Employment & Benefits
This section provides an overview of many benefits available to exempt and non-exempt staff. In the event of conflict between the overview provided in this handbook and the plan document or insurance plan, the plan document or insurance plan will govern. Complete descriptions are not possible in the handbook; employees should contact Human Resources for specific plan details. The Labor Agreement governs in the case of Union employees in all aspects of this section. Regular employees who have a schedule involving a (.46) FTE or above are eligible to participate in the College’s benefit programs.
Carleton College will comply with all applicable laws such as FMLA, federal, state, and any applicable regulations.
Domestic Partners and the College Benefit Program
Domestic partners of eligible faculty and staff members may participate in many of the College's benefit plans. For purposes of this program, a domestic partner is an unrelated partner of either sex whose emotional and financial relationship to the employee is roughly equivalent to that of a spouse. Please contact the Office of Human Resources for further information.
Tax Issues Related to Non-Qualified Dependents (Domestic Partners)
- Qualified Dependents vs. Non-Qualified Dependents. Employees adding dependents to their health insurance programs must indicate whether their dependents qualify as internal revenue code (IRC) "eligible dependents" under Section 152.
- Treatment of Non-Qualified Domestic Partner Dependents (State and Federal Tax). Employees adding coverage for domestic partners or children who do not meet the IRC Section 152 definition of qualified dependents, will be taxed on the value of the coverage for the dependent coverage. We have determined the fair market value of dependent coverage. The fair market value is different for the number of non-qualified tax dependents enrolled on your plan and the insurance plan selected. We will include this excess value of the non-qualified dependent in your gross income and it will be subject to federal and state withholding and FICA and be reported on your form W-2 at the end of the year. There will be two taxation issues to be addressed.
- Employer Share of Premium Paid to Insurance Carrier. The fair market value (FMV) of the coverage provided for the non-qualified domestic partner and/or the partner's children, less any after-tax contributions, is taxable to the employee and subject to federal income tax, social security, and Medicare taxes. The FMV is not subject to retirement. The taxable amounts are to be regularly taxed as part of payroll reporting and reported in employees' paychecks and their annual Forms W-2 Wage and Tax Statements. The FMV captured will represent the actual premium paid by the College to BlueCross BlueShield for the coverage selected.
- Treatment of the Employee Contribution for Non-Qualified Dependents. The part of the employee contributions for non-qualifying Section 152 dependents cannot be deducted on a pre-tax basis because they are not eligible for the IRC Section 125 treatment. A rate sheet that reflects the correct combination of pre-tax and post-tax amounts, depending upon the plan option for non-qualified domestic partners is available on the Human Resources Web site.
- Tax Issues Related to Dental Insurance Coverage. Employee contributions for non-qualifying IRC Section 152 dependents cannot be deducted on a pre-tax basis because they are not eligible for the IRC Section 125 treatment. Therefore, employees covering domestic partners will have both a pre-tax and post-tax premium deduction. Please view the corresponding rate sheet on the Human Resources website which reflects the correct pre-tax and post-tax amounts by plan.