Uniformed Services Leave Policy
Overview and entitlement
From your first day of employment, you are eligible to take a uniformed services leave whenever you are called to serve either voluntarily or involuntarily, whether for active duty or for training, in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).
You are entitled to uniformed services leave and benefits as long as the total length of the leave and all previous periods of uniformed services leave from Vanguard do not exceed five years (unless extended by a national emergency or other similar circumstances).
You should carefully review this policy so that you understand your responsibilities in the event of a uniformed services leave. This will help avoid any disruption to your pay or benefits.
Request for leave
To request a uniformed services leave, notify your immediate supervisor at least 30 days in advance, if possible. Note: If you are unable to notify your supervisor, a family member or designated person can do so for you.
Once you've notified your supervisor, here's how to proceed:
- Complete a Request for Leave of Absence in Workday for uniformed services leave. If you are not in the office to complete the request, your supervisor or a Crew Central representative must complete it for you. Important: A leave of absence request must be submitted so Crew Central™ is notified of the leave.
- Send a copy of your military orders to the Crew Central at M20 immediately after the request is submitted or as soon as you receive military orders, if later.
- Submit your military earnings statement to Crew Central within 30 days of the start of your leave or as soon as you receive your military earnings statement, if earlier. It can be attached to your Salesforce case or you may also mail it to:
Crew Central, M20
P.O. Box 2600
Valley Forge, PA 19482-2600
A paycheck will not be issued until a military earnings statement is received. Over the course of your leave, you must continue to submit statements to Crew Central within 30 days of receiving them.
Crew Central will review the Leave Request. Within three to five business days, a packet of information will be sent to your home address (or home email, if on file) that includes an explanation of your benefits while on leave and a copy of this policy. Crew Central will verify the effective date of your leave and wait to receive your military earnings statements.
Here's how your compensation will be affected while you are on uniformed services leave:
- Base pay. Vanguard will pay you for up to 12 months of uniformed services leave. Your pay will be equal to the difference between your base salary and your gross military pay, excluding housing and weekend pay (unless you are normally scheduled to work weekends).
- Partnership/bonus. You will receive full (not prorated) Partnership and bonus payments for the time spent on military leave for the plan years in which you have worked. If you do not work at all in a particular year, you will not receive Partnership or bonus payments for that plan year.
- Merit program. Annual merit increases will not be prorated to exclude the period of time you are on leave during a review period. Most leaves do not affect the timing of your review. However, if the normal annual merit review date falls during your leave, it will be moved to the first payroll effective date following your return to work.
Remember: Paychecks will not be issued unless copies of your military earnings statements have been received.
- If your leave is less than 30 days, you must provide a copy of your military earnings statement when you return to work.
- If your leave is more than 30 days, you (or someone on your behalf) must provide a copy of your military earnings statement within 30 days of the start of your leave.
When you return to work, your pay will be appropriately adjusted, and you will be notified of any adjustments.
Vanguard's FlexCare Program includes coverage for health, dental, vision, prescription, life, long-term disability, and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, as well as flexible spending accounts (FSAs), purchased paid time off (PTO), and group legal.
FlexCare benefits while on paid leave
If you are on paid uniformed services leave (the first 12 months of leave), you may either continue or stop participating in health, dental, vision, prescription, and FSA benefits.
If you choose to remain covered under these plans, deductions will continue to be taken from your pay. If you waive coverage, these benefits may be reinstated when you return to work.
FlexCare benefits while on unpaid leave
If you are on unpaid uniformed services leave (following a paid leave of 12 months), you may either continue (unless already waived for the first 12 months) or stop participating in health, dental, vision, prescription, and FSA benefits.
- If you choose to continue participating, additional payroll deductions will occur when you return to work to "catch up" the missed FlexCare payments.
When you return to work, any missed benefit payments for the following benefits will be deducted from your first paycheck: medical, dental, vision, prescription, life, AD&D, long-term disability, and group legal coverage.
Any missed payments for the following benefits will be adjusted through year-end to reflect the missed payments: health care FSA, dependent day care FSA, and purchased PTO.
Once you are on an unpaid leave, you may not retroactively elect "no coverage" under these plans (e.g., to avoid making catch-up payments).
- If you choose to stop participating, your FlexCare benefits will be discontinued during your leave. Once you return, contact Crew Central to let them know you have returned to work, and if you would like your benefits reinstated. Under this option, you cannot submit any claims for FlexCare benefits. For example, if you incur FSA-related expenses while your coverage is discontinued, you cannot submit a claim for reimbursement.
When you return from leave, if you have a health care or dependent day care FSA, your annual pledge will be reduced to reflect the missed payments. You must contact Crew Central if you would like to continue the same annual pledge. Because participation in group legal cannot be discontinued, missed payments for group legal will be recouped when you return to work.
- If your employment with Vanguard terminates before you return from leave, you will be required to submit a check, payable to "The Vanguard Group," for any payments due for missed FlexCare benefits deductions.
Note: After 24 months of consecutive uniformed services leave, your FlexCare coverage will be terminated. You may continue health, dental, vision, prescription, and health care FSA coverage through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a federal law).
Annual Open Enrollment
If you are on leave 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.
If you are unable to complete the Open Enrollment information, your previous year's elections will remain in effect for the new plan year, excluding the flexible spending accounts, legal plan, and purchase of additional PTO, which will be terminated.
PTO will continue to accrue for up to 12 months of leave.
Volunteer Time Off (VTO)
Uniformed services leave will not affect your VTO; however, you may not use VTO while on leave.
If you are not scheduled to work on a Vanguard-designated holiday, holiday time will not be paid for that day. Holiday hours may not be used at another time during the year. For more details, refer to the Payroll Practices Policy.
Academic Assistance Plan
You may enroll and participate in the Academic Assistance Plan during paid uniformed services leave only.
You may become eligible for short-term disability while on uniformed services leave.
You may request a personal leave while on uniformed services leave.
Family and medical leave
You may request a family and medical leave while on uniformed services leave.
Vanguard Retirement and Savings Plan
Your salary deferrals and matching contributions (if eligible) to the Vanguard Retirement and Savings Plan (RSP) may be continued while on uniformed services leave as long as you continue to receive pay from Vanguard. If you have an RSP loan, your payments may be suspended during your leave if you are not receiving pay from Vanguard. Once you return to work, loan payments will restart and you will be able to make up salary deferrals—and receive the corresponding matching contributions—that otherwise could have been made during the period of leave had you been working (according to plan provisions and federal law).
Vanguard's quarterly retirement plan contribution to the RSP is based on your eligible quarterly earnings. During your leave, quarterly contributions will continue to be made as long as you continue to receive pay from Vanguard. Once you return to work, you will receive make-up contributions as necessary to reflect the total amount of contributions that would have otherwise been made during the period of leave had you been working (according to plan provisions and federal law).
Uniformed services leave will not be treated as, or counted toward, a "break in service" under the RSP. Uniformed services leave will count toward the annual service requirement (1,000 hours) for purposes of eligibility and vesting under the RSP, as required by law.
Your computer access will not be suspended while you are on leave.
Continuance of employment
Approximately five days before you are expected to return to work, Crew Central will attempt to contact you, or another person designated by you, to discuss your return.
The day you return to work, you or your supervisor must let Crew Central know you are back so they can initiate the return from leave process. If you chose to stop participating in your FlexCare benefits, you must let Crew Central know you would like your benefits reinstated. If you are released from service and you do not return to work on the agreed-upon date, your employment may be terminated.
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.