If you go on leave, benefits coverage for you and your dependents will continue in accordance with Vanguard's policies. Following is an explanation of how your benefits will be affected while on leave.
Benefits include coverage for medical, prescription, dental, vision, life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, long-term disability (LTD), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), purchased paid time off (PTO), and group legal.
During paid leave, you may continue applicable Benefit Plan coverage as if you had remained an active crew member. You will continue to pay your share of health insurance premiums by payroll deduction while on paid leave.
During unpaid leave, you may continue participation in benefits, or cease participation in all benefits except for group legal, which must be continued.
If you continue participationin benefits while on unpaid leave, additional payroll deductions will occur when you return to "catch up" the missed payments.
If you cease participation in benefits while on unpaid leave:
- Benefits will be reinstated when you return to active employment and notify Crew Central™.
- You may not submit benefit claims, including reimbursement for FSA‑related expenses, for expenses incurred while coverage was discontinued.
Note: FMLA leave runs concurrently with short-term disability leave . You may become eligible for short-term disability benefits during unpaid FMLA leave.
Dependent day care FSA while on leave
You are not eligible for dependent day care FSA-related expense reimbursements while on any leave, paid or unpaid. However, there is a 14-day grace period from the first day of leave that you may use the dependent day care FSA and be reimbursed for it. For example, if your leave begins January 1, you may use the FSA and be reimbursed for expenses incurred through January 15.
If you elect to continue a dependent day care or health care FSA during the unpaid leave, you may not retroactively cancel participation in the FSA upon returning to work (e.g., in order to avoid making the catch‑up payments). Refer to the Summary Plan Description or create a case with questions concerning the status change rules.
You may continue to use your health care FSA while on leave if you are continuing participation in benefits.
Annual Open Enrollment
If you are on leave during the annual Open Enrollment period, the information will be mailed to your home address if we do not have your personal email address on file.
If you do not complete your enrollment elections:
- Current elections for medical, prescription, dental, vision, crew member life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance will remain in effect for the new plan year.
- FSAs, the legal plan, spousal life insurance, and the purchase of additional PTO will be terminated.
Paid time off (PTO)
PTO will not accrue during leave as accrual is based on time actually worked. You have the option of using any accrued PTO during the leave. Refer to the PTO policy for more information.
Volunteer time off (VTO)
Leave will not affect VTO; however, you may not use VTO while on leave.
Holiday time will not be paid during leave unless the holiday falls during a portion of the leave that is being substituted with accrued PTO. For more details, please refer to the Payroll Practices Policy. Note: PTO is not prorated for crew members on a partial leave of absence.
Academic Assistance Plan
You may continue with classes, but you may not request Academic Assistance reimbursement while on leave. You can only make reimbursement requests after you return to work.
Vanguard Retirement and Savings Plan
Salary deferrals and matching contributions (if eligible) to the Retirement and Savings Plan (RSP) will be suspended during a period of unpaid leave. Payments on an RSP loan may be suspended during unpaid leave for a period of up to 12 months of total unpaid leave (including any other type of unpaid leave that may be taken before or after). Upon the earlier of the expiration of the 12-month period or return from leave, all missed loan payments must be paid in a manner and at such time as determined by Benefits. Failure to make up missed loan payments may result in a taxable distribution.
Vanguard's quarterly contributions to the Retirement Plan source are based on each eligible crew member's quarterly earnings; therefore, your quarterly contribution will be decreased as a result of any unpaid leave taken during the quarter.
Leave will not be treated as, or counted toward, a "break in service" under the RSP.
In the event of any inconsistency between this policy and any of Vanguard's retirement or health and welfare benefits plans, the provisions of the applicable plan documents will control.
If your employment with Vanguard terminates prior to returning from leave, you will be required to submit a check, payable to "The Vanguard Group," for any payments due for missed benefits deductions.
If your coverage is terminated, you may continue health care (medical, dental, prescription, vision, and/or health care FSA participation) coverage through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, a federal law).