Changes in Benefits

April 6, 2022

Two years ago, as part of Princeton University’s commitment to fight systemic racism, President Eisgruber urged the Princeton community to work within and beyond the institution to create a more just and equitable society. The Cabinet identified several priorities for University-wide work, including a review of Princeton’s employee benefit offerings.

A Benefits Review Committee, with representatives from across the University, was assembled to review a set of benefits offerings and determine whether they serve all employees well, including those who face greater socioeconomic disadvantages and hardships than others.

Today, based on the Benefit Review Committee’s recommendations to the University Benefits Committee, Princeton is announcing a series of changes to promote greater equity in and access to the following employee benefits, policies and programs:

Employee Child Care Assistance Program (ECCAP)

Childcare provides education and social skills that influence a child’s development and future success at school and beyond. To increase support for childcare, the following changes are effective July 1, 2022:

  • Household income tiers change and the top income limit, above which the benefit is not available, moves from $130,000 to $150,000.
  • The award amounts per child increase from a range of $1,000 to $5,000 to a range of $1,500 to $6,500.
  • Full award amounts are available for up to three pre-kindergarten aged children at any single time.
  • Families with a parent not working may now access the benefit.

Below are the new award amounts that will take effect as of July 1, 2022. Award amounts are based on prior year’s adjusted gross household income. 

Household Income 1st Child Receives 2nd Child Receives 3rd Child Receives
$80,000 and under $6,500.00 $6,500.00 $6,500.00
$80,001 – $90,000 $5,500.00 $5,500.00 $5,500.00
$90,001 – $95,000 $4,500.00 $4,500.00 $4,500.00
$95,001 – $100,000 $3,500.00 $3,500.00 $3,500.00
$100,001 – $110,000 $2,500.00 $2,500.00 $2,500.00
$100,001 – $150,000 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00

Children’s Educational Assistance Plan  

College and trade-school education provides a foundation for income in adulthood, and both are difficult to access for lower income households. In order to broaden access and improve the value that our Children’s Educational Assistance Plan provides to employees with children, the following changes apply to the 2022-2023 academic year:

  • 100% of tuition and mandatory fees covered, up to the annual maximum benefit amount ($20,700 for FY23). Previously, this benefit covered 50% of tuition and mandatory fees up to the maximum benefit amount.
  • Accredited trade school certificate programs are eligible for 100% coverage of program costs, up to the annual maximum benefit amount.
  • The eight-semester limit increases to ten if attending a community college or trade school prior to seeking a four-year degree.
  • The benefit is available to children of an employee who dies with at least 10 years of benefits-eligible service.
  • College Coach, offered through Bright Horizons, is a program designed to help parents and children understand post-high school education options and ease the application process, will be available in September to all employees. The service provides tools and resources to help select colleges, trade schools, prepare applications, review essays, and guidance regarding financial aid.

Long-Term Disability (LTD)  

A reduction in salary is difficult to manage, especially for families with little savings or those reliant on a single income in the household. Loss of income affects a family’s ability to invest in or save for the future, as well as manage a variety of daily living financial needs. To increase support for those on long-term disability, effective July 1, 2022, Long Term Disability coverage increases from 60% to 66.7% of the employee’s pre-disability base salary, and the monthly maximum benefit paid increases from $10,000 to $15,000. As a result, individuals purchasing the buy-up program will no longer pay for this additional coverage. In addition, recognizing the financial hardship of healthcare particularly to lower income staff, effective January 1, 2023, Princeton will not charge for medical coverage for individuals on LTD if annual salary is below $100,000 pre-disability.

Adoption & Surrogacy

Starting or growing a family is an expensive undertaking. To decrease the financial burdens of adoption and surrogacy, effective May 1, 2022, the lifetime limit of $20,000 towards adoption and surrogacy expenses increases to $40,000.