Benefits Plans

As an employee of the California State University (CSU), you have a comprehensive program of benefits available to you and, in many instances, your family. The following section briefly describes a number of the available benefits. Please contact a benefits analyst in Human Resources for more information and details regarding your benefits at 756-5436. The CSU healthcare benefits web page contains further information and details on CSU Employee Health Care Benefits, including those in the following sections.

Health Care Benefits

Faculty employees have medical, dental and vision plans from which to choose coverage for themselves and eligible spouse or domestic partner and children. Faculty appointed at least half-time and for more than six months (equivalent to 7.5 Weighted Teaching Units for academic year appointments) are eligible to enroll also. A lecturer or coach may be eligible if appointed for at least 6 Weighted Teaching Units for two or more consecutive quarter terms. For further eligibility information, contact a Benefits Analyst in Human Resources. Coverage generally begins on the first of the month after your date of hire and may be changed during any annual open enrollment period.

Medical Benefits

Several Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), depending on location, or Preferred Plan Provider (PPO) insurance plans are available through the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). The employee and the CSU share the cost of cover-age, with the CSU paying the greater portion of the monthly premium. Employees may pay your portion of the cost on a pre-tax basis through the Tax Advantage Premium Plan (TAPP).

Dental Benefits

Two dental plans dental plans are available: a traditional indemnity (fee-for-service) plan allows employees to see almost any dental provider, or a “dental HMO” plan offers a network of dentists from which to choose. Currently, the CSU pays the full dental premium for you and your eligible dependents.

Vision Benefits

Vision coverage includes an annual eye exam, and glasses or contact lenses every other year. Currently, the CSU pays the full vision premium for faculty employees and their eligible dependents.

COBRA Benefits

Upon loss of eligibility for medical, dental, and vision benefits under specified circumstances (for example, leaving employment with the CSU), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (OBRA) allows continuation to health care coverage at the employees expense. The employee and his/her dependents can receive COBRA benefits for up to 18, 29 or 36 months, depending on the circumstances.

Flexible Benefits Plans

Flexible benefits plans help employees save money by allowing payment for certain eligible expenses with pre-tax dollars. The tax savings help offset the impact of these expenses on your disposable income. Coverage generally begins on the first of the month after your date of hire or during any annual open enrollment period. The following sections include information on CSU Flexible Benefits Plans.

Tax Advantage Premium Plan (TAPP)

TAPP allows the monthly cost for medical coverage through the CSU to be deducted the employee’s paycheck on a pre-tax basis. This means the portion of the premium is not taxed, which reduces your taxable income.


If the CSU medical and/or dental coverage is waived because the employee has other non-CSU coverage. The employee can receive $128 FlexCash per month if medical coverage is waived and $12 FlexCash per month if dental coverage is waived. FlexCash is taxed as additional income.

Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) Plan

With a Health Care Reimbursement Account, employees set aside a portion of salary on a pre-tax basis for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses. Up to $5,000 each plan year can be contributed through payroll deduction. Neither contributions nor reimbursements are taxed. Employees may participate in this plan even if they are not eligible for health care benefits.

Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) Plan

With a Dependent Care Reimbursement Account, a portion of your salary is set aside on a pre-tax basis for eligible dependent care expenses. Up to $5,000 each plan year can be contributed ($2,500 if married, filing a separate tax return) through payroll deduction. Neither contributions nor reimbursements are taxed. All employees are eligible to participate in the DCRA Plan, regardless of eligibility for other plans.

Pre-Tax Parking Deduction Plan

Fees for parking in CSU-qualified parking facilities can be paid with pre-tax dollars. Premiums are automatically deducted from the employee’s paycheck. Participation at any time can be revoked.

Disability Programs

The following benefits provide a source of income should the employee become disabled and unable to perform his/her normal duties at work. To be eligible for NDI and IDL coverage, the employee must be a CalPERS member. To be eligible for LTD coverage, the employee must be eligible for health care benefits. If you are eligible, enrollment is automatic and effective on your date of hire. Currently, the CSU pays the full premium for all income protection benefits (a CSU disability program), including those mentioned in the following sections.

Non-industrial Disability Insurance (NDI)

If you are un-able to work for longer than seven days because of a non-work-related injury or illness, and meet other eligibility criteria, Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI) provides you $125 per week for up to 26 weeks.

Industrial Disability Leave (IDL) The CSU provides you with Industrial Disability Leave (IDL), which replaces your salary during the first 22 days you are unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness. A three-day waiting period may apply. If you remain disabled, IDL replaces two-thirds of your salary for the next 11 months of your disability.

Worker’s Compensation (WC)

Workers’ Compensation is insurance coverage provided by the California State University (CSU) for work-related injuries and/or illnesses. These are referred to as “arising out of/in the course of employment” (AOE/COE). The program coverage includes medical care, wage compensation if disabled, and possible vocational retraining.

Generally, an injury on the employer’s premises during work hours is compensable, while an injury off the premises or outside working hours may or may not be compensable. Final determination is made by Sedgwick CMS, the insurance carrier for the CSU.


It is imperative that employees report an injury to their supervisor immediately. It is also imperative that the supervisor notify the Workers’ Compensation Claims Coordinator of the injury/illness within 24 hours of notification by the employee.

Completing Forms

Providing the injury is not life-threatening, the supervisor must complete the Supervisor’s Report and fax the report to the Claims Coordinator within 24 hours of notice. The supervisor must also provide the employee with the DWC1, Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, if the employee requires medical treatment.Refer to the Supervisor’s Instructions and Flow Chart for the appropriate process. Forms packets may be obtained by contacting the Workers’ Compensation Claims Coordinator at 756-5427.

Medical Treatment

If medical treatment is required following an injury, employees, including student assistants and volunteers, are preauthorized to go to the following facilities unless they have a pre-designation of personal physician (Form 104-B) on file with the Claims Coordinator:

All Injuries Other than First Aid or Major Injuries - Med Stop

Med Stop is located at 283 Madonna Rd – Madonna Plaza next to See’s Candy.

Clinic hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. M-F and 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sat/Sun

This is the primary medical facility for all work-related injuries/illnesses. No appointment is necessary. Employees should tell the receptionist they are a Cal Poly employee and were injured at work.

First Aid Only – Cal Poly Health Center

The Health Center will provide first aid treatment only for simple splinters, scratches, small or minor cuts, etc., that don’t require more than cleansing and/or a band aid.

Emergencies, Major/Serious Injuries, After Hours – Sierra Vista Hospital Emergency Room

1010 Murray Ave. Sierra Vista ER is only to be used in the event of a major or serious injury or for employees who are working after Med Stop hours.

For questions or forms, contact the Workers’ Compensation Claims Coordinator at 756-5427.

Long Term Disability Insurance (LTD)

Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD) replaces part of your income should you be disabled more than 180 days, regardless of the cause. LTD is designed to supplement other sources of disability benefits, including IDL Social Security, CalPERS retirement or any other group disability plan. The plan pays 66 2/3 percent of your salary, up to a maximum benefit of $10,000 per month.

Survivor Protection Benefits

If you should die while employed by the CSU, your surviving beneficiary(ies) will receive benefits from a number of CSU-sponsored life insurance and survivor benefit plans and, if you enroll, several voluntary plans. To be eligible for life insurance, you must be eligible for health care benefits. To be eligible for CalPERS death benefits you must be a CalPERS member.

Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

The CSU provides you with $50,000 of basic term life insurance coverage and $50,000 of basic accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage. The CSU pays the full cost of this coverage. Coverage is automatic and effective on the first of the month after your date of hire.

Voluntary Life Insurance

You can purchase up to $1.5 million of additional life insurance for yourself. You may also purchase life insurance coverage of up to $750,000 for your spouse/domestic partner and/or $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000 for your children. The CSU offers coverage at reduced group rates. You pay the full cost on an after-tax basis. If you are a new employee and enroll on a timely basis, you are not required to provide evidence of good health. If you are a current employee, you may enroll or increase coverage at any time but you will have to provide evidence of good health. Coverage begins on the first of the month after your application is approved.

CalPERS Pre-Retirement Death Benefits

If you should die before you retire, CalPERS will pay your beneficiary a $5,000 tax-free death benefit. Depending on your length of service, your beneficiary may receive additional benefits. In addition, CalPERS will pay your beneficiary a lump sum payment equivalent to six months of salary.

Survivor Education Benefits

If you should die because of a work-related accident or injury, your spouse and eligible dependent children can waive or reduce many of the undergraduate and/or graduate enrollment fees at a CSU campus.

Reporting Accidents

All accidents involving personal injury and/or property damage/loss either on campus or at campus programs located off site shall be reported to Risk Management. Follow the Incident and Accident Reporting Procedures on the Risk Management web site. Traffic accidents, criminal activity, or serious bodily injury/property damage shall be reported directly to University Police. University Policy will in turn notify Risk Management.

When student assistants, faculty members or staff members are injured on the job, a State of California Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Illness (Worker’s Compensation) (pdf) should be filled out. If related to the Cal Poly Corporation, follow the Cal Poly Corporation reporting procedures (pdf).

Unemployment Insurance

The California State University faculty are covered under provisions of the State Unemployment Insurance Act. The program is financed by the employer without employee contributions, and is administered by the State Employment Development Department.

Additional Cal Poly Benefits

CalPERS Long-Term Care (LTC) Plan

Through CalPERS, long-term care (LTC) insurance can be purchased for the employee, spouse/domestic partner, parents/in-laws/step-parents, and/or siblings 18 years old or older. The plan provides benefits for assisted living should the insured become unable to care for oneself.

CSU Fee Waiver Program

Tenure, probationary and eligible temporary employees with three (3) year appointments can waive certain fees each term at a CSU campus for a maximum of two courses or six units, whichever is greater. Fee waiver benefits can be transferred to a spouse, domestic partner, or child; however, not all of your fees may be waived or reduced for dependents.

Homeowners’ and Automobile Insurance

Homeowners’ and/or automobile insurance can be purchased with premiums deducted directly from your paycheck on an after-tax basis.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Stressful everyday issues can affect both your home life and work productivity. Sometimes these issues can be difficult and overwhelming to handle on your own. The Employee Assistance Program is designed to help faculty, staff, and their household members resolve personal and workplace challenges.

The Employee Assistance Program has services and resources available for assisting faculty and staff with:

  • counseling
  • work/life resources and referrals
  • financial/legal consultations
  • webinars/seminars for employees

The program is available to all university employees, their spouses/domestic partners, dependents up to age 26 living in or out of the home, and anyone who permanently resides with the employee (i.e. roommate, mother-in-law, girl/boyfriend, etc.). EAP services are strictly confidential as required by law.

Further information can be found by viewing the English Brochure (pdf) or Spanish Brochure (pdf).

Accessing Information

You may access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) anytime by visiting and entering "CalPoly" (not case sensitive) as the company password. Empathia, Cal Poly's EAP provider, can also be reached at 1-800-367-7474.

Community Counseling Service

The Cal Poly Community Counseling Service offers personal, couple, group, family and child counseling to community members days and evenings Monday through Thursday, except during quarter breaks and academic holidays. Fees for an hour-long session are on a sliding scale depending on income. No one is denied service for lack of funds. The clinic is staffed by graduate students in the master’s degree program in psychology under the supervision of clinically licensed faculty members in the Psychology and Child Development Department. Clinic staff members treat a range of psychological disorders and interpersonal problems. Emergency or crisis counseling is not available. To schedule an appointment, call 756-1532. A clinic staff member will return your call.

Health and Counseling Services

Health Services, located in the Health Center, is primarily a service provided for students. Employee use is limited to first aid, treatment for job-related injuries, and physical examinations required by state industrial safety or public health regulations.

Counseling Services provides professional mental health, outreach, and educational services, primarily to the student community, and seeks to promote the health and well-being of the larger university community. In addition to its primary mission, Counseling Services is available to make presentations on topics of special interest to classes or campus organizations. Visit Health and Counseling Services for more information.

Retirement Benefits

The CSU provides you with a number of retirement benefits, including retirement income, medical and dental coverage, and several voluntary retirement savings plans.

Pre-Retirement and Early Retirement Teaching Options

Pre-Retirement Reduction in Time-Base (PRTB) Program

PRTB allows eligible tenured faculty employees to phase into actual retirement. You may reduce your work to an average of two-thirds, one-half or one-third of full-time while maintaining full retirement credit and other benefits for up to five years. To be eligible for the program, you must have 10 years of full-time service with at least the last five consecutive years at full-time.

Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP)

If you are an eligible tenured faculty employee who retires on or after age 55, through the FERP Program you may continue to teach one term per year (or an average percentage for the academic year) for up to a specified amount of time. You maintain the same rank and salary you held prior to retirement.

Basic Retirement Plans

CalPERS Retirement Plan

Full-time employees (or part-time employees working at least half-time), are automatically enrolled in the CalPERS Retirement Plan. To be eligible, if you are full-time, you must be appointed for at least six months; if you are part-time, you must be appointed for at least one year. If you are a temporary faculty member, you must be appointed for half-time or more and work three consecutive quarters to qualify for the CalPERS Retirement Plan. Membership begins with the start of the next consecutive quarter if appointed half-time or more. Each month, employees contribute five percent of monthly pay in excess of $513; contributions are not subject to federal or state taxes. After five years of qualified service, you are fully vested in the plan, and are eligible for retirement as early as age 50. When you retire, you receive benefits based on your years of service, age, and highest year of compensation.

Part-Time, Seasonal, Temporary Retirement Programs

Those not eligible for CalPERS retirement, are required to participate in the Part-time, Seasonal and Temporary Retirement Program (PST Program) administered by the Department of Personnel Administration in lieu of Social Security. Employees enrolled in this Program contribute 7.5% of gross wages on a pre-tax basis to a retirement account that is available upon separation of employment.

Retiree Medical and Dental Benefits

You will be eligible for CalPERS retiree medical benefits and CSU retiree dental benefits if:

  • You retire at age 50 or later with at least five years of qualified service,
  • You were eligible for medical and dental benefits while an active employee, and
  • You retire within 120 days of separating employment

Voluntary (Supplemental) Retirement Plans

Pre-Tax Savings Plans

CSU employees have three voluntary retirement savings plans available, which allow investment of pre-tax dollars to supplement CalPERS Retirement Plan benefits. They are:

  • The CSU 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) Plan
  • The Savings Plus 401(k) Thrift Plan
  • The Savings Plus 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

You may participate in any or all of the plans. Each is governed by a different section of the IRS Code resulting in different rules and provisions.

CalPERS Supplemental Contribution Program

Faculty may also supplement their CalPERS retirement benefit with after-tax contributions through the CalPERS Supplemental Contribution Program. CalPERS invests your contributions in a well-diversified portfolio. All investment earnings from your contributions are tax-deferred.

Disability Retirement

An employee unable to perform job duties because of an illness or injury which is expected to be permanent or last indefinitely may be entitled to receive a monthly disability allowance. To apply for this benefit, a minimum of five years PERS-credited service is required. Contact Human Resources (756-2236 or 756-6471) or log in to CalPERS to find more information.

Emeritus Faculty and Staff Privileges

Current Emeriti Faculty (pdf)

Faculty and staff personnel (includes employees of the University's official auxiliary organizations) who retire immediately upon their separation from Cal Poly and meet the required criteria shall be given emeritus status with its accompanying privileges. The criteria for emeritus shall be: 1) the employee's completion of a minimum of 10 full-time years of service at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and 2) verification by the respective program manager in consultation with the immediate supervisor that the employee's service has been "meritorious." (Campus Administrative Policies - Article 550.1)

The following privileges are available to recipients of emeritus status:

  1. Library services
  2. Complimentary parking permit upon request
  3. Participation in faculty and staff social affairs
  4. Access to Cal Poly Report on line:
  5. Use of campus dining facilities, Campus Market and University Store
  6. Attendance at classes with instructor's permission
  7. Access to University computer services and email subject to certain restrictions:
  8. Admission to areas reserved for faculty and staff
  9. Admission to campus events the same as an active employee
  10. Emeritus business cards upon request (no charge)
  11. Campus photo identification card
  12. Eligible to purchase Recreation Center membership (must present emeritus photo ID)
  13. On line listing for Faculty Emeritus via the Academic Personnel website (see above)
  14. Office space and staff assistance for continued University service (upon availability and department authorization)
  15. Group discount tickets authorizing reduced admission fees for many attractions in California (the same as an active employee)


For questions/information regarding your emeritus benefits, please email:
Faculty: Lindsay Howell
Management / Staff: Erin Carlisle

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