Fringe Benefits

The University, with the aid of University Senate committees, task forces, and working groups, endeavors to provide a comprehensive program of benefits and services to meet the needs of the faculty.  This overview is intended only as a summary of the benefits available. Full details of each benefit are available in booklets and other documents issued by the University or its insurance carriers.

Medical, dental, and vision coverage are available to both employees and eligible family members.  The University of Pittsburgh also provides financial protection for an employee’s family in the event of an employee’s death with University-paid basic life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage.  Salary continuance and University-paid long-term disability (LTD) coverage provide income protection when it is needed.  Additional protection may be purchased through the offering of optional life insurance and AD&D coverage, as well as spouse and dependent life insurance coverage.

Long-Term Care insurance is also an option available to employees and eligible family members.  This type of financial protection covers the cost of receiving care at home or in a facility when someone needs assistance with his or her activities of daily living due to an accident, illness, or advancing age.

Four different flexible spending accounts allow employees to reduce their taxable income. Funds may be placed into pre-tax accounts for health care, dependent day care, parking, and mass transit expenses.

The University’s retirement planning program provides employees with the opportunity to contribute to the University of Pittsburgh Defined Contribution Plan.

For further information on the benefits outlined in this section, please visit the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources, 320 Craig Hall, call 412- 624-8160, or access the Human Resources Web site at

Participation Guidelines

Orientation and enrollment sessions for all new hires are conducted by the Office of Human Resources. In addition, workshops are offered periodically by the Benefits Department for specific benefits.  A personal appointment to discuss benefit eligibility, enrollment, and other related matters may also be arranged through the Benefits Department.

Each plan year, employees will have an opportunity to enroll in or change benefit options.  However, federal regulations impose restrictions on enrollment and limitations on making subsequent changes.  These opportunities and restrictions are explained in the materials available from the Benefits Department.  Employee rights and obligations and those of the University are governed by the terms of each benefit plan and, in some cases, by contracts with insurance companies. The plans are based on--and regulated by--current federal and state laws.  Any changes that occur within the law or regulations may have an impact that would require modification of the plans. Benefits may be modified from time to time by the University at its discretion or as required by applicable law, and the University reserves the right to terminate or modify the benefits as may be necessary or appropriate.

In addition, benefits are provided under statutory or non-optional programs.  These include Social Security, with the cost shared by the employees and the University, and Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Compensation, which is provided at no cost to employees. 

Family Status Changes

Many of the University benefits are governed by the Internal Revenue Code.  As a result, certain rules govern when employees may change their benefit elections throughout the year.  Generally, a qualified change in family status or life event must occur.  Examples include marriage or divorce, birth of a child, and/or a change in spousal employment.  Employees must notify the Benefits Department within 60 days of the life event; otherwise, the only opportunity they will have to make a change in coverage is during the annual open enrollment period.