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Insurance Plans and Fair Compensation

It is not expected that 100% of the cost of the benefits will necessarily be paid by employer-congregations. Congregations are urged to determine benefits coverage prior to the establishment of salary (or clergy housing allowance in the case of a minister); benefits should not be the subject of bartering about compensation.

The Office of Church Staff Finances (ocsf @ uua.org) can also provide information about establishing a Section 125 Cafeteria Plan that offers more flexibility to better meet the individual benefit needs of employees.

Health Insurance

The Principles of Fair Compensation call congregations to (for full-time employees):

  • pay 80% or more of the cost for full-time employee's individual coverage, and
  • pay 50% or more of the cost for dependent coverage.

A congregation is still considered fair compensation if the portion of premiums paid by the employer is pro-rated for less than full time staff.

Coverage should be made available either through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Health Plan or another plan with comparable benefits. The UUA Health Plan allows congregations to provide coverage to all employees working a minimum of 750 hours annually. Any eligible staff member may sign up for this coverage.

Congregations should consider reimbursing a spouse the amount withheld from the spouse’s wages to provide health benefits for the congregation’s employee—up to but no more than the cost to the church of providing that benefit directly.

Leadership Level: Congregations will pay for 80% of the premium for employees and 50% of the premium for eligible dependents.

Group Insurance Plans: LTD, Life/AD&D, Dental

Long Term Disability Insurance

The Principles of Fair Compensation call congregations to:

  • purchase long-term disability (LTD) insurance for all eligible employees and then add the cost of that coverage to the employee’s W2, ensuring that any payable LTD benefit will be tax-free.

Employees working at least 750 hour a year are eligible for the UUA Long Term Disability plan. The plan provides 66 2/3% of salary (and housing for ministers) to employees determined to have a payable LTD claim. There is a 90 day elimination period, after which benefits are payable for an approved claim.  LTD insurance is inexpensive, provides low-cost risk insurance for the congregation, and long-term protection for its employees.

Leadership Level: Congregations will pay the employee premium and will designate the cost of this premium as imputed income for the employee.

Life/AD&D (Accident Death & Dismemberment) Insurance

The Principles of Fair Compensation call congregations to:

  • reimburse the cost of employee term life insurance.

Many congregations will continue to pay wages to dependents of a deceased employee for a reasonable period; group-term life insurance is inexpensive and will provide low-cost risk insurance for the congregation. All employees working at least 750 hours per year are eligible for the UUA Life/AD&D Insurance.

Leadership Level: Congregations will reimburse the cost of the employee premium.

Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance is a voluntary option for Fair Compensation Congregations.

For more information contact ocsf @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

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