Employee Benefits

Thurston County provides a comprehensive benefits package to all regular employees. The following is a brief summary of available benefits offered to county employees. Benefits are subject to change and may differ according to collective bargaining agreements. Plan documents and eligibility requirements are provided upon hire. This information is subject to change at anytime.

Health Care Benefits:

Thurston County provides medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage for all regular full-time employees enrolled in the County’s standard plans. For regular part-time employees, who work less than 75% of an FTE, the county pays a pro-rated portion of the cost for medical, dental, vision and life insurance.

Thurston County provides medical benefits through the Washington State’s Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB). Plan availability is based on county of residence. Each year the County determines the standard and non-standard plans. For standard plans, the County pays the full employee premium.

Dental plans are provided through the Washington Counties Insurance Fund (WCIF). Employees have the opportunity to choose between two plans, Delta Dental, a preferred provider plan or Willamette Dental, an HMO plan.

Thurston County employees have Vision Service Plan coverage through the Washington Counties Insurance Fund (WCIF). Employees also have additional vision coverage through their medical plan.

Life Insurance
The County provides each regular, full-time employee with a basic, term life plan of $36,000 life insurance and $36,000 accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. Additional voluntary, supplemental life insurance and AD&D insurance is available as a payroll deduction.

Dependent Coverage
Eligible dependents may be added to all coverage listed above. Depending upon the bargaining unit, the County pays up to a specific maximum amount toward dependent coverage with the employee paying any amount above the County maximum contribution.


Pension Plans:

Eligible Thurston County employees participate in the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems’ pension plans (PERS, PSERS, or LEOFF). With the exception of PERS plan 3, all of these plans are “defined benefit” plans with retirement benefits based on your average compensation and earned service credits. PERS Plan 3 is a hybrid plan incorporating both “defined benefit” and “defined contribution” elements. These plans are funded by both employer and employee contributions.

Deferred Compensation
The County offers three voluntary deferred compensation plans for employees who would like to set aside additional deferred tax dollars into a retirement savings plan. Deferred compensation plans are 457 plans as defined by IRS regulations.


Holiday and Leave Programs:

Paid Leave
Thurston County offers two leave plans, Alternative leave and Traditional leave. In the Alternative Leave program, leave is accrued monthly and may be used for vacation and/or sick leave purposes. Employees in the Traditional Leave program accrue both sick leave and annual leave each month.

Thurston County Observed Holidays
Ten paid holidays are observed by Thurston County. Regular employees receive one floating holiday and one Community Service Day each calendar year.


Other County Paid Benefits:

Long Term Disability (LTD)
The county’s long term disability plan provides a monthly benefit of 60% of your monthly base salary up to $6,000 per month after a waiting period of 90 days of disability.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Employees and immediate family members are eligible to receive confidential, professional counseling assessment and referral services through First Choice Health.  The employee assistance program can assist and respond to all kinds of requests for counseling assessment and life concerns, such as, relationship concerns, family problems, alcohol and drug abuse problems, financial crisis, identification theft, general stress, caregiver burnout, depression, etc.  Services are available 24-hours per day, 7-days per week.


Additional Voluntary Benefits:

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Employees can take advantage of Section 125 flexible spending accounts for out-of-pocket health care and daycare expenses. Section 125 FSAs allow you to pay for allowable health-related and/or dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.

Electronic Payroll Savings with TreasuryDirect
County employees can invest in TreasuryDirect electronic savings bonds (Series I and EE) by requesting a payroll deduction. Monthly deductions are forwarded to the Federal Reserve, which enables employees to buy and redeem electronic savings bonds directly from the United States Treasury Department.

Additional Benefits
The County also offers direct deposit, credit union memberships, a Commute Trip Reduction Program, and other miscellaneous benefits.