Benefits for Administrative Positions

With the exception of retirement and certain government-mandated items, most benefits are available to full-time administrators only. In addition benefits vary for 9, 10, and 12 month full-time administrators.  This web page outlines the full range of benefits. The Human Resources Department should be contacted for information about which of these programs may apply in any given circumstance.

Health Care

The complete Barnard health care program for administrators has four components: Medical Services, Prescriptions, Dental, and Flexible Spending Accounts.  Health care benefits begin on the first day of the month following 30 days of employment.

Medical Services:

The Cigna Open Access Plus Plan provides medical benefits with the flexibility of using either network or non-network providers.

In most cases, the Open Access Plus Plan provides 100% coverage less a modest co-payment for some services such as prescriptions and office visits.  Since care under this option is provided by Cigna's extensive network of doctors, there are no deductibles nor are there any claim forms.  This is called “in-network.”

On the other hand, the Open Access Plus Plan can function as traditional indemnity insurance, allowing the participants to use doctors of their own choosing with reimbursement subject to the usual controls such as annual deductibles and reasonable and customary limitations.  The claimant must complete claim forms.  This is called “out-of-network.”

In addition, employees may choose between three Cigna plan options, all of which allow in-network and out-of-network coverage.  Plan A is offered to employees at a modest cost.  Plan B requires a larger employee contribution, but it has a lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum for out-of-network providers.  Plan C is a High Deductible Health Plan which is available with a Health Savings Account partially funded by Barnard.  Plan C has the lowest employee contribution.  Dependents may be carried on all plans with an employee contribution.

Cigna insures both same sex and opposite sex domestic partners.  Employees interested in this coverage should contact Human Resources at (212) 854-2551.


On the Cigna Plan A and Plan B Prescription Program, the employee pays $15 for generic,  $25 for brand drugs and $50 for preferred brand drugs at participating pharmacies.  Under the Plan C Prespription Program, the employee pays $10 for generic, $25 for brand name drugs, and $50 for preferred brand drugs at participating pharmacies.  A mail order program is available for maintenance drugs under all medical plan options.


Aetna Freedom of Choice (FOC) Dental Maintenance Organization, is available at a cost of $23.50 per month for individual, $44.52 per month for individual plus one and $71.43 per month for family coverage.  The plan allows employees to switch monthly from the DMO to the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).


An annual eye exam can help manage your overall health and wellbeing.  It can spot the early signs of serious health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, so you can be treated sooner, rather than later.  EyeMed makes it easy for you to visit one of their participating doctors in their network for your annual eye exam.  You will also have access to the top six national retail chains as in-network options, including LensCrafters, Sears Optical, Target Optical, JC Penny Optical, and most Pearle Vision locations.  EyeMed provides an annual eye exam at no cost and an allowance for frames or contacts once every 12 months.  Coverage for non-network services are limited.

Flexible Spending:

The Barnard College Flexible Spending Account enables full-time, participating employees to pay for their unreimbursed health and/or dependent care expenses with pre-tax income.  The health and dependent care plans are administered by Allegiance, a division of CIGNA.  Employees can contact customer services with any questions regarding covered expenses at 1-877-424-3570.

Additional Considerations:

Adjustment of Coverage - Subsequent to initial enrollment, additions to or adjustments in coverage may occur only during open enrollment periods (usually the first calendar month of the year) or if there has been a life status change such as marriage, birth of a child, or loss of a spouse’s job.  Dependents may be dropped from coverage at any time.

Termination of Coverage -Termination provisions for unmarried dependent children, students and non-students age 26 and above vary under the several plans (medical/drug, dental and flexible spending) that make up the complete health care program.  Specific information is available in the individual plan documents. Finally, for employees who are terminating employment, coverage ends on the last day of the month in which their final working day falls.

COBRA and Conversion Privileges - Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, employees who terminate employment under conditions other than gross misconduct may elect to remain in the group medical plans, at their expense, for 18 months from their termination date, or 29 months if termination is due to disability under certain conditions.  The employee must notify ADP COBRA Services, 1-800-526-2720 or of such election within 60 days of termination and must make insurance payments retroactive to the first date of COBRA coverage within a period ending forty-five days after such election.  Subsequent payments must be made monthly.  In addition, eligible dependents covered by the plans may remain in the group for a period of up to 36 months if continuation coverage is due to the death of the employee, divorce or legal separation, or loss of eligibility due to reaching maximum plan age or becoming entitled to and applying for Medicare.


Disability Insurance

The complete Barnard Disability Insurance program consists of two components: Short Term Disability Insurance and Long Term Disability Insurance.

Short Term Disability Insurance:

As mandated by the State of New York, Barnard employees are covered by Short Term Disability Insurance through CIGNA. The insurance provides a benefit of 50% of the employee’s weekly salary up to a maximum of $750 per week for any non-occupational illness or injury, including maternity.  These benefits will be paid for a period of up to 26 weeks depending on the severity of the illness.  In order that a claim for short term disability benefits can be filed with CIGNA in a timely fashion, employees who are, or expect to be, absent from work due to disabling illness for five or more consecutive working days must contact the Office of Human Resources at the earliest possible moment.

Long Term Disability Insurance:

CIGNA also provides coverage for long-term disability.  This coverage is available after one year of service. However, this waiting period will be waived upon certification of coverage under a group long term total disability plan with the employee’s prior employer if coverage was in effect within 30 days of the Barnard date of hire.

After an elimination period of 180 days, the policy will pay 60% of the disabled employee’s salary up to a maximum of $5,000 per month for the period of total disability.  These payments will be reduced by any benefits payable from Social Security, Workers Compensation, and any benefits payable under the College’s short term disability program.  Benefits continue up to age 65 if the disability commences prior to age 60.  If the disability commences after age 60, the period will depend on complex provisions the details of which are available from the Office of Human Resources.

In addition, CIGNA will make appropriate contributions to the employee’s Basic Retirement Annuity (see below) during the period of total disability.

Life Insurance

Employees are covered by a CIGNA group term life policy with an Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) rider.  The face amount of an employee’s coverage equals two times their annual base salary rounded up to the next highest thousand dollars.  The most important feature of the AD&D rider is that it provides the beneficiary (ies) double the face amount of the policy if the covered employee dies as a result of an accident.

Additional Considerations:

Inception - The life insurance benefit begins on the first day of the month following completion of one full month of employment.

Beneficiaries - Employees designate the beneficiary(ies) and may change that designation at any time.

Seniors - For active employees over age 65, the amount of life insurance will be reduced in compliance with current plan provisions.  The plan provides for additional reductions after age 70.

Retirement Plans

Barnard College provides two retirement plans: the Basic Retirement Annuity Plan and the Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan.  Both of these plans may be administered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF) or Fidelity Investments.


Basic Retirement Annuity:

Eligibility - Contributions to the Basic Retirement Annuity plan are made by Barnard.  All eligible Administrative Officers whose positions are classified as Grade Five or above begin participation immediately.  Those employees whose positions are classified as Grade Four or below will begin participation on January 1st or July 1st following their two-year anniversary date.  However, employees with two years of full-time service at an institution of higher education during the 24-month period directly preceding their date of employment at the College may begin participation immediately.  Employees are asked to notify the Human Resources Department if this exception applies.  Part-time employees who work a minimum of 1,000 hours per year also participate in this plan.

Contributions - Effective February 1, 2019, for those employees whose positions are classified as Grade Eight and below, the College makes a contribution equal to 7% of gross annual salary (employees hired through searches beginning on or before January 31, 2019, may receive 9% ).  For those at Grade Nine and above, the College makes a contribution equal to 10% of gross annual salary (employees hired through searches beginning on or before January 31, 2019, may receive 12%).

Supplemental Retirement Annuity:

Both full-time and part-time employees may elect to make contributions to a supplemental tax-deferred annuity.  These contributions are made pre-tax and require that the employee execute an authorizing Salary Reduction Agreement, which is available from the Office of Human Resources.  Employees can elect to contribute any amount up to an allowable maximum set by regulation and calculated by TIAA-CREF in each specific case. There is no waiting period.  The plan includes a loan provision.  Details are available through the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition Assistance

Employees - Effective January 1, 2008, all full-time administrative employees are eligible to receive tuition assistance beginning in the first academic semester/quarter following their date of hire at Barnard College.  The first year of the tuition benefit is on a reimbursement basis only. Full-time employees may take the number of approved courses per year equal in cost to six Barnard credits.  Job related, credit bearing courses or courses applied toward a degree may qualify if taken from an accredited educational institution.  Eligibility depends on several factors, including the timing of the employee’s application.  Please note, the program will not pay for repeat degrees (i.e a second Associate’s, or Master’s Degree for employees already holding those degree) even if the new degree program is in an unrelated field.  The program will pay for subject-specific, job related certificates that build and help to promote advancement with authorization from one's manager.  For further information about the program, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Dependents - Eligible dependent children of full-time administrators may receive full undergraduate tuition to Barnard or Columbia for a maximum of eight semesters within six years.  In addition, for schools other than Barnard or Columbia, Barnard pays an amount equal to 25% of its own tuition, or up to 100% of the other institution’s tuition, whichever is less, for dependents of full time administrators hired after December 31, 1983.  Children of deceased full-time administrators and administrators who retire from the College may also be eligible. Eligibility is for Fall and Spring semesters only.  Further information is available through the Office of Human Resources.

As required currently by law, tuition benefits for graduate school in excess of $5,250 per calendar year are considered taxable income to the employee, and taxes will be withheld from the employee’s paycheck when appropriate.

Paid Time Off


Full-time employees hired after July 1, 1987 who work 12 months per year, earn two days per month for each full month of service up to a maximum of 24 days per year.  Part-time administrators and full-time administrators, who work fewer than twelve months per year, are eligible for vacation accrual on a reduced basis.  Full details are available from Human Resources.  Vacation time will be accrued but cannot be taken during the first six months of employment.  Further, for full-time, twelve month employees, no more than 24 vacation days may be carried over from one fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) to the next.  Any additional unused vacation days will be forfeited.  In addition, an employee who resigns, will be paid only for any accrued vacation time up to the allowed carryover and any newly accrued but unused vacation days.  If an employee resigns within the first 6 months of employment they will not be eligible for a vacation payout.


Scheduled - Employees receive eleven scheduled holidays per year. These are: New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Election Day; Thanksgiving Day; Day After Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; and New Year’s Eve.

Floating - In addition to scheduled holidays, twelve-month employees receive three floating holidays per year; those hired after January 1st receive two days for the first fiscal year ending June 30th.  Nine and ten-month employees receive two floating holidays per year; those hired after January 1st receive one day for the first fiscal year ending June 30th.

Sick Leave:

Full-time Administrators working 12 months per year will receive 5 sick days at hire and 10 sick days on the next following July 1.  Maximum in the sick bank at any time will be 15 days.  Each July 1, the Administrator will receive up to 10 sick days to a bank total not to exceed 15 days.  (For example:  If at June 30, an employee has 5 days left in the sick bank, 10 days will be added on July 1 for a bank total of 15 days.  If at June 30, the employee has 7 days left in the sick bank, 8 days will be added on July 1 for a bank total of 15 days.  If at June 30, the employee has 3 days left in the sick bank, 10 days will be added on July 1 for a bank total of 13 days.)  Part-time Administrators and those working fewer than 12 months per year receive a pro-rated benefit.  There is a Salary Continuation Program available for employees on leave with a serious illness, disability or pregnancy.

Commutation Benefit Program

The College offers employees the opportunity to use pre-tax dollars to pay certain commuting costs.   Employees who join the program can exclude up to $255 per month pre-tax for the purchase of Metrocards and transit passes.  For those who drive or car-pool, the program can be applied to the lesser of the actual authorized parking costs or $255 per month.  Complete details on the commutation program are available from the Wageworks website or 1-800-654-6695.

Mandated Benefits

In addition to Short Term Disability (discussed above), there are four other mandated programs.  These are:

Family and Medical Leave:

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires that eligible employees be given up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave during any 12 month period for the birth and first-year care of a child; the adoption or foster placement of a child; the serious medical condition of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent; the employee’s own serious medical condition; or for Active Duty or Caregiver Leave.  Both the employer and the employee have certain rights under the act.  The Human Resources Department can be contacted for further information.

New York State Paid Family Leave:

The NY State Paid Family Leave benefit provides eligible employees a leave with partial wage replacement, job and health benefits protection for these reasons:

  • To bond with a child during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or fostering of a child;
  • To care for certain family members with a serious health condition; or
  • For qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s covered active duty in the military.

To be considered an eligible employee, the following criteria apply:

    • Full time employees (20 or more hrs/week) are eligible to participate after working 26 or more consecutive weeks of work.
    • Part time employees (less than 20 hrs/week) are eligible to participate after the 175th day of work.

Under NYS law, the amount of paid family leave benefits will be phased in as follows


Maximum Benefit within
52-week Period

Paid Family Benefit
January 1, 2018 8 weeks 50% of the employee’s average weekly salary
January 1, 2019 10 weeks 55% of the employee’s average weekly salary
January 1, 2020 10 weeks 60% of the employee’s average weekly salary
January 1, 2021 12 weeks 67% of the employee’s average weekly salary

The New York PFL benefit is funded entirely through minimal deductions from employee’s paychecks. The New York PFL benefit will run concurrently with leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Employees may be eligible for a waiver to opt-out of Paid Family Leave benefits and the deduction. An employee has the option to waive if: (1) the employee regularly works 20 hours or more per week but will not work 26 consecutive weeks; or (2) the employee regularly works 20 hours or less per week but will not work 175 days in a 52 consecutive week period. The waiver is optional and revocable.

The College’s Paid Family Leave Policy can be found here: Paid Family Leave Policy

Social Security:

Social Security is a federal program of retirement, disability, survivor and health related benefits covering most staff.  Contributions to Social Security are shared by the College and the employee.

Worker's Compensation:

Income protection, medical benefits and survivor benefits are provided for job related illnesses and injuries.  This mandated coverage is provided to the College by CHUBB and is independent of the health care coverage provided by Cigna.  For this reason, among others, any job related injury or illness must be reported immediately to the responsible supervisor, department chair or director and to the Human Resources Department.

Unemployment Insurance:

Staff and faculty who become unemployed through no fault of their own and are able and available to work, but unsuccessful in finding employment, may be eligible to receive a weekly benefit.

Voluntary Benefits:

Barnard offers faculty and staff several voluntary benefit packages. Further information is available from Human Resources.

Backup Care:  Through Bright Horizons, the College offers discounted Backup Child and Elder Care services for those times when an employee would otherwise miss work to care for a loved one.  The program is designed to provide up to 20 visits annually either in a childcare center (Copays: $15/child or $25 for 2 or more children) or in a private residence ($8 per hour) when regular care for a child or dependent adult is unavailable on a temporary basis. Employees can visit the website at or call 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737) or 800-557-0847 for more information.

Employee Assistance Program: We are pleased to announce our new Employee Assistance Program through Humana (formerly known as "Harris Rotherberg International, Inc"). We encourage your participation in this program and take advantage of the available resources provided. This program is available to you at no cost.   You may contact Humana at 800-448-4358 or at

MetPay: Offers discounted insurance rates for auto and home through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Call 1-800-GET-MET8 for further information and a no-obligation quote.

Chase Banking:  Chase checking and savings with no balance required, fee waived banking, when you set up direct deposit.  Benefits include debit card, on-line banking, credit cards, access to mortgage and home equity loans and other banking services.

Health Club Membership: Faculty and staff can secure discounted health club memberships through GlobalFit Corporate Fitness.

New Employees are urged to review and understand their first pay stubs to assure themselves that their elections of benefits have been correctly recorded.  Questions may be referred to Human Resources Department.

More comprehensive information is available on all these matters through the Human Resources Department.  In the event of any discrepancy between this brochure and the underlying plan documents, the underlying documents shall govern.  The College may modify benefits at any time without prior notice.

Healthcare While Traveling

Domestic Travel (including Canada, Mexico and U.S. Possessions)


If you are traveling domestically or are in a temporary domestic residence, medical services for medical emergencies and urgent care will be covered as an in-network benefit. Cigna requires notification within 24 hours of an emergency hospital admission. All urgent care requires pre-certification.   Please call Cigna at the number on the back of your ID card available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Routine Medical Care

If you are traveling domestically or are in a temporary domestic residence and decide to seek non-emergency medical care, any covered services will be processed in-network if you use a Cigna physician.  If you use a physician not affiliated with either network, the charges will be processed as an out-of-network benefit up to the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Charges, subject to coinsurance and deductibles.

Please note:  Cigna policies and procedures, including precertification for some procedures, remain in effect, so you should continue to seek appropriate referrals and precertification as necessary when using a Cigna physician.  If you obtain care without appropriate referrals for a Cigna in-network service, any covered services will be processed under your out-of-network benefit up to the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Charges, subject to coinsurance and deductibles.  If you have questions about precertification, please phone the Cigna customer service number on the reverse side of your membership card.

International travel (except for Canada, Mexico and U.S. Possessions)


If you are traveling or in a temporary residence abroad, medical services for medical emergencies and urgent care will be covered as an in-network benefit.  Cigna requires at least 24 hours notification after an emergency hospital admission.  All urgent care requires pre-certification.  Please refer to the Urgent and Emergency Care While Traveling brochure for details.  

Routine Medical Care

Cigna is not licensed to insure for routine, non-emergency medical care abroad.  You will not be reimbursed for the costs of any routine care that you incur while abroad.  If you are planning to live and work abroad on a grant or sabbatical leave, please be aware that health coverage through Cigna is limited to emergency care.  You may wish to explore well in advance of your trip whether routine healthcare is available through institutional or governmental plans in the host country.  In addition, Barnard now offers Gateway Premier international medical coverage; information is available in Human Resources.  Anyone wishing to explore this option should make an appointment with HR no less than one month before leaving the U.S.

Prescriptions are not covered by your insurance while you are traveling or living abroad.  To assure that you have adequate quantities of any medication before you travel, phone Cigna's Customer Service at 800-244-6224 (available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, except Thanksgiving and Christmas) and request a “vacation override renewal.”  You will then need to pick up this prescription at your local pharmacy before your trip.

Lastly, anyone traveling abroad for the College should complete an application for evacuation insurance with C.M.I., which provides coverage for evacuation services should you need to return to the U.S. for a medical emergency.  Applications should be completed no later than 3 weeks in advance of leaving the U.S.


Should you have any questions about medical services while traveling or in a temporary residence, we suggest you phone Cigna directly at the 800 number on the back of your insurance card.   If you are traveling or in residence abroad, please refer to the Urgent and Emergency Care While Traveling brochure for details.  You may also, of course, phone Human Resources at 4-2551.

Emergency International Insurance

The College now maintains a policy with WorldNet International Insurance to provide certain kinds of protection to both faculty and administrators pursuing international educational activities.   This insurance can provide for emergency medical evacuation and other kinds of emergency assistance.   A web link explaining the benefits is provided below.   If you anticipate being out of the United States for international study or work, please contact Human Resources at extension 4-2551 with the date of your departure and the country to which you will be traveling.

It is important to note: This is not medical insurance.   Emergency medical care while traveling is covered under the Cigna medical plan.

If you have enrolled in WorldNet International coverage and need to activate it while traveling, the contact information follows:

For medical evacuation, repatriation or other assistance services call Worldwide Assistance at 1-800-368-7878 (inside the U.S. or Canada) or call direct or collect to 202-659-7815 (from outside the U.S.) or email

When you call, please be prepared with the following information:

1) Name of caller, phone #, fax# and relationship to insured;

2) Insured's name, age, sex and the policy number for your insurance plan, which is GLMN00175341

3) A description of the insured's condition;

4) Name, location and telephone of the hospital or other service provider; and

5) Other insurance information including health insurance, worker's compensation, or auto insurance, if the insured was involved in an accident.