The City of Mercer Island strives to offer employees a comprehensive benefits package. Regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible for insurance benefits beginning the first day of the month following the hire date. Among its features for unrepresented employees (represented employee benefits are similar and outlined in their respective union contracts) are:
- Paid Leave
- 10 paid holidays plus 1 floating holiday per year
- 12 paid vacation days per year; 15 paid vacation days per year after 4 years of service; 18 paid vacation days per year after 9 years of service; 21 paid vacation days per year after 14 years of service
- 3 personal leave days off per year (24 hours)
- 8 hours of paid sick leave accrued per month (up to a maximum of 720 hours)
- Participation in the State of Washington Department of Retirement Systems – Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) or Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Retirement System (LEOFF)
- Healthcare Insurance
- Medical Insurance through Regence Medical Blue Shield or Kaiser Permanente. The City pays the total cost of the employee’s premiums and the majority of the cost for family coverage (pro-rated amount for part-time employees)
- Dental Insurance through Washington Dental Service. The City pays the total cost of the employee and the majority of the coset for family coverage (pro-rated amount for part-time employees)
- Vision Insurance through Vision Services Plan. The City pays the total cost of the employee and their families premiums
- VEBA contribution of either $1,200 or $3,600 (depending on insurance plan choice) to compliment an employee’s medical insurance plan
- Other Insurance Coverage
- 125% of annual salary in a life insurance benefit
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
- Long-Term Disability Insurance
- Workplace Benefits
- Employee Assistance Program (counseling sessions for employee and family members)
- Flexible work schedule opportunities (limitations apply)
- Ride matching service and carpool incentive program
- Employee 24-hour gym
- Supplemental Insurance Options
- Supplemental Life Insurance options
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Short-Term Disability Insurance
- Supplemental Medical Insurance
- Medical and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts
- ICMA Deferred Compensation (457) Plan
- Group Rates for Auto & Home Insurance
- Voluntary Employee Benefits
- Employees Association Membership (promoting employee social events)
- Cellular Phone Purchase Plans
Explanation of Benefits
All regular City employees are required to participate in the State of Washington Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) except Fire and Police employees who are members of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Firefighters' Retirement (LEOFF). Employees and employers jointly contribute to the plans. In addition, employees may participate in a deferred compensation plan (Section 457) through ICMA-RC, in which employees may contribute pre-tax dollars to supplement their retirement.
Insurances and Healthcare & Child/Elder Care Reimbursement
The City offers medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits to employees and their families. The City pays a monthly allowance on behalf of each employee to cover the full costs for medical, dental, and vision premiums. Employees who choose to cover their family are responsible to pay any amount that exceeds the allowance.
The City pays the full premium for employee life, accidental death and dismemberment, and long-term disability insurance.
Employees may participate in the Section 125 Health Care Expense Reimbursement and/or Child/Elder Care Expenses options with Flexible Spending Accounts. Under Health Care Reimbursement, the employee can contribute up to $2,650 pre-tax to take care of certain out-of-pocket medical expenses. Under Child/Elder Care Reimbursement, the employee can contribute up to $5,000 pre-tax to take care of Child/Elder care expenses. Collective bargaining agreements determine the different insurance coverages for represented employees.
Volunteer Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA)
The City's unrepresented employees receive a VEBA contribution to supplement their health insurance coverage. VEBA is a group, tax-free, pre-retirement and post-retirement medical savings account that covers many out-of-pocket medical expenses. It is tax-free upon contribution, tax-free when growing, and tax-free when withdrawn. It does not include a "use-or-lose" provision like the Section 125 Flex Plan. Collective bargaining agreements determine VEBA coverage for union-affiliated employees.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
The City pays 100% of the premiums for unrepresented employees' long-term disability insurance through the Standard Life Insurance Company. Disability insurance for affiliated employees is governed by the appropriate collective bargaining contract.
The City pays 100% of the premiums for a life insurance policy through The Standard Life Insurance Company for all employees. Unrepresented employees receive a life insurance policy equal to 125% of the employee’s salary while employed with the City of Mercer Island.
Employee Assistance Program
The City provides a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP), through the Association of Washington Cities Benefit Trust & through Cheryl Cohen & Associates, to all its regular employees. This confidential service (even the City does not receive the names of those employees utilizing the program) is available to regular employees and their dependents for help with personal, family or job-related problems. Initial consultation (up to three visits) is available without cost to the employee. Counseling or treatment costs following initial counseling is the responsibility of the employee, but may be covered by health insurance benefits.