FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Layoff Severance Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff Employees FAQ

  1. What is counted towards continuous years of service? For example, in counting the years of service for a nine-month, B-term contract; does a 9-month contract year equate to one full week of pay?

    Yes, for a nine-month B-term contract, the year can be counted towards years of service if the employee worked at least 1,560 hours and held an appointment percentage of 75 percent or greater for a term of 9 months or more.

    To obtain a year of continuous service, the employee must work at least 1,560 hours. If the employee has at least 1,560 hours in the final year, they must be employed on the anniversary date to count as a year of service.

    A student appointment in 2xxx or any of the 95xx classifications will not be credited and will be considered a break in service. Employment prior to any appointments in the 2xxx or 95xx classifications is not credited. Service credit would begin with the resumption of non-student, non-professionals-in-training employment.

    If an employee changes appointments between one employee category to another (e.g., P&A to Civil Service), the service will be considered continuous as long as there is no break longer than two pay periods.

  2. In calculating the final year of service, if percentage worked is over 75 percent, does the employee need to be employed on the anniversary date to count?

    Yes, even if the employee has worked over 75 percent time in the final year, they must be employed on the anniversary date for the time to count as a year of service.

  3. How is the University contribution for medical/dental subsidy determined?

    It is based on (1) coverage level (employee-only or family) on the last day of employment and (2) work location and permanent residence on the last day of employment.

  4. Can a former employee add family coverage while the University is subsidizing coverage after employment ends?

    Yes, family coverage can be added while the employee is covered by this program, but the former employee would pay the entire cost of the added family coverage. Adding family coverage can occur either during open enrollment or if there is a change in the former employee's family status.

  5. Is there an open enrollment period for former employees?

    Yes, the former employee will receive open enrollment materials from Employee Benefits with information on options.

  6. What is the timeframe for electing the Layoff Severance?

    The employee must elect the Layoff Severance Program and sign the agreement by the date of layoff.

  7. What is the cost to the department or unit?

    The department is responsible for the cost of lump-sum payment. The cost of the medical and dental benefits will be charged to the fringe pool and included as part of the total cost used in determining the annual fringe rate.

  8. Why must employees be actively at work on their last day of employment?

    The last date of work impacts many different programs and benefits, including unemployment, medical and dental benefit eligibility, and COBRA, among others. Each of these benefits may be impacted differently if employees do not work on their last scheduled day. To reduce any adverse benefit impact, the University requires employees to work their last scheduled day of employment, so that benefits may be administered correctly and consistently.

  9. How does this program interact with Medicare benefits when an employee or employee’s spouse becomes eligible?

    If the employee becomes eligible for Medicare before or during the subsidized period, Medicare then becomes primary with the UPlan secondary for this individual. If a spouse is age 65 or older, the application must be made for Medicare Part B upon termination of employee's employment. Medicare then becomes primary with the UPlan secondary for this individual.

  10. If an employee accepts the program, receives the University contribution for family coverage, and has a spouse over age 65, would they need to take Medicare Part B?

    Yes, as soon as the employee terminates employment, the spouse, and the employee, if over age 65, would need to enroll in Medicare Part B. Also, they would need to enroll in Medicare Part B if they turn age 65 during the time they are covered under this program. Medicare would become the Primary Coverage and the UPlan would be secondary. The employee is responsible for communicating Medicare participation to providers and the Claims Administrator. Contact an Employee Benefits counselor with questions on this issue.

  11. Who is responsible for entering the lump sum into the HRMS system?

    Employee Benefits enters the information into the HRMS system to pay out the lump sum on the pay period following the last regular paycheck. Vacation is paid out with the lump sum payment.

  12. If the employee chooses to participate in the Layoff Severance Program, can they return to work at the University at a later time?

    Yes, but not immediately. An employee who participates in the Layoff Severance Program for Civil Service and Union-Represented Staff Employees signs a Release on their last day of employment releasing all possible legal claims against the University agreeing that, in consideration for receiving the money and benefits under this program, the former employee will not reapply for or be rehired for University employment for a period equal to the number of weeks of severance pay received.

  13. Does participation in this program affect unemployment benefits?

    Yes. Employees should contact Minnesota WorkForce for more information about unemployment compensation.

  14. How does this program interact with COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) benefits)?

    The continuation of medical and dental coverage available under COBRA runs concurrently with the benefits extended under this program. See Appendix: Benefits Information Supplement, for further information on COBRA.

  15. Does participation in this program affect unemployment benefits?

    Yes. Employees should contact Minnesota WorkForce for more information about unemployment compensation.

  16. How does this program interact with COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) benefits)?

    The continuation of medical and dental coverage available under COBRA runs concurrently with the benefits extended under this program. See Appendix: Benefits Information Supplement, for further information on COBRA.

  17. How does this program interact with Medicare benefits when an employee or employee’s spouse becomes eligible?

    If the employee becomes eligible for Medicare before or during the subsidized period, Medicare then becomes primary with the UPlan secondary for this individual. If a spouse is age 65 or older, the application must be made for Medicare Part B upon termination of employee's employment. Medicare then becomes primary with the UPlan secondary for this individual.

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