Employee Benefits

Western Colorado University offers its employees a wide range of benefits, including options in health, dental and vision insurance; a variety of retirement plans; generous vacation time; educational opportunities; Mountaineer Field House discounts and more. Find much more information below.

Questions? Contact Human Resources at hr@western.edu or 970.943.3140.


Benefits for All Employees

 

Fitness Center and Swimming Pool: All non-temporary employees and their dependents are eligible for Mountaineer Field House membership discounts. Membership options allow access to the campus Fitness Center, group fitness classes, indoor track, Aquatic Center, climbing wall, equipment rentals, field house courts and more. For more information, visit the Mountaineer Field House page.

Employee Assistance Program: All non-temporary employees are eligible for seven counseling sessions without charge every year through the Counseling Center, located on campus at Crystal Hall 104.

Tuition Waivers: After one year of employment, all non-temporary employees may apply for tuition waivers for up to six credits per semester (pro-rated for part-time employees).

Dependent Tuition Reduction: Dependents (of eligible employees) who are full-time undergraduate students at Western may apply to have the cost of tuition reduced/waived.

Extended Studies: Employees may enroll in one non-credit class each semester for free, with the exception of Extended Studies classes offered by outside agencies.

Scholarships: Western is a member of the Tuition Exchange, a competitive reciprocal scholarship program for dependents of eligible employees. Employees' dependent children may apply for the classified liaison council scholarship to attend Western.

Work-Life Discounts: The State of Colorado has arranged for employee discounts on a wide variety of goods and services through a service known as BenefitHub.

Voluntary Retirement Plans: All employees are eligible to establish voluntary, tax-sheltered retirement accounts with PERA’s 401(k), the State 457 Plan and/or the Four State Colleges 403(b).

Child Care Center: Tenderfoot Child & Family Development Center is a community daycare facility conveniently located adjacent to campus.


Benefits for Faculty and Administrators

 

Eligibility: An employment contract equal to .5 FTE or greater for the entire fiscal year (July 1-June 30). Insurance is provided to University employees through the Colorado Higher Education Insurance Benefits Alliance (CHEIBA) Trust.

Health and Dental Insurance: Employees may choose from four health plans with differing plan designs. Our richest plan design offers comprehensive health insurance with zero deductibles, low maximum out of pocket expenses and low co-pays.  A high deductible health insurance plan, eligible for a tax preferred Health Savings Account, is also available. Employees may choose coverage for employee only, employee + spouse/partner, employee + child(ren), or employee + family coverage. Health and dental insurance coverage is effective the first day of work. Both Western and the employee make contributions to the monthly premium. Premiums may be deducted pre-tax. 

Life Insurance: Group term life insurance is provided at a volume of twice the employee’s annual salary (to a maximum of $500,000). The accidental death benefit is four times annual salary. Policy includes a small life insurance benefit for dependents. The University contributes 100 percent of the basic life insurance premium.

Vision Insurance: Exams are included in health insurance coverage. Vision insurance coverage for glasses and contact lenses (materials) is a voluntary plan. The health plan offers basic coverage for eye exams once per year. The voluntary vision materials insurance covers one pair of glasses or contacts once a year with co-pays and discounts. Employees pay 100 percent of the premium for the voluntary materials insurance, if they choose this insurance. Premiums may be deducted pre-tax.

Long Term Disability: Offers significant income protection if an employee is unable to work due to disability. The University contributes 100 percent of the LTD premium.

Flexible Spending Plan: Employees may contribute up to $2,600 to health care spending accounts and up to $5,000 to dependent care spending accounts every year. Contributions reduce taxable income.

Voluntary Life Insurance: Additional group term life insurance is available for employees, their spouses and children through convenient payroll deduction. Additional accidental death insurance is also available.

Work-Related Travel Accident Life Insurance: The University provides $100,000 of travel accident life insurance, which covers employees while traveling on University business. The University contributes 100 percent of the premium.

Retirement Plan: Employment at the University is not covered by Social Security, but the 1.45 percent Medicare tax is withheld. (You may read here about the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision.)  Therefore, a mandatory retirement plan contribution is required to replace Social Security participation.

  • Colorado PERA (defined benefit plan) eligibility is limited to Faculty and Administrators who have previously participated in Colorado PERA and have at least one year of service credit with PERA.
  • Defined Contribution Pension Plan (DCPP) is the mandatory pension plan for employees not eligible for PERA. PERA-eligible employees may choose this plan, in lieu of PERA. The employee DCPP contribution is 8 percent of pre-tax income. The University contributes 11.4 percent to the DCPP and this match is 100 percent vested immediately. Fund sponsors are TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments and VALIC.

Sick Days: Both Faculty and Administrators receive paid time off for illness.

Vacation Days: Administrators accrue four workweeks of paid vacation a year (pro-rated for part-time).

Holidays: 10 paid State holidays are available as paid time off for Administrators.


Benefits for Classified Employees

 

Eligibility: All non-temporary classified employees are eligible for benefits.

Health, Dental and Vision Insurance: Voluntary health/vision (two plan options) and dental (two plan options) are available to cover employees and their families. Coverage is effective the first day of the month following date of employment. Both the employee and the University contribute to the premiums. Premiums may be deducted pre-tax.

Life Insurance: Group term life insurance is provided at a volume of $50,000. The University pays 100 percent of the premium.

Short Term Disability: Offers income protection should an employee become unable to work due to a disability. Benefits include 60 percent earnings replacement for up to six months. The University pays 100 percent of the premium.

Flexible Spending Plan: Employees may contribute up to $2,600 to health care spending accounts and up to $5,000 to dependent care spending accounts every plan year. Contributions reduce taxable income.

Health Savings Account: For employees participating in the eligible high-deductible health plan, the state will contribute $60 monthly (tax-free) into the employee's account with its designated HSA trustee.

Optional Life Insurance: Two types of optional additional group term life insurance are available for employees and their dependents through convenient payroll deduction.

Voluntary Long Term Disability: Employees may apply for long term disability insurance. After a six-month waiting period, the plan offers significant income protection, if an employee is unable to work due to disability. Employees pay 100 percent of the premium, if they are approved for this insurance.

Retirement Plan: Employment at the University is not covered by Social Security, but the 1.45 percent Medicare tax is withheld. Colorado PERA (a defined benefit pension plan) is the mandatory employee retirement plan to replace Social Security. The employee contribution to PERA is 8 percent of gross pay and the University currently contributes 20.15 percent.

Sick Days: The annual paid sick leave allowance is 10 days per year.

Vacation Days: Paid vacation time accrues at the rate of 8-14 hours per month, depending upon the number of years employed.

Holidays: 10 paid State holidays are available as paid time off for Classified employees.

Administrative Leave: Up to 12 hours of administrative leave is available for volunteer work and up to 18 hours for dependents’ school functions each year.


 

Questions? Contact Human Resources at hr@western.edu or 970.943.3140.