Military leave

Note: To help you understand how life events may impact your benefits, examples have been included in this section. However, eligibility for plan benefits (be it retirement, medical or the other benefits listed here) is based on the terms of the particular plans, and a benefit being listed under the Life events tab does not mean that you are eligible for that particular benefit. For plan eligibility questions, please refer to the Benefits Handbook.

If you need to take a leave from work, you should understand what happens to your benefits while you are away. Read through the information below carefully. If you have additional questions or to request a leave, contact your local HR representative. Please note, this section refers to period where FMLA leave does not apply. See FMLA leave for more information. 

Note: Payroll deductions for your employee benefits do not start automatically when you return from an unpaid leave.

You must contact the BP Benefits Center to request payroll deduction reactivation. In addition, if you have an outstanding Direct Bill balance, the balance must be paid in full before payroll deductions can be reactivated.

 

Benefit Available Changes Deadline Other Things to Consider
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
You can continue coverage for you and your eligible dependents while on leave as long as contributions continue via payroll deduction (for paid leave) or direct billing by the BP Benefits Center (for unpaid leave).

You may discontinue coverage while on leave. Your coverage ends at the end of the month in which you cancel coverage. 

If you return to work:
  • In the same plan year, your pre-leave medical and dental elections will be reinstated unless you experienced a qualifying status change between the date you went on leave and the date you return.
  • In a new plan year, you must enroll for medical and dental coverage within 30 days of returning to work, or within 30 days of a subsequent qualifying status change.
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Within 30 days of the life event
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you with any issues that may arise. For information, contact BP Care at 1-800-409-3687. All employees and dependents are eligible for EAP services.

During annual enrollment, you may make the same elections as active employees. 

If you do not return to work at the end of your leave period, and you are not eligible for another leave, you and your eligible dependents (excluding your domestic partner) will be eligible to continue coverage under COBRA provided coverage is maintained during the leave. Your domestic partner is not treated as a spouse in this situation; however, COBRA-like coverage may be available.
 
  • Health Care Flexible Spending Account
  • Dependent Care Spending Account
Contributions may continue until the end of the plan year (for paid leave with sufficient earnings for deductions), or you will be direct billed (for unpaid leave or with insufficient earnings) by the BP Benefits Center

Claims incurred prior to the date participation ends are eligible for reimbursement. 

You may elect to stop participating or reduce your participation while on leave. Your participation stops at the end of the month in which you cancel coverage.
  • If you return to work within the same plan year, your contribution elections will be reinstated, unless you experience a qualifying status change between the date you went on leave and the date you return.
  • If you return to work in a new plan year, you must enroll within 30 days of returning to work, or within 30 days of a subsequent qualifying status change.
Within 30 days of the life event During annual enrollment, you may make the same elections as active employees.

If you elect to stop participating or reduce your election while on leave and then choose to reinstate your prior elections upon return, be aware that the balance of your contributions will be deducted in equal amounts from the remaining pay periods in the plan year.  This could mean significant deductions depending on the amount you elected to contribute.
Short-term Disability (STD)
  • Available coverage for any new illness or injury ends when your leave begins.
  • Available coverage is reinstated upon your return.
  • You continue to accrue credited service while on leave.
N/A N/A
Long-term Disability (LTD) Coverage continues only for the first six months of paid leave. There is no coverage for an unpaid leave.
 
N/A The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) grants employees who return from active military service certain reemployment rights. Employees who return from active military service are reinstated as required by USERRA and may have their coverage reinstated, if the group LTD plan is still in force.

No medical evidence of insurability (EOI) will be required to reinstate coverage that was in force prior to active military duty. Medical evidence will be required for increases in coverage. 
 
No pre-existing condition limitations will be imposed with respect to a condition that existed and was not excluded prior to the start of military service. If you had not satisfied the pre-existing condition limitations period before coverage was interrupted, then you will be given credit for pre-leave service under the LTD plan. 
 
If you become disabled while on leave as the result of war or any act of war, whether or not declared, benefits will not be paid.
  • Basic Life
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Occupational Accidental Death (OAD)
Basic Life/AD&D coverage continues during the leave.
  • Basic life benefits will be paid even if the cause of death is related to an act of war or warlike actions.
  • AD&D benefits are not paid if the loss is the direct result of a war or warlike action in times of peace, including terrorist acts.

OAD coverage ends when leave begins. Upon your return from leave your coverage will be reinstated.

N/A If you receive an increase in base pay, the resulting increase in your coverage will not be effective until your return to work.

You may change your beneficiary designation for all or a portion of your life insurance plan benefits at any time by accessing the BP Benefits Center online.
Group Universal Life (GUL) Coverage can continue during the leave for you and your eligible dependents as long as contributions continue via payroll deduction (for paid leave with sufficient earnings) or direct billing (for unpaid leave) by MetLife.

You may discontinue coverage by contacting MetLife.

N/A If you drop coverage while on leave, you may re-enroll yourself and/or your eligible dependents once you return to work. Evidence of insurability (EOI) will be required.

Benefits will be paid even if the cause of death is related to war or warlike actions.

Long-term Care (LTC) Coverage continues throughout the leave as long as contributions continue via payroll deduction (for paid leave with sufficient earnings) or direct billing by John Hancock (for unpaid leave or with insufficient earnings).

You may discontinue coverage by contacting John Hancock.

N/A The LTC Plan is closed to new enrollments. If you stop your coverage while on leave, you will not be allowed to re-enroll.

Benefits are not paid for injuries the employee incurs due to conditions caused by:

  • War, whether declared or not, or acts of war; or
  • Service in any armed forces or auxiliary units.
BP savings plan Contributions and company matching contributions will continue based on eligible earnings paid by BP. Upon return from leave, you may make up any missed contributions. You will also receive a company contribution attributable to eligible pay you would have received from BP had you not been on military leave.
 
N/A Vesting: Upon returning from leave, you will receive service credit for vesting and eligibility purposes.

Loan deductions will continue as long as there are sufficient BP earnings to cover the payment. If there are not sufficient earnings, loan repayments are suspended and you will receive a loan coupon book and a letter explaining the option to continue repaying the loan by check. Unless loan payments are continued using this manual process, payments will be automatically suspended until you return from leave. Upon returning from leave, payments will resume via payroll deduction and the original loan period will be extended by the period of time the loan payments were suspended. During payment suspension, interest continues to accrue and the loan will be re-amortized upon your return.

BP retirement plan You continue to earn interest credits and supplemental credits (if any), under the cash balance plan. Upon your return from leave, you earn pay credits for your period of qualified military leave, based on eligible earnings paid by BP prior to the leave. Upon your return from leave:
  • Benefit service will accrue under any grandfathered plans for your period of qualified military leave.
  • You will receive service credit for vesting and eligibility purposes for your period of qualified military leave.
N/A N/A
Vacation You may choose to be paid your available vacation during the leave. If you do not return to work prior to year-end, any unused vacation will be paid to you. N/A While on leave, you continue to accrue credited service and vacation benefits in accordance with the vacation plan.
Next Steps
Review
  • Your benefit options and allowable changes to determine what changes, if any, you'll make to your BP benefits.
  • Your W-4 income tax withholding to determine if you should make changes. If you need to make additional changes, complete a new form available from BP HR Services (accessible online only by employees logged into the BP network).
Remember
  • You must make allowable changes to your medical, dental, vision and spending account participation within 30 days of the life event, otherwise you'll have to wait until the next annual enrollment.
  • You may make changes to income protection and survivor benefits, such as long-term disability, Group Universal Life and long-term care insurance at any time. However, you may be required to provide additional documentation before coverage is effective. See each plan summary for specific information on when you may be required to provide evidence of insurability (EOI).
  • The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you and your family with any issues that may arise. For information, contact BP Care at 1-800-409-3687. You and your dependents who live with you are eligible for EAP services.
  • You'll need your dependents' personal information including date of birth and Social Security number when enrolling.
  • You may make changes to your BP savings plan at any time. Generally, you may add or change a beneficiary for the BP savings plan or BP retirement plan at any time.
Go to or call
  • John Hancock at 1-800-482-0022 to make changes to your LTC participation.
  • BP Retirement Services at Fidelity at 1-877-272-3334 to make changes to your savings plan or to add or change a beneficiary for the BP savings plan or BP retirement plan (as applicable).
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