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Chapter VI. Full-time Faculty Benefits

The content of this chapter is applicable to only full-time faculty.


6.1.   Compensation

6.2.   Continuation / Conversion Privileges

6.3.   Credit Union

6.4.   Emeriti Retiree Health Plan

6.5.   Family and Medical Leave Act Policy (“FMLA Leave”)

6.6.   Flexible Spending Accounts

6.7.   Health and Welfare Plan

6.8.   Income Protection During Disability

6.9.   Jury Duty

6.10.  Medical Leave of Absence Policy

6.11.  Pay Day

6.12.  Plan Amendment/Termination Procedures

6.13.  Relocation

6.14.  Retirement

6.15.  Social Security/Medicare

6.16.  Substance Abuse Program

6.17.  Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Program

6.18.  Tuition Remission Policy and Exchange Policies

6.19.  Unemployment Compensation

6.20.  Worker’s Compensation Insurance



1. Faculty members are paid on the basis of a scale established by the dean and the provost and approved by the president. The scale relates salary to academic rank. Within each rank, salaries are further divided into three "steps." Minimal length of service has been set for eligibility to advance in step or rank, but all promotions are based on merit as defined by the Rank, Tenure, and Promotion Committee and the administration. Special stipends for certain academic disciplines may be recommended by a faculty committee and approved by the dean, provost, and president.

2. Faculty contracts are prepared by the Dean's Office. Faculty members are normally paid in twelve equal monthly installments unless specified otherwise and noted on the employment contract. Checks are issued on the 26th of each month. If the 26th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, checks will be issued on the last business day
before the 26th. At the discretion of the administration, faculty members may receive their checks earlier than the 26th during the month of December due to the Christmas holidays and during certain other University holidays.

3. Paychecks may be picked up from the divisional offices. Faculty members who wish to receive paychecks at home may do so by informing the Center for Human Resources of their correct address. An automatic direct deposit of net pay is available to regular monthly employees. Contact Payroll for a Payroll Deduction Authorization and Agreement form if this option is wanted.

4. If an error is found in a paycheck, the faculty member should inform the Dean's Office, which will investigate the problem and report to the Center for Human Resources. Payroll deductions are made for individual retirement contributions, obligatory taxes, voluntary payroll deductions, insurance premiums, retirement contributions, dependent care, and other voluntary contributions, or for other purposes as announced from time to time by the Center for Human Resources (see Faculty Benefits section of this handbook).


1. Following termination of employment or loss of dependent status, continuation and/or conversion options may be available. Contact the Center for Human Resources for details.

2. Faculty members changing from full-time to part-time status should discuss benefits implications with the Center for Human Resources.

(modified 2012)

Pepperdine University faculty members are eligible to join the credit unions that are available at the time of enrollment.

(Included since 2006)

1. The Emeriti Retiree Health Plan provides the following benefits:

a. A tax-advantaged way to invest and accumulate assets exclusively to help meet future retiree medical expenses — the Emeriti Health Accounts.

b. A specially-designed health insurance program building upon the foundation of Medicare — the Emeriti Health Insurance Options.

c. An innovative tax-free way to pay for other qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses — the Emeriti Reimbursement Benefit.

2. Participation in the University’s Emeriti Plan is mandatory for the faculty member when he or she fulfills the eligibility and participation requirements outlined in the summary plan description and the plan document. Once eligible, the University will make contributions to the Emeriti Retiree Health plan accounts for the faculty
member. The faculty member may also make voluntary contributions to the accounts.

(modified 2012)

An eligible U.S. faculty member whose spouse, parent, or child has a serious health condition which requires his or her care, or who is having, adopting, or beginning foster care of a child, may apply for a family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA Leave). An eligible faculty member who has a serious health
condition that prevents performance of his or her job functions may apply for a medical leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA Leave). When a leave is taken due to a serious health condition of the faculty member or an eligible family member, the faculty member will be required to provide certification from a qualifying health care provider with the leave request.

(modified 2012)

The Tax Saver Option allows a faculty member to pay certain health care and dependent care expenses with tax-free money (on a pre-tax basis). Faculty members may enroll during their initial eligibility and need to re-enroll each calendar year to take advantage of these savings.

(modified 2012)

The Health and Welfare Plan provides each employee with a set of core benefits and offers the opportunity to choose from a variety of options in other benefit categories.


1. The University provides income protection for faculty members during periods of illness or disability. In order to comply with policies of the state and the insurance carrier so that faculty members who are eligible may qualify for State Disability Insurance or the disability terms of the University’s long-term disability insurance contract, faculty members who have missed work for more than seven calendar days because of illness or disability should notify the Office of the Dean and the Center for Human Resources.

2. As a general rule, full salary will be continued up to a maximum of 180 days (less any state disability payments for which the faculty member is eligible). After 180 days, the long-term disability insurance plan pays 66.67 percent of the faculty member’s base monthly salary up to a maximum benefit of $10,000 per month. Such benefits
may continue until social security normal retirement age as long as the faculty member is disabled, or as specified in the insurance contract.

(Approved 9/16/04 by UMC; 9/17/04 by Steering)

The University considers jury duty to be an important civic responsibility. Having loyal, conscientious, honest citizens serving on our juries is a basic and essential element of our American system of justice. Therefore, it shall be the policy of this University to encourage jury service by its faculty members when their duties to the
University permit.


1. A medical leave of absence is approved time off for faculty members who are unable to work due to personal illness or injury and who do not qualify for, or have exhausted their medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act Policy
(“FMLA Leave”).

2. As soon as a faculty member becomes aware that he or she is (or will become) for any medical reason, temporarily disabled from working, the faculty member must promptly advise the dean and the Center for Human Resources in writing of the reason and the anticipated commencement date and duration of the disability. A
doctor’s certificate specifying the expected duration of the disability is required prior to approval of a medical leave of absence.

3. Medical leaves of absence without pay are available to all faculty members for the period of their disabilities, to a maximum of 12 months following the last day of active work (see “Income Protection during Disability”). However, the University may require periodic verification of a faculty member’s inability to work (including, for example, a periodic statement from the faculty member’s doctor or examination by a doctor designated by the University). A doctor’s release may be required prior to return to work following an absence of three or more day’s duration. Any
misrepresentation of requested leave or disability will be grounds for discharge. Faculty members who do not return at the end of their leaves of absence will be deemed to have resigned. Faculty members who return to work at the end of their leaves will be returned to their former positions if they are still available or as prescribed by law.

4. The total medical leave under this policy is available for a maximum of 12 months following the last day of work. If this policy is used in conjunction with a medical leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act Policy (“FMLA Leave”), the total combined time may not exceed 12 months.

5. NOTE: This policy applies to all temporary medical disabilities, including pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions. The University’s policy for pregnancy leave due to actual disability is the same as its policy for all medical disability leaves.

6. University benefits under the Health & Welfare Plan and any voluntary employee programs will be continued during a medical leave of absence, provided the employee pays the required premiums. The benefits manager will contact the individual on leave regarding payment of applicable premiums.

7. The faculty member should contact the Center for Human Resources for information regarding California State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits. Application may be made at a local State Disability Office or by mail using a form available at the Center for Human Resources or the doctor’s office.

6.11.  PAY DAY

Faculty members are paid on a monthly basis. Checks will be mailed from the Payroll Office to the faculty member’s designated address or bank on the 26th of each month. Faculty members may contact the Payroll Office to set up direct deposit. If the 26th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the salary check will be issued on the last business day prior to the 26th.


1. The University reserves the right to change, suspend, amend, or end the benefits program and the terms on which benefits, if any, will be available to its employees. The vice president for finance and administration of the University is authorized to amend, modify, or terminate the benefits program at any time and from time to time.
Any such amendment, modification, or termination will be made by a written amendment executed by the vice president for finance and administration of the University.

2. Please do not interpret any statement in this handbook to mean that a faculty’s participation in the University’s benefit program is a guarantee of continued employment or is intended to be an employment contract of any form.

(modified 2012)

The University will reimburse reasonable relocation expenses for new faculty members as agreed to in writing within the guidelines.  These guidelines can be found on the Provost's website: http://www.pepperdine.edu/about/administration/provost/content/policies/faculty-relocation-policy.pdf.

(modified 2012)

1. Sources of retirement income for faculty members at Pepperdine University are threefold:

• The Social Security program of the federal government;
• The Pepperdine University Retirement Plan; and
• The faculty member’s personal savings/investment program.

2. The Social Security program commences following the 65th birthday of the faculty member or later as determined by the Social Security Administration. The Social Security program is subject to the laws of the federal government, and both the faculty member and the employer contribute equally.

3. Annuity income generally begins at the normal retirement date. However, following termination of employment, the faculty member may begin to receive annuity income at any time which may be either earlier or later than the normal retirement date. A faculty member’s annuity starting date may only be deferred beyond April 1 of the
calendar year following the year in which he or she attains the age of 70½, if he or she is still employed by the University.

4. The faculty member may receive a payment of benefits of the full or partial value of his or her account in the form of life annuity income any time after age 59½ while he or she is still employed by the University.

5. The University’s Retirement Plan is mandatory for the faculty member when he or she fulfills the eligibility and participation requirements outlined in the summary plan description and the plan document. Additional information about the University's Retirement Plan can be found at: community.pepperdine.edu/hr/benefits/retirement/[BROKEN LINK]

(modified 2012)

Faculty members participate in the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program, commonly known as Social Security and Medicare. Deductions are mandatory and are made from each paycheck in the amount prescribed by law. 

(modified 2012)

The University provides assistance to employees who are dealing with personal or family drug or related problems. Services include periodic seminars, medical treatment covered by one of the insurance programs, and confidential psychological counseling through PacifiCare Behavioral Health (contact them directly and confidentially at (800) 998-8448).


1. In addition to the Pepperdine University Retirement Plan, the University provides an opportunity for all faculty members to participate in tax-deferred annuity programs without regard to age and years of service. For application and additional information, please contact the Center for Human Resources.

2. The University offers this program without endorsement. The TDA program is not intended to be an employer-sponsored pension plan for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended.

(Since 1988; modified 2006; 2012)

One great advantage of working in higher education is the access to a wealth of concentrated knowledge in the form of distinguished faculty, prominent guests, groundbreaking research, thoughtful discussions and vast libraries.  Pepperdine is pleased to extend to qualified employees and their dependents one of its most generous benefits of continued education through the faculty/staff tuition remission program. For the details of this benefit please visit community.pepperdine.edu/hr/benefits/benefit-package/tuition.htm  or for more specific details visit community.pepperdine.edu/hr/content/tuition-benefit-policy.pdf

(modified 2012)

Pepperdine University participates in the California State Unemployment Compensation Plan. Coverage is provided for unemployment transpiring through no disqualifying fault of the faculty member. 

(modified 2012)

Pepperdine University has complete Worker’s Compensation coverage for all of its faculty members for injuries that occur while at work. This coverage is provided at no cost to the faculty members. Faculty members must report any work-related injury or illness to their chairpersons and to the Center for Human Resources as soon as practicable
to insure medical treatment. Salary coverage protection is mandated by state law at the rate of 2/3 of regular salary or the state maximum, whichever is less. It is the chairperson’s responsibility to notify the Center for Human Resources the day on which a work-related injury or illness occurs.