March 6, 2014

CU ranks highly among peers for faculty-staff benefits programs

The University of Colorado's faculty and staff benefits packages ranked near the top 25 percent in an analysis of programs offered by CU and 15 similar competitors.

The study, conducted in 2013 by consulting firm Aon Hewitt, also reveals that the university has an above-market retirement program and richer, highly subsidized medical plans than its peers. Of particular note is the CU Health Plan, which Aon Hewitt found to have an above-average cost-efficiency ranking of 114 percent, based upon the relatively low amount of money each CU employee pays toward the university's self-funded medical plans.

Among the study's other highlights:

  • CU's health plan costs are increasing at a slower rate than those of its competitors.
  • Employer retirement contributions at many peer universities have decreased or had no changes.
  • CU has made a handful of modest benefit improvements, which have increased its position relative to its peers.
  • Several peer universities offer more robust tuition benefit programs—including funding for employee dependents.
  • While CU offers a slightly higher than average amount of paid vacation days than its peers, its 10 paid holidays—set by the State of Colorado—rank below average.
  • To improve its overall benefits program, CU should consider enhancing its active and retiree life insurance programs, and its tuition benefit program.

Aon Hewitt last analyzed how CU compared to peer universities in 2010, following the economic downturn. In that study, the university ranked near the 50th percentile across all benefit areas.

Read a summary of the study