Human Resources | Benefits

This summary is meant to provide a general overview of the benefits offered to employees of Houghton College at this particular point in time. If this summary conflicts in any way with the actual Plan Documents, the Plan Documents shall govern. At the time of issuing this Summary, the college intends to continue the benefits described. However, the college expressly reserves the right to modify, amend, delete or otherwise change these benefits at any time. Should you have any questions regarding benefits, please contact the Human Resources Office at (585) 567-9321.  

Employee Assistance Plan

The Employee Assistance Plan provides an opportunity for employees and their dependents to receive confidential counseling or information regarding a wide range of issues.  A website with extensive information is also provided.  For confidential assistance 24 hours a day call 1-800-255-4555.  Click on the links below for additional information.

Medical Insurance

Effective June 1, 2011 full time college employees are eligible for a health plan with Univera Health Care.  Employees with single coverage contribute 1% of their base salary towards the coverage.  Employees with family coverage contribute 2.5% of their base salary towards the coverage.  For further information, contact the H.R. Office.

The plan is a  “consumer directed” or a “high deductible” health plan.  However, Houghton College funds one-half of the deductible through a Health Savings Account.  The deposit is made in two different payments — one in June and one in December.  (Note: Refer to policy below regarding employer funding of HSA’s.) Once the deductible is met, all expenses, other than prescriptions, are covered at 100%.  After the deductible is met, cost of prescriptions is based on a three tier co-pay.

Employees who can show evidence of alternative health coverage, such as a plan through a spouse’s place of employment, may be eligible for a cash payment of $1,900 dollars.  Please contact Human Resources for more information.

Due to the fact that employees 65 or older cannot participate in a Health Savings Account, a different plan is available for those employees who will be 65 years of age or older by the end of the plan year.

Flexible Spending Account

The Flexible Spending Account is available only to those individuals not participating in a Health Savings Account through the health insurance program.

Eligible employees who work more than 20 hours per week may participate with the Flexible Spending Account on their date of employment. This plan allows an employee to redirect a portion of their pay to a “benefit bank.” The contributions to the “benefit bank” are non-taxable and can be used to reimburse the employee for qualifying expenses. Qualifying expenses include medical expenses not reimbursed by the insurance, dental expenses, vision care expenses and eligible day care expenses. Funds distributed to these accounts are exempt from FICA, Federal and New York State taxes. It is very important for you to plan carefully when deciding to what extent you will participate in this Plan as IRS regulations require that any balance left in your “benefit bank” at the end of the plan year will be forfeited.

Retirement Plan through TIAA-CREF

The purpose of the college’s retirement plan is to enable qualifying employees to maintain their standard of living following retirement by providing income over and above the income that may be provided by Social Security and personal savings. The college offers a plan through Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) and the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF).


An “eligible employee” means any full-time employee who is employed by the institution, except adjunct faculty members.  An employee who is customarily employed on a part-time, temporary or irregular basis for less than 1,000 hours a year is an eligible employee only if credited with 1,000 hours or more of service (including paid absences) during any 12-consecutive-calendar-month period commencing with their date of employment or anniversary.  Eligible employees may begin participation in the Plan on the first month after finishing a 12-month period of employment at Houghton or any other institution of higher education.

Each participant must contribute 3% of their base compensation through payroll deduction (after tax) or reduction (before tax). This employee contribution will be matched by a contribution by the college. A participant may elect to contribute more than 3%, but the college contribution will remain steady.

Please note: Employees who are currently contributing 3% or more will receive an employer contribution of 3%.  Employees who previously discontinued contributions to their plan need to email Sherry Ballard in the payroll office requesting that they reinstate their contributions via payroll deduction at a minimum rate of 3% (or more depending on the desired contribution amount of the employee). 

An employee who works more than 20 hours per week, and has not yet completed 12 months of service is eligible to open a Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA.)  The college does not make any contributions to an SRA.  For more information please contact Human Resources.

Group Life Insurance & Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Term Life and AD&D insurance is fully paid by Houghton College for all full-time employees. The amount of insurance is 200% of your annual rate of basic earnings, rounded to the nearest $1,000.

Long Term Disability

A long term disability plan is offered at no cost to employees. Eligible employees begin receiving benefits after six months of total disability. If you are enrolled in the TIAA/CREF 403B retirement plan, the Long Term Disability policy will make both the employee contribution and the college’s contribution to your retirement account.

Employee Tuition Assistance Grant

The college provides employee and dependent tuition assistance grants (ETAG) as a fringe benefit for certain employees. Employees are eligible for tuition remission benefits following a two-year waiting period. The amount of assistance provided depends, in part on (1) whether the student is an employee or the dependent of an employee, (2) the employee’s tenure with the college and status as full or part time, (3) the full or part time academic status of the student requesting assistance. An individual is considered a “dependent” of an employee if the individual is claimed as a dependent on the employee’s tax return.

  • Employee Tuition Assistance Grant Information

Liberty Mutual

The college recently began offering employees home and auto insurance from Liberty Mutual at group rates.

Vacation Information 

Holiday Schedule

Campus Store Discounts

A 10% discount (excluding textbooks) will be granted to full time employees of Houghton College and their spouses.

Use of Gymnasium & Campus Center

Faculty and staff (and families) may use the Nielsen Center gymnasium and campus center facilities according to college regulations.

Willard J. Houghton Library

Houghton College employees and their families may use the library facilities. In additions to books, magazines and journals, movies are available for check out.

College Health Center

While the primary focus of the college health center is students, faculty and staff are welcome to use the health center for the following services:  blood pressure check, weight check, blood glucose test and emergency services (while on the job). Please contact the health center for more details.

Artist Series

Interested in discounted artist series tickets? Contact

Summer Camps

HC faculty and staff receive discounts to most Houghton College summer camps. Information will be provided by the specific camps.

Meals in the Dining Hall

Houghton College employees can enjoy the benefit of eating at the College cafeteria located on the second floor of the Campus Center.  Please note: pricing for employees can apply for immediate family only (spouse and children when accompanied by the Faculty/Staff person) and does not include applicable taxes.

Please see the rates below:

Breakfast: $5.00
Lunch: $6.00
Dinner: $9.00

When accompanied by faculty/staff parent:   Children under age 12 are as follows – Breakfast: $3.00, Lunch: $4.00, Dinner: $6.00.  Maximum faculty/staff immediate family – Breakfast: $15.00, Lunch:  $20.00 , Dinner: $25.00