Loyola University Chicago

Human Resources


What's New with Benefits?

Dear Faculty and Staff,
Loyola University Chicago strives to promote a holistic lifestyle for all faculty and staff—which includes good health, personal welfare, and an overall healthy balance of work, life, and family. The University’s commitment to the health and well-being of the entire Loyola community is stronger than ever. Each year, our benefits are carefully reviewed to ensure exceptional quality and alignment with the University’s mission and vision. This year, a series of new offerings again reflects our commitment to providing comprehensive and competitive benefits.
We are excited to share information about new benefits that will be available in fiscal year 2019, along with modifications to some existing benefit programs currently in place. Members of the HR/Benefits Financial Planning Work Team provided strategic input and analysis of these programs throughout the 2018 fiscal year, and their recommendations influenced many of the changes outlined below. New programs offer faculty and staff a broader array of benefits, while providing the University an opportunity to remain competitive among our peer group and ensure the most efficient use of financial resources. To make sure that you understand the 2019 fiscal year benefit changes, we encourage you to take a few moments to read this overview:
University Closure Days in December
In response to the appreciation faculty and staff have demonstrated in the last two years for this gift of time, the University again will observe closure days this year during the entire week of Christmas—which includes December 24–28, 2018—and will reopen on January 2, 2019. While some days in this time frame are designated University holidays (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day), the remaining three days (December 26–28) will be paid as regular pay for the week. Staff members are not required to use any accrued vacation or personal days to cover this time frame. This gift of extra holiday time acknowledges our community’s need for time with friends and family for rest, reflection, and rejuvenation as we move into the 2019 calendar year.
Staff Paid Time Off Changes
The University’s paid time off program supports work-life balance, self-care, and quality time with friends and loved ones. Taking scheduled time off from work is important for overall physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being.
  • In January 2019, the University will introduce new time off programs, including paid Staff Parental Leave for the birth and adoption of children of biweekly paid staff. In addition, non-exempt staff with less than five years of service will begin to accrue three weeks of vacation per calendar year beginning in January 2019—an increase from the current annual accrual limit of two weeks. Faculty Parental Leave will be reviewed in the next few months.
  • Beginning in January 2019, the maximum Vacation Accrual limit for biweekly paid staff will be limited to 1X your annual accrual allotment. This change is made to encourage staff members to use their allotted time away from work. Staff members who have earned vacation time in excess of the accrued limit will be paid out the dollar value of accrued vacation over the new limit. The payout will occur before the end of calendar year 2018. We encourage you to take vacation time as appropriate through the remainder of 2018 to allow additional vacation time to accrue once the new policy takes effect.
Please watch for more information, which will include specific details on the new paid time off programs. These changes are being made to support the University’s commitment to providing a fair and just workplace for all faculty and staff.
New Day Care Option
Beginning January 1, 2019, a new child day care benefit will be offered through KinderCare. Faculty and staff from all Chicagoland campuses will be eligible to receive a discounted rate on child day care services at KinderCare facilities in their area. KinderCare representatives will be onsite at the Benefits Open Enrollment fairs to answer questions. More information will be available with the Benefits Open Enrollment materials.

New Medical Option with Health Savings Account (HSA):
Beginning January 1, 2019, a new, third medical plan option named “PPO 3 HSA” will be available to faculty and staff. Both of our current medical plan options will remain available. Faculty and staff who select this new plan will pay lower monthly premiums than those who select the current traditional PPO plans. A Health Savings Account will accompany the new PPO 3 HSA plan. HSAs allow faculty and staff to contribute money on a pretax basis to use for medical, dental, and vision care expenses incurred in the calendar year and/or to save these funds for future eligible medical expenses. Loyola feels strongly about the competitiveness of this insurance plan option and will contribute incentive money to new HSA accounts for faculty and staff who elect this plan. Watch for more information about this new medical plan option beginning in September and through Benefits Open Enrollment in November.
Updates to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (for New Hires Only)
For benefits-eligible faculty and staff hired on or after September 1, 2018, University contributions to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCRP) will begin on the first anniversary of employment with Loyola. Faculty and staff will be 50 percent vested in any contributions received from the University between the first and second anniversary of employment with Loyola. Faculty and staff will become 100 percent vested at the completion of their second anniversary. This change does not impact any faculty or staff hired prior to September 1, 2018.
Updates to the Retiree Health Reimbursement Account
As of December 31, 2018, the Retiree Health Reimbursement Account (RHRA) program will be frozen and no further annual contributions will be made to this account. All frozen balances will remain available for retirees upon satisfying withdrawal eligible criteria. In addition, accrued interest will no longer be provided for this benefit, which includes balances in calendar year 2018. Faculty and staff members are eligible for the RHRA beginning at age 60 with 10 years of University service. There will be no change in eligibility for this benefit for current participants in the program. Participants will receive an account summary in January 2019.
We are excited to expand benefit offerings to support the mission and vision of the University while providing choice and value for our faculty and staff. Please visit LUC.edu/hr for more information on all of your benefit plan options. Additional questions regarding benefit offerings may be directed to the attention of Human Resources at benefits@LUC.edu.
Thank you for thoughtfully reviewing this information, and please watch for additional communications regarding these upcoming changes.
Winifred L. Williams, PhD
Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer