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Retirement contributions on sponsored project summer salaries Bill Schulze 14 Apr 2004 13:18 EST

Hi, Everybody:

I wish to tap the collective wisdom of the group concerning a particular
problem we have regarding retirement benefits on faculty summer salaries
paid from sponsored projects....

Like most institutions, we allow faculty on academic year appointments to
receive 3/9 of their base salary for work during the summer months.
However, the Retirement Plan Document filed with the IRS by our University
System specifically states that retirement contributions (currently 10.5%)
are not paid for summer school salaries or for summer salaries paid from
sponsored projects.  Needless to say, faculty receiving summer salary from
sponsored projects are not happy with this situation, and there is now
considerable support here for change to allow these retirement

Procedurally, it would be relatively easy to change the RPD.  The main
problem is (according System administration) that  this is an
all-or-nothing proposition.. i.e., all institutions must agree to the
applicability of retirement to summer salaries AND these costs would have
to apply to "all institutional activities" [A-21.J.8.(f)] ... the
consistency thing ... So summer school salaries also would have to be
subject to retirement...

Our summer school is not appropriated from the State.  It is funded by fees
and administered by our Educational Outreach division.  So to apply
retirement to summer school salaries, we would either need to increase the
fees or take the employer share out of current salary rates (which are
already quite low).  Therein lies the delima and the main sticking point
that may affect agreement among the universities, colleges, and community
colleges within the Nevada System.

So I guess my questions are:

1) Has anyone else faced a similar situation?  And did you find a solution?
2) Are there any alternative interpretations regarding A-21 consistency
provisions that might allow us to pay retirement for summer salaries on
sponsored projects and not have to deal with the summer school issue?
3) Are there any other suggestions or advice that might help us achieve our
goal and avoid a protracted intra-System debate?

Thanks in advance for for your counsel....


William E. Schulze, EdD
Director of Sponsored Programs
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Phone (702) 895-1357
Fax (702) 895-0986

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