COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775

MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 97-8

February 18, 1997

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

ATTENTION: Personnel and Payroll Officers
SUBJECT: Supplemental Employee Benefits Program

  1. INTRODUCTION

    Pursuant to the provisions of Public Act No. 96-156, the Office of the State Comptroller has established a Supplemental Employee Benefits Program (Program). The Program is designed to provide employees with access through the central payroll system to offerings intended to complement those basic benefits the state funds either in whole or in part; all benefits available under the Program are paid for in their entirety by voluntary employee payroll deductions.

    In that connection, the purpose of this Memorandum is to (1) announce the Program's commencement; (2) present its components; and (3) discuss issues pertaining to implementation and administration.

  2. BACKGROUND

    Public Act No. 96-156 significantly improved the process by which vendor contracts are awarded for supplemental employee benefits. Under this Act, the Comptroller established a Vendor Advisory Committee (VAC), consisting of management and labor representatives, which publicly solicited proposals from firms interested in participating in the Program. From the submissions received, the VAC identified products which would in its collective judgment be of value to state employees, given the range of basic benefits funded by the employer. Thereafter, the VAC commenced competitive negotiations with those vendors capable of supplying Program benefits, and ultimately presented to the Comptroller a set of recommendations which took into consideration price, and each vendor's skill, ability, integrity, and past performance. The process concluded with the Comptroller's acceptance of the VAC's recommendations and selection of five firms to participate in the Program.

  3. DISCUSSION
    1. Program Components

      Set forth below is a listing of the Program's five vendors, a telephone number for each product's enrollment firm, and a brief description of the benefit being offered:

      Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company
      (800) 290-6633

      Short Term Disability Insurance. Available to full-time, active employees, this insurance product protects against the short term loss of income due to accident or illness, including mental health and substance abuse.

      Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company
      (860) 875-2591

      Long Term Disability Insurance. Available to full-time, active employees, this insurance product protects against the long term loss of income due to accident or illness. This offering should be of interest to members of Tier II and Tier IIA of the State Employee Retirement System as they are not covered by its disability provisions prior to completing ten years of vesting service.

      Metropolitan Casualty and Property Insurance Company
      (800) 438-6381

      Auto and Homeowners Insurance. Available to full-time, active employees and retirees, this insurance product protects against damage to or loss of auto, home, and personal property.

      Reliastar Banker's Security Life Insurance Company
      (800) 842-8444

      Universal Life Insurance. Available to full-time, active employees and retirees interested in supplementing their life insurance coverage.

      UNUM Life Insurance Company of America
      (860) 659-0594

      Long Term Care Insurance. Available to full-time, active employees and retirees, this insurance product protects against the cost of long term health care, whether at home or in a convalescent hospital. This group policy is approved by the Connecticut Partnership and, as such, protects a subscriber's assets from depletion due to the cost of long term care.

    2. Implementation Issues

      Subject to operating needs, agencies are encouraged to accommodate the Program's authorized vendors so that they can speak to, meet with, and enroll employees. With the exception of vendors authorized to participate in the Deferred Compensation (457) and Supplemental Annuities (403b) Programs, agencies are under no obligation to deal with any other firm seeking to market products or services to state employees and, in fact, should refrain from so doing.

    3. Administration Issues

    The general responsibility to administer the Program has been assigned to the Comptroller's Retirement & Benefit Services Division (R&BSD); accordingly, administrative and related concerns should be directed to the R&BSD at (860) 702-3543. With paychecks dated March 27, 1997, R&BSD will be issuing to all employees a descriptive brochure on the Program; agencies will be provided with a supply of these brochures to incorporate within their new employee orientation procedures.

    The specific responsibility to administer payroll deductions for employees who elect to participate in the Program has been assigned to the Comptroller's Payroll Services Division (PSD), which will issue coding and other processing instructions shortly through a separate communication; payroll queries should therefore be directed to PSD at (860) 702-3463 or, in the case of RJE agencies, (860) 702-3462.

    Coverage and policy content questions should be directed to the vendor representatives identified herein.

  1. CONCLUSION

    The vendor contracts announced herein are scheduled to expire in 1998 and 2000, at which point the VAC will reconvene for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of the Program's initial offerings and, based thereon, shape its content for the future.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance in making the Program accessible to your agency's employees.

Very truly yours,

Nancy Wyman
State Comptroller

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