Human Resource Services

Home | Jobs@UNI | My Benefits | Forms | About Us

My Benefits | I am Newly Hired

I am Newly Hired

A Qualified Life Event - Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

Welcome to UNI! Becoming a newly benefits eligible employee allows you to make changes to your insurance plans as it is a qualified life event.

Before You Begin

Employees must complete several forms for their new employment. A Form I-9, direct deposit for payroll, as well as tax forms must be done. These forms, as well as other pertinent new hire information such as parking pass instructions, can be found on our New Employee webpage. Please view the 'Before You Begin' section.

Benefit Eligibility Criteria

Non-temporary Employees

Non-temporary employees must work at least 20 (50%) hours per week and have an appointment for nine (9) months or greater.

Temporary Faculty

Temporary faculty must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. they are appointed for nine (9) months working 20 hours (50%) a week or more or;
  2. they are appointed for a second consecutive semester at 20 hours (50%) a week or more.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Eligibility

If you don’t meet one of the above criteria, you could still be eligible for ACA health insurance.

Benefit Orientation

Employees who are newly eligible for benefits will be invited to attend a new employee orientation. Learn about the benefits UNI offers, how to use them, and how to enroll.

Benefit Enrollment

UNI utilizes its own Benefits Self-Service system to enroll, change, and track benefits. Upon your hire, you will be sent three emails from the Benefits Team.

  1. A welcome email with information on new hire orientation and benefits. Registration is required for Parts 1 and Parts 2 of orientation. Benefits will be presented during Part 2.
  2. An initiated life event email with the subject line 'Benefits Self-Service Request Initiated by HRS' specifically for benefits such as health, dental and vision. This request has a 30 day deadline to enroll from your hire date.
  3. An initiated life event email with the subject line 'Benefits Self-Service Request Initiated by HRS' specifically for your retirement plan. You have 60 days to enroll in a retirement plan from your hire date.

If you have a request that is still in incomplete or working status you will be sent reminder emails to complete your request.

You can always check on the status of your enrollments or to confirm your enrollment elections have been submitted, by logging into Benefits Self-Service and select View My Self-Service Requests. Any requests still in Working, Incomplete, or WF-Rejected, have not been submitted to HRS for processing.

You may also delete any request that has not been submitted by selecting 'View My Self-Service Requests' from the Benefit Self-Service menu and click the trash can.

Verifying Dependents

Effective July 1, 2024, due to a recent audit, all employees having a qualified life event and making any changes to their family health and/or dental coverage must verify all dependent relationships by providing corresponding legal documentation.

Examples of documentation:

  1. Spouse - marriage certificate, common law spouse affidavit
  2. Domestic Partner - notarized domestic partner affidavit
  3. Child - birth certificate which includes parents names, court order, or guardianship paperwork

Since this impacts all life events, including open enrollment, we are notifying employees now so documentation can be easily provided when required. At the time of your life event, you can securely upload to UNI Works (link to the UNI Works site) or bring into the Human Resource Office at Gilchrist 025. All documentation needs to be viewed by HRS staff, but no documentation will be retained after the initial review (i.e., if provided electronically, it will be purged). Do not send any personal documents through email as this is not secure.

Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

You can enroll in coverage or add dependents to your health, dental, or vision insurance within 30 days of being newly hired or becoming newly eligible for benefits. Coverage will be effective the first of the month after the eligibility date. Any changes outside of this 30 day period must be made during the Open Enrollment period.

Coverage is available for:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse
  • Common law spouse or domestic partner
  • Children to age 26;
    • Children who are unmarried full-time students over the age of 26;
    • Qualified children over age 26 who are totally and permanently disabled, provided the disability existed prior to age 26.

Covering a domestic partner on your health and dental insurance has certain tax implications called imputed income.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – Health Care and Dependent Care

You can change or enroll in an FSA due to a qualifying life event. Your deductions will start the month after the election is made but you are able to submit for reimbursement for claims from the date the baby was born.

Child Care

UNI Child Development Center

The UNI Child Development Center (CDC) is a child care and instruction resource for the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Northern Iowa located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The CDC is a part of the College of Education.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The university's EAP program is administered by GuidanceResources® and provides several online resources on how to find care, as well as how to choose care for your child/ren. Our EAP can provide a personalized search and referrals. Employees are able to work with a Work-Life Consultant that will conduct a search in the requested area for child care providers that meet the criteria requested. Employees will receive a personalized report based on the search results. For further assistance call EAP at 855-784-2057.

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (Iowa CCR&R)

If you are needing child care outside of your home, Iowa CCR&R is a free local program that will work with families to find licensed child care. This program provides families with information to make informed choices and refers families to child care providers that are most likely to meet their specific needs

The Parent Referral Hotline (855-244-5301) connects you with a specialist to offer referrals for in home child care or daycare centers.

Life and Long Term Disability (LTD)

Life and Long-term disability (LTD) coverage is automatic and you are enrolled on your hire date. This premium is paid in full by the university. Principal Financial Group is the insurer of our university-sponsored life insurance and LTD plans.

Your group term life insurance is for active UNI employees where upon death, assets will be paid to a designated beneficiary.

LTD is designed to replace a portion of your income when you become disabled and are unable to work because of injury or illness. The monthly benefit is equal to 66 2/3% of your earnings before becoming disabled, but will not exceed $6,667.

Voluntary Term Life (VTL) Insurance

Eligible employees can elect voluntary term life for themselves, their spouse or their children at the time of hire. The premium for VTL includes accidental death and dismemberment insurance and can be calculated for each coverage amount by viewing page four of the Group Voluntary Term Life Coverage document. Coverage in any amount can be elected at the time of hire without proof of good health. After your initial hire date, any amount elected over $20,000 will require a proof of good health questionnaire to be reviewed prior to enrollment. If elected, coverage will start the first of the month after the new hire date. You have 30 days from your new hire life event to elect this benefit.

Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services

Many of us can face challenges every day that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions. Visit our Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services webpage for services that may be useful to you and/or your family.


If you need to update your life insurance beneficiaries due to a qualifying life event, please use the Benefits Self-Service System.

For IPERS beneficiaries, please log into the IPERS website to update.

To update your TIAA beneficiaries, please log onto the TIAA website to update.

Retirement Plans


UNI has two university-sponsored retirement plans to choose from.

  • Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System

    The Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System (IPERS) is a University Sponsored Retirement plan option that offers a defined benefit at retirement. The guaranteed lifetime monthly benefit payment is calculated using a formula based on years of service and highest average salary. Your payment is not tied to the performance of the stock market and IPERS does all the investing and takes on all the risk. More Info: IPERS
  • TIAA

    TIAA is a defined contribution University Sponsored Retirement plan. Employees who participate are issued individually owned 403(b) retirement accounts. Benefit amounts at retirement are not guaranteed and the overall benefit amount is tied to the performance of the stock market. Employee’s elect their own investments and take on the risk of the performance of the account. More Info: TIAA

If eligible, you have 60 days from the date of hire to elect a University Sponsored retirement plan.

Tax-Deferred Annuity

A Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan (TDA) allows you to invest in fixed and variable annuities and mutual funds in a tax-deferred account which allows you to save more for retirement outside of the university sponsored retirement plans. You have the choice of contributing in a pre-tax and/or after-tax options. Contributions are not matched by the university.

You can elect to enroll, change, or waive a TDA plan at any time.

Paid Time Off

Eligible employees accrue sick and vacation time for their own use, as well as receive university paid holidays.

Jump to Top