General Lab Information

Vacation Buy Plan

The Vacation Buy Plan allows you to purchase additional vacation time on a pre-tax basis and spread the cost of doing so over the calendar year. Enrollment in the Vacation Buy Plan is optional.

The Benefit

You may purchase a minimum of 8 hours (up to a maximum of 40 hours) of vacation time in 1-hour increments each calendar year in addition to the vacation time you are eligible to receive from the Laboratory. Vacation Buy benefits for eligible part-time employees will be prorated according to your official work schedule. Additional vacation time is paid for through pre-tax payroll deductions taken equally from your paychecks throughout the year.   

How it Works

The hours of vacation you purchase become available to you as of your date of employment. Each year thereafter, if you buy vacation time, the hours of vacation you purchase become available to you as of January 1 of the following calendar year. For a full calendar year, divide your full-time Annual Base Salary by 2,080. You can prorate this accordingly for a partial year.

When you purchase vacation time, you buy unpaid time off but stretch the cost over the entire year. Since the Retirement Plan and the 401(k) Plan contributions are based on actual Base Salary, you do not receive and cannot make contributions for the unpaid time.

You can only make a change in your election outside of Open Enrollment if it corresponds to a change in the number of hours you are scheduled to work. Enrollment in the Vacation Buy Plan does not roll over; you must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment if you wish to continue participating.

If you don't use all of the vacation time you purchase, it won't be carried over to the next calendar year. That remaining time will be paid back to you in your last paycheck in December based on the rate at which it was purchased. The amount you are reimbursed will be taxable in your paycheck. Any applicable contributions to the Retirement Plan and 401(k) Plan will be made at that time.

How it Can be Used

The use of all vacation time requires the approval of your supervisor and must be in accordance with Laboratory vacation policies. When you record the Vacation Buy hours on your timecard, you will use a special Vacation Buy code.  Vacation Buy time can only be used after your regular accrued vacation time has been exhausted. The cutoff date for the use of Vacation Buy Plan hours varies from year to year. Contact the BSA Benefits Office for further information.

If You Terminate Employment

The benefits will cease on the earlier of the date your employment terminates or the date you are no longer eligible for coverage. Your final paycheck will be adjusted for: (1) hours purchased but not used. You will be reimbursed for these in your final paycheck based on the rate at which they were purchased and the applicable tax; (2) Hours purchased and used but not yet paid for. These will be deducted from your final paycheck based on the rate at which they were purchased.

How to Enroll

New employees sign up for coverage by completing an enrollment form within 30 days from your first day of employment. All other eligible employees may sign up for coverage during the Open Enrollment period and coverage will be effective January of the next calendar year.

See the Vacation Buy Plan Summary Plan Description (PDF) for Plan details.