New Employee Benefits Orientation
Congratulations on your pending or current employment with the University of South Carolina!
As a benefits-eligible faculty or staff member, you have a variety of benefit options. Since benefit plans vary significantly from one employer to the next, the Benefits Office offers you the following online resources to assist you in making decisions about your benefits. We ask that you carefully review the content presented here and be prepared to make your benefit choices within seven days of your start date with the University of South Carolina.
If you are a new employee with the School of Medicine or with one of our campuses outside of Columbia, the Human Resources Office on your campus will be your primary resource for orientation. Please consult with them prior to completing this information, as their procedures may vary.
Generally, the University requires that most benefit options be selected within 31 days (30 days for Retirement) following the date you begin employment. If you do not enroll within this time, you may lose your opportunity to enroll in insurance as a new hire. The next opportunity will be during an Open Enrollment period or within 31 days of a special eligibility situation. Open Enrollment is held each year and coverage will become effective January 1 of the following year. In terms of retirement, if no election is made within 30 days, the retirement will default to the South Carolina Retirement Systems program.
The following information is in preparation for benefits-eligible employment and does not create a contract in the event benefits-eligible employment is not extended.
If you are a transfer employee from a state-covered employer, please refer to our Benefits Orientation for Transfer Employees web page.
Please take some time to review the following resources concerning benefit options offered by the University of South Carolina.
Summary of Benefits (PDF): This is an overview of the benefit options available through the University of South Carolina.
After you complete and review your insurance and retirement plan forms, please forward the paperwork to the Benefits Office at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 803, Columbia, SC 29208.
Insurance Plans: This website provides an interactive overview of health, vision, dental, life, disability, and flexible spending account coverage by the S.C. Employee Insurance Program (EIP), primary administrator of these plans.
After viewing the Insurance Orientation, please complete the following steps:
Step 1: Complete Notice of Election (NOE) form to select your insurance options. Please read the instructions on Page 2 carefully prior to completing the form.
Step 2: Complete Certification Regarding Tobacco Use.
Step 3: If electing a Dependent Care Account or Health Savings Account, complete MoneyPlus Enrollment Form. Please note that you may only elect a Health Savings Account if you have enrolled in the State Health Savings Plan. The Medical Spending Account may not be elected until you have been employed for at least one year.
Step 4: If covering a dependent, please attach the documentation required for Dependent Eligibility for Coverage.
Step 5: Based on the information indicated in your Welcome e-mail, please return your paperwork to the Benefits Office, located at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 803, Columbia, S.C. 29208.
Retirement Plan: This website provides an overview of retirement plans offered by the South Carolina Retirement Systems (SCRS), the administrator of the state's pension plans. This is a mandatory election that requires 7.5% of your salary, for which contributions may be made to one of two vehicles: SCRS or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). However, if you are employed in a position that falls under the Police Officers Retirement System (PORS), you will be required to elect this plan.
General Resources: SCRS New Employee Resource Center
ORP: ORP Vendor Contact List
After reviewing the retirement plans, please complete the following steps:
Step 1: You will receive an email from PEBA Retirement System to select a pension program option. Please complete the instructions provided in the email to enroll in your pension program selection. The Benefits Office will require a working email address to provide to PEBA for initiation of this email.
Step 2: For those employees who are opting for an Optional Retirement Plan (State ORP), you must also complete a vendor's enrollment form, which is obtained directly from the vendor. If you are opting for the SCRS pension program, you do not need to complete this step.
Step 3: Complete one of the following beneficiary forms, based on your selected option:
Please return your beneficiary paperwork to the Benefits Office, located at 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 803, Columbia, S.C. 29208. These forms must be notarized at the time of signature. For your convenience, the Benefits Office offers free notary services, but please remember that all forms must be signed at the time of notarization.
Other Tax-Shelterd Annuity Products: Any enrollment into the following plans will have to be coordinated with the Vendor. The vendor will then facilitate the enrollment with the University's Payroll Department. Call Payroll at 803.777.4227 with any questions about deductions.
Other USC insurance product offerings: Any enrollment into the following plans must be coordinated with the the specific vendor offering the product. The vendor will facilitate your enrollment with the University's Payroll Department. Call Payroll at 803.777.4227 with any questions about deductions.
Other Important Processes
- Parking Permit: Please contact Parking Services at 803.777.5160 to inquire about
how to register for a parking permit.
The Benefits Office hopes these resources will assist in your making informed decisions that best meet your needs. However, if this information is not sufficient and you would like to attend a Benefits Orientation session or speak directly with a counselor to ensure your familiarity with the benefit options available, please contact the Benefits Office at 803.777.6650.
When requesting an orientation session, please keep in mind the 30-day deadline for retirement program enrollment and the 31-day deadline requirement for insurance program enrollment.