The days of one-size-fits all employee benefit packages are a thing of the past. Today, employers like Sidwell Friends School understand that as employees transition through life’s many stages that their benefits needs may change. In order to meet the challenge of supporting its faculty and staff, Sidwell Friends offers a combination of traditional and innovative benefits. The offerings range from health insurance and retirement plans to assistance with home ownership and affordable access to wellness programs.
Sidwell Friends School strongly believes that its commitment to understanding the needs of its employees’ demographics and their unique needs supports the School in its goal to recruit, motivating and retain truly exceptional employees.
All full-time employees, part-time faculty working a minimum of .5 FTE, and part-time administrative employees working a minimum of 20 hours per week, for a full contract year, are considered benefits eligible. Listed below are brief descriptions of the benefits.
Health, Dental and Vision Insurance
Employees have four choices in medical insurance: two HMO plans and two PPO plans. One of the PPO plans is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), with an associated Health Savings Account (HSA).
The School contributes 60-90% of the premium costs depending on the plan selected (i.e. HMO versus PPO) and coverage level (i.e. employee only, employee + family, etc). Dental and Vision insurance are also provided with both in and out of network coverage. Benefits eligible employees may enroll in Health, Dental and Vision plans effective the first of the month following their hire date.
Life, AD&D, and Long Term Disability Insurance
Life, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Long Term Disability Insurance are all provided at no cost to the employee. Each employee is insured with a term life policy with a face value of two times the employee's gross annual salary effective on date of hire. After a six month waiting period, employees become eligible for Long Term Disability Insurance.
Employees have the option to purchase supplemental life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance for themselves and their dependents. No medical evidence required up to $50,000 for the employee, $25,000 for spouse, and $10,000 for child. Any benefit amounts, in excess of $50,000, requires medical evidence. This is a portable benefit.
403(b) Retirement and Tax-Deferred Annuity plans administered through the Teacher's Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) are available:
- Defined Contribution Retirement Plan - Eligible new employees may participate in the School's Defined Contribution Retirement Plan on the first of the month following the completion of 1 year of service with the school (Years of service with any educational organizations and organizations that meet the eligibility requirements of 403(b)(1), within the 12-month period immediately preceding employment with the school, will be counted for satisfying this requirement). For your first 15 years of service you will receive a 7% match from the School if you contribute a mandatory 3% of your regular earnings per pay period. Please see page 24 of the Employee Handbook for subsequent increases in the School's match.
- Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan - Eligible new employees may begin participation in the School's Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan on the first of the month following employment with the School. Employees may elect to make voluntary pre-tax contributions to a TIAA-CREF RA or GSRA contract. If you choose to make voluntary contributions under this plan, we recommend making these contributions to a GSRA contract as it is a more flexible contract. The school does not provide a match for voluntary contributions.
Flexible Spending Accounts
The Flexible Spending Accounts allow employees to shelter from taxation a predetermined amount of salary to be used for non reimbursable medical, dental and dependent care expenses. Employees may elect to contribute up to $2,500 in the healthcare FSA plan, as of 1/1/2013 (per IRS regulations). A limited healthcare FSA option is also available for employees enrolled in the HDHP medical plan. Employees may contribute up to $5,000 in the dependent care account.
Metro SmarTrip® Benefits
The School offers a commuter benefit to eligible employees in the form of a $35 monthly subsidy that is preloaded on the enrolled employee's SmarTrip card. Employees may elect to have additional amounts applied to their card through semi-monthly pre-tax payroll deductions.
Early Childhood Learning Center
The School has a Early Childhood Learning Center where priority is given for children of faculty and staff. The Center, located at the Lower School campus in Bethesda, Maryland, welcomes children from 6 weeks to age 3. The Center is licensed by the State of Maryland and meets the highest standards of quality care.
Employer Assisted Housing
Sidwell offers eligible employees up to $20,000 repayable loan to assist employees in buying their first home in the DC metropolitan area. This loan is repayable over a five year period through payroll deductions. Currently, the interest rate is 6%.
Legal Resources provides employees and their families with affordable legal services to protect their legal rights 24 hours a day on and off the job in all fifty states. All benefits are effective immediately at the time of enrollment and pre-existing conditions are covered. Once enrolled, employees must stay with the plan for a period of 12 months.
Sports & Health Club
Sidwell Friends employees are offered special membership rates to all local Sports & Health Club locations. Membership dues are collected through payroll deductions on a semi-monthly basis.
Auto & Homeowner's Insurance Discounts
Through our partnership with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Sidwell Friends employees receive discounted rates on both homeowner's and auto insurance policies.
Long Term Care
This voluntary benefit helps employees handle medical and other expenses they may incur when they are unable to care for themselves. While today’s cost for this plan varies depending on individual circumstances, it may, nevertheless, have an important place in financial planning.
This benefit specializes in family disability coverage and catastrophic coverage. In case of accidents or illnesses, AFLAC members receive timely cash benefits as it correlates to their specific plans. Premiums are collected semi-monthly, pre-taxed, through payroll deductions.
Faculty vacation follows the academic schedule. In addition, full-time faculty members are granted two personal days and part-time faculty working at least a .5 contract year will be granted one.
Staff employees receive paid leave for nine holidays, a half day before Thanksgiving and the day after, five days during winter break, and five days during Spring break. In addition, vacation leave is accrued effective the date of employment. Accrual rate increases after the first, second, third, fourth and fifth year of employment. Leave for part-time employees is prorated.
Daily Lunch is provided to all employees at no charge.
Parking is provided for free for regular employees at both our Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC campuses.