Benefits Summary

updated 02/01/2024

The following information represents a brief summary of each benefit program available at Middle Tennessee State University and does not supersede provisions contained in each plan document. For additional information refer to the appropriate plan document or to MTSU policy.

1. Social Security

Participation in social security is required. FICA tax has two components: (1) Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI), and (2) Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI). For 2023, the OASDI employee contribution rate is 6.2%, and the OASDI wage base is $168,600. The HI employee contribution rate is 1.45%, and there is no limit on the amount of wages subject to Medicare taxes in 2022. MTSU matches the employee contributions for social security dollar for dollar. For highly compensated employees (income $200,000 or higher) an additional .9% tax will be assessed.

2. Retirement

Participation in either the state retirement plan or the optional retirement plan is mandatory.  For more information on retirement plans please click here.

3. Group Insurance Plan

This plan is provided for eligible employees of the State of Tennessee and includes term life insurance, basic special accident insurance, and medical/hospitalization coverage. The life and accident insurance is handled by Minnesota Life Insurance Company. The medical care portion is self-insured by the State of Tennessee and administered by the State of Tennessee Insurance Administration office.

Available options for health insurance include the Partnership PPO, Standard PPO and the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP). There are specific guidelines regarding the time frame in which you and your eligible dependents must enroll. Please see the insurance handbook for specific information regarding eligibility and enrollment. To review a comparison of some common benefit categories for the healthcare options, please see the Medical Options Comparison included in your new employee packet. For specific information about benefits, refer to the appropriate Member Handbook and Provider Directory.

All referenced materials are available on the Publications and Forms section of the State's Benefit Administration web page.

In many ways, the Partnership PPO and Standard PPO are identical. They cover the same types of services, treatments and products. However, there is an important difference between the two options: If you choose the Partnership PPO, you must commit to a partnership promise, and the state will reward you with lower costs.

The following features apply to both options. Refer to the PPO comparison chart or member handbooks for the plans' deductibles, copays, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum amounts.

  • Annual Deductible - Both options include an annual deductible. This is the amount you pay out of your pocket before the plan pays for hospital charges and other services that require coinsurance. It does not apply to services with a copay.

  • Coinsurance - Some services require that you pay coinsurance after you meet a deductible. Coinsurance is a percentage of the total cost.

  • Copays - Some services require that you pay a copay (instead of a deductible and coinsurance). A copay is a flat dollar amount.

  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum - The out-of-pocket maximum is the most you will pay for your deductible and coinsurance each year. It does not include your copays. Once you reach your out-of-pocket maximum, the plan pays 100% of covered medical expenses.

  • In-Network vs Out-of-Network Providers - You can see any doctor or go to any healthcare facility you want. However, if you use an "in-network" provider, you will always pay less. That's because an in-network provider agrees to provide services to our members at discounted rates. Broad networks of doctors and hospitals will continue to be available.

The premium for the Group Insurance Plan has two components; basic life and medical. The basic life portion is based on salary. The employee pays approximately 20 percent of the total cost, and MTSU pays the balance. More information can be found here.

4. Basic Group Term Life and Special Accident Insurance

Effective January 1, 2024, the state will pay 100% of the premiums for employee basic term life/basic accidental death and dismemberment insurance for central state government and state higher education emloyees. This will automatically occur in Edison. For more information visit the designated Life Insurance web page.

Basic term life: In 2024, designated beneficiaries will receive 1X the employee's base annual salary rounded to the next highest thousand ($50K minimum/$250K maximum, except when reduced at age milestones).

  • Eligible employees may opt to decrease coverage to $50,000 to avoid imputed income, as outlined in IRS publication 15B.

Basic accidental death and dismemberment: In 2024, employee coverage will be 1X basic term life insurance coverage.

Basic term life/basic AD&D coverage amounts decrease at ages 65 and over.

5. Optional Special Accident

This plan provides an additional amount of accidental death or dismemberment coverage. Participation is optional, and the employee pays the total premium. The amount of coverage available is based on salary. Click here for more information.

6. Disability Insurance

Faculty and administrators have the option of enrolling in a Long Term Disability plan. This Long Term Disability plan is designed to provide a monthly benefit if a subscriber becomes disabled. Both the premium and monthly benefit are based on salary. After a waiting period, determined by policy level, this plan pays a monthly benefit. This plan is only offered to regular benefited employees and three plan levels of coverage are available.

7. Optional Life Insurance

The state offers short-term disability and long-term disability insurance to full-time central state government, state higher education and state offline agency employees through MetLife.

Disability insurance helps cover your living expenses by protecting a porthion of your pre-disability income lost due to sickness, pregnancy or as a direct result of accidental injury. All parental leave, sick leave, annual leave and comp time must be used before benefits are payable.

8. State Dental Insurance

Optional dental insurance is available to all state plan members and the premiums are paid entirely by the employees.

Detailed members handbooks may be obtained from your agency benefits coordinator or from the Vendor Publications page.

  • Prepaid Plan - The Prepaid Plan provides dental services at predetermined copayment amounts, which are reduced fees for dental treatments when members receive service from their selected participating general dentist or from any participating specialist. There are no deductibles to meet, no claims to file, no waiting periods for covered members, no annual dollar maximum and pre-existing conditions are covered. Participants must complete a dentist selection card to designate their general dentist. If eligible family members have a different dentist selection, this information must be included on the card as well.

  • Preferred Dental Organization (PDO) - The PDO offers flexibility in that members may choose any dentist; however, members receive maximum benefits when visiting a participating network provider. No referrals are required and you or your dentist will file claims for covered services. Some services require waiting periods and limitations and exclusions apply.

9. Vision Insurance

The State of Tennessee offers vision insurance to employees. There are two plan options to choose from, the Basic Plan and the Expanded Plan. For more information click here.

10. Flexible Benefits

This program allows certain expenses to be paid from pre-tax rather than after-tax income as authorized under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Health Savings Account - If you enroll in the HealthSavings CDHP, a health savings account (HSA) wil be set up for you. You can contribute pre-tax money to your HSA through payroll deduction to cover your qualified medical expenses, including your deductible. The HSA is managed by Optum, a company selected and contracted by the state.

11. Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act requires MTSU to provide up to twelve (12) weeks of job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons.

12. Tax Sheltered Annuities 

Under current tax law Tennessee Board of Regents employees are permitted to put aside a portion of gross income and defer paying taxes on that income and the interest it earns until such time as you actually receive the funds (generally upon retirement).  The university offers a variety of deferred income plans, which make it possible for employees to take advantage of this provision in the law. Enrollment in these programs is voluntary and the decision to participate resides solely with each employee.  Deferred Compensation plans are geared for retirement, so contributions cannot be withdrawn before separation from service unless indicated by the plan document.  If you have any questions regarding eligibility or enrollment, please contact the HRS office at 898-2929.

2022 Maximum Contribution Limits

401(k) and 403(b) combined maximum age 50 or older:     $30,500
401(k) and 403(b) combined maximum under age 50:        $23,000
457 maximum age 50 or older:                                            $30,500
457 maximum under age 50                                                $23,000

  • 403(b) Plan – A 403(b) plan is a supplemental retirement plan which allow employees to save for retirement on a tax-deferred basis.  Contributions are made through regular payroll deductions and can be invested with any of the TBR approved vendors.  Contributions into a 403(b) plan cannot be withdrawn until separation from service.

  • 401(k), Roth 401(k) and 457 Plans – Two optional tax deferred retirement savings plans operated by the State; a 457 plan and a 401(k) plan.  Contributions are made through regular payroll deductions and contributions cannot be withdrawn before separation from service with very few limited exceptions.  The Roth 401(k) is an after-tax deferred plan.  Information on these plans is located on the State’s designated web page.

13. Holidays

MTSU observes 13 holidays per year. The following days are designated as official holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Day
  • University Holiday
  • Memorial Day
  • Juneteenth
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

In addition to the above named holidays, the President will declare five (5) additional holidays to be observed by MTSU to make a total of thirteen (13). Such discretionary holidays will be announced by the Human Resources Office. When a holiday falls on Saturday, the Friday preceding will be substituted. When a holiday falls on Sunday, the Monday following will be substituted.

Only employees who are in an active pay status on the workdays immediately preceding and following a holiday will receive payments for the holiday.

14. Annual Leave

Annual leave for administrators is earned at the rate of 15 hours (2 days) per month. The maximum accumulation is 315 hours (42 days). Faculty members do not earn annual leave.

Annual leave for support staff is earned initially at the rate of 7.5 hours (1 day) per month. At the 7.5 hour rate, the maximum accumulation is 225 hours (30 days).

15. Sick Leave

Sick leave for administrators and support staff is earned at the rate of 7.5 hours (1 day) per month. Faculty members earn 67.5 hours (9 days) of sick leave for full-time employment for a full academic year and 22.5 hours (3 days) of sick leave for full-time employment during the summer sessions. Administrators, faculty and support staff can accumulate an unlimited amount of sick leave.

16. Educational Benefits

Full-time employees are eligible to enroll in one credit course per term at any State of Tennessee public postsecondary institution.

Full-time employees are eligible for a 50% student fee discount for spouses and dependents when enrolled in undergraduate courses at Board of Regents, state universities, and University of Tennessee institutions.  Regular part-time employees who have one (1) or more years of continuous service working a minimum of 50% shall receive a pro rata discount based on the employee’s percentage of employment.  

Contact the Human Resource Services Office for information regarding additional educational assistance programs.

17. Faculty Sick Leave Bank

The Faculty Sick Leave Bank was established to provide emergency sick leave for faculty members who have exhausted their personal sick leave. Each year enrollment is conducted during the month of October. In order to become a member of the bank, faculty members are required to donate two (2) days of their personal sick leave.

18. Non-faculty Sick Leave Bank

The Non-faculty Sick Leave Bank was established to provide emergency sick leave for administrative and support employees who have exhausted their personal sick and annual leave. Each year enrollment is conducted during the month of October. In order to become a member of the bank, employees are required to donate two (2) days of their personal sick leave.

19. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

A short-term counseling service through Optum is available to all employees and their immediate family members. The EAP is also coordinated with the mental health and substance abuse program available through the PPO and POS health insurance programs. See literature available in Human Resources or link above for more details. You may also contact Optum at 1-855-437-3486.

20. Direct Deposit

Direct Deposit is mandatory for all new hires effective July 1,1997. MTSU is able to direct deposit to any financial institution. Click here for a Direct Deposit form.

21. State Park Discounts

State employees are offered discounts at State parks and recreation areas. Contact the State Park office at 615-532-0001 for additional information.

22. Charitable Contributions

MTSU Offers payroll deductions for charitable organizations.

23. Miscellaneous

Employees are eligible to purchase athletic tickets at a discount, free membership to the Recreation Center for the employee. Memberships for family are available and can be paid for through payroll deduction. The on-campus bookstore allows a discount to employees.


Human Resource Services 

Middle Tennessee State University 
2269 Middle Tennessee Boulevard 
204 Sam H. Ingram Building 
Murfreesboro, TN  37132-0001