Benefits for Confidential Positions

The benefits outlined below are provided to confidential staff who work a minimum of 17.5 hours per week at least 9 months per year.  Vacation, scheduled holiday, floating holiday, sick leave, and tuition assistance are, however, prorated for part-time employees and full tuition to Barnard is available only to full-time staff.

Health Care

The complete Barnard health care program for administrators has four components: Medical Services, Drugs, Dental, and Flexible Spending.  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 for employee 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).

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.

Vision Plan:

An annual eye exam can help manage overall health and well-being.  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 your 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.

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.  You may contact Humana at 800-448-4358 or at


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.  CIGNA carries the College’s policy. It 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 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 annual base salary rounded up to the next nearest 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 are administered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF).

Basic Retirement Annuity:

Eligibility -

Contributions to the Basic Retirement Annuity plan are made by Barnard.  All regular employees performing 520 or more hours of service per year participate in the retirement plan if they have satisfied the eligibility requirements that are as follows: 

1. Employees hired on or before September 30, 2002 must have completed two (2) years of service with the college and attained the age of twenty-one (21). 

2. Employees hired on or after October 1, 2002 must have completed one (1) year of required service with the College and attained the age of twenty-one (21).

Eligible employees will begin participation on the January 1st or July 1st following their 1 or 2 year anniversary date, as described above.

Credit for prior service -

1.  Employees hired on or before September 30, 2002 with two (2) years required service at an institution of higher education during the twenty-four (24) month period directly preceding their date of employment at the College may begin participation immediately.

2.  Employees hired on or after October 1, 2002 with one (1) year of required service at an institution of higher education during the twelve (12) month period directly preceding their date of employment at the College may begin participation immediately.

Employees are requested to notify the Human Resources Department if one of these exceptions applies.

Contributions and vesting -

1.  For eligible employees hired on or before September 30, 2002, the College contributes 8% up to the then current "break point" of earnings during each plan year (July 1 to June 30) and 12% of earnings in excess of that break point.  These eligible employees are immediately vested in the College's contribution.

2.  For eligible employees hired on or after October 1, 2002, the College contributes 8% of earnings during each plan year for years two (2) through four (4) of employment.  Effective with the employee's fifth (5th) anniversary of employment, the College contributes 8% up to the then current "break point" of earnings during each plan year (July 1 to June 30) and 12% of earnings in excess of the break point.  These eligible employees vest in the College's contribution following five (5) years of service.

Supplemental Retirement Annuity:

Both full-time and part-time employees may elect to make contributions to a supplemental tax-deferred annuity.  These annuity contributions are made pre-tax and require that the employee execute an authorizing Salary Reduction Agreement, which is available from the Human Resources Department.  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 from the Human Resources Department.

Tuition Assistance


Full-time employees hired on/after January 1, 1984 who have completed a 90 day probationary period receive an allowance for a maximum of fifteen credits per year for courses which are a part of a program of study leading to a degree or certificate, individual academic courses for which credit is given, and individual courses that are job related.  Such courses must be taken at accredited institutions of higher education or recognized business or trade schools.

Full-time nine and ten month employees receive 12 credits per year. 

Part-time employees receive pro-rata benefits.  

Effective January 1, 2003, there will be a cap of $1,000 per calendar year per employee for non-job related certificate programs.  For non-job related individual academic courses, the College will pay an individual an amount per semester not to exceed the total cost of three (3) Columbia School of General Studies undergraduate credits then in effect.

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.


Daughters of full-time employees who are accepted for admission to Barnard under the normal admission procedures shall be entitled to eight (8) semesters of full tuition.

Eligibility, for Fall and Spring semesters, depends upon several factors.  Further information is available through the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

Paid Time Off


All employees hired after July 1, 1987 earn two days per month for each full month of service up to a maximum of 24 days per year.  Vacation time will be accrued but cannot be taken during the first six months of employment.  Further, 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 for any accrual vacation time up to the allowed carry over and any newly accrued but unused vacation days.


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:

Sick leave accrues on the anniversary of employment. The employee starts with a bank of 5 days for the first year of employment and accrues 10 days per year thereafter.  In addition to the current year’s entitlement, a maximum of 60 days unused sick leave may be carried from one year to the next.  Therefore, the total maximum an employee will ever have available, including carry-over and current year’s sick leave, is 70 days. 

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 ADP 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; or the employee’s own serious medical condition.  Both the employer and the employee have certain rights under the act.  The Human Resources Department can be contacted for further information.

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.

Met Pay: 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 offers 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 Office of Human Resources.

More comprehensive information is available on all these matters through the Office of Human Resources.  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.  

(REV. 07/01/16)