We provide our employees with numerous benefits. Learn more about insurance, leave and many other benefits like employee assistance, flexible spending accounts, tuition benefits and more.
EmployeeConnect (known generically as an employee assistance program, EAP) is a confidential personal counseling and work-life service that provides support and resources to help employees resolve personal issues and identify needed resources.
Services are provided by ComPsych Corporation. ComPsych is the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs.
Through EmployeeConnect, you will receive up to four (4) face-to-face counseling sessions in addition to unlimited telephonic support. If you need to go beyond the four counseling sessions provided, you will need to make arrangements with the counselor to pay. (Masters prepared counselors are not covered by the Samford Medical Plan.)
You may simply call the toll-free number (888-628-4824) to access the EmployeeConnect program.
When a caller presents with an imminent risk to potentially harm self and/or others, ComPsych GuidanceConsultants (master’s level intake counselors) use their crisis intervention skills and experience to ensure the caller’s safety. They will develop a safety plan for the caller and/or the community at-large by facilitating immediate intervention with a local professional (psychiatric facility, emergency room, EAP provider).
EmployeeConnect services are confidential as required by state and federal law. No one will know that you accessed the EAP unless you tell them. We understand that for the program to be used, you must be confident that your confidentiality will be preserved. This protection of confidentiality is ingrained in the way ComPsych GuidanceConsultants work. For example, if a caller hesitates to provide their name, the GuidanceConsultant will not press them unless an in-person referral is needed. The GuidanceConsultant will also ask the caller if a follow-up call can be conducted, as well as when, where and how they prefer to be contacted. Before any employee information is communicated to a third party, ComPsych will obtain a signed release of information from the caller. Further, ComPsych emphasizes confidentiality in all promotional materials and routine communications.
Standard confidentiality criteria require ComPsych to:
These services are provided to you at no cost through Samford University.
Yes. The EmployeeConnect program is available to all employees, spouses and their immediate family at no charge.
No. Anyone accessing the EmployeeConnect Program can call directly to receive services.
ComPsych GuidanceConsultants are the first point of contact when you call the toll-free line. They perform counseling and work-life triage, assessment, intake and referral. GuidanceConsultants hold master’s degrees in counseling, social work or other related majors. In addition, they have broad-based clinical skills and at least three years of experience in assessing and counseling related to a variety of issues, such as substance abuse, suicide and work-life concerns. GuidanceConsultants have three years of experience and training that enables them to provide support, facilitate immediate assistance in emergencies and handle requests for counseling, family or personal convenience needs, legal information or financial information. When you schedule a face-to-face appointment, you will be referred to a local provider in ComPsych’s network. ComPsych’s provider network includes only fully credentialed, state-licensed clinicians.
To be included in the ComPsych network, a provider must have:
Yes, you can request a particular specialty. ComPsych’s providers have expertise in areas such as adolescent and child, anxiety disorders, depression, domestic violence, marital and family, stress
management, and substance abuse. If you request a specific counselor, and that counselor is not in the ComPsych network, ComPsych will invite the provider to join. If the provider meets all of the requirements to join the network they will be added. This process takes four to five weeks.
In addition to obtaining help through the toll-free line, you will have information, advice and tools at your fingertips through ComPsych’s GuidanceResources Online www.GuidanceResources.com (user
name = LFGsupport; password = LFGsupport1). You can learn about subjects related to health and wellness, family, relationships, career, education, personal finances, laws and regulations, leisure, home
and auto. You can also access information by life event—for example, marriage, adoption or retirement. In addition, employees can confidentially email issues to “Ask a GuidanceConsultant”. The site is
available in multiple languages and visually impaired visitors can enlarge the text.
GuidanceResources Online content includes:
It is our hope that the EAP will provide good quality assistance to those who need it. Please contact Fred Rogan or Kelli Ledbetter in Human Resources if you have any questions.
Samford offers two flexible spending accounts: medical spending and dependent care spending. Payroll deductions for the flexible spending accounts are made pre-tax. You do not have to be enrolled in the Samford University Health Plan to participate in the flex spending accounts. Effective January 1, 2014 BlueCross/Blue Shield of Alabama is our flex plan provider. Once enrolled, BCBS will issue you a contract number(s) for your Flex Account(s). Effective January 1, 2014 the IRS will allow participants to roll up to $500 of your unused account balance into the next plan year.
The medical spending account allows participants to contribute money before federal taxes to an account which can then be used to reimburse medically necessary expenses that are not covered by your medical and dental insurance plan.
The maximum yearly contribution to medical spending for 2015 is $2,550.00
Examples of eligible expenses include but are not limited to calendar year deductibles, co-pays, lab fees, prescription medications, and first aid. Click here for a more in-depth listing of eligible expenses.
Dependent care spending is an account which allows participants to contribute money before taxes to an account which can then be used to reimburse dependent care expenses.
Maximum per household contribution for the 2015 dependent care spending account is $5000.00
Examples of eligible dependent care expenses include care provided:
An eligible dependent must share his or her principle place of residence with the participant and be one of the following:
Examples of ineligible expenses include: child support payments, food/clothing/entertainment, cleansing and cooking services provided by the care giver, over night camps.
All employees of Samford University, with the exception of student employees, are eligible to make voluntary personal contributions to the 403(b) Plan based on the annual maximums established by the Internal Revenue Code for 403(b) plans. Choices of 403(b) plans are limited to plans in effect at the University. Employees may enroll in the 403(b) plan at any time. Employees may stop their voluntary contributions to the plan at any time. Full time employees (those who work over 1,000 in a year) hired on or after 1/1/2013 are eligible for an employer match. Please see information below regarding the match.
Full time employees hired on or before 12/31/2012 are not eligible for the employer match. All part time employees (those who work less than 1,000 hours per year) are not eligible for the employer match.
The vendors for the 403(b) plan are Fidelity Investments and TIAA-CREF. Both Fidelity and TIAA-CREF offer a traditional 403(b) plan and a Roth 403(b) plan. In a traditional 403(b) plan your contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis from your paycheck. Withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income. In a ROTH 403(b) plan your contributions are taken on an after-tax basis from your paycheck. Withdrawals are tax free if IRS requirements are met. Distributions are eligible for tax free treatment if made after five years following the January 1st of the year of the first ROTH 403(b) contribution, and on account of death, disability, or attainment of age 59 1/2. Fidelity Investments provides personalized access to your account through www.netbenefits.com. This tool provides you with links to your portfolio, questionnaires on retirement planning, online workshops, calculators, and educational content. To access your account on netbenefits, click on New User Registration and follow the prompts. Financial education webinars from TIAA-CREF can be accessed by clicking here. These can be accessed from any pc and run anywhere from 10-20 minutes in length. Currently there are six different web presentations that can be viewed. There is a moderator that goes through the slides. There are also helpful links to retirement planning tools and calculators.
Full-time employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 will participate in a 403(b) plan. Contributions by the University are applied to individual annuities or accounts by TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments.
Full-time employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 are immediately eligible to make voluntary personal contributions based on the annual maximums established by the Internal Revenue Code for 403(b) plans. While full-time employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 can contribute to the 403(b) immediately after employment, participants will be eligible for a $1 for $1 match of all employee contributions up to 3% of pay on the first January 1 or July 1 following a one year of service requirement and attainment of age 21. Full-time employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 who have met the eligibility requirements mentioned above will also receive an annual Samford contribution on 12/31.
The contribution rate is tied to years of service.
You must be actively employed on 12/31 to receive the Samford contribution. You are always 100% vested in your own contributions to the Samford University 403(b) Plan.
Samford's matching contributions and discretionary contributions vest according to the following schedule:
Yes. The most an employee can tax-defer is governed by sections 415 and 402(g) of the Internal Revenue Code. For the year 2015, the maximum amount an employee can contribute to a tax deferred annuity is $18,000 for employees under age 50, and $24,000 for employees age 50 and over.
You can enroll online through both Fidelity and TIAA-CREF. Once you set up an account online, complete a Salary Reduction Agreement and submit to Kelli Ledbetter.
It depends on whether or not the new employer's plan accepts roll-overs.
In most cases, yes. You will need to read the instructions to see if your former tax-annuity can be rolled into your new plan. If you have a previous account with Fidelity or TIAA-CREF, you can rollover your account online or by calling customer service. If you have an account with a different provider, you will have to contact them to rollover your 403(b).
ETB is available to employees, retirees, and to their spouses and dependent children when they meet the University's admission requirements.
ETB is available beginning with the next academic term following the date of full-time employment. If, upon employment, an individual is currently enrolled at Samford University, the ETB will become effective at the beginning of the next academic term. Should you leave the employment of the University before the end of the term in which your spouse or dependent received the ETB, the student (spouse or dependent) will be billed pro rata for the remaining value of the ETB for that term. The Employee Tuition Benefit does not apply to Samford After Sundown Courses.
If student is eligible for 50% or 75% ETB the cost of tuition is covered first by the ETB amount, then the scholarship pays up to the amount of tuition. Any remaining amount applies to housing or meal charges. The amount of the scholarship and ETB may not exceed the amount of tuition, housing or meal charges. If this occurs, ETB is reduced. If student is eligible for 100% ETB, the ETB is reduced by the amount of the scholarship, unless the student has housing or meal charges on his account, which may be covered by the scholarship.
Students cannot have a Samford Scholarship and ETB at the same time. If student is offered a Samford Scholarship they can accept the Samford Scholarship over ETB. Example: If the student is awarded a merit scholarship and the scholarship is worth more than the value of ETB the student may accept the merit scholarship.
If student lives on campus the ASG applies to room and board charges. If student lives off campus the ASG applies to tuition first before ETB is applied. *Pell grant is treated the same way.
Student is allowed both a loan and ETB if the student has room remaining in his/her cost of attendance budget. Loans can be used to pay for books, room and board fees, and other educational expenses. When the loan hits the account it would automatically cover the room and board with remaining funds refunded to the student.
For full time employees, this benefit applies to full time and part time undergraduate studies through the attainment of one bachelor's degree and part time graduate studies deemed beneficial to the employee's job at Samford, through the attainment of one master's degree. The benefit will pay for 100% of the employee's tuition. It does not apply to charges for room, meals, books, special course fees, or any charges other than tuition as established by the Board of Trustees. Full-time employees are permitted to audit or take for credit up to two undergraduate courses at a time or two graduate course at a time as long as there are sufficient non-employee students in the class which meet the criteria for the minimum number of students necessary to teach the class. You must receive permission from your Vice President/Provost to take a course during normal working hours. If a course is taken during normal working hours, you must make up the lost work time during the same workweek and on University work premises. ETB received for graduate courses, including auditing the course, is sometimes considered a taxable fringe benefit by the Federal Government. When taxable, the taxes on the value of this benefit will be withheld from your paycheck and reflected on your W-2 form.
For the spouse or dependent child(ren) of full-time employees, this benefit applies to full time and part time undergraduate studies through the attainment of one bachelor's degree. The benefit does not apply to charges for room, meals, books, special course fees, or any charges other than tuition as established by the Board of Trustees.
The benefit for the spouse, dependent child(ren) of full-time employees will be as follows:
The steps used to determine the value of the ETB for a qualified student are:
Retirees (with 15 or more years of service) who were eligible for ETB prior to retirement are permitted to audit or take for credit undergraduate and graduate courses as long as there are sufficient non-employee students in the class which meet the criteria for the minimum number of students necessary to teach the class, and as long as no paying student will be denied access to the class. This benefit will pay for 100% of the retiree's tuition. It does not apply to charges for room, meals, books, special course fees, or any charges other than tuition as established by the Board of Trustees.
For the spouse or dependent child(ren) of retired employees (with 15 or more years of service) , this benefit applies to full time and part time undergraduate studies through the attainment of one bachelor's degree. The benefit does not apply to charges for room, meals, books, special course fees, or any charges other than tuition as established by the Board of Trustees.
This benefit is not extended to children adopted after retirement, step children resulting from a post-retirement marriage or to the widow/widower of a retiree who remarries after the death of the retiree.
ETB is available to dependent children of an employee with 10 or more years of benefit eligible service, who is eligible for the benefit and dies while employed by the University. The benefit is the same as that described for dependent children of full time employees.
No. The benefit does not apply to Samford After Sundown courses.
Only if the child can be claimed as your legal dependent for the current calendar year for federal income tax purposes.
Only if the class will apply to the degree the child is seeking at Auburn.
Yes, as long you have not already utilized the ETB to obtain an undergraduate degree at Samford.
No. Employees may utilize ETB to obtain one undergraduate and one master's degree only.
No. ETB will only cover tuition for undergraduate studies for spouses and dependent children.
Yes. ETB can be used for recertification classes here at Samford, provided that the spouse did not receive an undergraduate degree at Samford utilizing the ETB.
Yes. Provided that the spouse did not utilize his/her parent's ETB to obtain the first undergraduate degree.
No. You will stay at the 75% tuition remission for the fall semester. Beginning with Jan Term you will be eligible for 100% tuition remission.