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The University of Kentucky is proud to offer a benefits package that helps us recruit and retain the very best faculty and staff. In addition to your take-home pay, your benefits package is a major component of your total compensation at UK. These benefits include our 200 percent match on eligible retirement contributions; competitive health, dental, and vision coverage; tuition benefits for classes at UK, and much more.

In fact, our focus on benefits and overall employee well-being helped us earn recognition as a Great College to Work For by The Chronicle of Higher Education for five consecutive years.UK was also recently ranked No. 6 on the 2023 list of America's Best Employers by Forbes.

Learn more about some of our benefits below.

For a more complete listing of UK's benefits and eligibility, visit the Benefits home page. Or, you can view a printer-friendly version of UK's exceptional benefits for staff and exceptional benefits for faculty.

Matching Retirement Savings Plan

Retirement savings are an important part of your total compensation package and help ensure a more financially secure future. Under our matching retirement plan, you contribute 5 percent of your base salary, and UK proudly contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of your salary, for a 200 percent match. If you are hired on or after July 1, 2024, you are automatically enrolled in this plan regardless of age. If you were hired July 1, 2023 or after and before July 1 ,2024, you are automatically enrolled in this plan when reaching age 25. If you were hired prior to July 1, 2023, you will automatically be enrolled in this plan when reaching age 30. You will be fully vested after 3 years of working regular, full-time service.

Health insurance

UK offers five health plan options, including a Health Saver plan with a health savings account, all of which provide an excellent value. UK pays the bulk of the true cost of each plan – up to 94 percent in some cases. You can choose the plan and coverage that is best for you and your family. To learn more about the options, visit our Benefits website.

Prescription benefit

Express Scripts administers the prescription benefit for UK. If you are enrolled in a health insurance plan, you are automatically enrolled in the prescription benefit. The benefit provides 24-hour customer service, web-based drug information and an integrated mail service pharmacy. We also have dedicated pharmacists on staff to provide prescription co-pay counseling to help you find the most cost-effective medications.

Dental insurance

UK offers dental plans through two carriers: UK Dental Care and Delta Dental. All plans offer a benefit toward basic preventive services for cleaning and two office visits per year. Additional benefits may be available based on the plan you choose.

Vision insurance

Vision insurance is available through EyeMed. The plan offers savings on eye exams, contact lenses, lens options and accessories, as well as vision-correction procedures. You can choose either the Essential or Enhanced plans.

Paid leave

Regular, full-time staff initially accrue 10 to 15 vacation days per year, and up to 20 days per year with additional years of service. Regular, full-time staff also accrue 13 paid holidays annually. Regular, full-time staff accrue 12 days of Temporary Disability Leave (TDL), or “sick leave,” per year.

We also now offer regular staff working at least half time up to two weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, and one week of paid leave to care for a parent who is ill.

Flexible spending accounts (FSA)

This benefit is administered by TASC and allows you to pay for eligible health and child/dependent care expenses with tax-free dollars through flexible spending accounts. For the health care FSA, you will receive a flexible spending debit card in the mail to use for eligible purchases.

Life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance

Basic life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment coverage in the amount of one times your salary is available at no cost. You may purchase additional term life insurance in an amount up to five times your annual salary. You may also purchase additional accidental death & dismemberment insurance.

Legal services benefit

MetLaw is a legal services benefit from MetLife. This plan allows you to enroll and gain access to more than 14,000 experienced attorneys nationwide, including more than 200 in Kentucky. These experts can provide advice and representation on wills, estate planning, contracts, family, financial matters and much more.

Voluntary Benefits

Additional benefits are available to purchase with automatic payroll deductions. Benefits include long-term care, universal life insurance, short-term disability, cancer insurance, and home and auto insurance. These benefits are administered by the MPM Group, LLC.

Education programs

Eligible staff may receive a tuition waiver for up to 18 credit hours per academic year taken at UK through the Employee Education Program. If you have at least one year of continuous, regular, full-time service and are not using the Employee Education Program, you may choose to apply a tuition discount (10 percent to 50 percent) for your child or spouse/sponsored dependent through the Family Education Program.

Employer Assisted Housing Program

Regular, full-time faculty and staff may be eligible for “forgivable loans” of up to $15,000 to purchase homes, condominiums, townhouses and duplexes in designated neighborhoods. The loans can be used for down payment and closing costs, rehabilitation or renovation assistance.

Professional Development

Improve your skills or learn new ones through technology training, professional development and supervisory training.


You’re at your best when your well-being is a priority. Below, learn more about our many offerings to help you live your best at every stage of career and life. You can also learn more at our well-being website.

Financial well-being

Enrich offers financial well-being tips tailored to your unique situation. Get debt coaching from GreenPath and explore student loan forgiveness with Savi.


We offer two on-campus gyms and group fitness classes for $9 per month (or $4.50 bi-weekly). You can also meet one on one with a fitness specialist who will help you identify and reach your goals.


Our on-site registered dietitians can guide you no matter your personal nutrition needs. Weekly classes are held year round, helping you focus on long-term changes, rather than quick fixes.


This phone-based program provides highly personalized, one-on-one coaching to help you build a foundation for being your best at work and at home. Tobacco cessation is also available, with free nicotine replacement.


Available three times a year, this 10-week online program focuses on losing weight by changing how you eat, instead of what you eat.

Mental health therapists

Receive five free individual counseling sessions per year with a licensed and certified therapist. Spouses, children and sponsored dependents are also eligible.

Elder care

Get resources and support for caring for an aging parent or relative, no matter where they live nationwide.

Child care

In addition to help with finding local child care vendors, our Big Blue Family Care program makes it simple for UK families to connect with UK students for occasional, part-time child care needs.

For new parents

Our Little Cats Guide provides information on how to prepare for your time away from work, as well as transition back, including leave time and UK resources.