Fringe Benefits

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Georgia State University offers eligible employees various fringe benefits which includes, but is not limited to health insurance, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, retirement plans, worker’s compensation, and unemployment.The Fringe Benefits Rates used by Georgia State and charged to sponsors includes only the employer portion (Georgia State share) of the costs. These rates do not change employee benefit plans or enrollments. For information regarding employee benefit plans or enrollments visit: http://employees.hr.gsu.edu/benefits/

Georgia State University fringe benefit rates

Overview

Employee Type Fiscal Year 2014 Fiscal Year 2015
Full-Time Employees (Faculty & Staff) 29.9% 31.5%
Part-Time Employees (Faculty & Staff) 1.0% 1.1%
Graduate Assistants (GRA/GTA) 1.4% 1.9%

Overview of flat fringe rates

Effective July 1, 2011 Georgia State University established flat fringe benefit rates for each of the major employee groups at the campus. These flat fringe rates will be reviewed and approved annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. Fringe benefit expenses are determined by applying the appropriate percentage based on employee category, employee’s ADP paycode, to actual salary expense. The flat fringe rate is charged to regular salary as well as salary stipends, extra pay (i.e. overtime) and extra compensation.

Benefits included in fringe benefits rates

The Full-Time Employees (Faculty & Staff) rate includes the following fringe benefits: FICA, Health, Life, Retirement, Workers Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, Tuition Assistance Program, Flex Spending, MARTA/GRTA Subsidy, Vacation Payout, and Leave Programs.

The Part-time employees (Faculty & Staff) rate includes the following fringe benefits: FICA, Workers Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, and MARTA/GRTA Subsidy.

The Graduate assistants rate includes the following fringe benefit: GRA/GTA Health Insurance.

Employee category descriptions

The full-time employees (Faculty & Staff) category includes: 9 month faculty, 12 month faculty, summer faculty, 12 month staff, 10 month staff, 10 month salaried, and 12 month salaried (except working retiree) employees.  Additionally, an individual must be appointed to a regular faculty or staff position that has an anticipated duration of greater than six months.

The part-time employees (faculty & staff) category includes: part-time faculty, salaried working retiree, temporary salaried, and temporary staff.

The graduate assistants category includes: all graduate students that have an appointment as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, or Graduate Laboratory Assistant.

Please note

Student assistants, Federal Work Study, and Special Work Study students are NOT included in any of the above employee categories therefore, NONE of the fringe rates apply to these employee types.

How are fringe benefits calculated

Georgia State University (GSU) uses multiple fringe benefit rates developed under the requirements of Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions (A-21). Starting July 1, 2011, Georgia State began using three separate flat fringe rates for different categories of employees. To arrive at these employee categories, a review was made of the fringe benefit eligibility for each class of Georgia State employees. Employees are grouped into three categories of fringe benefit eligibility, which are Full-Time Employees (both Faculty and Staff), Part-Time Employees (both Faculty and Staff), and Graduate Assistants (GRA/GTA).

A fringe benefit rate for each employee category is calculated by the development of a pool of fringe benefits costs (the numerator) and of a salary and wage base (denominator). The pool consists of costs for the benefits provided to a particular category of employees. When the pool is divided by the base applicable to that category of employees, a rate results; this rate represents the percentage that must be added to employees’ salary and wage dollars.

The fringe benefit rate for each employee group will be reviewed annually to ensure an accurate allocation. Any over or under recovery of actual fringe benefit costs will be adjusted in the next rate calculation.

Graduate students on academic appointment receive a waiver of some portion of their tuition costs. These costs are excluded from the fringe benefit rate calculation.

Why change fringe rates

Overall, this methodology for calculating and charging fringe benefits is considered a best practice at leading research institutions. Several large research universities have already adopted this practice including, Georgia Institute of Technology, State University of New York, Emory University, and University of Florida. Additionally many universities are now switching to this methodology including, Arizona State University, University of California Davis, Auburn University, Vanderbilt University, and Clemson University.

This new fringe methodology will facilitate planning, budgeting, and other tasks in the ongoing operations of the campus.  It will simplify and improve the preparation, administration, and monitoring of budgets and accounting for fringe benefit expenditures. Provide for consistent accumulation and allocation of fringe benefits expenses to all functional activities as required by Cost Accounting Standards 501 and 502. Also, allow the university the opportunity to recover fringe benefit costs from all funding sources.

How often will fringe rates change

Georgia State will have new fringe benefits rates each fiscal year. Fringe benefit rates for each employee group will be reviewed annually to ensure an accurate allocation. Any over or under recovery of actual fringe benefit costs will be adjusted in the next rate calculation.

Fringe benefits FAQs

This will impact all grants both awarded and proposals submitted prior to the notification of the new fringe rates. Effective July 1, 2014 all projects will be charged the new fringe rates. Therefore proposals submitted after notification of the new fringe rates should use the new fringe rates in budget development. Additionally existing awarded or newly awarded projects may need to re-budget to cover the new fringe rates.

No, none of the fringe rates apply to student assistants as that is a separate employee type/category and not a part of the employee types we charge fringe rates to. If there is uncertainty of what employee type/category someone falls under, it would be best to double check with your department or college HR coordinator to find this out.

For GRAs this rate includes the following fringe benefit: GRA/GTA Health Insurance. The GRA/GTA Health Insurance in the fringe rate is only the employer portion. Employees will still be required to pay their share. The graduate assistant rate no longer includes the MARTA/GRTA subsidy as that is now fully covered by the student transportation fee, a part of student fees.

You do not need to submit and IPAS right away if your project has the available funds in the fringe budget line or personal services to cover the increased costs. However, submit an IPAS if you don’t have enough funds in the fringe budget line or personal services but can cover this shortfall from other budget lines/categories (i.e. non-personal services).

The increase in the overall fringe benefit rate for full-time employees is a result of rising health care and retirement costs.

The increase is a result of rising health care costs.

An employee in the 09C or 09L pay codes regardless of how many hours they work would not be benefits eligible like full-time employees meaning, they would not be eligible for health, life etc. insurance and that would put them in the part-time fringe rates category, 1.10% fringe rate.

Yes, both direct costs (new/increased fringe costs) and indirect costs (the F&A amount assessed on those direct fringe costs) will be impacted.

For Part-time employees this rate includes the following fringe benefits: FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment, and MARTA/GRTA Subsidy.

It is included as the University pays a fee to administer this program.

Yes, the 1.90% fringe rate will be applied to a GRA being paid on a residual account.

Yes, we will have new fringe benefits rates each fiscal year. Fringe benefit rates for each employee group will be reviewed annually to ensure an accurate allocation. Any over or under recovery of actual fringe benefit costs will be adjusted in the next rate calculation.

If you are submitting a non-competing continuation grant use the fringe rates that were originally awarded for the multiple years of the project, this is not a request for new funds. If you are submitting a competing continuation grant than use the new fringe rates, as this would be considered a request for new funds.

Yes, as a renewal grant generally extends the scope of the original work and includes a request for additional funds.

No, GRAs will continue to get the same health insurance as they did prior to the new fringe benefit rates.

If you can, yes, go back to the sponsor and request a change to the budget that would include the new fringe rates. However, there might not be many sponsors who will allow you to do this.

The new fringe rate will be applied as the salary payment is being processed after the introduction of the new fringe benefit rates.

In order to determine which fringe rate to use, you need to know the ADP pay code associated with the Post doc in question. For a Post doc in ADP pay code 09A you would use the full-time employee fringe rate of 31.50%. For a Post doc in ADP pay code 09L you would use the part-time employee fringe rate of 1.10%. If there is uncertainty of what ADP pay code a Post doc falls under, it would be best to double check with your department or college HR coordinator to find this out.

A Post doc with .75 or higher EFT would be in ADP pay code 09A and you would use the full-time employee fringe rate of 31.50%. A Post doc with .74 or less EFT would be in ADP pay code 09L and you would use the part-time employee fringe rate of 1.10%.

 An occasional staff is a temporary employee and therefore falls into the part-time employee category and you would use the part-time employee fringe rate of 1.10%.

For the project budget period that begins before July 1, 2014, you should use the appropriate fiscal year 2014 fringe rate (ex: 29.9% for full-time employees) for that portion of the budget year. For the project budget period(s) on or after July 1, 2014, you should use the appropriate fiscal year 2015 fringe rate (ex: 31.50% for full-time employees) for that portion of the budget year(s).

For project budget years that begin on or after July 1, 2014, you should use the appropriate fiscal year 2015 fringe rate (ex: 31.50% for full-time employees).
Use the current full time employee fringe rate of 31.50%.
GSU went to a flat fringe rate effective July 1, 2011. GSU’s fringe benefit rates now include over and under recovery from previous fiscal years making it difficult to breakdown in details the flat fringe rates. As you can see from the attached fringe rate agreement (page 3) with our cognizant agency DHHS, they do not break this down as we now have a flat rate.
Yes, fringe is charged to salary stipends, overtime and extra compensation as well as regular salary. Fringe benefit expenses are determined by applying the appropriate fringe rate based on an employee’s ADP paycode, please refer to Fringe Rates by ADP paycode document.