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    Benefit Eligible Seasonal Workers & Benefit Deductions

    We are looking at adding a new position for our RN's called seasonal workers (new empl class).  They would work 9 months and be off for 3 months.  The 3 months off will be different for all employees and doesn't have to be 3 consecutive months.  They will also receive benefits for the entire year.  One of our big concerns is how to handle benefit deductions.  Do we let them go into arrears and then pay them when they get back to work?  Do the employees write a check while they are off?  Do we increase their benefit rates so they pay the full years premium in 9 months, but what if they work more or less than the 9 months for this solution?  Does anyone out there have Seasonal Workers and if so how do you handle benefits?  Are there any other issues you have with seasonal workers?

    Thanks for any help you can give.

    We struggled with this same situation for a number of years. Our initial goal was to spread the costs evenly over the months worked; however, we encountered too many obstacles in trying to maintain this setup. We worked with multiple consultants to develop a streamlined solution that was easy for our staff to understand and was also easy to administer and reconcile. Our consultants were not successful in identifying a solution.

    After three years, we decided to scrap the project and simply use the delivered PeopleSoft arrears functionality. When staff don't work, we allow their benefits to go into arrears and then we collect upon their return. We established a maximum arrears payback of 75% of the premium. This limit allows all benefits to be repaid before the start of the new plan year while preventing large recoveries of funds when an individual has been off of work. After the initial communication regarding the change, we haven't encountered any issues or complaints. The system is easy to understand and PeopleSoft takes care of everything without manual intervention.

    I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Regards,

    Katie

    Director of Compensation and Benefits

    University of Puget Sound

     

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