Human Resources

Employee Benefits

Benefits Menu

Medical Insurance

Full-Time Virginia Western employees may elect participation in the state's health care program in either COVA Care, COVA HealthAware or COVA HDHP. A supplement, TRICARE, is also available for eligible employees. Under the programs, health care coverage is provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Aetna. Dental coverage is provided by Delta Dental of Virginia (or Aetna for COVA HealthAware participants). Dependent upon the plan in which you enroll, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and prescription plan is provided by Anthem or Aetna. The cost to employees varies depending on the health plan and type of membership selected (employee only, employee plus one, or family). These plans provide coverage with no waiting period requirement for pre-existing conditions. Newly eligible employees have 30 days from the date of hire to submit their enrollment form and required applicable dependent documentation. If your hire date is not the first working day of the month, coverage begins the first of the following month.

Virginia Sickness & Disability Program (VSDP)

Full-Time employees who are automatically enrolled or select VRS as their retirement plan, receive short-term and long-term disability benefits under the Commonwealth's Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), with the cost of the benefits being fully paid by the college. Effective July 1, 2010, new hires will have a one year waiting period to be eligible for benefits. After one year, benefits will be on a reduced schedule until five years of service has been met.

Short-term disability payments begin on the eighth calendar day and continue for up to 125 workdays, beginning at 100 percent income replacement and reducing to 80 percent and 60 percent of pre-disability income based on total months of full-time state service. Long-term disability benefits begin after the conclusion of the 7 calendar waiting period and 125 workdays of receipt of short-term disability benefits and may continue until age 65. Long-term disability benefits are paid at 60 percent of pre-disability income. If the disability/illness is deemed catastrophic, the employee may receive 100 percent or 80 percent income replacement and waiver of the 7 calendar day waiting period. The 2009 Appropriations Act created a new one year full time employment eligibility requirement for employees hired or rehired effective July 1, 2009 and thereafter.

Full-time employees newly hired between January 10 and July 09 will be credited with 64 hours of sick leave; if hired between July 10 and January 09, new employees are credited with 40 hours of sick leave. Thereafter, leave will be credited on January 10, based upon total months of state service. Employees with less than 60 months of state service receive 64 hours of sick leave, employees with 60 to 119 months of state service receive 72 hours, and, after 120 months of state service, employees receive 80 hours.

Sick Leave permits continuation of pay during absences caused by personal illness, injuries, preventive care and wellness physician visits of the employee. Sick leave may not be carried over from one calendar year to the next, and employees will not be paid for any unused Sick Leave upon separation from employment.

As defined by the state's policy on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligible employees may use 33 percent of their available VSDP Sick Leave for an FMLA absence for an eligible family member.

In addition to sick leave, new full-time employees hired between January 10 and July 09 are credited with 32 hours of Family/Personal Leave; if hired between July 10 and January 09, new employees are credited with 16 hours of Family/Personal Leave. Thereafter, Family/Personal leave will be credited on January 10, based upon total months of state service. Employees with up to 119 months of state service receive 32 hours of Family/Personal Leave on January 10. After an employee has 120 months of state service, 40 hours of Family/Personal Leave will be credited each January 10. This leave may be used for absences due to personal and family reasons as well as for personal illnesses or injuries. Unused Family/Personal Leave may not be carried forward from one year to the next, and employees will not be paid for any unused leave upon separation from employment.

UNUM Long-Term Disability for Traditional Leave Participants

Full time employees not covered by the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), may choose to purchase long-term disability (LTD) protection through UNUM. The plan is offered on a "guaranteed issue" basis to newly eligible faculty who enroll within 61 days after employment. In accordance with the Executive Compensation Plan, an eligible college President and eligible Vice Presidents will have their LTD benefit paid by the college.

During Open Enrollment, eligible employees may initially purchase coverage and current participants may make plan changes. Employees who initially enroll or a participant who makes an upward change to their income replacement value will be medically underwritten by UNUM. Employees will be required to qualify based on information provided regarding their health history.

Participants have a choice of 25 percent, 40 percent, or 50 percent of coverage based on basic monthly earnings to a maximum of $5000 per month. LTD benefits are not reduced by the amount of other income replacement benefits received for the same disability. LTD benefits begin after 90 consecutive days of disability. The premiums are group rates, and non-presidential participants are responsible for the cost of the premiums.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term Care (LTC) is also referred to as nursing home care, home health aide, etc..

Full-time employees participating in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program receive a free basic daily LTC benefit as part of the benefit package provided by the program.

An optional supplement is available to full-time faculty and classified staff at group rates through GenWorth. The plan is "guaranteed issue" to new employees enrolling within 60 days of employment. Coverage is also available for eligible family members; however, family members will be required to complete medical questionnaire forms and must be approved by GenWorth.

Annual Leave

New full-time/12-month employees earn annual leave through systems related to their position.

Unused Annual Leave may be carried forward from one leave year (January 10 – January 09) to the next but only up to the maximum amounts allowed. Upon separation, employees will be paid for any unused annual leave up to the maximum allowable payment amount. Annual leave accrues at the end of the day on the 9th and 24th of the month, the end of each pay period. An employee must have worked or been on paid leave for the entire pay period to receive the annual leave accrual.

*Current employees with questions about their annual leave program should contact Human Resources.

Traditional Sick Leave (Non-VSDP) Participants

The college president, administrative faculty and 12-month teaching faculty who elect not to participate in VRS as a retirement plan or VSDP will earn sick leave at the rate of 5 hours for each completed semi-monthly work period, a total of 120 hours per year. Sick leave may be used to cover absences resulting from personal illness or injury and medical appointments. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that can be carried over from one year to another.

Employees may use up to 48 hours of accrued sick leave per leave year for illness or death of immediate family members. Immediate family members include parents, step-parents, spouse, children, step-children, siblings, and any relatives by blood or marriage living in the same household. As defined by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees may use 33 percent of their available Sick Leave for an FMLA absence for an eligible family member.

Sick leave accrues at the end of the day on the 9th and 24th of the month, the end of each pay period. An employee must have worked or been on paid leave for the entire pay period to receive the sick leave accrual.

Upon separation, employees with 5 or more years of continuous state service will be paid for 25 percent of their unused sick leave balance. The payment cannot exceed $5,000. Employees with less than 5 years of service do not receive payment for any part of their accrued sick leave.

This plan also applies to grandfathered full-time classified employees who opted not to elect VSDP.

9-Month Faculty Traditional Leave

Nine-month faculty members who elect not to participate in VRS as a retirement plan or VSDP earn leave in accordance with policy established by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).

  • Personal Leave: Nine-month teaching faculty accrue Personal Leave of 24 hours at the beginning of each academic year (August 16). Personal Leave may be taken at the discretion of the faculty member, with prior approval from the division dean. Personal Leave may not be used for recreational purposes and must be used in increments no less than four hours. At the end of the summer semester (August 15), any unused Personal Leave hours will be added to the Sick Leave balance.
  • Sick Leave: Nine-month teaching faculty accrue Sick Leave at the rate of 36 hours on the first day of fall and spring semesters, a total of 72 hours. Earned Sick Leave permits continuation of full pay during absences, caused by illness or injury of the employee. During the calendar year, up to 80 hours of a faculty member's accrued sick leave balance may be used for absences related to illness or death of the employee's immediate family members. Immediate family members include parents, step-parents, spouse, children, step-children, siblings, and any relatives by blood or marriage living in the same household. As defined by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees may use 33 percent of their available Sick Leave for an FMLA absence for an eligible family member. Unused sick leave may be carried forward from one academic year to the next. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave that may be accrued. Sick Leave may also only be taken in increments no less than four hours.

Upon separation, faculty with 5 or more years of continuous service with the VCCS will be paid for 25 percent of their unused sick leave balance. The payment cannot exceed $5,000. Employees with less than 5 years of service do not receive payment for any part of their accrued sick leave.

Holidays

All full-time state employees receive 12 paid holidays each calendar year. A holiday falling on a Saturday will be observed on the preceding Friday, and one falling on Sunday will be observed on the following Monday.

For the exception of the holiday schedule for Campus Police, the college observes an alternate holiday schedule from some other state agencies. The alternate holiday schedule may vary, but includes an equal number of days as established by the college calendar.

Other Leave Types

In addition to the leave types mentioned above, the state has provisions for other types of leave for full-time, such as Civil and Work-Related Leave, School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave, Military Leave, Workers' Compensation Leave, and Leave Without Pay (conditional and unconditional).

All employees (including student workers) are eligible for Family and Medical Leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 including leave rights relating to military service.

CommonHealth

The Commonwealth's wellness program is called "CommonHealth". CommonHealth is available to all employees (except student workers) and their dependents age 18 or older living in the employee's home, and also to our retirees. CommonHealth promotes fitness, weight-loss, nutrition and other wellness programs. Discounts are available for area fitness centers.

ActiveHealth Management

ActiveHealth provides services to employees and their dependents that are enrolled in a COVA health care plan:

  • Healthy Beginnings - $300 waived hospital stay if enrolled within the first trimester. In addition, a free dental cleaning.
  • Healthy Insights – voluntary disease management program. Participants who complete the requirements of participation may receive incentives.
  • Healthy Lifestyles - Free smoking cessation programs: gum or patches, counseling. Fitness, nutrition, etc.

Educational Assistance, Continuous Learning & Professional Development

The college encourages the continued education of employees through partial reimbursement of tuition expenses and allowing for up to six credits per semester tuition free for credit hour courses taken at Virginia Western Community College. Either state or local funds may be allocated for tuition reimbursement pursuant to guidelines established by the state's Educational Assistance Policy and the Supplemental Educational Assistance and Continuous Learning Policy for Employees of Virginia Western Community College

Professional development may be achieved through Professional Development Grants, Chancellor's Faculty Fellowships, Chancellor's Faculty Professorships and Chancellor's Fellowships for Classified Staff.

Flexible Reimbursement Accounts

Flexible Reimbursement Accounts allow full-time employees to set aside part of their pay each pay period on a pre-taxed basis for one or both of these accounts:

  • Medical Reimbursement Accounts are used to pay for the out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision care expenses not covered by your health benefits plan.
  • Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts are used to pay for the expenses to care for your child, disabled spouse, elderly parent or other dependents who are physically and mentally incapable of self care.

Annuities & Other Insurance

Most VWCC employees may purchase these plans through payroll deduction - the costs are borne entirely by the employee. Supplemental insurance programs are administered by a third-party administrator.

Pre-Tax Deductions:

  • Tax-deferred annuities
    • Section 403b - offered by Ameriprise, AXA Equitable, TIAA-CREF and VALIC
    • Section 457 - (Deferred Compensation Plan) - offered by ICMA-RC - (877) 327-5261

Post-Tax Deductions:

  • Other FBMC providers offer cancer insurance, disability insurance, property and casualty insurance

Cash Match Program

Virginia Western encourages full-time employees to participate in supplemental retirement savings plans. The state has implemented a cash-match program whereby the state will match a portion of full-time employee contributions to either a 403(b) tax sheltered annuity plan or a 457-Deferred Compensation Plan, but not both. The state's cash-match amount is determined through the annual Appropriates Act. The cash match is paid into a 401(a) account.

Virginia College Savings Plan

The Virginia College Savings Plan offers several programs that allow all employees to save for personal college expenses for their children, grandchildren or someone else. The plans offer ways to save for tuition, room and board, textbooks and other fees.

Discounts

Various employee discounts are available and change frequently throughout the year. Please contact Human Resources for additional information.

Work/Life Balance

At Virginia Western Community College, we recognize the challenges employees face in balancing a family and a career and are proud to provide employees with a Work/Life Balance Program.

You will enjoy your career in a supportive work environment and be given the opportunity to attend at work a monthly presentation on topics such as parenting, buying a home, reducing financial debt, estate planning, choosing assisted living, stress reduction and more.

Retirement

Upon hire, the college president, administrative faculty, 12-month and 9-month teaching faculty, whose services are required 40 hours a week in a combination of teaching and administrative duties, may have two retirement plans from which to choose: The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) Plan 2 or the Hybrid Plan, provided that the employee does not have a prior ORP or grandfathered Virginia Retirement System (VRS) member account. Re-hired faculty may have other options provided certain eligibility requirements exist. Full-time classified employees are automatically enrolled into the Hybrid Plan provided that the employee does not have an active or deferred VRS member account. Classified employees returning into a VRS covered position with an active or deferred VRS member account will resume in VRS as either a Plan 1 or Plan 2 member. Full-time campus police officers are automatically enrolled into VaLORS as either a Plan 1 or Plan 2 member.

Effective July 1, 2010, new hires or rehires that had a refund from their VRS, VaLORS, or ORP account will be placed into Plan 2. Effective January 1, 2013, non-vested Plan 1 members will be placed into Plan 2. Rehires that maintained their membership with VRS, VaLORS or ORP will be placed into Plan 1. Effective January 1, 2014, the new Hybrid plan came into effect.

  • VRS Plan 1 is a defined benefit plan. Retirement benefits are guaranteed for eligible members and are determined by a formula and are not based on the accumulated contributions in the account. The formula uses the member's age at retirement, average final compensation (average of the member's highest 3 consecutive years of base salary), and total number years of VRS service. The vesting period in VRS is 5 years. Normal retirement age is 65; however, employees may retire with full benefits at age 50 with 30 years of service. Employees may also retire with reduced benefits at age 50 with 10 years of service and at age 55 with 5 years of service. There is no mandatory retirement age. Effective July 1, 2011, VRS retirement contributions are paid both by the member and employer. The member will have 5% of their salary deducted on a pre-tax basis. If an employee leaves a VRS covered position prior to retirement, the total contributions in the member account may be withdrawn or rolled over into another qualified plan; unless the member was not vested by July 1, 2010. If accrued service totals 5 or more years and contributions are not withdrawn, membership in the retirement system is retained and retirement benefits may be accessed when the member becomes eligible to receive retirement benefits.
  • VRS Plan 2 is a defined benefit plan. Retirement benefits are guaranteed for eligible members and are determined by a formula and are not based on the accumulated contributions in the account. The formula uses the member's age at retirement, average final compensation (average of the member's highest 5 consecutive months of base salary) and total number of VRS service. The vesting period in VRS is 5 years. Normal retirement age is consistent with the normal Social Security retirement age; however, employees may retire with full benefits when their age and years of service equals 90. Employees may also retire with reduced benefits at age 60 with at least 5 years of service credit. There is no mandatory retirement age. VRS retirement contributions are paid by both the member and employer. The member will have 5% of their salary deducted on a pre-tax basis. If an employee leaves a VRS covered position prior to retirement, the contributions made by the member may be withdrawn or rolled over into another qualified plan. If accrued service totals 5 or more years and contributions are not withdrawn, membership in the retirement system is retained and retirement benefits may be accessed when the member becomes eligible to receive retirement benefits.
  • Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) Plan 1 is a defined contribution plan, which has immediate vesting of contributions. The amount or percentage of contribution is fully paid by the college and set by the General Assembly. The employer contribution is comparable to the amount the college would normally contribute to the state's retirement system (VRS). The benefit at retirement is based on the amount in the member's account as a result of contributions paid into the plan and the gains and losses on the contributions and allocation(s) elected. The member makes the investment choices and assumes all risks associated with their choices. The current providers under the ORP Plan 1 are Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. In general, an ORP Plan 1 works best for those persons who will have multiple employers during their careers that will not be a part of Virginia state government or a VRS employer.
  • Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) Plan 2 is a defined contribution plan, which has immediate vesting of contributions. The contribution amount is pad both by the college and by the member. The member will have 5% of their salary deducted, on a pre-tax basis. The employer contribution is comparable to the amount the college would normally contribute to the state's retirement system (VRS). The benefit at retirement is based on the amount in the member's account as a result of contributions paid into the plan and the gains or losses on those contributions. The member makes the investment choices and assumes all risks associated with those choices. The current providers under the ORP Plan 2 are Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. In general, ORP Plan 2 works best for those persons who will have multiple employers during their careers that will not be a part of Virginia state government or a VRS employer.
  • VaLORS Plan 1 is a defined benefit plan. Retirement benefits are guaranteed for eligible members and are determined by a formula and are not based on the accumulated contributions in the account. The formula uses the member's age at retirement, average final compensation (average of the member's highest 3 consecutive years of base salary), and total number years of VaLORS service. The vesting period in VaLORS is 5 years. Normal retirement age is 60; however, employees may retire with full benefits at age 50 with 25 years of service. Employees may also retire with reduced benefits at age 50 with 5 years of service. There is no mandatory retirement age. Effective July 1, 2011, VaLORS retirement contributions are paid both by the member and employer. The member will have 5% of their salary deducted on a pre-tax basis. If an employee leaves a VaLORS covered position prior to retirement, the total contributions in the member account may be withdrawn or rolled over into another qualified plan; unless the member was not vested by July 1, 2010. If accrued service totals 5 or more years and contributions are not withdrawn, membership in the retirement system is retained and retirement benefits may be accessed when the member becomes eligible to receive retirement benefits.
  • VaLORS Plan 2 is a defined benefit plan. Retirement benefits are guaranteed for eligible members and are determined by a formula and are not based on the accumulated contributions in the account. The formula uses the member's age at retirement, average final compensation (average of the member's highest 5 consecutive months of base salary) and total number of VaLORS service. The vesting period in VaLORS is 5 years. Normal retirement age is 60; however, employees may retire with full benefits at age 50 with 25 years of service. Employees may also retire with reduced benefits at age 50 with 5 years of service. There is no mandatory retirement age. Effective July 1, 2011, VaLORS retirement contributions are paid both by the member and employer. The member will have 5% of their salary deducted on a pre-tax basis. If an employee leaves a VaLORS covered position prior to retirement, the total contributions in the member account may be withdrawn or rolled over into another qualified plan; unless the member was not vested by July 1, 2010. If accrued service totals 5 or more years and contributions are not withdrawn, membership in the retirement system is retained and retirement benefits may be accessed when the member becomes eligible to receive retirement benefits.
  • Hybrid is both a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan. Under the defined benefit plan, retirement benefits are guaranteed for eligible members and are determined by a formula and are not based on the accumulated contributions in the account. The member pays 4% of their creditable compensation into the defined benefit component. The vesting period in the defined benefit component is 5 years. Under the defined contribution plan, the member contributes a mandatory 1% with a voluntary contribution limit up to 5%. The full vesting period is 4 years. The member chooses how to invest their money from a line-up of allocations through the 457b plan. The benefit at retirement is based on the amount in the member's defined contribution account as a result of contributions paid into the plan and the gains or losses on those contributions with the associated investment allocation. The member makes the investment choices and assumes all risks associated with those choices.

Life Insurance

  • Basic group life insurance coverage through Minnesota Life Insurance Company is automatic for full-time employees and is effective on the first day of employment. This is a term life insurance policy. In the event of natural death, the amount of basic coverage is equal to the employee’s annual salary rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled. The accidental death benefit is your natural death benefit doubled. If an insured dies in an accident at least 75 miles from his/her residence, an additional benefit is paid for the preparation and transportation of the body to the funeral home. The benefit is the lesser of the actual cost or $5000. If an insured dies in an accident while properly wearing a safety belt, an additional benefit is paid. The benefit is 10 percent of the amount of the insurance up to a maximum of $50,000. The college pays the full cost of this insurance coverage. The life insurance benefit carries over into retirement. After 12 months of retirement, the amount of your insurance begins to reduce by 25 percent starting January 1 and on every January 1 thereafter, until your coverage reaches 25 percent of its value at your retirement. If you terminate your position and defer your retirement, reduction starts on January 1 after the first 12 months from your separation date. At its fully reduced level, you will have approximately one-half of your pre-retirement salary in life insurance.
  • Optional supplemental life insurance coverage for full-time employees and their family is also available at group rates through Minnesota Life Insurance Company. The coverage is “guaranteed issue” for employees and their children if enrollment is completed within 31 days of employment. Spouses are subject to be medically underwritten and will be required to qualify based on information regarding their health history. The premiums are group rates, and the employee is responsible for the cost of the supplemental coverage.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

All health plans offered to participating full-time state employees and their dependents have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - through Anthem if COVACare or COVA HDHP and through Aetna if COVA HealthAware. Included are up to four sessions at no charge for such services as mental health, alcohol or drug abuse assessment, child or elder care, grief counseling and legal or financial services. EAP counselors are available to assist employees with problems related to alcohol, drugs, family, health, legal, financial, housing, mental health, child care, elder care, grief, spousal/child/parent abuse, workplace, career planning, and retirement.

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