Benefits Philosophy Statement and Guiding Principles

Benefits are essential in the recruitment, retention, and engagement of the talented and diverse faculty and staff members needed to serve University of Puget Sound students.  To carry out Puget Sound’s mission and values and advance the university’s strategic plan, the university’s benefits program for faculty and staff members must necessarily reflect the finite resources available for benefits and the competitive environment in which the university operates.  The benefits program is, therefore, guided by the following principles:

  • To structure benefits, as well as benefits costs that are shared between the faculty or staff member and the university, in a way that allows the university to provide the greatest benefits to the faculty and staff community as a whole even as we recognize that there are significant differences in our individual family life circumstances and economic resources
  • To remain open to adjusting benefit priorities in response to changes in the university’s financial position, faculty and staff members’ interests and needs, the competitive market for faculty and staff members, or the external benefits landscape (e.g., changes in the benefits marketplace or in applicable laws and regulations) 
  • To offer meaningful and flexible choices that meet the changing needs of our diverse community of faculty and staff members with prudent default enrollment options for faculty and staff members who do not make timely choices about benefits programs for which they are eligible
  • To provide a core set of benefits that includes health care benefits, a retirement savings plan, and education benefits, understanding that economic and regulatory realities may mandate adjustments even to core benefits
  • To support the health and well-being of faculty and staff members, encouraging preventive care and providing opportunities to foster wellness
  • To structure insurance programs in a way that pools a large portion of individual risk, allowing Puget Sound and faculty and staff members collectively to purchase coverage at economical rates
  • To protect against catastrophic expenses or income interruptions for faculty and staff members  (e.g., in the form of paid leave benefits, disability insurance coverage, life and accidental death insurance coverage)
  • To incorporate, to the extent provided by law and cost-effective, tax-preferred benefit structures that allow faculty and staff members to save or defer taxes
  • To continuously put into practice sound financial management, fiscal responsibility, regulatory compliance, sustainability and administrative efficiency
  • To take advantage of the resources that Puget Sound is uniquely able to provide as a campus-based higher education institution (e.g., education opportunities, facilities use, subject-matter experts on the faculty and staff), thereby contributing to a positive work environment and culture
  • To recognize that benefits education and planning is a responsibility that is shared by the university and faculty and staff members--that we are responsible for informing ourselves about and remaining informed about university benefits and the choices available to us

Overview of University Benefits:

Links to most benefits topics can be found in the sidebar on the top right side of this page. Other commonly-requested benefits information is shown below:

Additional Resources