Procedures Applicable to Employees on Military Leave
Military Leave of Absence – How It Affects Benefits
People First should be contacted at 1-866-663-4735 by either the employee or the power of attorney prior to (or as close to) the beginning of the military leave of absence to discuss the continuation or cancellation of benefit plans. The employee should ensure that the power of attorney has the contact name(s) and telephone number(s) of the benefits representative in the event circumstances change and updates to benefits must be made.
During the first 30 calendar days of military leave, the employee will remain in full and active pay status. Premiums and other deductions continue to be deducted from the employee’s paycheck. Following the first 30 calendar days, the employee may elect to use annual, sick, or compensatory leave intermittently each pay period to cover premiums and deductions, or be placed on unpaid leave. The employee should contact the Human Resources – Leave of Absence Section who can provide an estimate of the employee paid portion of premiums and deductions. The premiums may either be deducted from the employee’s pay check through the use of paid leave, military pay supplement (if eligible), or by submitting a personal check or money order directly to Human Resources.
Health/life/supplemental insurance benefits
An employee called to active duty has the option to continue or cancel any coverage in any benefit plans the employee was enrolled in at the time of reporting for active duty. For health and basic life, the University will continue to pay the state share of the premiums for that coverage. The employee will continue to be responsible for any amount that the employee had been paying.
If enrolled in optional life or any supplemental insurance coverage, the employee may continue or cancel any or all of the coverage. Since the premiums for this coverage is the total responsibility of the employee, employees that continue the coverage are responsible for the entire monthly premium.
For those that elect to continue an insurance coverage, any premium amounts due from the employee will continue to be deducted from each payroll. If the amount of the employee’s pay is not sufficient, the employee or their representative must make the payments by personal check or money order. In such instances, payments will be due to Human Resources no later than the first (1) day of the month prior to the coverage, i.e., by October 1 for November coverage. If the payment is made after that date, the employee risks a suspension of coverage.
The basic life insurance and optional life insurance both provide additional coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, at no cost. Regardless of the reason for the death, the basic and optional life insurance will pay the beneficiary. However, the additional coverage for accidental death and dismemberment is paid in the event of an accident and will not be paid if death occurs due to war or any act of war, declared or undeclared. Since it is provided at no cost, it is not possible to cancel the accidental death and dismemberment coverage and retain the basic life coverage.
An employee that cancels an insurance coverage due to being called to active duty, may reenroll in that same coverage if the employee returns to work no later than ninety (90) calendar days after separation from military service, by contacting People First at (866) 663-4735 within thirty-one (31) calendar days after returning to work. For such employees, any pre-existing condition provisions of any coverage will not apply to those persons who were insured under the employee’s coverage in effect at the time the employee was called to active duty.
Medical care reimbursement/dependent care spending accounts
Enrollment in medical care reimbursement and dependent care spending account enrollments may be continued at the elected amount, at a reduced amount or cancelled. The same reenrollment provisions apply to these accounts as apply to an insurance coverage, except that an employee that cancels a medical care reimbursement account may not reenroll in such an account in the same calendar year. Also, if the employee’s pay is less than the amount of the deduction, the employee or their representative must make the payments by personal check or money order.
Remember that open enrollment is held in the Fall of each year, Please contact People First or the UCF Human Resources office for the open enrollment dates. Employees are encouraged to make their necessary benefit changes prior to departure.
Tax Sheltered Annuity [403(b)]
If the employee remains in a full or partial pay status, the employee/designee must decide whether to continue or cancel the reduction. The employee or designee should contact the TSA company representative or contact the UCF Human Resources Office- Benefits Section at (407) 823-2771 to discuss options.
An employee’s military pay cannot be considered by the State in computing the amount of deferral. Upon call-up, an employee who is participating in the deferred compensation program may choose whether or not he/she wishes to continue his deduction while serving on active duty. Unless the appropriate papers have been processed through the Deferred Compensation Office, deferrals will continue at the same amount as was in effect prior to call-up, unless the military pay supplement is not sufficient to cover the deferral.
If an employee wishes to discontinue their deduction, they must contact their investment provider directly. If the employee is not sure who his/her investment provider is, they can contact the State Deferred Compensation Office toll-free at 877-299-8002.
Employees on military leave of absence shall receive full retirement credit for the period of such leave upon their return to employment. The University shall make the appropriate retirement contribution on any salary (full or supplemental salary payments) paid to employees during such period of military leave. When these employees return to employment, the University shall pay the additional retirement contribution necessary to make up the difference between the contribution paid on the supplemental salary and the contribution that would have been paid on the gross salary at the time military leave was granted. The maximum cumulative time the University is required to contribute during a military leave is five years provided the employee received an honorable discharge and was reemployed by the University.
Leave accrual– Annual and Sick
The first 30 calendar days of the military leave of absence is with full pay with no reduction to accrued leave or compensatory leave. After the 30 calendar day period the employee may use accrued annual, sick, or compensatory leave to remain in an active pay status and will continue to accrue annual and/or sick leave proportionate with the number of hours in active pay status.
Employees on military leave will continue to earn full annual leave, sick leave, and holiday pay. All unused leave is retained for the employee and credited to his/her account upon return to employment. For a USPS employee called to active duty that have an annual leave balance in excess of 240 hours on December 31 of each year, the excess hours are converted to the employee’s sick leave account. For Faculty and A&P employees called to active duty who have an annual leave balance in excess of 352 hours on December 31 of each year, the excess hours are converted to the employee’s sick leave account.
Sick Leave Pool
Members of the sick leave pool may not use hours from the pool while on military leave. While on military leave, though, an employee may make a contribution to the sick leave pool to replenish hours when notified this is a condition of continued membership.
Employees who are reservists called to active military service must notify the agency within 30 days from the date of release from active service. The employee or his/her power of attorney is responsible for notifying the University of the last day of active duty.
Miscellaneous Collection Deductions
If the employee has monetary obligations (i.e., Garnishments, Court Ordered Support, IRS Tax Levies, Federal Student Loans) being deducted from his/her check, these deductions will continue to be processed through the payroll system in the normal maner. Employees are responsible for making up any difference in the amount owed for court ordered support by submitting payment via personal check or money order to the Benefits Department.
Other payroll deductions
Employees who have deductions for credit unions or other deductions which were being payroll deducted prior to the call to active duty must advise the payroll office of their wishes to continue or stop each of these deductions. Parking deductions will resume upon return to the University until total payment has been received.
Direct Deposit (EFT) will continue.
The military pay supplement should cease upon the employee’s release from active military service. The employee or his/her power of attorney is responsible for notifying Human Resources of the last day of active duty. However, an employee may request and the University may approve the use of paid leave to cover the period between the employee’s release and their return to work.
Return to Reemployment from Active Military Duty
Upon the employee’s return from the military leave, the department completes and submits an ePAF returning the employee to work. A copy of the employee’s discharge papers should be kept by the department. The employee must contact People First at 1-866-663-4735 and Human Resources Benefits Section at 407-823-2771 within 30 days of discharge to discuss reenrollment opportunities into Benefit plans and to ensure the period of leave is properly credited to the employee’s retirement account. A copy of the discharge papers may be required.
If the employee dies during the military leave, the power of attorney should immediately contact the University Benefits Section for assistance and to discuss benefits options that may be available to the surviving spouse, dependents, or beneficiary.