Unless otherwise noted, questions about OSU benefits explained in this section may be directed to the Office of Human Resources, Employee Benefits, at 541-737-2805.

Medical, Dental, Vision, Life and Disability Insurance

Oregon State University provides a comprehensive insurance benefit package to employees working half-time or more, for a duration of 90 days or longer. Temporary employees are not eligible for insurance benefits. The amount of money contributed monthly by the University for each employee (the "state contribution" toward your benefit costs) is negotiated as part of each collective bargaining agreement. The state contribution is prorated for part-time employees, depending on hours worked.

As a new employee you should receive a Welcome Email notifying you of your benefit eligibility and directing you to the new employee orientation site, Inside OSU, for information on your benefits as an OSU employee.  If this does not occur, please contact the Office of Human Resources, Employee Benefits, immediately at 541-737-2805. Reading the material online and enrolling promptly is very important. If you require a hardcopy format of the health insurance or pension/retirement savings material, please email Employee Benefits.

Benefit help sessions are offered on campus each month by Employee Benefits.

You have 30 days from the date of initial employment to enroll in the insurance plans of your choice. Insurance coverage begins on the first of the month after your hire date and the completion of the enrollment process.

Child and Dependent Care

Eligible employees may participate in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This reimbursement-style plan allows you to set aside part of your before-tax earnings for payment of child care or dependent care expenses. By using this program, you will be able to use tax-free money to pay eligible expenses, reduce your taxable income, and possibly increase your take-home pay.

Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)

You become a member of OSPRP (Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan), administered by PERS, after six full months of service in a position requiring at least 600 hours of work per year. Once you are a member, monthly contributions are made for you by the University in an amount equal to six percent of your gross pay.

You become "vested" in the retirement plan:

  1. Complete at least 600 hours of service in each of five calendar years; or
  2. if you reach normal retirement age (age 65) while actively employed in a qualifying position.

Vesting means that you cannot lose your right to a retirement benefit, even if you stop working.

Once each year, PERS provides an annual account statement to each member. This statement details your earnings to date. This is a record you should keep.

Disability benefits are included in the retirement system. You are covered immediately upon joining PERS for a disability occurring or resulting from your job. After you have contributed to PERS in 10 calendar years, you may apply to receive benefits whether the disability occurred on or off the job.

If you leave OSU service before you retire, you may, under certain conditions, leave your contributions in PERS. If you leave before vesting , you may apply for a withdrawal , consisting of your total contributions plus earnings/losses. For additional information, refer to the PERS Account Withdrawal webpage

Detailed information about the retirement plan can be found in the PERS A-Z Quick Answers for Members  or visit the PERS website. You may also contact Employee Benefits for further information at 541-737-2805.

Employee Assistance Program (counseling service)

OSU recognizes that employees may face personal problems that are difficult to solve without outside help. These problems cover a wide range, from general stress to more serious issues and needs. Problems such as these can seriously interfere with a person's daily life. To help employees and their families deal with these issues, OSU has designed an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide short term effective, professional, confidential assistance.

OSU has contracted with Cascade Centers Inc., through PEBB, to provide EAP services to OSU employees who work half-time or more, no matter where they are located in the State of Oregon. Up to three referral/counseling visits per calendar year per family are provided free of charge. Brochures explaining this program are available from the Office of Human Resources. To schedule appointments, call Cascade Centers at 1-800-433-2320.

Savings Programs

Tax-Deferred Annuity Program: Through this plan you may accumulate tax-sheltered savings on a routine payroll deduction to supplement your retirement plan and social security. The minimum contribution is $25 per month. Both federal and state taxes may be deferred until you later decide to retire, transfer or withdraw funds. You have control over how your funds are invested, and receive periodic reports on your fund's progress.

State of Oregon Deferred Compensation Program: Like the tax-deferred annuity program, this program allows you to save on a before-tax basis for retirement. All State of Oregon employees may join this plan.

Employee Extras

OSU Bookstore: Discounts are offered on book purchases for OSU ID card-holders. Visit their website.

Memorial Union Craft Center: The Center has facilities for several crafts including fiber arts, mounting and matting, button making service, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry and woodworking. You may join the Craft Center at staff rates and attend any classes. The Craft Center phone number is 541-737-2937.

OSU Libraries: OSU Library resources are available to staff members.

Athletic Events: Staff rates on season tickets for all sports are available.  Contact the Oregon State Athletic Ticket Office for more information at 541-737-4455 or 800-GOBEAVS.

Recreational Activities: The Department of Recreational Sports (541-737-3736) offers a wide variety of recreational facilities and programs for students, faculty and staff. There is usually a modest fee for facility use.

Dixon Recreation Center serves as the home base for recreational sports programs on campus. There are over 50 sports/activities available for all interests and skill levels. Facilities include a gymnasium, racquetball and squash courts, table tennis, conditioning room, weight rooms, and aerobic/exercise room. Stevens Natatorium (inside Dixon Recreation Center) provides an eight-lane, 25-yard pool, a 14-foot diving well, and 16-person hot tub, with full-service locker rooms. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to participate in recreational activities. All facilities and programs are handicapped accessible.

Several other recreational opportunities are available. The Tennis Pavilion and outdoor tennis courts, McAlexander Fieldhouse and the Indoor Climbing Center are some of the other facilities available. Swimming pools at Langton Gym and the Women's Building are available for recreational lap swimming.

The Outdoor Recreation Center provides adventure trips and classes, equipment rentals, and a wide variety of resources for trip planning. The Memorial Union Basement offers open bowling, billiards, and video games. Intramural sports are open to faculty and staff working half-time or more. In addition, there is a variety of sports clubs on campus open to participation by students, faculty and staff.

Staff can also participate in classes through the Facutly/Staff Fitness program.  No membership fees are collected; a modest class fee is all that is charged.

Campus Events: Consult the following for information about campus events and activities:

The Daily Barometer, a student daily newspaper
OSU Today, an daily employee email newsletter.
Events and Activities Calendar, the University master calendar.