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What to do when you’re

A new employee

Welcome to UC!

We’re glad to have you join our community and be a part of this vibrant institution that contributes so much to people throughout California and around the world.

As you begin your new job, you’ll need to make some important choices about your benefits. The good news is that there are a lot of resources and people to help you. Here’s what you need to know.

Paperwork (everyone’s favorite)

Every new employee has various forms to complete and paperwork to sign — whether you take care of those details before or on your first day. If your location has a new employee orientation program, try to attend! It will help you learn about UC and all the great things it offers, and give you a chance to meet colleagues.

UC will mail you a printed Welcome Kit with information about your benefits (including some materials included in this roadmap), but you can also find a PDF in the resources section below. 

If you are a union-represented employee, remember that your benefits are governed by your union’s contract with UC and may be different than the benefits outlined in UC’s publications. You can find the contract that applies to you on the UCnet Bargaining units and contracts page or directly from the union. If you have questions about the details of contract provisions and implementation, union representation or agency fees, contact the union directly.

Set up your benefits accounts

Your online UCPathUC Retirement At Your Service (UCRAYS) and Fidelity NetBenefits accounts make it easy for you to enroll in, review and manage your benefits. For example, you can confirm your choices, update your contact information, assign beneficiaries and more. Check out Your Benefits at a Glance for information about how to register for your accounts, and Your benefits accounts for help figuring out which is which.

Understand your options

We’re proud of the selection of benefits we offer, so we provide a lot of resources to help you understand your choices:

Enroll in health and welfare benefits within 31 days

You have only 31 days from your first day at work (or first day in an appointment that makes you newly eligible for benefits) to enroll in your health and welfare benefits. New faculty members have a second 31-day period of eligibility that begins on their first day on campus. Enroll online by signing in to UCPath

These are important decisions, so don’t delay! If you don’t take action during this 31-day period, you will be automatically enrolled in the following benefits:

  • Basic or Core Life Insurance plan (based on eligibility)
  • Basic Disability Insurance plan (if eligible)
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance

You will not be enrolled in health insurance and your family members won’t be covered.

In most cases, you won’t be able to make changes or enroll family members until the next Open Enrollment period.

Please note: Not all plans are available during every Open Enrollment period. For example, after your 31-day enrollment period, you may only enroll in voluntary disability coverage by submitting an application and statement of health to the insurance company. This is especially important if you’re considering becoming pregnant; if you wait to enroll until after you’re pregnant, your application will be denied. You may cancel your voluntary coverage at any time.

Choose your primary retirement benefits — enroll within 90 days, if applicable*

Effective July 1, 2016, UC offers eligible employees a choice of primary retirement benefit options. Participation in one of the options is required, and you choose the one that’s right for you. Your benefits are prospective from the date you enroll, so you can lose UC contributions (and service credit under Pension Choice) by waiting. 

Although you have a bit more time to make this choice — up to 90 days from your eligibility date (usually your hire date)  — it’s a good idea to start learning about your options right away. UC offers all sorts of resources to help, including classes and one-on-one counseling. When you’re ready, enroll online at myUCretirement.com/choose. UC’s contributions will begin, and your contributions will begin to be deducted from your paycheck, following your choice (usually within one to two pay periods). 

The sooner you enroll, the sooner contributions begin. If you don’t take action during this 90-day period, you will be automatically enrolled in Pension Choice, which includes a pension benefit through the UC Retirement Program (UCRP). Enrollment in Pension Choice is irrevocable — you may not choose another option later.

*Note that some newly-hired represented employees are not included in the Retirement Choice Program, but are eligible for retirement benefits through the UCRP 2013 Tier (including modified benefits for members of AFSCME, CNA and UPTE). Please see your contract, available on the UCnet Union-Represented Employees page, for details.

Name your beneficiaries

Be sure to name beneficiaries for your retirement benefits, life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment benefits. You’ll name beneficiaries on UC Retirement at Your Service (UCRAYS).

Be safe not sorry – mark your calendar now

Chances are all your information and benefits choices have been recorded accurately, but it’s always a good idea to be sure, rather than be surprised later on.  About 10 days after you have enrolled, we encourage you to check your personal account and your pay statement to verify coverage for you and your family members. If there are any errors, it’s your responsibility to notify UCPath of any errors. You can click on “Ask UCPath Center” in the portal to submit an inquiry or call the UCPath Center at 855-982-7284.

Verify your family members’ eligibility for benefits

If you enroll any family members in your UC-sponsored medical, dental and/or vision plan now or during a future enrollment period, you’ll be asked to provide copies of documents that verify their eligibility. Watch for a packet of materials in the mail from UnifyHR; it will provide information about the documents you need to provide and how to submit them.