Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Minutes, January 14, 2003

3:00 – 4:30


The following committee members were present: Dale Atkins, Chuck Donbaugh, Michael Elliott, Blair Funderburk, Marc Goetschalckx, John Grovenstein, Jim Higgins and Jonathan Morris.

Benefits Update

§         Health care costs will likely increase by somewhat less than 10% on average. The increases, while less than national averages, remains significant. Currently, the 60% of employees use the Board of Regents plan, while only 10 to 20% of new employees adopted this plan. In general, BOR funding contributes more to  health care expenses for traditional families and for those who select expensive plans. Health care costs are likely to increase, not just because of increasing medical costs, but also because the average age of Tech employees is rising.

§         Georgia Tech employees use the flex-spending accounts more than average. To increase its use, it might be helpful for Benefits to develop materials showing a list of typical costs for medical procedures to complement the model of tax savings already included. A full flex plan was discussed (in which all benefit costs would be lumped together into a flex-spending plan), but this would require Board of Regents approval.

§         In general, Tech benefits are not particularly creative (e.g., no full flex plan), but Tech does offer full service plans and tends to be reasonably generous in coverage.

§         John Grovenstein, Marc Goetschalckx and Michael Elliott will prepare a report comparing Tech benefits to those of other universities. This report will be brought back to the Benefits Committee for review.

Voluntary Life Insurance Plan

$25,000 of life insurance is provided as part of Tech employees basic benefit package. This can be supplemented at 1, 2 or 3 times earnings with the Board of Regents supplementary insurance and $10,000 for spouse and children. In addition, employees have access to a voluntary life insurance plan, through ReliaStar, in which employees can take up to $95,000 of life insurance for spouses.

The rate structure for ReliaStar is a lot higher than the BOR plan. Benefits is seeking a new carrier and invited nine insurance companies to bid for a new plan offering. Five did not compete because of concern about adverse selection of sick employees, since no medical test would be required for the first year (Evidence of Insurability would not be required). Of the four who did compete, companies required different levels of participation before they would activate the program. Tech’s insurance consultant suggested using Reliance because it required only 10% participation. Metlife, which in many ways looks to be the best program, required 15% participation. At present, only 6% of Tech employees hold voluntary life insurance. The Committee recommended that the insurance consultant try to renegotiate the proposed contract with Metlife to see if the required participation rate could be dropped, and that Benefits roll out the plan in spring in order to keep it separate from general enrollment in the fall.

Classified Compensation Program

The survey is designed to update Georgia Tech concerning its market position concerning compensation. Salaries for the following groups are examined:

§         executive administrators

§         academic related management and staff

§         administrative management and supervisors

§         information technology personnel

§         accounting professionals

§         other professionals and

§         facilities maintenance.

The survey seeks to identify those who are well compensated relative to the market and those who are well below the market. Particularly this year, when academic salaries are not slated to increase, the survey also seeks to identify units which may require special attention, such as those the generate income or those with low income wage earners. If possible, Human Resources will consider salary increases for exceptional (individual and group) accomplishment. To do this, HR would need to establish performance criteria and determine the best means for allocation of any available funds. They would consider reward through general, across-the-board increases only if the budget situation allowed.