Summary of Benefits

This page last reviewed September 27, 2013


The information below represents a general summary of employee benfit programs. For additional and/or more detailed information regarding employee benefit visit the following benefit information sites:


CoBen State  Immediately (BU 16, 19 and Excluded) The Consolidated Benefits Program (CoBen) is part of the State's FlexElect Program.  Under CoBen, the State provides the employee with a total benefit allowance, rather than providing specific contribution amounts for health, dental and vision premiums.  This benefit allowance is used to pay for the total premium cost of the employee's health, dental and vision benefits.  Depending on the total cost of the benefit plan chosen, CoBen may allow an employee to receive additional taxable income each month, or offset out-of pocket premium costs.  For additional information regarding the CoBen benefit program, visit the California Department of Human Resources.
CoBen Cash State Immediately (BU 16, 19 and Excluded) There are two possibilities for an employee to receive CoBen Cash.  If the premium cost of the health, dental, and vision coverage selected by the employee is less than the total CoBen allowance for these premiums, the employee will receive the excess as CoBen cash in his/her pay warrant. Or, if the employee has coverage through another source (i.e., spouse or former employer), he/she may elect to receive cash in lieu of both health and dental coverage or for health coverage only.  In order to receive CoBen Cash in lieu of benefits, a Cash Enrollment Election Form must be completed. These payments are considered taxable income and are $155 if both State sponsored health and dental plans are declined and $130 if only State sponsored health is declined.  No CoBen cash can be received if dental coverage only is declined.  For more information visit the California Department of Human Resources.
FlexElect State  Immediately FlexElect is a voluntary program which offers eligible employees significant tax advantages and can increase employee take home pay.  Employees may elect to enroll in one or more available options (Cash Option - in lieu of health and/or dental insurance for employees who have coverage through another source; Medical Reimbursement Account: or the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account).  For additional information review the FlexElect Handbook.
Health State & Employee Immediately There are several health plans to choose from. The amount of the employer contribution to health employee health premiums is subject to the collective bargaining process and therefore is subject to change.  Check your  collective bargaining unit agreement for current contribution amounts. For more information regarding health benefits, visit the California Public Employees Retirement System.
Dental State Immediately There are two types of dental plans available, prepaid and indemnity. A prepaid plan requires the employee and his/her eligible dependents to use a dentist from a specific list of providers who contract with the selected prepaid carrier.  The monthly premium is fully paid by the State and there is no premium deducted from the employee's monthly pay warrant.  An indemnity plan does not use a provider network.  enrollees are allowed to select a dentist of their choice. The plan sets the limits that will be paid for each specific type of dental treatment.  A monthly premium copayment is deducted from the employee's monthly pay warrant.  For additional information, visit  California Department of Human Resources.
Vision State Immediately Employees appointed permanent, half-time or more, are automatically enrolled into the State's Vision Program. The effective date of coverage is based on when the Personnel Office processes the appointment document.  For additional information regarding the Vision Program benefit, visit the  California Department of Human Resources.
COBRA Employee and/or eligible dependent(s) Upon loss of health plan COBRA allows continuation of health, dental, or vision coverage 18 to 36 months for employees and/or their dependents who lose their insurance coverage due to a qualifying event. For more information, visit the California Public Employees Retirement System.
Employee  Assistance Program (EAP) State Immediately The EAP provides confidential assessment, short-term counseling and referral services to employees, their families, and supervisors for dealing with behavioral/personal problems. Such problems include financial, stress, psychological, legal, child care, family or marital issues, elder care, and alcohol and drug abuse. The primary objective of the EAP is to assist individuals in clarifying concerns and in resolving problems that affect work performance.
Bereavement Leave State Immediately In accordance with bargaining unit contracts, State employees are allowed paid time off in the event of the death of a family member.  As with any paid leave, employee's should review their collective bargaining agreement and consult with their supervisor for specific information regarding qualifying relationships and the amount of time available.
Jury Duty State Immediately In general, if called for jury duty, employees serve with no loss of pay as long as all fees received for jury duty are remitted to the State. Employees do not have to remit any payment received for travel expenses.  Employees must notify their supervisor if called for jury duty and discuss specific conditions concerning work schedules.  Employees on Alternate Work Week Schedules should return to the traditional 5-8-40 schedule during the duration of jury duty.
Cal/PERS Long Term Care (LTC) Employee Immediately The Long Term Care (LTC) program is a voluntary program available to CalPERS members and/or their dependents designed to assist in providing for long-term care of chronic medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's or arthritis. For additional information, visit the Long Term Care Program administered by the California Public Employees' Retirement System or contact United Healthcare at 1-800- 338-2244. 
Savings Plus Employee Immediately Savings Plus is a voluntary long term savings program designed to supplement employee retirement income.  Within the SPP, employees have two Internal Revenue Code (IRC) authorized plans from which to choose.  Both plans, the IRC Section 401(d) Thrift Plan and the IRC Section 457, Deferred Compensation Plan, allow selection from a wide range of investment options. For additional information, visit the California Department of Human Resources Savings Plus Program.
Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) State & Employee Immediately An employee who is disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth is entitled to take a Pregnancy Disability Leave for the period of the actual disability of six weeks up to four months.
FMLA/CFRA State & Employee After 12 mths. State service & 1250 hrs. in prior 12 mths. FMLA/CFRA authorizes up to 12 work weeks of paid or unpaid, job- protected leave with employer paid health, dental, and vision benefits for a 12-month period for eligible employees who have a valid family/medical reason. 
Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI) State Immediately NDI is a wage continuation program for State employees suffering a nonwork-related injury or illness. NDI provides up to $135 per week for 26 weeks during an injury or illness.  employees under the State's Annual Leave Program (ALP) receive 50% of their gross pay for the same period.  This program is fully paid by the State and is typically used after the employee has exhausted his/her sick leave.  For additional  information, visit the California Department of Human Resources.
Workers' Compensation  State Immediately Workers' Compensation benefits are provided to employees who are injured on the job or become ill due to the job.  Workers' Compensation is separate from personal health insurance.  There is no deductible and all approved medical bills are paid.  An employee who is injured or becomes ill as a direct result of his/her job, must report such injury or illness to his/her supervisor as soon as possible.  for additional information regarding the Workers' Compensation Program, visit the  Workers' Compensation site at the California Department of Human Resources.
Public Employees' Retirement System State Upon Qualification The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) provides retirement benefits for employees in a variety of governmental and local jurisdictions, including permanent, full-time state employees. An "active member" is a member of the CalPERS who has service or contributions on deposit and is currently employed by a CalPERS covered agency. For more information visit the CalPERS web site or call (916) 326-3000.
Alternate Retirement Program Employee First two years of employment The Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) is a mandatory savings plan for new, first-time State miscellaneous and industrial employees hired on August 11, 2004 through June 30, 2013 (*Pending legislation may change this date to December 31, 2012). The program, administered by the California Department of Hman Resources, provides for a special retirement savings account in lieu of the normal CalPERS retirement plan for the first two years of employment (Additional program information on the ARP savings plan is available from the California Department of Human Resources).
Part-time,Seasonal & Temporary (PST) Retirement Employee Immediately The Federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1990 requires that part-time, seasonal, or temporary public employees who are not members of a retirement system be covered either by a qualified retirement system plan or by Social Security. This requirement applies to State employees who are presently excluded from membership in the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), either because they work less than one-half time, are seasonal, or are employed on an intermittent or temporary basis.  The Part-time, Seasonal or Temporary Employee (PST) Retirement Plan is Administered by the Savings Plus Program within the Department of Personnel Administration. PST employees contribute 7.5% of their salary which is invested in an interest bearing account. After separation from State service for a period of 90 days or more, employees have the option of requesting a reimbursement of their PST funds. 
Death Benefits State Upon Death Active CalPERS members are provided death benefit coverage.  If a covered employees dies prior to retirement, their beneficiary may be eligible for a month allowance and/or a lump-sum payment of benefits.  This program is administered by CalPERS.
ScholarShare Employee Immediately California has created the Golden State ScholarShare College Savings Trust. This is a new "529" college savings program based on the Internal Revenue Code section which created qualified state tuition programs designed to assist California families and others save to meet costs of higher education. State employees can open a ScholarShare Account for any beneficiary (even someone who is not a realtive) for as little as $15 per pay period through payroll deduction. The money which is contributed to the account is placed in a trust which will invest in special investment portfolios designed to meet the needs of differnetly aged beneficiaries. Portfolios combine stocks, bonds and money market instruments. Earnings in a Golden State ScholarShare Account grow on both a federal and sate tax-deferred basis until the beneficiary is ready to go to college. Then, the funds in the account can be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses at eligible schools in California or anywhere in the country. For additional information, visit the ScholarShare Program.
Bonus, Incentive & Recognition Awards State Immediately ARB has the following award programs in effect:  Merit and Superior Accomplishment Awards, and Cal/EPA Customer Service Award.
Direct Deposit N/A Upon accrual of  40 hrs. of  leave Employees may direct the State Controllers Office to forward payroll warrants directly to their bank or financial institution.