Long-Term Disability Policy
Overview and eligibility
Vanguard provides long-term disability (LTD) income benefits to eligible crew members who are unable to work for an extended period of time (generally 180 days) because of an illness or injury that qualifies as a long-term disability. Vanguard has delegated day-to-day administration for this benefit to a third-party long-term disability management company. Vanguard has also established a formal claims determination and appeal process and delegated its responsibilities for these to the third-party long-term disability management company.
You are eligible for long-term disability coverage if you are scheduled to work full-time (37.5 hours a week) or part-time (at least 30 hours a week). If you work less than 30 hours a week, or are a temporary/seasonal employee or a contractor, you are not eligible for long-term disability benefits.
Partial long-term disability
If you are able to return to work on a partial basis, and it is past the 180-day elimination period (as defined in the Summary Plan Description [SPD] for The Vanguard Group, Inc. Benefit Plan [Benefit Plan]), you may be approved for partial long-term disability benefits.
Crew in exempt and overtime-eligible roles who qualify for LTD benefits are required to record any hours not worked in Workday as "Long-Term Disability." In addition, crew in overtime-eligible roles are to record hours worked as "Regular." Be sure your physician continues to provide the third-party administrator for long-term disability benefits with ongoing medical documentation so that your claim continues to receive further approval, if needed.
For more information
For more information regarding long-term disability benefits, please see the Benefit Plan SPD under Research.
Request for LTD benefits
If you continue to be disabled beyond the 180-day elimination period (as defined in the Benefit Plan SPD), you may qualify for long-term disability benefits. You will need to apply for long-term disability benefits by filing a claim with the third-party long-term disability management company.
If you have been receiving short-term disability benefits, the short-term disability company will allow your file to be viewable by our external long-term disability management company when you have reached the 120th day of short-term disability. Our external long-term disability management company will review the information and reach out to you if they have any questions. After the review is complete, our external long-term disability management company will communicate the claim decision to you.
Compensation while on LTD
Your long-term disability benefits will be paid by our long-term disability management company on a monthly basis. All payments will be deposited directly into your bank account.
Here's how other components of your compensation will be affected while on long-term disability:
- Partnership/bonus. Partnership and bonus payments will be prorated to exclude the period of long-term disability leave. If your long-term disability leave spans two Partnership or bonus years, both years' payments will be prorated. You will receive your Partnership and bonus payments on the normal distribution dates. Please see the Partnership Plan Policy for details.
- Merit program. If you are on leave during Vanguard's merit review or appraisal processes, these will take place upon your return. The guidelines are detailed in the Performance Management Policy.
FlexCare benefits while on LTD
Vanguard's FlexCare program includes coverage for health, dental, vision, prescription, life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D), as well as flexible spending accounts (FSAs), purchased paid time off (PTO), and group legal.
If your long-term disability leave causes you to miss one or more pay periods:
- You are required to pay for your benefits through after-tax payments.
- You will pay for coverage on a monthly basis rather than biweekly (as when on short-term disability).
- Your biweekly deductions will be annualized in order to calculate the amount of your monthly deductions. The calculation is as follows:
(Biweekly deduction amount) x (26 pay periods) ÷ (12 months) = Monthly deduction
These deductions will be withheld from your long-term disability check issued by our external disability management company. When and if you return to work, any missed deductions will be collected. After one year on long-term disability, you will receive information regarding the continuation of benefits.
Important note: Contributions to your dependent care FSA or for the purchase of additional PTO will not be made during your long-term disability leave. If you participate in these benefits, you will be able to review your elections when you return from leave and set up your payroll deductions to meet your annual goals (annual pledge for the FSA and the number of PTO hours purchased).
Your regular health care coverage may continue for one year from the date you go on long-term disability leave. After one year, coincident with termination of your employment, your health care coverage will be terminated. You may continue health care coverage through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), a federal law.
Annual Open Enrollment
If you are on long-term disability during the annual Open Enrollment period, the Open Enrollment information will be mailed to your home address if we do not have your home email address on file.
Please note: Life insurance coverage may not be increased or decreased while on leave. Coverage will remain the same. When you return to work, your insurance may be changed.
Other benefits while on LTD
Paid Time Off (PTO)
You will not accrue PTO during long-term disability leave. You must work a complete pay period to accrue PTO hours, and PTO must be used in the year it accrues.
Volunteer Time Off (VTO)
Long-term disability leave will not affect your VTO. However, you may not use VTO while on long-term disability leave.
Holiday time will not be paid during long-term disability leave. For more details, please refer to the Payroll Practices Policy.
If you are on long-term disability leave, you are not eligible to participate in this program. Consequently, classes taken at any time during the leave will not be reimbursed.
In order to receive reimbursement, you must have been employed with Vanguard full-time prior to the start of the course and must not be on a paid or unpaid leave of absence at the time the reimbursement is scheduled to be paid to you. If you are on a paid or unpaid leave of absence (including LTD), you will not receive academic assistance reimbursements unless and until you return to work.
You may request a personal leave after your long-term disability ends. See the Personal Leave Policy for more information.
Retirement and Savings Plan (RSP)
Your salary deferrals and matching contributions (if eligible) to the Vanguard RSP will be suspended during long-term disability leave. If you have an RSP loan, your payments may be suspended during long-term disability leave, for up to 12 months. Once this 12-month period expires or you return from leave—whichever comes first—all missed loan payments must be paid according to a schedule determined by the Benefits Department. Failure to make up missed loan payments may result in a taxable distribution.
Vanguard's quarterly retirement plan contribution to the RSP is based on your eligible quarterly earnings; therefore, your quarterly contribution will be decreased as a result of any long-term disability leave taken during the quarter.
Long-term disability leave will not be treated as, or counted toward, a "break in service" under the RSP.
Notice and claims appeal process and exclusions
Please see the Benefit Plan SPD for more information on the claims and appeals process.
Continuation of employment
Generally, the maximum amount of time you can remain a crew member while on long-term disability is one year. Although your employment may be terminated after one year, you may continue to receive long-term disability income benefits if you are still disabled. The determination of disability will be made by our external disability management company and governed by the terms of the Benefit Plan SPD.
If you are released by your physician to return to work within one year from the beginning of your long-term disability leave, you may return to your former position if it is available. If your former position is no longer available, you may post for another position within the company. You will have 60 days to obtain a new position, during which time you will be on an unpaid administrative leave. During this 60-day period, someone from the Employment Department will be assigned to assist you.
Computer access while on LTD
The following guidelines are based on My Crew Access roles:
- If you are an overtime-eligible crew member, your access will be suspended while on leave.
- If you are an exempt crew member, your access will be suspended while on leave, with the exception of Remote Access Server (RAS) for dial-up access and Lotus Notes.
Exceptions: Any exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by your manager and the Crew Relations specialist for your business unit.
Departmental management is responsible for implementing and enforcing this policy. The Human Resources managing director is responsible for the overall administration and interpretation of the policy.