Research Foundation Regular Employees

On this page:

The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) offers an array of benefits to eligible employees. These benefits can add an exceptional value to your employment.

Open Enrollment Dates

The open enrollment period for health benefits, voluntary short-term disabiliity insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts is Nov. 1 — Nov. 30, 2019.

Make your changes online at Changes will take effect January 1, 2020.

Please be sure to retain a copy of your confirmation statement when completing your enrollment.

How To Enroll In Your Benefits

I Am a New Research Foundation Employee

When your department has submitted your appointment information to Human Resources you will receive notification from Human Resources about your benefits eligibility and upcoming benefit orientation sessions.

Enrollment is voluntary — you will not be automatically enrolled in a plan. You will need to attend a benefits orientation session to enroll. Once you have attended a benefits orientation you will be able to enroll online at the RF SUNY website.

Newly eligible employees must enroll within 60 days of their appointment begin date. If you do not attend a session and do not enroll within 60 days of your appointment begin date, you may be subject to a late enrollment period, which would delay your benefits.

You will have the following waiting periods for your benefits:

Benefit Waiting Period
Health Insurance
42 Days
Dental Insurance 6 Months
Dental Insurance (Prosthetic Services) 1 Year
Vision Insurance 6 Months
Life Insurance (Basic and Optional) 6 Months
Flexible Spending Accounts 6 Months
Retirement Plan (Basic)
1 Year
Retirement Plan (Optional) No Waiting Period
New York State Disability
28 Days
Voluntary Short Term Disability Insurance
28 Days
Long Term Disablity Insurance (Fulltime employees only) 1 Year
Workers Compensation No Waiting Period

I Am a Returning Research Foundation Employee

Welcome back to the RF. If you are returning after a break in service longer than 28 days you will need to reenroll in benefits withing 60 days of your return date. You may enroll in your benefits at the RF SUNY website.

Depending on the length of your break in service and if you had qualified for the benefit when you left you will have different waiting periods for your benefits as shown below:

If Your Break In Service Was Greater than 28 Days but Less Than 1 Year
Benefits Waiting Period
Dental No Waiting Period
Vision No Waiting Period
Life Insurance (Basic and Optional)
No Waiting Period
Flexible Spending Accounts
No Waiting Period
Your sick time balances will be honored. Please contact your benefits office to notify us of your return.

Download RF SUNY Benefits Bulletin

RF SUNY Self Service

Download the Employee Self Service Guide

The RF Employee Self Service portal is where you can manage most of your employment tasks online. Start by setting up your account:

  1. Go to account set up
  2. Using the RF ID Number you were given when you were employed, create a password

The Research Foundation Employee Self Service portal offers many features:

  • Ability to quickly and accurately do tasks online, such as:
    • Enroll for benefits
    • Enter dependents and beneficiaries
    • Update your contact information
  • Easy access to your direct deposit payslips, paycheck stubs, tax forms and current benefits enrollment

Your Benefits

Medical,Dental,Vision Flex Spending Retirement Disability Life Insurance


The Research Foundation offers a suite of retirement benefits to employees.

Basic Retirement Plan

The Research Foundation's basic retirement plan is a defined contribution plan designed to satisfy the requirements of Section 401 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code. RF contracts with TIAA-CREF to provide services under this plan. Once you have met the eligibility requirement The Research Foundation will begin making contributions to your account. To meet the eligibility requirements RF employees working the required hours of service (975 hours of service for a 37.5- hour week or 1,000 hours for a 40-hour week) will participate in the Basic Retirement plan upon completing a waiting period of one year of qualified service. The contribution rate is based on your hire date.

Prior Service Credit

The Research Foundation recognizes employment with other organizations in meeting service requirements for participation and vesting in the basic retirement plan.  Continuous, non-student employment with an eligible employer immediately preceding your Research Foundation appointment will be considered for qualified service credit.   In order to be qualified service, your employment must be within the United States and have terminated no more than one (1) year before your Research Foundation appointment begins.

Optional Retirement Plan

The Optional Retirement plan allows you to supplement your retirement savings with pretax, biweekly contributions to a retirement annuity account or mutual fund accounts. All contributions to the plan are immediately vested. The Optional Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan under section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The benefit is fully funded by your contributions.

If you are an active non-student employee of the RF (including employees who are paid on an hourly basis), you are eligible to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan regardless of hours worked. There is no waiting period, and you do not have to be a vested participant in the Basic Retirement Plan. Deductions begin on the payroll in which you elect to participate.

Retiree Health Insurance

The RF will continue your Health Care coverage after you retire, if you meet the following eligibility requirements and you pay the required premium.

  • At least age 55
  • Be enrolled in the RF Health Care plan when you retire
  • Have completed a minimum of 10 years of full-time service or the equivalent in part-time service at 50 percent or more of full-time effort (e.g., a person working 50 percent of full time for 20 years would qualify) with the RF immediately before you retire
  • Be continuously employed by the RF during the one-year period immediately prior to retirement
  • Enroll in Original Medicare Parts A and B when you reach age 65, but not part D.

If you do not meet these eligibility requirements, you may still continue coverage under the RF Health Care plan under COBRA prior to age 65.

The RF will continue Health Care coverage for your eligible dependents if they have been covered under your plan for at least one full year before you retire. No new dependents can be added to your coverage after you retire. If you die, health insurance for your covered dependents will continue for the remainder of their lifetime, while your dependents remain in an eligible status and pay the required premium.

Health Coverage
If you were hired: Up to age 65:
Before January 1, 1986 The RF will pay the full premium for your coverage.   You must enroll in Medicare Part A and B when you reach age 65 and pay the Part B premium
On or after January 1, 1986 and were eligible to retire on or before December 31, 2011 Until you become covered by Medicare, you are responsible for the same share of the premium as an active employee.  Payment details will be provided at the time of retirement.   At age 65, the RF will pay the full premium for your coverage once you become covered by Medicare Parts A and B.   You must pay the Part B premium.
On or after January 1, 1986, and were not eligible to retire on or before December 31, 2011 The amount you pay will vary with the number of full-time equivalent years of service you have at retirement.  For those age 65 or over, premiums will be offset in part by the standard cost of Medicare Part B.

For All Retirees At Age 65

Medicare Part A & B becomes your primary insurance coverage at age 65. That standard monthly rate is $121.80.

Retirees at age 65 wil work with AON Retiree Health Exchange to select a secondary insurance plan. You will pay your monthly premium directly to the insurance carrier you select and submit for reimbursement through a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) provided to you by The Research Foundation. This is a yearly subsidy based on your years of service. If you have any funds remaining in your HRA account at the end of the year, this amount wil roll over to the next year.

HRA Contribution
Employees Hired before 1/1/2012 - Annual HRA Contribution
Service Category
Retiree Spouse
10-14 Years $2,221 $0
15-19 Years $3,953 $144
20+ Years $4,619 $3,375
All current retirees under pre-2012 rules and those eligible to retire under pre-2012 rules $4,619 $4,619
HRA Contribution
Employees Hired on or after 1/1/2012 - Annual HRA Contribution
Service Category
Retiree Spouse
10-14 Years $0 $0
15-19 Years $2,919 $144
20+ Years $4,619 $3,375

Planning for Retirement

Planning for retirement ahead of time will ease your transition from active employment into retirement. When possible you should begin exploring your income options at least once a year by working with TIAA-CREF.

As a member of TIAA-CREF you may call 1-800-842-2776 to request retirement income estimates. You may also wish to meet with a TIAA-CREF Representative. You may do this by calling 1-800-732-8353.

You may also schedule a time to meet with a member of the benefits team by contacting us.

Additional Benefits for Retired RF Employees

Library Privileges

All retired faculty and staff continue to have all library privileges automatically. If you run into any issues with this benefits, you may contact:
Coordinator of Bison Billing and Borrowing
118 Capen Hall
North Campus
(716) 645-5950

Membership in the Emeritus Center for Faculty and Staff

The Emeritus Center was established in 1977 to provide all university faculty and staff who retire with a means that would enable them to continue their relationship with the University community. Human Resource Services provides names and addresses of all retirees to the Membership Chairperson of the Emeritus Center. For more information, you may contact:
Membership Chairperson
Goodyear Hall
1st Floor Lounge
South Campus
(716) 829-2271

Access to Recreation Facilities

The UB Division of Athletics provides access to recreation facilities at a discount for retirees. For more information, you may contact:
Marcus Hutchins
152 Alumni Arena
North Campus
(716) 645-6871

Access to UB's Communications Network

Retirees may continue to have access to UBmail. For problems, you may contact:
The RF Benefits Team


Contact an Expert

Sean O'Brien.

Sean O'Brien

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4485


Manage Your Benefits

After you've made your initial benefits selections, whether you have declined any of our coverage options or not, there are some special circumstances in which you can make changes to your pretax benefits. For your health insurance, and dental insurance you will need a qualifying event to make changes without penalty. You may change your vision care coverage anytime during the year.

A qualifying event is a change in your status or your dependent’s status that permits a change to be made in pretax health insurance elections outside of the annual Open Enrollment period. The change in status must result in a gain or loss of coverage or coverage options. The election change must be consistent with the change in status, and must be made within 60 days of the event. To make changes to your benefits any time other than open enrollment you will need to submit an RF Benefits Enrollment Form to the benefits team along with supporting documentation of your qualifying event. (e.g. birth certificate, marriage license, statement of loss of insurance)

You have 60 days from the day of any qualifying event or special enrollment period to submit the necessary documentation.

You may also make changes to your health insurance, dental insurance, vision care coverage, and flexible spending accounts during open enrollment for the following plan year.

I May Have a Qualifying Event

Qualifying Events

The most common qualifying events that you might have are a change in status that affects your, your spouse’s or dependents’ coverage, including a change in:

  • Legal marital status because of marriage, death of a spouse, divorce, legal separation or annulment
  • Number of dependents because of birth, adoption, placement for adoption or death
  • Employment status (termination or commencement of employment) by you, your spouse or
  • Work schedule (reduction or increase in hours of employment) for you, your spouse or dependent because of a switch between part time and full time, or commencement of or return from an unpaid leave of absence that results in acquiring or losing eligibility for health insurance
  • Dependents’ status (an event that causes your dependent to satisfy or cease to satisfy the requirements for coverage because of attainment of age or any similar circumstances as provided by the plan)
  • Residence or work site (for you, your spouse or dependent)

Special Enrollment Rights

Apart from qualifying events, special enrollment rights allow you to make changes to your medical (PPO or HMO) coverage (but not Dental Care, Vision Care or Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts), outside of your initial enrollment period or the Open Enrollment period in three specific circumstances: 1. you gain a dependent, 2. you or a dependent loses coverage under another plan, and 3. you or a dependent becomes eligible for assistance through a State Children’s Health Insurance Program.


Gaining a Dependent

If you gain a dependent through marriage (e.g., your new spouse and any eligible stepchildren), birth, adoption or placement for adoption, you may enroll the new dependents — and yourself if you are not already enrolled — in the Health Care plan by complying with the plan’s procedures for other enrollments. In the case where a child is born, adopted or placed for adoption, your spouse also may be enrolled during such a special enrollment period. You also may change from one Health Care plan coverage option to another (for example, changing from HMO to PPO coverage) when you add a dependent under a special enrollment. The special enrollment period for dependents is the 60-day period that begins on the date of the marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption, as applicable.
In the case of marriage, coverage is effective the date the completed request for enrollment is received by the plan. In the case of a dependent’s birth, coverage is effective the date of the birth. In the case of adoption or placement for adoption, coverage is effective the date of such adoption or placement.

Losing Other Medical Coverage

If you waived coverage for yourself or for an eligible dependent because you or the dependent had other medical coverage (including coverage from another employer, COBRA coverage, Medicare or Medicaid), you may enroll in the RF Health Care plan in certain circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

• The other coverage was COBRA continuation coverage, and the coverage period was exhausted

• The other employer terminates the coverage or terminates contributions for that coverage

• You or your dependent loses eligibility for that coverage for reasons including termination of employment, reduction in work hours, legal separation, divorce, death or reaching the maximum age to be eligible as a dependent

• You or your dependent no longer lives or works inside the plan’s service area, and no other benefit package is available

• You incur a claim that would meet or exceed the lifetime limit on all benefits under the plan

• You or your dependent loses coverage because the plan no longer offers any benefits to a class of similarly situated individuals (e.g., part-time employees).

Losing coverage for not paying premiums on a timely basis or for cause (such as making a fraudulent claim or an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact) would not qualify an individual for a special enrollment.

You must enroll within 60 days after the other coverage ends. The application must be made under the same application rules that apply to other enrollments. If elected, coverage begins on the first day of the calendar month that begins after the date that the completed request is received by the plan.

Becoming Eligible Under a State Children's Health Insurance Program

If you are eligible for the RF Health Care plan, but you are unable to afford the premiums, you may qualify for premium assistance from the State of New York. If you are not currently enrolled in the plan, you may request a special enrollment within 60 days of being determined eligible for this premium assistance.

Some states, including New York, use funds from their Medicaid or CHIP programs to help people who are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, but need assistance in paying their health premiums.

If you or your dependents are already enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP and you live in New York, you can contact your State Medicaid or CHIP office to find out if premium assistance is available.

If you or your dependents are NOT currently enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, and you think you or any of your dependents might be eligible for either of these programs, you can contact your State Medicaid or CHIP office, dial 877-KIDS NOW (877-543-7669) or visit to find out how to apply. If you qualify, you can ask the state if it has a program that might help you pay health plan premiums.

For more information about Medicaid and CHIP premium assistance, contact the New York State
Department of Health at 800-541-2831 or visit

I Do Not Have a Qualifying Event

Health Care (PPO and HMO)

If you delay enrollment more than 60 days after you become eligible, you must wait an additional five pay periods in active employment to be covered (unless you have a special enrollment right or qualifying event). Your coverage will start on the first day of the fifth pay period following the day your campus Benefits Office receives the completed Enrollment form, or online enrollment through Self Service. Example of Late Health Care Plan Enrollment 2015

Appointment/eligibility date: January 9
42-day waiting period ends: February 20
60-day enrollment period: January 9 – March 10
Enrollment received: March 20
Date of coverage: May 18

Dental and Vision Care

If you delay enrollment in the Dental and Vision Care plans beyond 60 days from your date of eligibility and you have met the six-month waiting period, your coverage becomes effective on the day your campus Benefits Office receives the completed RF Benefits Enrollment form or online enrollment via Self Service. Your deductions for dental coverage will be taken on an after-tax basis for the remainder of the calendar year.

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment occurs each year in November. During this time you may enroll if you have not previously done so, drop coverage, change your coverage option or level, and/or switch between pretax and after-tax deductions. All open enrollment changes are done througth RF Employee Self Service and are effective January 1st of the following year.

If you do not make any changes during Open Enrollment, your coverage will remain in effect for the next plan year, except for Flexible Spending Accounts. You must re-enroll annually in the Flexible Spending Accounts.