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Highline College Human Resources Payroll and Benefits

Benefits Overview

The benefits information presented below is a summary of College provided benefits. This information is subject to change and is subject to the provisions of any legislative mandates and College policy changes. For more detailed information about Highline College benefits, please do not hesitate to contact the College benefits coordinator at 206 592-3885.

Health Insurance

Health benefits are negotiated through the State of Washington Health Care Authority (HCA). Eligible employees may choose from a state preferred provider plan and managed care plans. Vision care is covered under the medical plan chosen. Employees pay their share of the premium for their chosen medical plan through payroll deduction. The premium cost varies upon the plan chosen and coverage for
  1. employee only,
  2. for lawful spouses, same-sex domestic partners, and
  3. dependent children, or
  4. for entire family.

The current monthly premiums range depending on the plan of choice and number of persons covered. Employees who have other options for comprehensive medical insurance have the choice of waiving the College's plan, but must make the choice in writing.

More information can be found on the HCA website.  

Dental Insurance

Eligible employees have a choice of dental plans. Choices include a state preferred provider dental plan and two managed care plans. The coverage options are varied and depend upon plan selection. There is no employee premium for dental coverage.  More information is found on the HCA website.

Medical Flexible Spending Accounts - FSA

The College offers an optional flexible spending plan for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Employees can set aside pretax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Employees may choose to set aside between $240 and $2,500 per calendar year. Because this is an IRC governed plan, you must “use it or lose it.” Enrollment is for the calendar year only, and must be renewed the following year. 

See the Flex-Plan Services website for more information.

Life Insurance

The College provides $35,000 in basic life insurance for any cause and $5,000 basic Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance at no cost to the employee. Employees can enroll in additional low cost optional life insurance for themselves, their spouse, and dependents. Upon retirement, an employee can apply for conversion of their term life insurance to a whole life policy.

Long Term Disability Insurance

The College provides a basic long term disability plan at no cost to the employee. This plan pays a benefit between $50 and $240 per month 90 days after disability certification or the period of accumulated sick leave, whatever is longer. Employees also have the choice of purchasing optional long-term disability coverage.


Classified employees

New classified employees upon hire are asked to choose between (Public Employees Retirement System) PERS 2 and PERS 3 plans.

PERS 2 is a defined benefit plan. PERS 3 is a combination of defined benefit and defined contribution plan. The plan choice is mandatory and permanent as long as the individual is employed at the College in an eligible position.

Newly hired faculty who are already members of TRS 3 (Teacher's Retirement System) may chose to remain in that plan or participate in TIAA-CREF.

Faculty, administrative and professional employees
Faculty, administrative and professional employees participate in the College's defined contribution plan through TIAA-CREF. This mandatory plan is matched dollar for dollar by the College. Employees begin the plan on their date of hire and are immediately vested. Percentages of contributions are based on age.

  • 34 years and under contribute 5% of gross income with a 5% College match
  • 35 to 49 years contribute 7.5% of gross income with a 7.5% College match
  • 50 years and over contribute 10% of gross income with a 10% College match

Note: Employees who already belong to a College State sponsored plan may elect to continue in the plan in lieu of participation in the TIAA-CREF plan (i.e. PERS or TRS.)

Supplemental Retirement Plans (Voluntary)

Additionally, Highline College employees have the opportunity to participate in voluntary retirement plans.

SRA (Supplemental Retirement Annuity) with TIAA-CREF (403b) Deferred Comp with the State of Washington (457)

IRS regulations currently allow maximum participation in both the TIAA-CREF SRA plan and the State of Washington Deferred Comp plan. For more information, please go to