan is a TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Fund. This is a comprehensive plan that adjusts the investments as you approach the assumed retirement age of 65.
Can I opt out of the Regular Retirement Plan?
Although the university strongly encourages all eligible employees to take advantage of the 7% employer contribution and participate in the Regular Retirement Plan, employees may opt out by completing and submitting the appropriate paperwork. If you choose to opt out of the Regular Retirement Plan, you must contact Human Resources.
What happens if I quit and return later in a retirement eligible positions?
Regardless of whether you opted out or elected to participate in a plan other than the default plan during your prior period of employment, you will be immediately enrolled in the default plan. To avoid this you must complete an Opt-Out Form before your eligibility date.

Tuition Remission FAQ:

How do I apply for Tuition Remission?
Students must complete a Tuition Remission Enrollment Form available in the Office of Student Financial Services (Main Bldg. 204). The form requires the student indicate which session(s) and in how many credit hours s/he intends to enroll. The form must be returned to Student Financial Services at least one month prior to registration.
Just as with any other form of institutional assistance, the Office of Student Financial Services determines eligibility (i.e. verifying employment, good academic standing, and academic progress). Good academic standing and satisfactory policies for tuition remission are the same policies used in awarding any other form of financial assistance.
I am a part-time employee. Am I eligible for the tuition remission benefit?
This and other questions about Tuition Remission are answered in the Employee Handbook.
I am a full-time employee and enrolled in graduate school. I know I get tuition remission but I understand I may owe income taxes on the value of the tuition. How does this work?
Generally, the tax free limit is reached when the second class is taken during a calendar year (January through December). When taxes are owed by the employee after exceeding the tax-free exemption, the “imputed income” will be allocated equally across the months in the semester, generally four. To estimate your extra tax liability, please refer to IRS Notice 1036 for the year in question. Contact the IRS at (512) 499-5127 or your tax advisor if you have additional questions.

FSA Plan FAQ (Flexible Spending Account Plan):

What is the FSA Plan?
The FSA plan is a program which allows you to save money by reducing your taxable income. The amount you choose is taken from your check pre-tax to reimburse you for qualified expenses for yourself and any dependents claimed on your federal tax return. Qualified expenses can include medical, vision, dental for you and your dependents. These types of expenses would be reimbursed to you through a "health care flexible spending account". Qualified expenses can also include dependent care for a dependent child under age 13 or a dependent of any age that lives in your household who is incapable of self-care. These types of expenses would be reimbursed through a "dependent care flexible spending account".
How do I log on to the Flores (FSA) web site?
Go to Select Log In. Enter your participant ID and your PIN (mailed to you once you have enrolled in the FSA plan). Once you log in, you will be able to change your PIN by clicking on Change PIN in the menu.

Leave Time FAQ:

What kinds of paid leave does the university offer?
The university offers a number of different kinds of leave, paid and unpaid. You may review most of these in the Benefits section of the Employee Handbook and in section II of the Faculty Manual.
How do I find out how much vacation and sick leave I have?
You can check your leave balances on-line through Topper Time.  There is a "Leave Balance" tab under the Employee menu on the left hand side of the home page, and also a "Leave Balance" tab on your timesheet page.  NOTE: Accruals are posted on the first of each month, and balances are adjusted for leave taken when a timesheet showing used leave is submitted.  To calculate how much time you must take before the end of the fiscal year, use this formula:  Current balance + number of months remaining in fiscal year X 10 (or your accrual rate) - 120.  You can only roll over 120 hours from one fiscal year to the next.

Family & Medical Leave FAQ:

What is Family Leave (FMLA)?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave per 12-month period. For more information, review the Family Leave information in the Employee Handbook.
Does the FMLA guarantee paid time off?
No. The FMLA only requires unpaid leave. The university requires the employee to use appropriate accrued paid leave (annual or sick leave) for the Family Leave period prior to unpaid leave.
What notice does an employee have to give the university if the Family Leave is foreseeable?
Employees must submit a written request at least 30 days prior to the commencement of leave when the leave is foreseeable and make reasonable efforts in scheduling leaves to avoid disrupting the work unit.
Can the university count leave taken due to pregnancy complications against the 12 weeks of FMLA leave for the birth and care of my child?
Yes. An eligible employee is entitled to a total of 12 weeks of Family Leave in a 12-month period. If the employee has to use some of that leave for another reason, including a difficult pregnancy, it will be counted as part of the 12-week Family Leave entitlement.
Does Workers’ Compensation leave count against an employee’s FMLA leave entitlement?
It can. Family Leave and Workers’ Compensation Leave can run together, provided the reason for the absence is due to a qualifying serious illness or injury.
How is the 12-month period calculated under Family Leave?
A "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any Family Leave.

Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) FAQ:

What is the “EAP”?
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers St. Edward's benefits-eligible employees, retirees, and their families many services, including counseling and referral services, legal access, discounts, a Safe Ride program and much more. EAP Benefit Summary.
How do I contact the EAP?
You can call the EAP professionals at any time, day or night, at 800-343-3822. Additional information and resources are available at [Supervisors and non-supervisors have different logins. Call 512-343-9595 for your login instructions.]

Workers Compensation FAQ:

What do I do if I am injured at work?
All on-the-job injuries, no matter how trivial, must be reported to the supervisor and to the Office of Human Resources, x8587 (448-8587) within 24 hours when possible. Supervisory personnel who are aware of injuries must also notify the Office of Human Resources. Failure to report injuries in a timely fashion may result in a delay of or ineligibility for benefits. For more information, review the Worker's Compensation information in the Employee Handbook.