Benefit Pool Funding Participation

UCSC manages a program through which benefit costs for permanently budgeted staff (a.k.a. sub 01) may be covered from a central benefits pool.  The benefits pool operates for qualifying positions paid on specific core funds, those backed by sufficient permanent revenue sources.

At this time, the specific core funds in the benefits pool include:
19900  General state fund
19917  Information technology (ITTP assessment)
19924  SAPEP
19942  Non-resident tuition
20000  Student services fee
20095  Tuition
20360  Measure 7
66043  Information user (IU assessment)
66051  Business transformation (BTP assessment)
69750  Indirect cost recovery from federal contracts and grants
69900  Interest income

In order to establish a new qualifying permanent position or increase an existing permanent FTE, permanent budget must be contributed ("buy-in") by the unit to the benefit pool.  After buy-in any future benefit cost increases for that FTE are covered by the benefits pool.

The buy-in rate is calculated based on the relevant benefits assessments rates (CBR, RPNI, GAEL -- not VLA).  Although the VLA/vacation leave accrual benefits assessment rate is not included in the buy-in calculation, both the VLA expense and credit when used are covered by the benefits pool.  Beginning no sooner than April 1st of a given fiscal year, if the next-year’s benefits assessment rates are published on the website, the new rates will be used in the buy-in calculation. This change will be reflected in the automated calculations performed in FMW. Both a permanent buy-in is required, as well as a prorata current operating year buy-in if the FTE will be effective mid fiscal year.

From time to time, it may be necessary for a unit to completely eliminate a permanent position. In such cases the unit may be eligible for a permanent benefits rebate. Upon the deletion of a permanently budgeted staff FTE position created on or after November 15, 2019, the benefit contribution rebate will be equal to one-half of the currently applicable buy-in amount for the position being eliminated. For positions created on or prior to November 14, 2019, the original benefit contribution provided by the unit may be returned instead. In the latter situation, the burden of documenting/proving the original contribution lies with the unit.

EXAMPLE OF REBATE USING CURRENT RATES:  A unit wishes to eliminate a permenantly budgeted 1.00 FTE last filled at the salary of $75,000 effective 7/1/2020.  The benefits rebate would be calculated as follows using current (2022-23) rates for CBR, GAEL and RPNI:

(43.6%+2.5%+0.3%)/2 = 23.2%

$75,000 x 23.2% = $17,400 benefits rebate

Rebates are only provided for the elimination of staff (sub 1) FTE.  Rebates are not provided for an FTE that is simply reduced and not eliminated.  Current fiscal year rebates will not be provided. 

In the case of significant unit(s) reorganization, resulting in multiple FTE changes, rebates will be evaluated on a case by case basis when evidence of FTE buy-in history is provided.  The Dean or Principal Officer, or their senior staff, should consult with the Budget Office in advance of such broad changes.

Questions regarding benefits pool participation and requests for rebate should be addressed to the campus Budget Office.

 

Historical Information:

REVISED Changes to Benefit Pool Participation Letter - Effective April 28, 2021

Changes to Benefit Pool Participation Letter - Effective November 15, 2019

Formula for Employee Benefit Funding - Effective March 31, 2015 - November 14, 2019

 

Monthly Benefit Pool Offset Reversal

Each month, all benefit expenses associated with payroll wages on the above-mentioned funds are automatically offset with a budget transfer from the central benefits pool.  These budget transfers appear on the general ledger with the description “Benefit Pool Offset”.  Benefits expenses that are ineligible to be covered by the Benefit Pool Offset are the responsibility of the unit paying for the payroll wages.   For these ineligible expenses, the Benefit Pool Offset is reversed.  Reversals appear on the general ledger as budgetary adjustments and reference the name of the staff member and payroll month for which the offset is being reversed.

When are Reversals made?

Benefit Pool Offsets are reversed for all benefits associated with payroll wages on sub 02 for contract staff, career staff, limited-appointment staff and partial year career staff (Job Appointment Types 1, 2, 4, 7) paid on central benefit pool participating funds.  

Benefit Pool Offsets are reversed for benefits associated with payroll wages on sub 01 (regular, stipend, etc.) for staff in the aforementioned appointment types if the payroll fund-org is not the same as the fund-org where the staff member is permanently budgeted during that pay period OR if they are insufficiently budgeted on the fund-org where their payroll is being charged. (E.g., if a career employee is budgeted on a 0.50 FTE but is working 100% in a month, 50% of that employee’s benefits are the responsibility of the unit. Half of the Benefit Pool Offset will be reversed.)

Benefit Pool Offset Reversals are generally processed in the fiscal period following the payroll month for which the offset is reversed. For example, reversals for April benefits ineligible for central pool coverage are generally processed in the May fiscal period (period 11).

What do I do if I think a Reversal has been made in error?

If you think a Benefit Pool Offset Reversal was made in error, please email Paul Scalisi in the Budget Office.   To expedite review of your concern, please include relevant documents to support your claim (i.e. DOPE reports, FMW Staffing List, Financial Transactions Reports). 

The Budget Office will correct up to two months of Reversals if the Reversal(s) in question were a result of an error or delay on the part of the unit in updating Funding Entry or BDP. 

To avoid potential overassessment and reduce unit and central workload associated with Reversals:

  • Set up Funding Entries and Budget Distribution Pages (BDPs) in UCPATH for all new permanent positions promptly.
  • Edit Funding Entries and BDPs without delay when there are changes to funding or effort.
  • Monitor staffing lists in FMW routinely to ensure all permanent positions are sufficiently budgeted.