Back Email Article  Print Article

Information Related to Your Benefits


Most questions about benefits can be answered by the HR Service Center. Call the center at 866.377.2672 Monday through Friday, 7am to 5pm for assistance. Some or all of this information may be helpful to you. This is not an exhaustive list and different employees participate in different optional benefits programs. This page is provided simply to respond to some of the most commonly sought information on the following workplace benefits:

Health
Retirement
Deferred Compensation
Life Insurance
Long-term, Disability, Optional Life & Long-term Care Insurance
Auto & Home Insurance
Work-related Injury Benefits
Commuter Benefits
Family Care Account
American General & Trustmark
NowU College Savings (formerly TAP)

Health

Your coverage ends at 11:59 p.m. on the effective day of your furlough. 

You may continue your coverage through COBRA but you are responsible for paying the premium.  The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund will send you information and enrollment forms. 

If you choose to retire and are at or after normal retirement age, you may be eligible for coverage under the commonwealth’s Retired Employee Health Plan. There are differences in coverage and cost depending on how many years of service you have, how old you are and when you retire.  Contact the State Employees’ Retirement Counseling Center at 800.633.5461 or visit www.sers.state.pa.us for details of eligibility for coverage. 

Retirees who elect REHP coverage receive the same medical and prescription benefits in effect for active employees and REHP benefits change as the active benefits are changed.  REHP members who are eligible for Medicare are required to enroll in Part B to receive REHP coverage. 

back to top

Retirement

If you have any questions regarding your retirement account, contact the State Employees’ Retirement System at 800.633.5461 or visit www.sers.state.pa.us.

You are eligible to retire and receive a monthly pension if you have:

  • Reached normal retirement age (typically 60; some are eligible at 50) with at least three years of credited service or have 35 years of credited service, regardless of age.
  • Five or more years of credited service and are approved for disability retirement.
  • Five or more years of credited service regardless of age and elect to take early retirement.

If you apply to retire within 90 days of furlough, the effective date of retirement will be the day after furlough. If you apply after 90 days of furlough, the effective date will be the date your application is filed with SERS.

If you believe you may be eligible for disability retirement, you must file a disability retirement application while still an active employee.  The effective date is determined on the recommendation of the SERS medical examiner and is effective the day after the last date that the employee was in a compensable status.

If you are covered by a collective bargaining agreement or memorandum of understanding and apply for and receive SERS retirement benefits, you forfeit placement and recall rights as of the date of the approval of benefits by the State Employees’ Retirement Board.

If you have more than five years of credited service and are under normal retirement age, you are vested in the retirement system. Your funds will continue to earn interest and you are eligible to apply for retirement at any time.

If you are not eligible for retirement or vested, you may leave your funds in your retirement account and earn 4% interest for up to two years. An Application for Refund of Member’s Contributions and Interest (SERS 251) may be submitted at any time to withdraw your contributions and end membership in SERS.

  • If you file application to withdraw your funds and are reemployed with the commonwealth within 14 calendar days of your furlough date, the application will be canceled.
  • If you file application to withdraw your funds and are reemployed with the commonwealth after 14 calendar days from the date of your furlough, your application for withdrawal will be processed and payment will be made to you. Should you be reemployed with the commonwealth at a later date, you may request to purchase your prior state service to include in the calculation of your eligibility for retirement.

If you are offered a recall but refuse the position and are removed from the recall list, SERS will be notified and your retirement contributions will stop earning interest on the date you are removed.

If you retired, vested, or left your funds in your retirement account and are subsequently reemployed with the commonwealth, you must resume membership and make mandatory contributions. SERS must be notified of your reemployment and your monthly pension will stop. The only exception is if you are appointed as an emergency annuitant for 95 days in a calendar year, your pension will not be affected.

back to top

Deferred Compensation

If you are a participant, contact Great West at 866.737.7457 or 866.SERS.457.

back to top

Life Insurance

Your coverage will terminate 31 calendar days after furlough if you were in an active pay status or on leave without pay with benefits. You are eligible to continue coverage at your own expense by converting your term insurance to whole insurance by applying to Prudential within 31 days of the date of furlough. 

If you are permanently and totally disabled, you may apply for disability life insurance and the application should be submitted immediately. If the application is not submitted within 12 months following the furlough, the application will not be processed.

Contact Prudential at 800.893.7316 for more information.

back to top

Long-Term Disability, Optional Life, & Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term disability policies will end at on the 11:59 p.m. on the date before the furlough is effective. 

Employees enrolled in optional life Insurance and long-term care insurance will receive information from Prudential for continuation of these policies via direct payment. 

Contact Prudential at 800.893.7316 for more information.

back to top

Auto & Home Insurance

If you currently have payroll deductions for auto or home Insurance, contact Travelers at 866.222.6230 to arrange for alternative payment options. 

back to top

Work-Related Injury Benefits

As long as you remain disabled, workers’ compensation indemnity payments will not be interrupted as a result of your furlough.

If your injuries are covered by Act 632/534 and Heart & Lung Act, because the employment relationship ends, you will be removed from Act 632/534 or Heart & Lung Act benefits, and only receive workers' compensation indemnity payments.

back to top

Commuter Benefits

You will stop being eligible for commuter benefits at 11:59 p.m. on the day before the furlough is effective.

You must contact FBMC at 800.342.8017 to cancel deductions from your pay.  If you are unable to stop the deductions or you receive a transit or parking product for a period after your eligibility has ended, you have until the 10th day of the benefit month to return the unused transit or parking product to FBMC to be eligible for refund.

Unspent funds in your account will be returned by FBMC to the commonwealth. Because these funds were pre-tax deductions from your pay, the commonwealth must re-calculate and deduct the taxes prior to returning any money to you.

back to top

Family Care Account

If you are a participant, you can continue to submit for reimbursement for eligible employment-related day care expenses. Documentation required for reimbursement must be attached to the reimbursement form.

Requests must be submitted to your agency human resource office by March 31 of next yea.  After that, funds remaining in the account for which you have not requested reimbursement are forfeited.

back to top

American General & Trustmark

Contact Biden and Caveney at 800.229.5129, extension 218 for information on conversion options.

back to top

NowU College Savings (formerly TAP)

Contact the Treasury Department at 800.440.4000 or write to P. 0. Box 3636, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3636 regarding continuation of payment.

back to top