Benefits Enrollment

Harvard offers a full range of benefits to keep you and your family healthy, provide financial protection in the event of an unforeseen event and help you build long-term security for retirement.

Learn about your benefit options and enrollment deadlines by selecting the resources below for your employee group. Note that you have 30 days from your date of hire or eligibility to enroll in certain benefits.

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You will receive a Benefits Enrollment package mailed to your home address. You can also learn more at New Employee Welcome & Orientation.

Additional help with determining which Benefits are right for you can be found by contacting the Benefits Office or with Alex, an online tool to help you compare health and insurance benefits.

Benefits Eligibility

Health and Welfare Benefits

To be eligible for Harvard's health benefits, you must be

  • Employed in a benefits-eligible position on a regular University payroll, and working at least 17.5 hours per week or paid at a base annual rate of at least $15,000
  • Specific eligibility requirements for employees covered by a union contract may vary by union contract 

If you are eligible, you have 30 days from your date of hire to enroll in the following:

  • Medical and Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Dental Coverage
  • Vision Care Coverage
  • Health Flexible Spending Account (or Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account for high-deductible health plan members)
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account (if you're eligible and choose the high-deductible health plan, you may elect this at any time, not subject to 30-day window)
  • Long Term Disability (may enroll later, but may be subject to medical review)
  • Optional Life Insurance for yourself and for eligible spouse/domestic partner (may enroll later, but may be subject to medical review)
  • Hyatt Legal Plan
  • Identity Theft Protection

You can elect individual coverage for yourself for any of these benefits. You may also cover your your spouse/domestic partner and/or eligible dependents with family coverage under the medical, dental and vision care. If you elect family coverage, you are required to provide proof of the dependent’s eligibility and submit along with this Dependent Documentation Cover Sheet.

Benefits enrollment is completed online via PeopleSoft by following these instructions. You will need to wait until you have your Harvard ID number and a Harvard Key to complete your online enrollment.

There are two opportunities to enroll in benefits outside the 30-day enrollment window:

  • Annual open enrollment period in the fall; changes made during open enrollment take effect January 1 of the following year.
  • Under IRS regulations, there are certain "qualified" events in family or employment status that permit you to make certain benefit changes. You have 30 days from the date of the event to make any changes and the changes must be consistent with the event.

Retirement Benefits

You will be automatically enrolled in a Harvard-paid retirement plan for your employment type after the appropriate waiting period of between six months and one year (depending on plan); you’ll receive an information package two months prior to enrollment from the Harvard University Retirement Center.

You can enroll in a supplemental, employee-paid tax-deferred annuity (TDA) at any time to begin building financial security in retirement. With two investment options – Traditional and Roth – you can save taxes now or in the future and choose the savings option that works best for you. New faculty and non-union staff members are automatically enrolled in a TDA with Traditional option contributions after 60 days of employment (with the option to change or cancel enrollment). New faculty and staff members will receive a TDA information package with plan details and investment option mailed to home from the Harvard University Retirement Center.