Faculty Benefits Committee AY 2006-2007
Committee Members: Dale Atkins (AE), Michael Chang (Chair, EAS), Bettina Cothran (Mod Lang), Chuck Donbaugh (OHR), Jean Hudgins (LIB), Lee Sheiner (GTRI), Eric Southard (Student), and Leanne West (GT Exec. Board & GTRI)
Review of Employer Contribution Rate to ORP: The Committee fielded numerous inquiries from faculty and staff regarding the change in employer contributions to the ORP from 9.66% to 8.13% effective beginning January 1, 2007. The Committee reviewed the process by which these rates are set, and decided that while the decrease in contributions is untimely, no action is warranted by the Committee or faculty at this time.
Re-classification of Postdocs as Faculty for the purpose of ORP eligibility: The Committee recommended that Postdocs be granted faculty status for the purpose of eligibility in the Optional Retirement Plan. The primary reason regards the immediate vesting provision of the ORP as opposed to the 10-year vesting provision of the Teachers Retirement System program. The recommendation was incorporated by virtue of a May 1, 2007 vote by the General Faculty / Academic Senate that granted Postdocs Faculty status.
Roth 403(b): The Committee recommended that OHR implement and make available as soon as practical the Roth 403(b) plan option for all qualified employees. The Roth 403(b) investment plan option was made open to all qualified employees in the Spring of 2007.
Maternity Benefits: The Committee reviewed Tech’s benefits related to maternity. To help employees take full advantage of the existing benefits and apply them towards a maternity leave, a FAQ was developed and prominently placed on the TechWorks website. Additional research was conducted regarding maternity benefits at peer universities and institutions.
Domestic Partner Benefits: The Committee considered a plan by faculty at Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, and the Medical College of Georgia to request that the Regents make domestic partner benefits (principally employer contributions to medical insurance coverage) available to all University System employees. The Committee supported the objective, but did not support the strategy that these committees at the other universities are pursuing, and thus chose not to actively join their campaign. The Committee may continue to monitor this issue into the Fall Semester and react accordingly.