FAQs - Displaced Employees

What happens to my health and other benefits if my position is eliminated?

Some benefits can be continued through the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA): You and/or your eligible family members may be eligible to continue your UK health, dental and/or vision insurance. You may also continue participation in a health care flexible spending account through COBRA. Note: To continue these benefits, you must apply within 60 days of receiving a COBRA notice or your layoff date, whichever is later. Click here for details on enrollment through COBRA.

Some coverage can be maintained on an individual basis: UK-provided basic life insurance and any optional life insurance coverage may be converted to an individual policy. You may also make arrangements to continue voluntary benefits such as universal life insurance and cancer/specified disease insurance after separating from employment at UK.

Some coverage stops: Flexible spending accounts, University-provided life insurance and optional additional coverage and dependent life insurance end upon your separation date unless you make arrangements to continue such coverage on an individual basis.

Will I receive preferential consideration when applying for UK jobs if my position is eliminated?

You will not receive preferential consideration for UK jobs; however, Human Resources can assist you with the UK employment process by acting as a liaison between you and the hiring official. HR can work with hiring officials to make them aware of your circumstances and will assist in marketing your qualifications, provided you have a satisfactory work record. Once you have self-nominated for a position, PROVIDED you meet the minimum qualifications for the job and other criteria determined by the hiring official, if any; your resume/application will be forwarded to the hiring official along with other similarly qualified applicants.

If I am eligible to retire, how can I maintain my benefits eligibility in retirement?

If you are eligible to retire from UK, the simplest way to maintain health benefits eligibility and participation is to enroll in a UK retiree health plan upon retiring.

In certain situations, you may choose to "postpone" (defer) your UK retiree health benefit. For example, if you accept a new job outside UK that provides health benefits or if you are covered under a spouse's health plan. One requirement to keep in mind: UK retirees (and dependents) who defer UK retiree health coverage must have proof of other health insurance coverage during the 12 months prior to reactivating University health insurance (with no more than a 63 day break in coverage). Please note: Once your health plan coverage has been postponed, it can be reactivated one-time, meaning future deferrals are not possible. If you would like to defer your UK coverage, simply contact the UK Employee Benefits Office and complete a deferral form.

Can I work on my resume or go to interviews during work time (if I continue to work after receiving notice my position will be eliminated)?

Yes, your supervisor may provide you with reasonable flexibility during your work schedule to attend meetings with HR representatives, as well as UK job interviews and other related job search efforts (updating application, resume, etc.).

What kind of notice or how much advance notice should I receive from my department before my position is eliminated?

HR Policy and Procedure #12.0 requires a notice of at least one pay period be provided to employees. UK practice is to provide notice from one month up to 90 days in some circumstances.

Will my service time continue if I am re-hired by the University in a regular status position in the future?

If you were employed in a regular position when your position was eliminated AND you return to a regular position within one year of your separation date, it is possible to have certain benefits reinstated (per HR Policy and Procedure #15.0, Reinstatement). Those benefits that are reinstated include: temporary disability leave balance (sick leave), vacation leave accrual rate (excluding VL balance), and UK regular service time (excluding the time period in which you were not employed at UK in a regular position).

After my current position is eliminated, can I seek a temporary (non-regular) position with the University while still applying for regular employment?

Yes, HR STEPS provides numerous temporary and part-time opportunities at UK. STEPS assignments allow for you to gain experience in units throughout the University and exposure to potential hiring officials. Between 10-15% of hires for regular positions are formerly STEPS temporary employees.

Will I be directed to work the entire notice period or will I go home immediately?

Several possible options could occur, depending on the circumstances of your specific job duties and the unit in which you work.
  1. You may be required to leave your workplace immediately following notification due to the sensitivity of your position and the access to confidential information.
  2. You may be required to continue to work for a short period of time (1-4 weeks) and then stop reporting to work. This may occur in order to transition work load and assignments and complete current projects.
  3. You may be required to work the entire length of the notice period due to demands of work unit and project completion requirements.

Will I be paid for my temporary disability leave (TDL) balance when I separate?

No, unless you retire and were hired prior to July 1, 1995.  For employees hired prior to July 1, 1995, the University shall pay an amount equal to the first 22 days in full and the remaining days at the amount which the University would have contributed to the employee’s retirement plan if the employee had worked the same period of time.
Example: An employee hired prior to July 1, 1995 has 70 days of accrued TDL. 

The amount of the lump sum payment will be determined by the first 22 days paid in full and taking the remaining number of TDL days (valued at the daily pay), multiplied by the retirement percentage contribution for the employee.

Total days of accrued TDL 70 days
Days eligible for full payment (see number 2 below) 22 days
Daily rate of pay (annual salary of $26,000 divided by 260 work days) $100
TDL days at full pay (22 days x $100) $2,200
Value of remaining TDL (48 days x $100) $4,800
Multiplied by UK retirement contribution percentage ($4,800 x 10%) $480
Lump sum payment to employee $480+$2,200=$2,680

What if I am eligible to retire at the time my position is eliminated?

In order to allow the employee a chance to search for other UK employment, retirement eligible employees may request an Unpaid Leave Extension for Retirement Eligible Employees. The maximum unpaid leave period is equal to one month for every five full years of service up to a maximum of six months. If a new position is not found during the leave, the employee is agreeing to retire at the end of this leave. You may request a service check to determine your retirement eligibility and to enroll for the Retirement Extension unpaid leave program by contacting Employee Benefits at (859) 257-9519, option 3.

What occurs with my benefit plans during the retirement-eligible unpaid leave?

Your benefits, along with the UK health credit, will continue during your unpaid leave the same as when you were an active employee. Your benefit payments can be automatically deducted from a checking or savings account.

May I take a retirement distribution from TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity?

You may take retirement distributions or withdraw funds from your mandatory retirement account after a 90-day waiting period from your last day of employment. A 10% penalty tax applies if you have not reached age 59 ½. Please note: Distributions or hardship withdrawals are also subject to income tax. You may take a loan from your account as long as you do not exceed the maximum of 5 simultaneous loans. To inquire about a loan, please contact Fidelity at 1-800-343-0860 or TIAA-CREF at 1-800-842-0860.