In addition to salary, fringe benefits are part of the total compensation package provided to University employees. The applicable fringe benefit rate is applied to salary line items as a percentage to cover ancillary expenses such as health and dental insurance, life and disability insurance, contributions to social security (FICA), retirement plans, Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, Salary Continuation Plan, Sick Leave pay (non-exempt employees who did not use sick leave), severance pay and employee tuition remission.
The University’s fringe benefit rates for sponsored projects are negotiated annually with our cognizant federal agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and are updated regularly on the OSP website and the OSP Campus R&R budget template. The correct rate must be applied to budgeted salary amounts in proposals and to actual salary charges when directly charged to sponsored awards. To calculate the most current rates at the proposal stage, and to reduce the likelihood for errors and omissions when calculating rates, please use the OSP Campus R&R budget template.
The applicable fringe benefit rate must be charged to all sponsors in direct proportion to an individual’s effort devoted to a sponsored project. For budget development purposes at the proposal stage, currently negotiated fringe rates are used; however, when the project is awarded actual negotiated fringe rates in place at the time of the associated salary expense will be charged.
There are 5 distinct and separate federally negotiated fringe benefit rates for the following employment statuses.
- Faculty with academic year appointments, regular full time/part time staff, and part time faculty in Adjunct Union (with standard benefits)
- Faculty summer, and non-exempt union staff with summer appointments
- Temporary employees, including part-time non-union faculty
- Graduate Assistants
- Adjunct Union part time faculty (modified benefits)
- PLEASE NOTE: The University’s RCM fringe benefit rates (i.e.- for all non-sponsored business) are not applicable to sponsored programs as they include items that are not allowable on federal awards.
Fringe Benefit Calculation Examples
Faculty during the Academic Year & Regular Full Time Exempt Staff: 31%
Salary x 31% Fringe
Example: $20,000 x .31 = $6,200
Faculty Summer Pay: 17.7%
Salary x 17.7% Fringe
Example: $20,000 x .177 = $3,540
Graduate Assistants during the Academic Year: 16.5%*
Salary x 16.5% Fringe
Example: $15,000 x .165 = $2,475
Temporary Employees: 8.80%
Salary x 8.80% Fringe
Example: $5,000 x .0880 = $440
Special Considerations for Graduate Assistants – Fringe benefits and Tuition
There are two fringe benefit rates for Graduate Assistants.
1) The federal rate must be used on all federal awards and on non-federal awards where tuition is a direct charge. The federal rate may be charged on some non-federal awards provided that the student hasn’t previously received tuition support using the non-profit/foundation fringe benefit rate. In cases where the non-profit/foundation rate is waived, no tuition may be provided to the student.
2) The non-profit/ foundation rate may be used for graduate assistants proposed on non-federal awards for which tuition is not direct charged, but is an allowable cost. The higher fringe benefit rate may not be used for sponsors that disallow tuition as a direct cost.
Fringe Benefit Rate for Graduate Student Summer Activity.
Graduate students who have a fall, spring, or academic year assistantship (regardless of the source of funds), and who also work during the summer on the same or similar activities should be classified as an SU Graduate Assistant -Summer (Account 536259).
The temporary employee fringe rate is to be used for those graduate students who are hired to perform temporary/hourly wage positions. Students who are temporary employees do not receive health benefits.