Benefits for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Administrators

Insurance Benefits and Pre-tax Plans

Retirement Benefits

Other Benefits

Annual Leave Credit for Prior Experience

Insurance Benefits and Pre-tax Plans

Health, dental and life insurance, including short and long-term disability plans are provided by the State of Minnesota and administered by Minnesota Management and Budget according to the appropriate provisions of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Personnel Plan for Administrators.

Health and Dental Plans

The State of Minnesota offers several health plans networks under the umbrella of the Advantage Health Plan. Since some health plan networks serve only select areas of Minnesota, options may vary by area. Participants may chose from any plan available in the area where they live or work.

Dependent children are covered under the state employee group insurance program up to age 26. Coverage usually takes effect five to six weeks from the date of hire. To cover this waiting period, administrators are encouraged to apply for a continuation of insurance coverage with their previous employer. The choice of health care provider depends on where the employee lives or works.
Pre-existing medical conditions will not exclude any newly hired employee from state health and dental coverage. Employees share some of the cost of medical services by paying co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance. The amount of cost sharing depends on the cost level of the enrollee's primary care clinic. Health and dental premiums are taken as a semi-monthly pre-tax payroll deduction. Each fall, during Open Enrollment, employees may change health plans. Dental plans may be changed during Open Enrollment in odd-numbered years.

Life Insurance and Income Protection Plan

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities provide administrators with a choice of two income protection plans:

One option provides employer-paid life insurance in an amount equal to one-and-a-half times the administrator's annual salary and employer-paid long-term disability insurance with a 150 day elimination period. The administrator may obtain shorter elimination periods by paying an additional premium through payroll deduction.

The second option provides employer-paid life insurance in an amount equal to two times the administrator's annual salary. Administrators selecting this option may purchase group long-term disability insurance at their own expense.

Pre-tax benefits

All insurance-eligible state employees are automatically enrolled in the Health and Dental Premium Account which allows health and dental premiums to be deducted from payroll before federal, state, and Social Security taxes are taken. It is possible to waive this benefit.

The Dependent Care Expense Account (DCEA) allows employees to pay for certain day care expenses with pre-tax dollars. DCEA may be used for children under the age of 13 who qualify as dependents for tax purposes, or for disabled or elderly parents who live with the employee.

Medical Dental Expense Account (MDEA) allows reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses from a similar pre-tax account.

Employees may enroll in the pre-tax accounts at the time of hire or during an Open Enrollment period held each fall for state employees.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement

Administrators are eligible for an employer funded Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) each year. The HRA can be used to reimburse the employee for certain out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses. Unused funds in the HRA account can roll-over from year to year, without being forfeited, as long as the participant continues to be actively employed or chooses COBRA coverage at termination of employment. If the employee reaches a certain threshold amount, further contributions will be directed to a Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP). The HCSP is administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS). With a few exceptions permitted by law, administrator severance payments are made into an HCSP account.

Unlike the HRA, the HCSP account is owned by the employee, who can direct the investment of his/her account into any of the State Board of Investment (SBI) funds. The HCSP cannot be used to reimburse for medical/dental expenses while a participant is actively employed. Instead, the HCSP fund is used to pay for these expenses (or for insurance premium expenses) upon separation from State service.


There are other optional insurance coverages available for purchase. More information is available on the Minnesota Management and Budget website.

Retirement Benefits

Retirement Plan Options

Minnesota State College and University administrators are eligible to participate in either a Defined Contribution (DC) retirement plan or Defined Benefit (DB) retirement plan.

Administrators with no prior State of Minnesota service will default into the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP). The employer contribution to IRAP is 6.0 percent. The employee contribution to IRAP is 7.5 percent.  IRAP is managed by TIAA-CREF and allows for employees to self-select investment options.

Administrators with prior creditable service in a State of Minnesota defined benefit plan (MSRS, TRA, PERA) will default into the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) defined benefit plan. The employer contribution to TRA is 8.13 percent. The employee contribution to TRA is 7.5 percent. 

Administrators, in their first year of employment, will have the irrevocable right to elect the retirement vehicle which was not their default.  Thus, those defaulting to IRAP may elect prospective TRA coverage and those defaulting to TRA may elect IRAP coverage.

Under either plan, contributions and investment earnings are tax sheltered. This means contributions are made with pre-tax dollars and income taxes are not payable on these amounts until they are withdrawn at retirement or separation from state service.

Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRP)

After two years of full-time service with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, administrators are enrolled in the Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRP) which is a defined contribution plan offering the same investment options as the IRAP plan. Employees contribute five percent on gross compensation over $6,000, limited to the maximum set by the bargaining unit or personnel plan. The employer matches the employee contribution.

Voluntary Tax Deferred Savings Plans

In addition to the primary retirement plans, employees may chose to invest part of their income in tax-deferred savings plans.

State Deferred Compensation Plan: This is a non-qualified retirement plan (sometimes called a 457 plan) which is managed by the Minnesota State Retirement System. Participants sign up for salary deferral contributions and direct the investment of those contributions to various approved vendors.

Tax Sheltered Annuity Program: This is a qualified retirement plan (sometimes called a 403b or TSA plan) which is managed by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Participants sign up for salary deferral contributions and direct the investment of those contributions to the same funds available under the IRAP plan.

Administrators can participate in either, or both, of the voluntary programs. Up to five unused days of annual leave can be liquidated to either program annually under certain circumstances.

Learn more about our retirement plan options

Mandatory and Voluntary Retirement Plans brochure

Other Benefits

Annual Leave

The Chancellor, Presidents, and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs receive eight days of annual leave at the end of the first full pay period of the fiscal year, and one day at the end of each of the remaining pay periods worked during each fiscal year of employment.

All other administrators new to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities accrue at least 23 days of paid annual leave each fiscal year. (See Part 4, Annual Leave Service Credit.) Ten days of annual leave are advanced upon hire. After five years of continuous state service, administrators accrue 27 days of paid annual leave each fiscal year. This increases to 30 days after 12 years of employment and 33 days after 20 years of employment. Administrators with prior state service may accrue annual leave based on total years of state employment and annual leave balances may be transferred to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Annual leave may only be used in one-half (1/2) day increments. Administrators employed on a less than full time basis will have annual leave pro-rated.

Annual leave may be accumulated to any amount provided that once every twelve months, prior to the end of the last full pay period in September, the total accumulation is reduced to 34 days. Any balance over 34 days transfers to the administrator's banked sick leave account. Administrators may also convert up to five days of annual leave each fiscal year to a tax sheltered annuity or deferred compensation account. Upon separation from state service, an administrator shall be paid for his/her accrued but unused annual leave not to exceed 34 days.

Sick Leave

New administrators are advanced 15 days of sick leave upon hire. Beginning with the 31st pay period of employment, one-half day of additional sick leave will be accrued each pay period. Administrators with prior state service may have previous accumulations of sick leave transferred to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Sick leave may only be used in one-half day increments. Use of sick leave extends to illness in the immediate family and may be used for medical appointments for the employee or members of the family.


Minnesota State Colleges and Universities observes ten designated holidays each year.

Relocation Expenses

Administrators are eligible for reimbursement of certain relocation expenses. Reimbursable expenses may include: travel, moving costs, realtor fees and miscellaneous expenses.

Tuition Waiver

Administrators employed at least 75 percent time, their spouse or dependent children are eligible to enroll tuition free in courses offered by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities not to exceed 24 semester credits each fiscal year. Laboratory, student activity fees and special course fees are not waived.

Annual Leave Service Credit

The Chancellor and Presidents have discretion to grant new administrators credit for prior employment outside our system or state government for purposes of determining their annual leave accrual.

What follows are the guidelines for granting credit for prior work experience:

The intent of annual leave service credit is to recognize that many external candidates for administrator positions are already in mid-career and are likely to experience a reduction in their Annual Leave benefit if they change employers. Therefore, it would be reasonable to grant a new administrator credit for past employment that would factor into a decision to offer them employment. It is not our intent to credit all periods of prior employment, such as summer jobs, internships, and sporadic employment.

We offer the following rules of thumb, with the understanding that there are exceptions to every rule.

Creditable experience is typically professional or managerial in nature. Consulting or owning and operating a small business in a related area would be considered professional or managerial experience.

Creditable experience will typically come after the candidate obtained at least a baccalaureate or associate degree.

Creditable experience will typically be full-time or nearly full-time. There is no prorating for part-time employment, but someone who worked a day a week should not receive credit on the same basis as someone employed full-time.

Creditable experience may come from employment outside of higher education. A Dean of Allied Health and Nursing may have been employed as a nurse in a hospital or clinic setting. A Vice President for Administration may have been the CFO of a private company. This experience applies.

Most creditable periods of employment will have provided benefits, such as paid time off and insurance. It is possible that some very relevant experience did not. For example, if a candidate for a position in a business program has owned and operated their own business, they probably didn't have a formal leave accrual program, but the experience may have helped to make them a better candidate.

As a rule, credit is not given for adjunct faculty employment. This is typically very part-time form of employment and may overlap with other employment that is more relevant. An exception might be made for someone who held two or more concurrent adjunct appointments if the aggregation of that those appointments constituted their principal employment and is otherwise considered related to their employment with us.

As a general rule, military service is not credited. The exception might be the administrator who had a military career beyond the usual two or three year minimum commitment and performed work that was comparable to a professional civilian career. For example, someone who had a twenty year career in the military in finance or facilities management may be credited if that work is related to their employment with us. Military service they spent as a Jeep driver or rifle squad leader would likely not be credited.

Calendar days and/or months of employment are counted the same way the length of state service is calculated for Annual Leave accrual purposes. Prior experience for Annual Leave accrual purposes is not calculated in the same way as prior experience for step placement as a faculty member. There is no prorating depending on the type of employment, or calculation of FTE. If the candidate held two or more concurrent positions, credit is not grated twice for the same time period.

The Personnel Plan requires that administrators submit written requests for credit for prior experience. These requests should specify the dates of each period of employment they want credited. Presidents should respond to all requests in writing. The response should specifically state which periods of employment are being credited and the effective date of the change in accrual rate. The date shall not be earlier than the date of the administrator??s request.

Revised: March 2014