Employee Benefits

Health and Dental Insurance 

All regular full-time employees, employees who work 30 hours or more per week, and Town Council members are eligible to participate in the Town’s health plan through the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA).   If an employee elects to be covered, the cost for the coverage will be deducted from each paycheck.  The Town covers the premiums for the employee portion of the State Health and the State Dental plans.  The employee will be responsible for the cost of any additional dependent premiums selected.   For more information regarding the health plans click HERE.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts are a tax-saving way to pay health care and dependent care expenses that you would typically pay out-of-pocket.  Expenses such as deductibles, co payments, coinsurance, prescriptions, dental procedures and eyeglasses can quickly add up, and dependent care expenses can add up even more.  The FSA’s let you pay these expenses with pretax dollars.

Contributions are deducted from your pretax pay in equal amounts during the year.  This means you save money, as contributions are not subject to Social Security tax, federal income tax or state income tax.

Medical Spending Accounts and Dependent Care Spending Account enrollments are only valid for one year and be re-enrolled during the Annual Open Enrollment Period in order to continue.  Your account(s) will not automatically renew each year.

Pension Plans: South Carolina Retirement System

All regular full-time and part-time employees and Town Council are required by law to join the South Carolina Retirement Systems.  Seasonal and temporary employees have the option to opt out of the memberships. 

The Town offers two plans for employees, the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) and the Police Officer Retirement System (PORS).  Each employee/participant is required to contribute a certain percentage of their gross salary to the Retirement System.  The actual contribution amounts are subject to change per legislation but will be provided upon hire date.  The employee contributions are deducted on a pre-tax basis. Employee contributions earn interest.

More information on these programs can be found in the Retirement Handbook on PEBA’s website.

Disability

Eligible employees enrolled in the State Health Plan have basic long-term disability protection at no cost. The Basic Long-Term Disability Plan protects a part of your income if you become disabled. It includes: a 90-day benefit waiting period; a monthly benefit of 62.5 percent of your pre-disability earnings, reduced by deductible income; a maximum $800 monthly benefit; and a maximum benefit period to age 65 if you become disabled before age 62. If you become disabled at age 62 or older, the maximum benefit period is based on your age at the time of disability. 

Supplemental Long-Term Disability (SLTD)

This optional disability insurance plan provides more protection for you and your family. Supplemental long-term disability is a voluntary benefit for which the employee pays. This benefit provides: Competitive group rates; Survivors benefits for eligible dependents; coverage for injury, physical disease, mental disorder or pregnancy; a return-to-work incentive; SLTD conversion insurance; a cost-of-living adjustment; and lifetime security benefit.  There are two options either a 90-day or 180-day benefit waiting period that includes:  a monthly benefit of 65 percent of your pre-disability earnings, reduced by deductible income; a maximum $8,000 monthly benefit; and a minimum $100 monthly benefit.  For more details visit PEBA’s website.    

Workers’ Compensation

Town employees are covered by workers’ compensation for on-the-job injuries. Benefits are governed by state law and not set by the Town.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP is a confidential counseling, assessment and referral program designed to help you manage your life. Just as health insurance is designed to address your physical well being, your EAP is designed to address your emotional and mental health, as well as manage your work/life issues to achieve a healthy balance. EAP also provides legal and financial consultation services, as well as the WorkLife Benefit which provides assistance with elder care, childcare, adoption, education, and other work life matters. All calls made to the EAP are kept private and confidential.

Colonial Life – Supplemental Insurance

The Town of Bluffton also offers Supplemental Insurance coverage through Colonial Life to employees which includes:  Cancer Insurance, Hospital Confinement Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Accident Insurance, and Disability Insurance.  Everyone’s benefit needs are different so these are optional to each employee to select (if they choose) benefits that are right for their personal situation.

Educational Assistance and Educational Bonus Policies

The Town supports continuing education efforts made by Town employees through the reimbursement of tuition and training for certifications related to positions.  Further, in our efforts to provide excellent levels of service to our citizens, the Town of Bluffton continuously strives to train and educate its employees and believes that the organization benefits from having a workforce that achieves certain academic attainment and certain specialized training and certifications. 

Wellness Programs

The Town encourages employee wellness and encourages them to take advantage of some of the incentives available to them through Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA). 

PEBA Perks provides a comprehensive range of activities, programs, services, and information designed to help State employees, retirees and their covered dependents enjoy a happier, healthier life. As a part of the employee insurance program, PEBA Perks focuses on disease prevention, early detection, disease management, and offers educational resources on diverse issues such as diabetes, tobacco cessation, weight management, stress management, and nutrition.

Discretionary Awards

It is the policy of the Town to provide employee recognition and incentive awards to an employee or team upon Supervisor recommendation. This program is intended to reward staff employees whose achievements have resulted in a particular benefit to the Town of Bluffton. Awards are in the Town’s discretion, and no employee is entitled to an award.