Uniformed Services Leave
SEPTEMBER 20, 2001
TO: Employees in the National Guard and Reserves
FROM: T. Lynn Williamson
RE: Information on Uniformed Services Leave
This memorandum is intended to answer questions for those UK employees who may be called up for active duty. This is basic information about your leave status with the University and the effect on your University benefits while you serve on active duty.
GOING ON MILITARY LEAVE
As soon as possible after receipt of orders, you should present your supervisor with a copy of military orders. The supervisor should immediately forward a copy of the orders, along with the Payroll Authorization Request (PAR), to Compensation in Human Resource Services (Room 21, Scovell Hall). After presentation of orders and at an appropriate date, you will be placed on Uniformed Services Leave that is basically a leave without pay. However, as active duty military personnel, you are entitled to ten (10) days of pay annually, between October 1 and September 30 (the federal fiscal year). If you have not used your annual ten (10) days of paid military leave during the present federal fiscal year, you will receive ten (10) days of paid military leave.
YOUR LEAVE STATUS
If you have accrued vacation leave, you may use vacation leave prior to departure for active duty or you may use the vacation leave to remain in a paid leave status. If a holiday falls within the ten (10) days of military leave or during the period of use of vacation, you will receive holiday pay (in addition to the ten days and/or vacation leave pay). Vacation and temporary disability leaves accrue during the paid leave time, but not during the unpaid military leave time. Upon return to employment at UK, any balance of unused vacation leave and temporary disability leave that you may have had when you initially took leave will be restored to you.YOUR PARTICIPATION IN OTHER UK BENEFITS PROGRAMS
You may continue to participate in the University’s retirement plan, in the University’s life insurance program, and in the University’s health care plan. You may continue coverage for yourself as well as coverage for dependents/family members. You MUST contact the Employee Benefits Office and make arrangements for continued participation in all of these plans/programs. For information, you should call (859) 257-9519, dial “3” but you must visit Employee Benefits at 112 Scovell Hall to complete the necessary paperwork. Time on Uniformed Services Leave counts toward service time for an adjusted service date for the purposes of determining an earning rate for vacation leave as well as time toward service requirement for retirement.
As long as you remain in a paid leave status, your retirement contributions will continue along with the University’s matching contributions.
Once you go into an unpaid leave status, you may continue making contributions to your retirement plan on an after-tax basis. You must make arrangements to mail these contributions directly to your retirement carrier(s). The University will not match these after-tax contributions.
Upon your return to employment with the University, you will be eligible to make up contributions to the retirement plan over a period equal to three (3) times the period of Uniformed Services Leave, but no longer than five (5) years. The University shall make, on behalf of the returning service member, any contributions to the retirement plan that the University would have made if you had not been absent for Uniformed Services Leave. These “make-up” contributions by the University will double match, up to a maximum of ten percent (10%), your contributions. These “make-up” contributions will not include any interest for the missed investment period. The University will not match any after-tax contributions that were sent by you to your retirement carrier(s) during your leave without pay.
You and your family may remain in the UK health plan for up to eighteen (18) months, after you are no longer in a pay status. You will receive the health credit for an additional period of up to thirty-one (31) days beyond your last day of being in a paid status. You must make arrangements for payment of applicable employee cost (premiums).
You may continue to be covered for your life as well as the lives of family members under the UK life insurance plans. You will be covered by the University’s basic life plan while you are on an official leave (with or without pay). You may continue to take the optional life for yourself and the Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage for yourself and your family members. The basic life and optional life plans cover employees who suffer losses due to an act of war. However, the AD&D plan will NOT cover losses suffered due to an act of war, whether declared or undeclared. You must visit Employee Benefits to make arrangements for premium payments for any optional life or AD&D.
RETURN FROM LEAVE
Upon your return from Uniformed Services Leave and provided that you were gone for ninety (90) days or less, you are entitled to reinstatement to the job you left with your seniority, status, and any pay increase/adjustment for promotion, merit increase or any other benefit you would have received if you had remained here at UK during that period. If your Uniformed Services Leave was greater than ninety (90) days, you may or may not be reinstated to the same job. However, you shall be re-employed in a job of like seniority, status, and pay that takes into account any promotions, pay increases, or other job changes that you would have been eligible for if you had remained on the job. The time frames vary as to when you must return to the University to your job, depending on how long you serve.
Please review the Uniformed Services Leave policy or call Employee Relations for an exact determination of your rights. This memorandum is intended to be a summary, and your rights under this leave policy are governed by the official University policy, Uniformed Services Leave Policy Number 75.0 (Revised 09/20/01), and the federal law, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).
The official policy on Uniformed Services Leave is found in Human Resource Policy # 75.0 at website http://www.uky.edu/HR/policies/hrpp075.htm.
Policy questions should be addressed to Employee Relations in Human Resources at (859) 257-9555, ext. 128. For Employee Benefits questions, you should call (859) 257-9519 and dial “3.” For answers to questions on benefits or to make arrangements for payment of premiums, go to Room 112 in Scovell Hall. Questions and Answers (FAQ) on this subject are available at the Benefits website at http://www.uky.edu/HR/benefits.
Like the rest of the nation, the University of Kentucky is indebted to and proud of all of you who may be called into service during the difficult days ahead.