New Employee Benefits

FCSU and its member schools may provide all or some of the following benefits to full-time eligible personnel pursuant to the governing document [contract, personnel guidelines, master agreement, etc.] for the position. This is an overview only of FCSU group benefits. The option for part-time staff enrollment is dependent upon those individual agreements and insurance provider criteria.

Cost sharing – differs by plan, by position and by benefit. Your Benefits Coordinator will share that information with you. If you are eligible, and would like to participate in the District’s health, dental, term life, long-term disability (LTD) or 125 flexible spending account benefits, the window of opportunity is limited, make sure to enroll within 30 days of employment.

Probation Period – For benefit purposes, there is a 60 Day waiting period for support and non union positions. This waiting period, in the case of employees beginning to work at inservice in August, will be satisfied through September and October. Therefore, benefits would begin November 1. Professional staff are not subject to this waiting period. Their benefits will begin September 1. 

Use the blue “jump to” links below or scroll.

RETIREMENT

 

State Employees Retirement

 

Membership in these retirement systems is mandatory for all eligible professional and classified [hourly] staff respectively, if the district is participating in either or both groups. All schools participate in VSTRS. St. Albans Town Educational Center, Fairfield Center, and the Central Office participate in VMERS.

 

The Vermont State Teachers Retirement System (VSTRS) requires an employee contribution of

6% for teachers not already vested and 5% for vested teachers. In order to be enrolled in VSTRS you must meet the definition of a “teacher” according to 16 V.S.A. § 1931 AND the position occupied must require a teaching license. To clarify; the VSTRS board intends that positions qualifying for membership must require licensure by the State Board of Education, and not just be pursuant to the preference of the individual school district. Currently, there is no option to increase your contribution and there is no employer match. (percentages are subject to change)

 

The Vermont Municipal Employee’s Retirement System (VMERS) Group B requires an employee contribution of 4.75% and an employer contribution of 5.375%, (SATEC & CO); VMERS Group A requires an employee contribution of 2.5% and 4.0% respectively (Fairfield only). (percentages are subject to change)

 

Your payroll and benefits specialists will establish your membership status.

 

Learn more about VSTRS and VMERS at www.vermonttreasurer.gov, or by calling 1-802-828-2305

 

Mode of enrollment for municipal participants is a form you will receive from your benefits agent, teacher’s enrollment is automatic and no form is necessary. Once you are enrolled, the state retirement office will begin communicating with you directly.

 

 

Tax Deferred Retirement Options (Voluntary)

 

  • 403 (b) Plan

Employees of public enterprise are eligible to participate in tax deferred income arrangements, as provided in § 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Franklin Central Supervisory Union’s 403B plan authorizes deferrals solely to the State of Vermont 403B program.

 

  • 457 (b) Plan

Employees of governmental entities in the state of Vermont are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation program as provided in §457 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Franklin Central Supervisory Union’s 457B plan authorizes deferrals solely to the State of Vermont 457B program.

 

To enroll in either plan please contact the administrator for the deferred compensation programs, Empower Retirement Services. Information is available on-line on the State of Vermont Treasurers website or by contacting Jonathan Smith, Plan Coordinator, at jonathan.smith@empower-retirement.com, 1-800-457-1028 or 1-802-434-5119.   Jonathan does visit all of our schools periodically.

 

Contributions to each of these plans are limited by statute annually. You may enroll in either or both. 



LIFE AND DISABILITY PLANS

Voluntary Long Term Disability Plan (LTD)

All new full-time, active, St. Albans Town Educational Center, Fairfield Center School, and Central Office employees have the option of enrolling in the districts LTD plan provided by Lincoln as offered via VEHI. The plan provides a source of income should covered individuals become disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. Plan features include a benefit of up to 60% of salary for up to 5 years or to age 70.  These are district funded plans.

 

Voluntary Long Term Disability Plan (LTD)

All new full-time, active Bellows Free Academy UHSD #48 employees have the option of enrolling in the districts LTD plan provided by Lincoln as offered via VEHI. The plan provides a source of income should covered individuals become disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. Plan features include a benefit of up to 60% of salary for up to 5 years or to age 70. This is an employee funded plan.

 

Note: If you do not enroll when the plan is offered to you as a new employee, any future request to enroll will require the completion of an evidence of insurability form and enrollment will be up to the provider.

Life and Accidental Death or Dismemberment Insurance

The FCSU provides group term life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurances through Lincoln. The term life insurance amount is established by the boards and is to be doubled in value in the case of AD&D. Currently, all Teachers receive $30,000 term coverage. Support staff varies by position and location.

 

Be prepared to list a beneficiary. You may change your beneficiary anytime by contacting your SU benefits agent. Once enrolled, forms, policy, and other information become available to you on the providers website. Life insurance is an employer paid benefit.



MEDICAL INSURANCE

The FCSU and its member schools have coverage options available from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont[BCBSVT] through the Vermont Education Health Initiative* [VEHI].

 

FCSU offers from 1 to all 3 of the following plans from which you may choose. The first two plans cost the same while the third is more expensive to the employee. They are:

 

The Dual Option or base plans:

  • Vermont Health Partnership (VHP), a point-of-service plan; and,
  • Comprehensive Plan with a $300 deductible, a fee-for-service plan.

 

The third plan is:

  • JY Plan

 

Currently, employees of the FCSU itself, may enroll only in VHP. Employees of Fairfield may choose from JY or VHP only.

 

All the plans offer virtually identical covered services. The variations occur in the plans’ payment terms: each offers slightly different member out-of-pocket arrangements; and in the procedures by which services and providers are approved.  All plans are full coverage plans with prescription drug and mental health riders. The plan year or (benefit year) is January 1 to December 30.

Once you are enrolled, you will be provided with coverage documents and membership cards.  It is especially helpful, once you’re a member, to create a profile on the BCBSVT.com website.

 

Outside of the original option to enroll as a new employee there is an enrollment opportunity for January unless there are extenuating circumstances or life altering events that require enrollment at other times.

Life Event Changes
A marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, etc., shall be reported to your Benefits Coordinator for plan amendment or enrollment.  Changes must be processed within 31 days of the life event and must be substantiated with appropriate documentation.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield refers to employees who enroll in their plans as “subscribers.” They call subscribers and their dependents “members.” There are eligibility requirements and limitations set forth by BC/BS and our plan that must be met and proven initially, and in some cases, updated periodically. Your benefits coordinator is your source of information in this regard.

 

Please review the summary plan descriptions found below and explore the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont website at www.bcbsvt.com.  Request a printed copy of any of these summary plan descriptions by contacting the FCSU Benefits Coordinator. 

 

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield offer other helpful programs for participants. Programs include:

  • New Beginnings, an inclusive pregnancy care program.
  • Healthwise Knowledge Base,
  • Community Outreach programs such as: Bear Hugs, Bike Rodeos, Businesses Offering Discounts to Members, Community Events, Domestic Violence, Eat Smart Vermont, and Walking Works,
  • Also available are: the Wellness Center and Health Topics symposiums

 

These, as well as other programs and discounts can be found on the Blue Cross Blue Shield web site. Please avail yourself of all that is provided for your use.

 

*The Vermont Education Health Initiative is a large, non-profit purchaser of health care plans for Vermont’s school employees. The Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust (VSBIT) and the Vermont –National Education Association (Vermont-NEA), manage this self-funded, fully insured purchasing trust jointly.


Alternative Benefit [Cash Option]

In lieu of health care coverage you may be eligible for a cash option. Amounts vary by agreement and by eligible level of coverage. You will be asked annually, so long as you choose this option, to complete a form that’s lists your other coverage, and substantiates your eligibility claim level.

 

Vermont’s “Declaration of Health Care”

Annually, all staff, those that hold regular positions and those that are casual employees must complete a ‘declaration of health care coverage’ form. This form allows us to remain compliant with the state of Vermont’s health care coverage initiatives.

 

DENTAL INSURANCE

 

Northeast Delta Dental provides coverage to eligible employees at all of our member schools. The plan provides $1,000 of coverage per enrollee, per year with a $50 deductible not to be charged until the covered employee utilizes services other than maintenance. Delta is a preferred provider plan, seeing one of those providers assures that they will bill and be paid directly by Delta on a prearranged schedule of fees. If you use other than a Delta preferred (premium) provider, the provider may not bill Delta. Also, you will receive the payment and have to forward it to the provider and Delta may not pay all that those providers charge. The dental insurance plan year (or benefit year) is July 1 to June 30.

 

Please explore the summary plan description below and visit Northeast Delta Dental at www.nedelta.com.  

 

Note that the coverage is divided into segments according to the service provided and that each segments benefit’s are paid at a different percentage.

 

Members of NE Delta’s Insurance Plan are also the beneficiaries of a vision discount program. See the flyer below.

 

Once enrolled, you will receive a packet of information directly from Delta. Your open enrollment period with your delta coverage is the same as that of your health coverage. As with the health plan, contact your Benefits Coordinator in the event of any life altering events.


CONTINUATION COVERAGE  [ie; COBRA]

 

It is your right to continue your Health and/or Dental insurances at your own cost at the group’s rates in the event of termination, divorcing partners, or children who are no longer eligible. This information will be sent to you when our office is notified of a qualifying event as listed in the initial notice of continuation coverage rights found below.

Initial Gen Notice Of COBRA Cont Cov Rights (20.6 KiB)



CAFETERIA PLANS

 

You may hear this plan referred to as the ‘flex spend’ plan, the ‘125’ plan, or the ‘cafeteria’ plan, because the district plan encompasses several federally coded options.

 

The 125 Cafeteria Account plan allows faculty and staff to have their portion of the premium payment for health and dental insurances deducted on a pre-tax basis.

 

The Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) is a form of cafeteria plan benefit, funded by salary reduction, which reimburses employees for expenses incurred for certain qualified benefits. Monies are deducted on a pre-tax basis from paychecks to use for eligible health and dependent care expenses. You do not have to be a participant in the group health plans in order to enlist in this option. There are date sensitive criteria with these plans that enlist a ‘use it or loose it’ proposition.

 

These accounts are optional and are subject to conditions found in IRS regulations. The third party administrator of our plans is Future Planning Associates of Williston, VT. You may be responsible for an administrative fee to maintain the plan.

 

These plans hinge on the employee having taxable vs non-taxable options so all staff must complete enrollment annually, regardless of participation levels. Annual election includes an area in which you elect your cash in lieu of health insurance [Cash Option] if you are eligible.


LEAVE

 

Beyond Federal and State mandated leave entitlements*, employees are encouraged to reference their master agreement/employment guidelines to determine to which leave benefits, if any, they may be entitled. In general, eligible employees may be provided paid sick, personal, and bereavement leaves or a combination leave benefit.

 

Holiday and Vacation leaves are afforded to full-time, full-year staff according to the appropriate governing document.

 

*reference the Federal Family Medical Leave Act and Vermont’s Parental and Family Leave Act


OTHER BENEFITS and PROGRAMS

 

A Computer Advance Program is available to Full-time Professional, Technology, Administrative, or Clerical staff. This program is dependent upon available funding. Details of the program are available from the SU and once, enrolled, via the employee portal.

 

Direct Deposit is available for all employees receiving wages from the district. We strongly recommend this option; it’s a savings for both the employee and employer, saves a trip to the bank, and payment history is available via the employee portal. You may choose to send monies to more than one account. You may begin, end, or change your direct deposit anytime.

 

Professional Development is available to all certified professional staff. Some schools may offer tuition and/or workshop assistance to its classified (support) staff through their respective governing documents.

 

Training: Most employee trainings are done via “Safeschools”. An internet based video program. Employee’s assigned training(s) will receive an instructive email.

 

Employee Portal:

Employees will either be registered or will be asked to register with the “Employee Portal”, an internet based, secure access program. This is where employees view and/or update demographic information, compensation, benefits and notices.  Your benefits coordinator will assist you with this.

 

This is a summary listing of benefits offered intended to prepare you for the details and choices afforded you according to your position and is not an agreement between any employee and the FCSU or its member schools. More complete details on benefits are found in official vendor provided materials and collective bargaining agreements. If this information and an official document differ, the official document governs.

Not all benefits are available to all staff. Please refer to your negotiated agreement / governing document and contact the appropriate staff with any questions.

 

NameDateHits
NameDateHits
Health - Enrollment/Change formFebruary 12, 2014690
Declaration of Health CareDecember 10, 2015233
Cash Option - Statement of Status and Alternative CvgFebruary 12, 2014511
Life - EnrollmentFebruary 12, 2014436
Dental - Enrollment/change formFebruary 12, 2014532
FSA Health Reimb. RequestMarch 17, 2014704
FSA Dependent Care Reimb Request FormMarch 17, 2014394
VEHI 15-16 Health Benefits BookletMay 4, 2015283
Dental Plan 7.1.16April 6, 2016187
January 2018 Health Plans Comparison-GridJuly 13, 2016120