Smith offers back-up child care, through People's Institute, on days when school is closed, such as snow days and public school vacations. For more information on this child care benefit, please call (413) 585-2273.
Domestic Partner Coverage (same sex)
Smith's definition of family embraces today's diversity by offering benefit eligibility to same-sex partners who share a long-term commitment relationship.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that same-sex couples can legally marry in Massachusetts effective May 17, 2004. As of this date, Smith College will provide benefits to same-sex married couples in the same way as other married couples, with the exception of those benefits granted under federal law. Because same-sex marriages are not recognized under federal law, all pretax deductions (health and dental premiums) will continue to be subject to imputed federal tax. Retirement monies will not be automatically granted to a same-sex spouse in the event of the employee-s death if the spouse is not listed as a beneficiary with the employee-s retirement account. Finally, Flexible spending accounts still will not cover same-sex partners. Other than these exceptions, same-sex married couples will be eligible for all benefits just as opposite-sex married couples are, including not being subject to the imputed Massachusetts tax for health and dental premiums.
Smith College will continue to keep its domestic partner definition in place. There are several reasons for this decision which are highlighted below.
- The federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage; therefore in order to offer benefits to same-sex couples we must have a domestic partner definition in place.
- We can not reasonably expect all same-sex couples to get married immediately upon the effective date of the new legislation.
- We have to consider the possibility that this ruling could be overturned; therefore keeping the domestic partner definition in place for same-sex couples will make for a smoother, more seamless transition if the ruling is overturned.
- Our dental carrier is not currently recognizing the May 17 ruling because the Division of Insurance has not made any amendments regarding it at this time. We need to have the domestic partner definition in place to continue to provide dental benefits to same-sex couples.
Based on the new Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling we will be amending our domestic partner definition to include the following eligibility requirement:
- If you were married, your marriage would not be recognized by the federal government.
Employees may add their same-sex spouse to their benefit plans by providing a copy of their marriage certificate and completing the applicable benefit enrollment form(s) within 30 days of the date of the marriage. If an employee currently covers a domestic partner but gets married, Human Resources will need a copy of the marriage certificate to stop imputing Massachusetts taxes.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lynn Cocco at (413) 585-2273.
Employee Discount Program
Smith partners with several vendors in the Northampton area to provide an Employee Discount Program. All discounts offered are individual by the respective vendors. Smith College and Staff Council in no way endorse or specifically support the patronage of the vendors listed.
Please note: These discounts vary widely from vendor to vendor. Often the discount does not apply to all store items. Call ahead or ask whether the discount applies before making your purchase.
Questions about the Employee Discount Program should be directed to Lily Kane.
Transit Subsidy & Mass Rides Program
The NuRide ride share program offers rewards when you walk, bicycle, take public transit, carpool and more. The program allows you to earn points each time you take a "green trip" then, redeem those points for rewards like local and national restaurant coupons, retailer discounts, and tickets to shows and attractions. In addition, NuRide will help you find someone to carpool with.
Transit Subsidy Program
Smith College recognizes that faculty and staff commuting to campus as the sole occupants of vehicles has an impact to the environment and imposes stress to availability of campus parking.
- Has been developed to complement a series of transportation demand management policies including parking opt-out, free passage on five college buses during the academic year, parking pass fees, free ride home and availability of two ride-sharing services all designed to work in concert to reduce the number of commuter trips by individuals in vehicles.
- Creates a more equitable transit subsidy system where employees who live in areas not served by Five College bus routes (those routes that are subsidized through Five Colleges, Inc. – PVTA routes B38, B39, M40 and B43) are eligible for reduced fares on other routes.
- Supports compliance with Massachusetts Rideshare regulations (310 CMR 7.16) (a state-wide air quality regulation and is part of the Commonwealth's plan to reduce air pollution and to achieve and maintain health-based federal quality standards).
- Satisfies Smith's commitment to the "Provision of Public Transportation," one of the "tangible actions" included within the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. This action is defined as follows: Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors to your institution.
The subsidy is valid only for employees who do not live in the area served by the Five College bus routes (those routes that are subsidized through Five Colleges Inc. – PVTA routes B38, B39, M40 and B43) which already offer free passage during the academic year.
Maximum IRS reimbursement limit is $230 per month. Reimbursement is not subject to income taxes per IRS Publication 15-B.
To receive reimbursement for a monthly transit pass, employees must fill out and submit a Transit Pass Reimbursement Form and provide proof of purchase (receipt) to the payroll office.
UMass Five College Credit Union
As a Smith College employee, you and your family may become members of the UMass Five College Federal Credit Union. The credit union offers many services and programs to assist members with college tuition costs:
Paying for College (PDF)
Student Loan Brochure (PDF)
International Risk Management
Smith College is now an institutional member of International SOS through Five Colleges Incorporated, a membership that gives faculty and staff who are traveling abroad access to a full range of medical information and emergency services.
As a member, you have access to International SOS information services at no charge. These services range from the information provided on the website (including country risk ratings, State Department postings, medical travel recommendations and immunization requirements) to access to medical doctors via phone consultation, referrals to English-speaking doctors, to care assessment and translation services in case of hospitalization.
However, use of actual medical services (beyond information services) or any service that requires an expenditure of funds to another party is not free. While members have access to International SOS clinics and doctors around the world, delivery of services must be covered by the traveler and/or the traveler's health insurance policy. This program and membership is not an insurance plan! Travelers should check their personal health insurance to determine if it covers them while traveling abroad; if coverage is not provided out of network or if coverage is very limited, consider purchasing travel insurance. The college does have insurance coverage through AIG and our health insurer for medical evacuation and repatriation; if these services are needed they must be coordinated through the Human Resources office, the Five College Risk Management Office and AIG for coverage to apply. See the website for more information.
We recommend that faculty and staff traveling on school business register their trips using the International SOS Personal Travel Locator. This will give you the opportunity to receive e-mail alerts from I-SOS and enable the college to contact you in the event of an emergency.
We strongly recommend you use another feature of the International SOS membership: the online Emergency Record. Travelers can input medical history, blood type, recent surgeries, allergies, etc. (even copies of your travel documents) and this confidential information is only accessed by ISOS medical staff in an emergency situation where the student is not able to communicate. Travel plans and contact information (destination, dates, flights, and hotels) can also be logged on the website, and will not be accessed unless the information is needed in an emergency.
Faculty and staff who are traveling for personal reasons (leisure travel) are not covered under Smith's membership, but may purchase an insured individual International SOS membership at a 20 percent discount on the International SOS Portal.
Visit the Five College website to access the International SOS Portal and obtain detailed information on the International SOS program benefits.