Welcome to the Benefits and Retirement Resource Page 

The following information briefly describes the benefit programs of the institution available to all regularly employed staff and faculty members serving in a half-time or better capacity. Certain benefits may be continued upon your retirement, assuming you have 10 years of University System service and you meet the requirements for the associated plan of retirement.  Certain programs of insurance may be converted to private coverage upon separation. Conversion must be made during a 30-day period following the last date of employment. Contact Human Resources and Employee Development for further details.

  • Annual, Sick and Other Leave Types

    Annual (Vacation) Leave

    The rate of accumulating annual leave is based on the anniversary date of current employment. Accumulated vacation leave cannot exceed 360 hours at December 31 of each calendar year. Upon termination of employment, vacation accrued values may be paid to the staff member, not to exceed the 360 maximum.

    A full-time regular employee shall be entitled to vacation/annual leave earned at the rate of:

    • One and one-fourth working days per month (10 hours) for each of the first five (5) years of continuous employment;
    • One and one-half working days per month (12 hours) for each of the next five (5) years of continuous employment; and
    • One and three-fourths working days per month (14 hours) for each year after the completion of ten (10) years of continuous employment

    The accrual rate of vacation/annual leave for an hourly employee will be based upon his/her standard work commitment.

    • A regular employee who works one-half time or more but less that full-time shall accrue vacation/annual leave prorated on the basis of full-time employment. An employee who is employed less than one-half time shall not be eligible to accrue vacation/annual leave.

    A full-time faculty member employed on a twelve (12) month or fiscal year basis shall be entitled to vacation/annual leave earned at the rate of one and three-fourths working days (14 hours) per month.

    A temporary employee is not eligible to accrue vacation/annual leave.

    Vacation/annual leave may be taken with supervisor’s approval. Requests for leave should be submitted with as much advance notice as possible, except for unforeseen emergencies. The use of approved vacation/annual leave shall be recorded on institutional leave records.

    Annual leave will not be accepted from a benefited employee who moves from a State of Georgia agency to the University System of Georgia.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Annual Leave Policy

    Sick Leave

    Employed on a half-time or better regular basis are entitled to a monthly sick leave accrual. The maximum monthly accrual is eight hours per month for full-time staff. Other eligible staff members earn sick leave in an equivalent ratio to their percentage of employment. There is no limit on the amount of sick leave one may accrue.

    Sick leave may be granted at the discretion of the institution and upon approval by the supervisor for an employee’s absence for any of the following reasons:

    1. Illness or injury of the employee;
    2. Medical and dental treatment or consultation;
    3. Quarantine due to a contagious illness in the employee’s household; or
    4. Illness, injury, or death in the employee’s immediate family requiring the employee’s presence.

    Paid sick leave shall not be used until it is accrued.

    If sick leave is claimed for a continuous period in excess of one week, a physician’s statement is required to permit further claim of sick leave rights by the employee-patient.

    A terminating employee shall not accumulate sick leave or be entitled to receive sick pay after the last working day of his/her or her employment.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Sick Leave Policy

    Sick Leave Pool

    Valdosta State University participates in a Shared Sick leave ProgramThe Shared Sick Leave Program provides a means for employees to donate paid sick leave to a shared leave pool and for fellow employees who meet the eligibility provisions set forth in this policy to request leave from the pool.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    VSU Shared Sick Leave Program 

    USG Shared Sick Leave Policy

    Family Medical Leave 

    Any employee (including part-time and temporary) of the University System of Georgia, who has:

    • been employed by the University System of Georgia for at least twelve months total (not necessarily the last twelve months), and
    • worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave

    …is eligible to be granted family leave for conditions authorized by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

    The Act provides that employees may be granted up to twelve work weeks of job-protected leave during a 12-month period.

    Family Medical Leave is requested in OneUSG Connect under Time and Absence, Extended Absence Request. 

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Family Medical Leave

    Other leave types include:

  • Holidays

    Each institution within the System shall establish twelve (12) official paid holidays each calendar year for employees at the institution. Holidays shall be awarded in addition to earned vacation time to regular employees and faculty working one-half time or more, and shall be observed in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the respective institutions. In order to receive pay for the holidays, an employee must be in active pay status the day before and the day after the holiday. A terminating employee shall not be paid for any official holidays occurring after the last working day of employment. In the case of retirement or inter-institutional transfer, employees will receive pay for holidays occurring at the end of their final month of employment if in a paid status (work time, annual leave, sick leave, or other paid leave) on the last scheduled work day of the month.

    VSU Holiday Schedule

  • Healthcare Plans & Pharmacy Plan

    VSU has access to two Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) healthcare choices through the University System of Georgia. We do not have access to the HMO plans listed on the USG website.

    Consumer Choice HSA: Provides access to a Health Savings Account (HSA); BCBSGa in-network and out-of-network coverage.

    Comprehensive Care: BCBSGa in-network and out-of-network coverage.

    CVS/caremark is the pharmacy benefit manager for employees enrolled in BCBSGa healthcare plans.

    A tobacco surcharge will be added to the monthly medical plan premium for the use of tobacco products for covered adults under the plan . This charge applies to both active employees and retirees, but not COBRA participants. The surcharge is designed to encourage tobacco users to adopt a healthier lifestyle. If a tobacco cessation program is successfully completed and the use of tobacco is discontinued, the surcharge will be removed. There are many resources available to employees who need assistance with stopping the use of tobacco. 

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Healthcare

    Pharmacy Plan

    Tobacco Cessation Programs

  • Dental Plan

    Delta Dental offers two plan options — a Base Plan and High Plan. Both plans cover preventive services, like routine checkups and cleanings. However, there are important differences to consider.

    Resources and Detailed Information

  • Vision Plan

    The USG provides vision coverage through EyeMed, which features a large network of top national retail chains as well as local providers.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    Vision Plan Details

    EyeMed Providers

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)

    A U.S. Bank Health Savings Account (HSA) and/or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can save you money on eligible healthcare, dental, vision, and dependent care expenses. Your contributions to these accounts are tax-free, saving you money on federal and state income taxes and Social Security taxes. 

    Health Savings Account (HSA)

    The HSA is available to those enrolled in the Consumer Choice Healthcare Plan. Unlike an FSA, money left in your HSA rolls over from year to year. The USG also offers a matching contribution.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Health Savings Account

    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

    Contributions to an Optum Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for healthcare and dependent care expenses are tax-free, allowing you to save money on your federal and state income taxes and Social Security taxes. You must enroll each year in order to have one or more FSAs.

    • Healthcare FSA
      If you don’t have access to an HSA, you’re eligible to have a Healthcare FSA to cover healthcare, prescription drug, dental and vision expenses. 

    • Dependent Care FSA
      A Dependent Care FSA can help you pay dependent care expenses. These include daycare expenses and summer camps for children under age 13 and care for an elderly parent. 

    • Limited Purpose FSA
      Those enrolled in the Consumer Choice HSA healthcare plan can contribute  to a Limited Purpose FSA, which can be used for eligible dental and vision expenses only.

    IRS rules require you to forfeit any balance left in your FSAs at the end of the year — the “use it or lose it” rule.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Flexible Spending Account plans

  • Disability Insurance

    Short-term Disability (STD)

    If an employee is unable to work due to a non-work related illness or accident, disability coverage can help ensure income is still received. An employee must be totally disabled for a period of at least 14 days in order to be eligible for short term disability benefits. These benefits are paid at 60 percent of the employee's regular weekly pay and would continue for up to a period of 11 weeks if approved.

    Long-term Disability (LTD)

    An employee must be totally disabled for a period of at least 90 days in order to be eligible for benefits. The monthly income benefit is 60% of the base salary at the time the employee becomes disabled, up to $15,000. Benefits would continue until the employee can return to work, is no longer disabled, or reaches normal Social Security retirement age.

    * Important note: There is no proof of good health requirement for this benefit; however, an employee may not be eligible for LTD benefits for 12 months treatment for a condition was received within three months of when the disability coverage begins.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Disability Plans

  • Life Insurance

    Basic life insurance coverage valued at $25,000 is provided to all benefits eligible employees at no cost.  Additional opportunities for employees to elect life insurance are as follows:

    • Supplemental Life with AD&D
    • Dependent Life - Spouse and Child
    • Additional AD&D

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Life Insurance Plans

  • Critical illness, Accident, and Hospital Indemnity Plan

    These additional plans are available to new hires and during open enrollment each year.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Critical Illness Plan

    USG Accident Plan

    USG Hospital Indemnity Plan

  • Legal Plan

    The USG Legal plan, underwritten by Nationwide® Insurance, provides support for personal legal issues. The plan offers access to a national network of attorneys, plus concierge-level help in navigating common individual or family legal issues.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Legal Plan

  • LifeStyle Benefits

    LifeStyle Benefits offers discounts on helpful services such as emergency roadside assistance, identity theft protection, tax help line, pet care, fitness club discounts. Choose one of four packages to meet your needs.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG LifeStyle Benefits 


  • USG Perks at Work, Employee Discounts, Purchasing Power

    Perks at Work

    Take advantage of employee-only discounts and programs, plus savings on your favorite brands. As an added benefit, employees can invite up to five family members to join for free, too. Access your account at If you are a first-time user, click “Register for Free” and follow the instructions on screen. Enroll at any time throughout the year!

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Perks at Work

    Employee Discounts

    The following web page provides you with information on discounts available from local company's and discount partnerships.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    Employee Discounts 

    Purchasing Power

    Purchasing Power is an Internet retailer that eligible employees can buy brand-new, brand-name products from and have payments deducted through payroll, and pay for them easily over a 6 – 12 month time period. Shop thousands of premium products online, including computers, electronics, furniture, jewelry, appliances, luggage, online courses and vacation packages.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Purchasing Power

  • Employee Assistance Program

    USG provides employees and family members with free, comprehensive support through the Espyr Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Employee Assistance Program

    VSU Information Page

  • Tuition Assistance Program

    TAP is an employee supplemental educational assistance program.

    Resources and Detailed Information

    Tuition Assistance Program

  • Retirement Plans

    All employees of the University System of Georgia are required to participate in a retirement plan. Non-exempt employees are required to participate in Teachers Retirement System, which is a state sponsored plan. Exempt employees have the option to participate in either Teachers Retirement System or Optional Retirement Plan. Part-time employees must also participate in a retirement plan called Georgia Defined Contribution Plan per the 1992 Georgia Law, Act 996. 

    Teacher Retirement System of Georgia (TRS)

    • If you are a non-exempt or hourly paid employee working 20 hours or more, you will automatically be enrolled in TRS. Once you are enrolled you will receive a welcome letter from TRS with instructions to visit the TRS website to open a TRS online account and to register beneficiaries.
    • If you are an exempt or salaried employee working 20 hours or more, you have the choice of ORP or TRS.

    Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)

    Vendor options include:

    Resources and Detailed Information

    Supplemental Retirement Plans

    For additional retirement savings, you may elect to choose to contribute to the 403(b) or 457(b) plan or both, which provide options for deferring pretax (and in some cases after-tax) income for retirement saving. What chiefly distinguishes the plans are how they consider and penalize withdrawals. 

    Resources and Detailed Information

    USG Save More 

  • Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan

    The Path2College 529 Plan (formerly the Georgia Higher Education Saving Plan), a college savings program offered by the State of Georgia and operated under the Georgia Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services (OTFS), selected TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) to serve as program manager for Georgia’s college savings plan. TFI is a part of TIAA-CREF, a financial services organization with 90 years of investment experience.

    Path2College 529 Plan