San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a substantial portion of employee compensation. Benefits eligibility is based on position and employment status.

SDSU offers an array of health plans that allow employees to choose benefits that fit their individual needs.  With HMO and PPO medical options, two dental plans, and two vision plans, SDSU provides employees and eligible dependents with a health care program that is flexible, accessible, and affordable.


An employee may choose from eight low-cost HMOs for access to our region’s most respected medical providers with $15 co-pays, no deductibles, prescription drug coverage, and no claims forms.  Many plans have no monthly employee contribution, including four plans at the employee only enrollment level, two plans at the employee plus one enrollment level, and two plans at the family enrollment level.

For more flexibility, the University offers four PPO plans with low deductibles and co-insurances, nationwide healthcare provider coverage, and self-referrals to specialists. Monthly employee contributions vary depending upon insurance and level of coverage selected. Two plans have no monthly employee contribution at the employee only enrollment level, one plan has no monthly employee contribution at the employee plus one enrollment level and one plan has no monthly employee contribution at the family enrollment level.


The University provides comprehensive dental care through Delta Dental for eligible employees and their dependents with no monthly employee contribution. Employees can select a DMO panel dentist or a PPO dentist of their choosing. Both plans cover in-network preventative services at 100%.


SDSU provides two vision coverage plans through Vision Service Plan, which has a nationwide network of providers.  The University automatically enrolls employees and all eligible dependents in the VSP Basic plan, and there is no monthly employee contribution. The Basic plan provides a $95 allowance for a wide selection of frames and other benefits every other calendar year.

Employees also have the option to enroll in the VSP Premier plan at their expense instead of the CSU-paid VSP Basic plan that would otherwise be provided automatically. Monthly employee contributions vary depending on enrollment level. The plan provides a $200 allowance for a wide selection of frames and several enhanced benefits every calendar year.


FlexCash is an optional benefit plan that allows an employee to waive SDSU medical and/or dental insurance coverage in exchange for a cash payment, provided the employee has medical and/or dental coverage that is not provided by the CSU. The FlexCash Plan pays $128 per month in lieu of medical and $12 per month in lieu of dental coverages, as taxable income.

California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)

CalPERS is a defined benefit retirement plan for eligible California public-sector employees. Membership in CalPERS is determined by position, time base, length of appointment, and previous CalPERS agency or reciprocal agency employment. Members who are eligible for retirement receive a monthly pension based on final compensation, years of service, age, and benefit formula.

Part-Time, Seasonal and Temporary (PST) Retirement Plan

PST is a retirement savings program for employees who are excluded from CalPERS membership either because they work for SDSU less than half-time, are seasonal, or are employed on an intermittent or temporary basis. The PST contribution is deducted from pay before taxes and invested in the Short Term Investment Fund–PST, a capital preservation fund.

Voluntary Savings Plans

SDSU offers voluntary 401(k), 457, and 403(b) savings plans to help employees meet long-term financial goals. 

Retiree health and dental coverage is available for those who retire with at least 10 years of CalPERS service credit. This applies to all employee groups, except for SUPA (State University Police Association), whose vesting period for retiree health is currently five years. Employees who retire within 120 days of separating from employment with SDSU may maintain medical and dental insurance coverages into retirement for the retiree and eligible dependents with the same contribution rates as active employees.  Upon Medicare eligibility, a retiree and/or their dependent must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B and transfer to a CalPERS Medicare health plan to continue CalPERS health coverage. Some retirees may be entitled to a reimbursement of the Medicare Part B premium (some exceptions apply). Retirees may also enroll in and pay for low cost vision insurance.

SDSU offers a generous paid time off benefit of 14 paid holidays, 12 sick leave days, and 10-24 paid vacation days per year, as well as 20 – 30 days of paid parental leave.

Eligible SDSU employees may enroll in the Tuition Reduction and Fee Waiver Program. This program waives one California State University (CSU) application fee and tuition for up to 6 units or two classes per semester at any of the 23 CSU campuses as well as the reduction of certain mandatory fees. The waiver may also be transferred to an employee’s eligible dependent enrolled in a CSU matriculated program.

SDSU is a qualifying employer under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  For more information go to the Federal Student Aid website.

If you are a CalPERS member who served in the military prior to CalPERS membership, you may be able to purchase your active duty service with the United States Armed Forces. 

If you were granted a military leave of absence –leaving your CalPERS covered employment (CSU employment)— and later return to the CalPERS covered employment (return to the CSU), you may be able to receive service credit for your leave of absence at no member cost. 

You may refer to the CalPERS publication A Guide to Your Military Service Credit Options to learn about the various types of military service credit options.

The University provides qualified employees with income protection including employer-paid Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D), and Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurances through The Standard Insurance Company. Eligible employees may also purchase additional Voluntary Life, AD&D, and LTD insurances directly from The Standard. Voluntary Critical Group Illness coverage through AFLAC is also available.

Auto & Home Insurance: California Casualty offers SDSU employees significant discounts and perks designed to protect home and auto.

CalPERS Long-Term Care (LTC): This coverage helps pay for the high cost of care when one needs assistance with the activities of daily living. LTC is an optional, employee-paid benefit available to all current and former CalPERS members (including retirees) and their eligible family members.

MetLaw Legal Plan:  The MetLaw Legal Plan offers enrollees value, convenience, and comfort in knowing they can access legal services for almost all personal legal matters. The plan provides easy and low-cost access to a wide variety of personal legal services.

Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses allow an employee to pay for eligible out-of-pocket expenses with pre-tax dollars, lowering the employee's taxable income and saving money.   An employee may make contributions up to the federally-established annual maximums and access the account(s) with the ease of a debit card or direct deposit reimbursement.

SDSU offers a variety of programs designed to help employees and their families live a healthy and balanced life.

Employee Assistance Program: Aetna Resources for Living offers no-cost solutions for living well at home and at work. Their professionals offer counseling and support services, help to create solutions, and identify resources to address concerns - and help employees live well. They provide confidential support for a variety of concerns to help with emotional, relationship, health and workplace issues.  The first 8 sessions are at no cost to the participant.

Aztec Recreation Center: Discount membership to our state-of-the-art recreational facility with group fitness classes, free weights, cardio equipment, and more.

On-Site Services:  Make the most of your day with several convenient services such as banking, dining, shopping and entertainment available on campus.

Live Well Aztecs: Live Well Aztecs seeks to coordinate and enhance well-being related programs and services to foster a campus culture that supports healthy, balanced lifestyles.

On-Site Childcare: The SDSU Children’s Center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and promotes high-quality early learning by connecting practice, policy, and research.  Enrollment is limited and fees apply.  For more information and to apply for the waiting pool, please visit