Benefits Overview

TJJD employees have a valuable benefits package that includes paid leave benefits, insurance benefits, and retirement benefits. The following information is provided to give you a very brief overview of your state-offered benefits. More detailed information regarding insurance, deferred compensation and retirement benefits for state agency employees is provided on the ERS website, www.ers.state.tx.us. The ERS New Employee Benefits Guide, available on the ERS website, is an excellent source of information. If you have questions or need information, you also may use the Customer Service Direct program on the ERS website.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided within this document. However, in the event of any discrepancy between this publication and the official documents, contracts, statutes, and administrative rules governing the programs administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas, those documents, contracts, statutes, and administrative rules will prevail. ERS administers and oversees retirement, insurance, deferred compensation, and flexible benefits programs for the State of Texas.

Part-time employees should keep in mind that this overview applies to full-time employees. For information regarding part-time benefits, please see the Benefits Overview for Part-Time Employees form, HR-175PT.

BENEFIT WAITING PERIOD

Sick Leave
No waiting period.
TJJD Sick Leave Pool
One year combined TJJD, Texas Juvenile Probation Commission or Texas Youth Commission service
Vacation
Six (6) continuous months of state service
Health Insurance
90-day waiting period for new hires and for rehires who have not continued GBP coverage through COBRA. Health insurance becomes effective the first of the month following the 90-day waiting period.
ERS Membership
90-day waiting period for new hires and for rehires that have a break in State service of more than one calendar month. The initial retirement contribution begins the first of the month following the 90-day waiting period.
Educational Assistance Program
One year of combined TJJD, Texas Juvenile Probation Commission or Texas Youth Commission service.

BENEFIT

BENEFIT DETAILS

College Credit upon Completion of Training
Newly hired staff may receive up to five (5) college credit hours from Navarro college.  Upon successful completion of the Pre-Service Training Academy at Navarro College, staff will be eligible for four (4) college credit hours.  An additional one (1) college credit hour may be earned upon the successful completion of the 160 hours of juvenile correctional officer (JCO) on-the-job training.

As of January 1, 2012, the State of Texas requires that all students under 30 years old must be immunized against bacterial meningitis before enrolling in an institution of higher education.

Students under 30 years old who provide proof of immunization on the first day of class will receive academic credit upon successful course completion.

Students under 30 years old who do not provide proof of immunization on the first day of class will receive continuing education credits upon successful course completion, instead of academic credit.

Direct Deposit
Direct deposit of monthly salary warrants to employee’s designated financial institution(s).
Sick Leave
Eight (8) hours per month with unlimited accumulation.
Sick Leave Pool
The limitation on sick leave time withdrawal for a catastrophic illness/injury is 240 hours during a 12-month period.
Family Medical Leave
Based on paid leave balances, up to 26 workweeks paid or unpaid leave for military caregiver leave and up to 12 workweeks paid or unpaid leave for all other family medical leave. Qualifying employees must have 12 months of state service and have physically worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period preceding the requested leave period.
Holidays
12 Days/Year*

(*average; specific number varies annually)

Vacation
Full-time employees earn vacation hours each month based on total years of state employment. Vacation leave may be used after six months of continuous state service.

LENGTH OF STATE SERVICE (1)

VACATION LEAVE ACCRUAL RATE

MAXIMUM CARRYOVER TO NEXT FISCAL YEAR (2)

Less than 2 years 8 hours 180 hours
At least 2 but less than 5 years 9 hours 244 hours
At least 5 but less than 10 years 10 hours 268 hours
At least 10 but less than 15 years 11 hours 292 hours
At least 15 but less than 20 years 13 hours 340 hours
At least 20 but less than 25 years 15 hours 388 hours
At least 25 but less than 30 years 17 hours 436 hours
At least 30 but less than 35 years 19 hours 484 hours
At least 35 years or more 21 hours 532 hours
(1) For purposes of computing annual leave accrual rates for a working retiree who retired from state employment on or after June 1, 2005, months of state service include only the months of state service accrued after retirement.
(2) Vacation balance over maximum carryover converts to Sick Leave from one fiscal year to the next (September – August).
Other Paid Leaves

Amateur Radio Operators:  Up to 10 workdays per fiscal year for eligible employees.

Assistance Dog Training: Up to 10 workdays per fiscal year.

Bereavement/Funeral: Up to three workdays paid leave when a death occurs in the employee’s immediate family. These workdays need not be consecutive. Days identified for such use require approval.

Jury Duty: Leave during jury service.

Military Leave: Up to 15 workdays (120 hours) per federal fiscal year when called to active duty or training (October 1 – September 30).

Bone Marrow or Organ Donors:  Up to five workdays per fiscal year for bone marrow donors and up to 30 workdays per fiscal year for organ donors.

Red Cross Disaster Service Volunteer: Up to 10 workdays per fiscal year for eligible employees.

Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Volunteers Training: Up to five workdays per fiscal year to attend firefighter or emergency medical services training conducted by state agencies.  Leave may also be granted to respond to a fire or medical emergency.

State or Federally Authorized Urban Search and Rescue Team: Up to 15 eight-hour workdays per federal fiscal year to engage in authorized training or duty authorized by proper authority.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Volunteers:  Up to five hours each month to participate in mandatory training or to perform volunteer services.

Hazardous Duty Pay

Hazardous duty pay is authorized at the rate of $10.00 per month for each year of employment in a hazardous duty position. An employee must be employed in a hazardous duty position for 12 consecutive months before receiving hazardous duty pay.

Longevity Pay

Full-time employees in a position authorized to receive longevity pay starts receiving such pay after accruing two years of lifetime service credit. Longevity pay is increased by $20 monthly after each two years of lifetime service credit for a maximum of 42 years.

Homes for Heroes’ Home Loan Program

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) administers the Home Loan Program. This program currently offers a 30-year fixed low interest rate mortgage and a 5% down payment GRANT.

In order to qualify, you must:
Be a full-time TJJD employee in a position authorized hazardous duty pay; and
Be a first time homebuyer (as defined by TSAHC).

Eligible employees may access the TSAHC website (www.tsahc.org) for application details. Program is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Disount Purchase Program

State employees can shop online and buy products and services such as computers and appliances, theme park tickets, and much more at discounted prices at www.DiscountProgramERS.com. There is no enrollment period or membership fee.

Educational Assistance Program

Assistance to employees meeting eligibility criteria (PRS.19.25) seeking to obtain a degree in a field related to the mission and needs of the agency.

  • $750.00 for Undergraduate studies
  • $850.00 for Graduate studies
  • Up to 8 hours of educational assistance leave per week to attend class
Texas Tuition Promise Fund

The Texas Tuition Promise Fund is a Section 529 prepaid tuition plan. It allows you to lock in the cost of undergraduate college tuition and required fees, protecting you against future tuition inflation.

Workers’ Compensation

Employees sustaining a work-related injury or illness may be eligible for one or more of the following benefits: Medical; Temporary Weekly Income; Impairment Income; Supplemental Income; Lifetime Income or Death/Burial Benefits as determined by the State Office of Risk Management (SORM).

Employee Assistance Program

Information and referral to confidential professional counseling for a variety of personal, financial or legal problems. (No cost to the employee.)

Texas Legal Protection Plan

The TLPP is a group legal benefit. Participation is voluntary and makes legal services more affordable. The employee establishes a bank draft payable directly to the TLPP.

TexFlex Flexible
Spending Accounts

Employees with active employee benefits are eligible to participate in TexFlex Flexible Spending Accounts. TexFlex provides options to pay eligible health care and dependent care expenses with money placed in a TexFlex account that has been deducted from gross pay prior to social security and federal withholding taxes.
Flexible Spending Account – Health Care – Minimum $15/month; Maximum $416/month ($5,000/year).
Flexible Spending Account – Day Care – Minimum $15/month; Maximum $416/month ($208 a month, if married and file separate returns).

TexFlex funds may be used for eligible health and dependent care expenses incurred during the plan year; September through August with an additional grace period through November 15th. Claims for expenses incurred by November 15th must be submitted for reimbursement by December 31st of each year.

TexFlex elections will automatically renew each September 1st unless election is revised during Annual Enrollment.

Deferred Compensation Programs

The Texa$aver program helps employees save additional income for retirement. The Texa$aver program offers two voluntary retirement plans: the 401(k) Plan and the 457 Plan. Both plans allow employees to set aside a portion of each month’s paycheck before income taxes. Employees have a wide range of investment choices, and contributions and earnings in the Texa$aver program will not be taxed until they are withdrawn from the plan(s).

Age 50 and Over Catch-Up and Three-Year Catch-Up Provisions:
Employees age 50 or older may be eligible to defer amounts in excess of the maximum otherwise allowed to both the 401(k) and 457 plans under the Age 50 and Over Catch-Up Provision.  
Employees within three years of eligibility for retirement may be eligible to defer amounts in excess of the maximum otherwise allowed to the 457 Plan under the Three-Year Catch-Up Provision.

Employees cannot participate in the Three-Year 457 Catch-Up Provision if participating in the Age 50 and Over Catch-Up Provision in the 457 Plan.

Note: All new employees are automatically enrolled at 1% and this is a payroll deduction.

Premium Conversion

Insurance premiums other than for dependent life, short-term and long-term disability are deducted from gross pay prior to social security and federal withholding taxes.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is available to all employees. If enrolled, employees may also enroll their eligible dependents. Premiums are based upon the option selected.

Disability Insurance

Short-term and/or long-term disability provides the employee with a portion of his/her income if disabled and unable to work.

Short-term: Employee cost is based on monthly salary as of 9/1 or date of employment, if later. Provides up to 66% of your insured monthly salary for up to 5 months after 30 days or lapse of sick leave whichever is greater. Benefits from other sources, such as workers’ compensation and disability retirement reduce short-term disability insurance benefits. Rate: $0.26/$100 of monthly salary.

Long-term:  Employee cost is based on monthly salary as of 9/1 or date of employment, if later. Provides up to 60% of your insured monthly salary after 90 days or lapse of sick leave whichever is greater. Benefits from other sources, such as workers’ compensation and disability retirement reduce long-term disability insurance benefits. Rate: $0.63/$100 of monthly salary.

Life Insurance

The State pays the total premium costs for full-time employees’ health coverage and basic term life insurance of $5,000 term life with $5,000 of AD&D coverage. The basic plan provides coverage for employees only; it does not include coverage for employees’ eligible dependents.
Employees may purchase additional optional term life insurance one, two, three or up to four times their annual salary. Rates per $1,000 of annual salary based on age. After the first 31 days of employment, the lower two elections require approval through evidence of insurability. The higher two elections always require approval through evidence of insurability.

Dependent Life: The rate for an employee’s eligible dependent term life is $1.38 per month ($5,000 term life for eligible dependents with AD&D coverage).

Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

Provides additional financial protection in the event of certain accidental injuries or accidental death to employees and their families.
Employees may purchase voluntary AD&D coverage up to $200,000 in multiples of $5,000 with minimum purchase of $10,000. Employees may purchase AD&D coverage for eligible dependents. Employee coverage is for the amount of the principal sum ($10,000 to $200,000) and benefits are payable to your designated beneficiary only if you die as a result of an accidental death. If you have Member and Family coverage, eligible dependents are entitled to a percentage of the employee’s coverage amount and payment for the accidental death of your dependents will be as follows:

Death of Spouse: 50% of the employee's amount;

Death of Child: If there is a spouse eligible for this insurance, 5% of the employee's amount for each child. If there is no spouse eligible for this insurance, 10% of the employee's amount for each child.

Rate: Employee Only: $.02/$1,000 coverage Employee & Family: $.04/$1,000 coverage

Health Insurance
New hires and rehires who have not continued GBP coverage through COBRA or currently covered as a GBP dependent will have a 90-day waiting period before they are eligible for comprehensive health and prescription drug benefits, along with State paid $5,000 basic term life and $5,000 AD&D coverage. Employees enroll based on the county where they live or work. The State pays the total cost of health coverage for full-time employees, and pays 50% health coverage costs for full-time employees’ eligible dependents.

HealthSelect:
HealthSelect of Texas is available to all State employees.
Co-pay: $25 for office visit when utilizing PCP
Network: 80/20, no deductible ($2,000 per person calendar year out of pocket)
Non-Network: 60/40, $500 individual deductible ($7,000 per person calendar year out of pocket)
Out-of-Area: 70/30, $200 individual deductible ($3,000 per person calendar year out of pocket)

HMO:
Rates vary and coverage is not available statewide.
Co-pay:$25 for an office visit
Co-pay:$150 day for inpatient hospital care, $750 maximum up to 5 days per hospital stay
Maternity: $40 for first office visit

EOI: No Evidence of Insurability

*Tobacco User Fee effective January 1, 2012

If the employee or his/her covered in GBP health insurance use tobacco, the employee will pay a Tobacco User Fee of $30 per person, up to a maximum of $90, more per month.  A tobacco user is a person who uses any form of tobacco, including cigarette, pipe, cigar, or smokeless tobacco.

Health Insurance Opt-out Credit

New hires and rehires will have a 90 day waiting period before they are eligible for the Health Insurance Opt-Out Credit. In addition, the employee must certify that he/she has comparable health insurance coverage. Employees cannot use the Opt-Out Credit for health insurance provided by the GBP.  The employee will receive a monthly credit of up to $60 to apply towards the premium for dental benefits and/or voluntary AD&D coverage.

Notice to TRICARE members: Due to federal legislation, TRICARE members can now participate in the Opt-Out Credit.

Notice to MEDICARE members:  MEDICARE members cannot participate in the Opt-Out Credit.

Pharmacy Plan (Prescription Drug Program)

You will have an option to participate in the Mail Order Program available with HealthSelect, and all HMO coverage. Through the Mail Order Program, you will receive up to a 90-day supply of prescription drugs. Medications on the health plan’s long-term (maintenance) medication list will cost less when purchased through the mail order program.

TIER

TYPE OF DRUG

RETAIL NON-MAINTENANCE

(up to 30 day supply)

MAIL ORDER MAINTENANCE

(up to 90-day supply)

RETAIL MAINTENANCE

(up to 30-day supply)

Tier 1 Generic $15 $45 $20
Tier 2 Preferred Brand Name $35 $105 $45
Tier 3 Non-Preferred Brand Name Supply $60
$180
$75
Up to 30-day
Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) Regular Retirement Benefits

As a state agency employee, you have the security of a retirement benefit that provides a lifetime of monthly payments when you qualify for retirement based on your salary, service credit, and when you choose to retire.  Starting after your 90th day of employment), 6.5% of your monthly salary is deducted pre-tax and deposited into your personal state retirement account.  The State contributes an amount equal to 6.95% of your salary to the ERS retirement fund (not your personal state retirement account.).

IF YOU BEGAN WORK ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2009, AND YOU DON’T HAVE PRIOR STATE SERVICE ON ACCOUNT WITH ERS:

  • You will become “vested” and can receive a retirement benefit at age 65 if you work for the State for a minimum of 10 years and keep your retirement contributions on account with ERS.
  • You also are vested with 10 years of service when you meet the Rule of 80*—when your age and service add up to 80. (In both cases, you can use five years of military service toward the 10 years.). 
  • As a vested employee, you may qualify for insurance benefits at retirement.
  • You may apply your unused sick/annual leave to your service credit to make your annuity larger, but you may not use it to reach retirement eligibility.
  • If you meet the Rule of 80 and retire before age 60, your annuity will be reduced by 5 percent for each year you retire before age 60. This reduction will be capped at 25 percent. 
  • Annuity percentage increases with additional years of service up to 100% maximum. Formula: 2.3% for each year of creditable service multiplied by the highest 48 months average salary.

IF YOU BEGAN WORK PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2009, AND WORKED LONG ENOUGH TO BECOME AN ERS MEMBER, OR IF YOU HAVE PRIOR STATE SERVICE AND LEFT YOUR MONEY ON ACCOUNT WITH ERS:

  • You will become “vested” and can receive a retirement benefit at age 60 if you work for the State for a minimum of five years and keep your retirement contributions on account with ERS. 
  • You also are vested with five years of service when you meet the Rule of 80*—when your age and service add up to 80.
  • To receive insurance benefits at retirement, you must work at least 10 years for the State and be age 65 or meet the Rule of 80. (In both cases, you can use five years of military service toward the 10 years.)
  • You may apply your unused sick/annual leave to your service credit to reach retirement eligibility or to make your annuity larger. 
  • Annuity percentage increases with additional years of service up to 100% maximum. Formula: 2.3% for each year of creditable service multiplied by the highest 36 months average salary.
Service Purchase

Employees are eligible to purchase from ERS, previously refunded service, service that has never been established (e.g., 90-day waiting period), eligible military service, or Additional Service Credit (ASC).  Purchase of refunded service is subject to interest charges of 10% per year. No interest is charged if eligible military service is purchased in the first year of State employment. ASC provides additional service credit to increase years of service and provide a higher lifetime annuity and is available to employees with 10 years of actual service. Eligible employees may purchase up to three years of additional service credit in yearlyincrements.

All service that is purchased adds to the employee’s eligible service credit for retirement purposes. Purchases can be made with a lump sum payment or by transfer of funds from a Texa$aver 401(k) Plan or 457 Plan account. Payroll deduction is not available for purchase of any type service purchase.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided within this document. However, in the event of any discrepancy between this publication and the official documents, contracts, statutes, and administrative rules governing the programs administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas, those documents, contracts, statutes, and administrative rules will prevail.