New Hire Fact Sheet

Before you get started, it's important to understand some basic details.


Am I eligible for benefits?

The University will review your job classification and appointment to determine your eligibility.  Typically, you must be in a regular, benefits eligible position of 50% or greater appointment to be eligible for employee benefits.

As an eligible employee, you can add the following dependents to your plans. 

  • Spouse, Common-Law Spouse, Civil Union Partner, Domestic Partner
  • Dependent children up to age 27
  • Qualifying disabled children over age 27

Once enrolled, adding a dependent requires Dependent Eligibly Verification. Required documentation must be received within 31 days of the enrollment.

A dependent only needs to be verified once unless additional documentation is requested by Employee Services.

Deadlines and Defaults

When do I need to enroll?

You have 31 days from your official hire date to enroll or waive coverage.  Your hire date can be found on your university welcome letter.  If you fail to enroll or waive your coverage within the deadline, you will be automatically enrolled in the following default plans:

Medical Plans Coverage Cost
CU Health Plan - High Deductible Employee Only $0/month
Dental Plans Coverage Cost
CU Health Plan  - Essential Dental Employee Only $0/month

Once you submit your elections, or you are defaulted, your elections will remain for the plan year.  You may not make any changes to your elections until next Open Enrollment, unless you experience a qualifying life event. 


When is the Plan Year?

The plan year is from July 1-June 30.  Your enrollment as a new hire will be effective for the remainder of the plan year.

When will my coverage begin?

Your official hire date determines when your coverage will begin.  You can find your official hire date on your university welcome letter.  If your hire date is the first of the month, your coverage will begin immediately, regardless of the date you actually enrolled. 

For example:  If you were hired on May 1, your benefits will be effective May 1. 

If your hire date is any other day than the first of the month, your coverage will begin the first of the following month.

For example:  If your hire date is May 2, your benefits will be effective June 1.

Deductions on your paycheck

When will payroll deductions begin?

Insurance premiums are deducted from the same month that they occur. 

For example: The deductions from your paycheck in July covers your July premiums.

As a new hire, your first deduction depends on the time of month you enroll.  Enrollments received after the 10th of the month may not be reflected in that month’s paycheck, resulting in a double deduction the following month.

When is my mandatory retirement plan effective? 

The university will review your job classification and appointment to determine your eligibility for a mandatory retirement plan.  There are two plans: the 401(a) Plan and the PERA Defined Benefit Plan. In most cases, employees will only be eligible for one plan.

CU’s 401(a) Retirement Plan:  Participation is mandatory for eligible faculty and university staff.   If you meet this criteria, you will be enrolled automatically on the first of the month following your hire date. Contributions will be made via automatic payroll deduction at the end of each month.

PERA (The Public Employees’ Retirement Association’s Retirement Plan): Participation is mandatory for Classified Staff.  You will be automatically enrolled on your hire date, and contributions will be made via automatic payroll deduction from each monthly paycheck.

PERA Choice:  Some employees have a choice between the two plans. If your job classification is faculty or university staff, and you have an account with PERA upon hire, you will receive a PERA choice letter. You must make a one-time irrevocable choice to participate in either CU’s 401(a) Retirement plan or the PERA plan. You have 30 days from your hire date to make this election.  If you do not take action, you will automatically be placed in the PERA plan, effective from date of hire. Once your enrollment is processed, contributions to your retirement plan will be made the same month you choose a plan unless it was received after the payroll cutoff date. Any necessary adjustments to your contributions will be made on the next available pay period.