Faculty Handbook

Automatic Benefits


Participation in the following benefits(1)   (when eligible) is automatic for full-time and part-time faculty/academic staff, except as noted. No enrollment applications are necessary:

Basic Employer Life (Death Benefit) 
The University provides a life benefit payable to beneficiaries of faculty/academic staff appointed 50 percent time or more for nine months or more. This benefit is effective immediately upon appointment.

Eligible faculty/academic staff members are provided coverage equal to one year's base salary up to a maximum of $50,000. Beneficiaries are those designated by the faculty/academic staff member or the same as designated in the Employee-Paid Life program. If no beneficiary has been designated, payment will be made to the survivor(s) in the first surviving class of those that follow: a) spouse; b) children; c) parents; or d) brothers and sisters. If none survives, payment would be made to the estate.

No enrollment application is necessary and the entire cost of this benefit is paid by the University.

Long-Term Disability
Coverage under the Long-Term Disability Plan is available for faculty/academic staff appointed full-time for nine months or more who have been employed for 12 FTE service months. Faculty appointed with tenure (or on the effective date of the award of tenure) or with the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams/National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (FRIB/NSCL) continuing appointment status are immediately covered under this plan. Eligible faculty/academic staff may receive benefits provided by the Long-Term Disability Plan after 180 days of continuous disability.

The benefits provide a disabled faculty/academic staff member (as defined by the master contract) with a monthly income equal to 60% of the basic monthly salary (minus any workers' compensation, social security or auto wage loss benefits, if applicable) up to the limits defined in the plan. In addition, the program assumes both the faculty/academic staff member's contribution and the University's contribution to the base retirement program for as long as the individual remains entitled to Long-Term Disability benefits. The plan provides an annual cost-of-living adjustment and a minimum benefit of $50.00 per month.

The cost of this benefit is totally paid by the University.

Other Benefit Information
If the faculty/academic staff member is unable to work due to total disability and is eligible for benefits under the Long-Term Disability Plan, a University premium contribution will be continued for the health, dental and employee-paid life programs for the faculty/academic staff member during the period of disability benefit payments.

More details are available in the Long-Term Disability Plan Policy.

Social Security 
Most faculty/academic staff members who perform services for Michigan State University are covered by Social Security (FICA). Social Security provides retirement benefits subject to age rules and participation; a lifetime income in the event of total permanent disability for the faculty/academic staff member; benefits for dependents subject to certain age rules; and a lump sum payment at death and monthly income for qualified survivors. (Foreign Nationals presenting F or J visas may be exempt from provisions of the Social Security Act - See Payroll Procedures.) Full information is available from the local Social Security Office.

Travel Accident 
The University provides immediate Travel Accident coverage while traveling on approved University business or activity. This plan provides accidental death and dismemberment coverage up to $50,000, and is automatic for all faculty/academic staff. No enrollment application is necessary and the cost is paid by the University.

Unemployment Compensation
Most faculty/academic staff members of Michigan State University will be in covered employment and therefore subject to the provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Act. Full information is available from Human Resources at (517) 353-4434.

Workers' Compensation
The University, in accordance with the State of Michigan Disability Compensation Act, provides "Workers' Compensation benefits" if a faculty/academic staff member is injured in the course of employment. These benefits are payable at a rate of approximately 80% of the after-tax value of the faculty/academic staff member's average weekly wage, subject to a state-determined maximum rate.

Any injury arising out of and in the course of employment must be reported to the administrative head and Workers' Compensation. All necessary medical services for a compensable injury will be delivered by a medical provider designated by the University. Full information is available from Human Resources at (517) 353-4434.

1For benefit purposes only, half-time is defined as 50.0-64.9 percent time; three-quarter time is defined as 65.0-89.9 percent time; full-time is 90.0-100.0 percent time.

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