Benefits Provisions

COVID-19: Contacting the Benefits Department

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Human Resources has limited on-site support and is primarily working remotely. During this time, Craig Hall is not open to the public; walk-ins will not be accepted and forms cannot be dropped off in-person or faxed. During this time, we recommend submitting all requests and inquiries online in lieu of sending physical mail. For Benefits forms not completed online via Pitt Worx or DocuSign, please submit an inquiry online.

If you have a Benefits-related inquiry, including the submission of forms or documentation, the quickest way to receive assistance is to call the Benefits Department at 833-852-2210. You can also submit an inquiry at

Health & Welfare Plans

Health & Welfare Plans for staff and faculty generally operate on a "plan year" which runs from July 1 through June 30. These Health & Welfare Plans include: medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), dependent life insurances, and flexible spending accounts. If applicable, short-term and/or long-term disability benefits may be included in your benefits package, but are not subject to the plan year.

The effective date of coverage is dependent upon your date of hire. Coverage becomes effective the first day of the next month following your hire. If you are hired on the first business day of the month, coverage will begin that day. 

An initial benefit enrollment period for newly hired employees is 31 days from the date of hire. After the initial benefit enrollment period for plans subject to the plan year, new enrollments, cancellations, and changes to coverage may only be made during future open enrollment periods or due to a qualified status change. The request for change must be made within 60 days of the life event. For more information, review the Qualified Status Changes page

When adding a spouse/domestic partner or dependent child(ren) to coverage, you are required to provide documentation of the relationship. You must submit the documentation in Pitt Worx prior to enrolling in your benefits. You have 31 days from your date of hire to enroll. Please review the Documentation Requirements for Dependents page for more information.

Individuals in the active program who do not elect a medical plan will receive a $50 monthly credit. The monthly credit for individuals enrolled in coverage is reflected in the employer contribution portion of the medical insurance premium.

Retirement Savings Plan

The Defined Contribution Program operates on a plan year which runs from January 1 through December 31.

Changes to the Retirement Plans include: enrollment/suspension of participation, changes to basic and supplemental contributions, starting/stopping a supplemental account (SRA), and changes to the allocation between investment companies. For additional rules and regulations, see Retirement Savings.

Changes may be made on a monthly basis. Eligibility for new hires begins is effective the first of the month following 30 days of employment. Changes for existing participants will be reflected the month after the change is made.

Changes to funds that you have invested in may be made on a daily basis. Changes such as these must be made directly through the respective investment company. Please contact TIAA (1-800-842-2776 or directly for further information.

Premium Collections

Benefits premiums for Health and Welfare coverage are deducted from the employee’s paycheck. These deductions can occur on a pre-tax or after-tax basis depending on the election and employee’s job category. Individuals are responsible for reviewing the benefit deductions and retirement plan contributions on their pay statement for each benefit plan every pay period. If there are any discrepancies, please contact the Benefits Department.

Learn more on the Payroll website:

Employees with less than annual payroll assignments (i.e. 09/09 or 04/04 pay types) are double deducted premiums, January – April, for coverage through August 31 each calendar year. Individuals with insufficient funds to cover the entire cost of the premium through payroll deductions for the May through August time period have the responsibility to pay the amount due in full by May 1.

COBRA Coverage

Benefits through the University of Pittsburgh continue until the last day of the month in which the individual works. If the individual’s final paycheck does not have sufficient funds to collect benefit premiums, a missed deductions invoice will be issued. At the time of coverage termination, individuals will be extended the option to enroll in COBRA coverage unless they are an official retiree of the University of Pittsburgh. Individuals who obtain retiree status are extended retiree benefits. Learn more about retiree benefits.