The University of Kentucky is proud to offer a variety of benefit plans. The benefits offered by the University include an outstanding retirement plan, competitive health, dental and vision coverage as well as extraordinary educational programs. As an employee eligible for benefits, you may choose to cover yourself, your children up to the age of 26, and your spouse or sponsored dependent and children of a sponsored dependent up to age 26 who live in your household. Verification of relationships may be required (birth certificate, marriage license, etc.). For a more complete listing of UK's benefits and eligibility, visit the Benefits home page. Or, you can view a printer-friendly version of UK's exceptional benefits.

Retirement plan: 200 percent match!

Retirement savings are an important part of your total compensation package and help ensure a more financially secure future. Under the 403(b) retirement plan, you contribute 5 percent of your base salary, and UK proudly contributes an amount equivalent to 10 percent of your base salary.

Participation in this plan is mandatory for employees age 30 and over. You will be fully vested after three years of continuous, regular, full-time service.

Paid leave

Regular, full-time staff initially accrue 10 to 15 vacation days per year, and up to 20 days per year with additional years of service. Regular, full-time staff also accrue 12 paid holidays annually. Regular, full-time staff accrue 12 days of Temporary Disability Leave (TDL), or “sick leave,” per year.


Staff may use sick leave for themselves or to care for children, spouses/sponsored dependents, parents, grandchildren, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and others residing in the household. UK also covers employees who work 12 months in a regular position of at least .75 FTE on a long-term disability (LTD) plan.For additional details, see policies regarding paid leaves.

Health plan coverage

UK offers four health plan options. You can decide on the plan and coverage that is best for you and your family’s needs. To learn more about the options, visit our Benefits website.

Prescription benefit

Express Scripts administers the prescription benefit for UK. Employees are automatically enrolled in the pharmacy benefit program when enrolled in a health plan. The plan provides 24-hour customer service, web-based drug information and an integrated mail service pharmacy. We also have dedicated pharmacists on staff to provide prescription co-pay counseling to help you find the most cost-effective medications.

Dental insurance

UK offers dental plans through two carriers: UK Dental Care and Delta Dental. All plans offer a benefit toward basic preventive services for cleaning and two office visits per year. Additional benefits may be available based on the plan you choose.

Vision insurance

Vision insurance is available through EyeMed. The plan offers savings on eye exams, contact lenses, lens options and accessories, as well as vision-correction procedures. You can choose either the Essential or Enhanced plans.

Life and accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance

Basic life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment coverage in the amount of one times your salary is available at no cost. You may purchase additional term life insurance in an amount up to five times your annual salary. You may also purchase additional accidental death & dismemberment insurance.

Flexible spending accounts (FSA)

This benefit is administered by ConnectYourCare and allows you to pay for eligible health and child/dependent care expenses with tax-free dollars through flexible spending accounts. For the health care FSA, you will receive a flexible spending debit card in the mail to use for eligible purchases.

Voluntary Benefits

Additional benefits are available to purchase with automatic payroll deductions. Benefits include long-term care, universal life insurance, short-term disability, cancer insurance, and home and auto insurance. These benefits are administered by the MPM Group, LLC.

Education programs

Regular, full-time staff may receive a tuition waiver for up to 18 credit hours per academic year through the Employee Education Program. Eligible employees with at least one year of continuous, regular, full-time service who are not using the Employee Education Program may choose to receive a tuition discount (10 percent to 50 percent) for their child or spouse/sponsored dependent through the Family Education Program.

Employer Assisted Housing Program

Regular, full-time faculty and staff may be eligible for “forgivable loans” of up to $15,000 to purchase homes, condominiums, townhouses and duplexes in designated neighborhoods. The loans can be used for down payment and closing costs, rehabilitation or renovation assistance.

Professional Development

Improve your skills or learn new ones through computer classes, supervisory training, GED classes, The Learning Center (hospital training) and more.

Health & Wellness

Our Health & Wellness team is dedicated to helping employees, retirees and their spouses/sponsored dependents achieve a higher quality of life and take preventive, life-changing measures. Programs include:

MoveWell – We offer two on-campus gyms and group fitness classes for $7 per month (or $3.50 bi-weekly). You can also meet one-on-one with a fitness specialist who will help you identify and reach your goals.

EatWell – This 10-week weight-loss program helps you set your own goals and then work with a registered dietitian to meet them. Our staff can also connect with you in person, over the phone or by email.

BeWell – This is a phone-based health program that provides highly personalized, one-on-one coaching. Programs include weight management, stress management, tobacco cessation and more.

Work-Life Office

Our Work-Life team provides strategies and support to help employees successfully manage work, family and personal responsibilities. We offer support for flexible work schedules and telework, finding child care, managing stress, and lactation after returning to work. A few of our offerings include:

Elder Care – Resources and support for employees who are caring for an aging parent or relative.

Counseling – Supporting healthy minds through free, voluntary counseling by a licensed therapist for employees, their spouses/partners and their children.

Child Care – In addition to help with finding local child care vendors, our Big Blue Family Care program makes it simple for UK families to connect with UK students for occasional, part-time child care needs.

Financial well-being

Financial counseling is a free, voluntary counseling and referral service for UK employees who are interested in gaining greater control over their finances. Eligible employees can schedule up to five sessions per fiscal year.