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Division of Human Resources

New Employee Benefits

The University of South Carolina provides a comprehensive benefits package that has been designed with a variety of choices so that you can determine what level of coverage best suits your needs.

Beyond your paycheck, employee benefits are one of the most valuable assets that we can offer our employees to encourage good health and peace of mind for you and your family.


One of the first steps in properly reviewing and selecting your benefits is to determine your eligibility.

Insurance Eligibility 
To qualify for  insurance benefits  you must be employed in a full-time equivalent (FTE) position and scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week, or a temporary or research grant or time-limited (RG/TL) position and scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week. If you are employed in a RG/TL position and scheduled to work 20 hours or more, you may be eligible for insurance, if this benefit is funded by the grant.

Retirement Eligibility
The South Carolina Public Employee Benefits Authority (PEBA) administers two types of primary retirement plans. If you are employed in a FTE, a temporary, or a RG/TL position that offers retirement benefits, you are eligible to participate in one of these plans regardless of the number of hours you are scheduled to work. FTE employees are required to participate, but temporary and RG/TL employees have the option to opt out as long as they meet specific requirements.

All FTE, temporary and RG/TL employees are also eligible to participate in other tax-sheltered annuity products such as 401(k), 457(b) and 403(b) plans.


Benefits plans vary significantly from one employer to the next. So even if your previous employer used the same insurance providers, the coverage and rates may be different. That's why it's important to review all of the details carefully before making your selections.

Our Insurance Benefits Summary [pdf] is a document containing a comprehensive summary of the benefits, privileges and services for which you may be eligible. Please review this document carefully.


Be prepared to make your benefit choices within seven days of your start date with the University of South Carolina.

The Benefits Office will determine your eligibility and you will be assigned a benefits counselor who will send you an email with the orientation information you require. Once you feel that you’ve properly reviewed your benefits options and are ready to make your selections, you will complete the forms designated in your specific orientation, and submit them to the Benefits Office.

After this initial enrollment, your insurance benefits will be managed and renewed using the MyBenefits online enrollment system, and your retirement membership will be managed using Member Access

If you are a new employee with the School of Medicine or with one of our campuses outside of Columbia, the Human Resources Office on your campus [pdf] will be your primary resource for orientation. Please consult with them prior to completing benefits information, as their procedures may vary.

Annual Open Enrollment

Each year, open enrollment takes place during the month of October. Between October 1 and October 31, employees may make specified changes to their coverage. Changes made during this time will be effective January 1 of the following year. Changes to your dental and dental plus coverage can only be made every other year, in odd-numbered years. Each year, between January 1 and March 31, eligible employees may make changes to their State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) plans. Changes made during this time will be effective April 1 of the following year.  

Outside of the open enrollment period, changes can only be made due to a qualifying event including marriage, divorce, legal separation, birth and death. For a complete list of qualifying events, please visit the Enroll and Make Changes section of this site.