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Extension County Operations

Employee Benefits for UGA-Funded Employees

For specific benefits assistance / questions contact:

Lee Motsinger, CAES Human Resources Director

Phone: 706-542-8575
Fax: 706-542-8401

Note: County-funded employees, please contact your county's benefits officer.

New UGA-Funded Employees

UGA Online Orientation

All new employees funded through UGA are required to complete the UGA Online Orientation. Online Orientation may be found here: UGA Orientation/Onboarding System

Choosing Your Benefits

It is imperative that all new UGA-funded employees make informed decisions concerning their benefits. CAES is committed to providing individual guidance to each new employee.

Six Things All New Employees Need to Know:

1. You have 31 days
Benefit-eligible employees have 31 days from their employment date to enroll in their benefits, with the exception of their retirement choice (see #2). Benefits decisions include, but are not limited to:
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Long-term Disability
- Short-term Disability
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts

For a complete list of benefits information and enrollment instructions, vist: UGA HR Benefit Summaries

2. Selecting Your Retirement Plan
All faculty and newly-hired exempt benefit-eligible staff may choose between the TRS and ORP. Non-exempt, benefit-eligible staff must participate in TRS. Also, UGA temporary employees moving to exempt, benefit-eligible positions may choose between TRS and ORP.

New employees have 60 days from their employment date to choose between Teachers Retirement (TRS) or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). This decision is irrevocable. For a brief comparison between the TRS and ORP plans, click here: Mandatory Retirement Plans

NOTE: For employees receiving a county paycheck in addition to a UGA paycheck, ORP retirement deductions will be based only on the UGA portion of your salary.

3. County Paycheck Considerations

Some employees will receive a portion of their salary directly from a county entity such as the County Board of Commissioners and/or from the County Board of Education. Those county entities should withhold and report Social Security and Medicare taxes based on the county salary as well as withhold Federal and State taxes. The county should also deduct the requisite 6% employee contribution for TRS. (As previously noted, counties cannot make retirement deductions for those participating in ORP.)

It is essential that an employee makes sure that the appropriate deductions are being taken from the county paycheck. Please carefully review the earnings statement from the first check issued to you and periodically review your statements thereafter to make sure the appropriate deductions continue. If you think there is a problem, please report it immediately to your supervisor.

NOTE: Employees receiving two paychecks may not be withholding sufficient Federal and State Tax. It is important for you to determine the tax you will owe based on the total income and adjust the withholding amounts from one or both sources of pay.

4. Dental Insurance Enrollment
If you choose to enroll in the dental plan, you will pay 100% of the monthly premium with no contribution from UGA.

5. Use Flexible Spending Accounts to Your Advantage
The Payflex Flexible Spending Account allows you to make pre-tax contributions into an account to provide a means of paying for eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses and work-related dependent daycare expenses. Your PayFlex account may be used for dental visits, contacts, glasses, eye exams, co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, etc. The main advantages of PayFlex are that you do not have to pay taxes on the amount you elect to contribute to the account, and your contributions will lower your taxable income.

NOTE: PayFlex is a use it or lose it account. You must spend all of your contributions within the plan year or you will lose the money left in the account. You must enroll each plan year to participate in this program.

6. The Benefits of Long Term Disability
Long Term Disability insurance provides income replacement for employees unable to work for at least 90 days as a result of serious illness or injury. Employees who should consider Long Term Disability insurance are those who are not yet vested in the TRS retirement system; and those employees who choose ORP, who do not have disability coverage regardless of their number of years of service. Long Term Disability insurance is a low cost way to provide protection for you and your family. We all know that we have life insurance if we die, but what if we live? What if you cannot work again? LTD will pay up to 66 2/3% of your lost income.

Commonly Requested Information