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Benefits for Newly Hired Employees

The University offers many benefits for you and your family. To elect benefits online, you must take action within 31 days of your hire date. Please allow two weeks from the date of your elections submission for processing.

To learn more about what is offered to you:

The effective date of coverage at Northwestern University is the first of the month following the month of hire or initial benefits eligibility, unless hired on the first of the month. Employees hired on the first of the month are eligible for benefits as of the date of hire.  For those hired on any date after the first of the month, their coverage begins the first of the month following the date of hire.

Please note that you will not be active in Payflex's Commuter Benefit System for 2-3 weeks following your hire date.

Enroll Online

  • Enter your selections online using myHR. See Step-by-Step Guide for assistance with enrollment.
  • Once you have made your selections, click “Submit” and follow the submission process through until you see a congratulatory message with a link to print off your confirmation statement
  • For Retirement Savings Plans, you will have a 1-year waiting period before you will receive University funds or submit a Waiver of Service form. To contribute your own funds to the retirement plan before you are eligible, see step-by-step guide for assistance with enrollment.


 Submit Supporting Documentation

  • If you enroll a spouse or dependent children in the medical plan, supporting documentation is required for spouses, partners, and dependent children. Please view our proof of dependency page for additional information on what is required. This documentation is uploaded during enrollment.
  • If you enroll in supplemental life insurance you will need to complete the Evidence of Insurability to apply for additional coverage above the guaranteed issue amount of three times your salary or $1,000,000 (whichever you hit first).  This will be emailed to you within 48 hours of enrolling in coverage.
  • You may enroll in spouse life insurance with coverage up to your total basic and supplemental life insurance, not to exceed $500,000, in $10,000 increments.  You must complete the Evidence of Insurability to apply for additional coverage above the guaranteed issue amount of $30,000. This will be emailed to you within 48 hours of enrolling in coverage.
  • If you meet criteria, you may waive the one year waiting period for the 403(b) retirement plan by submitting the Waiver of Service form completed by your previous employer.
  • If you elected the dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and have a gross household income less than $130,000 submit the online Dependent Care Employer Match form with your most recent IRS 1040 to the Benefits Division to receive matching funds from Northwestern. For assistance completing this form, review this User Guide.

Register your accounts

  • Activate your FSA with PayFlex using your employee ID on your Wildcard, your home zip code, and your PayFlex debit card (which was mailed to your home address). Watch a video on how to create an account with PayFlex and navigate your account dashboard.
  • PayFlex will send a Welcome Kit with instructions on how to open a Health Savings Account (HSA) account. Activate your HSA before the first payroll deduction to guarantee that your contributions are posted to your account.
  • Set up an account with the investment company that you have chosen. See the available retirement plans for instructions.