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Re: Retirement contributions on sponsored project summer salaries Herbert B. Chermside 15 Apr 2004 10:03 EST

VCU provides retirement (and health, etc.) benefits over a 12 month period
on/from the 9 month salary for AY faculty.  We pay summer salaries on the
Hourly payroll, so only social security and medicare benefits are paid on
summer salary.  We also have numerous CY faculty for whom benefits are paid
on/from the 12 month salary.  We look at it as a part of the institutional
system; summer salary for AY appointments increases income, but not
retirement benefits.

HOWEVER, from an individual's point of view, there should be a  403(b)
program to supplement the regular retirement program (a "perk" of academic
employment), to which an individual can contribute from his extra pay, and
there might even be a small employer match program (that's an institutional
policy matter).  Speaking personally, I found the 403(b)  a nice way to
boost my retirement resources after kids were educated and gone, and I had
some "disposable" income.

I agree that any change would have to be "all or nothing" for A-21 reasons.


At 02:18 PM 4/14/2004, you wrote:
>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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Herbert B. Chermside, CRA
Virginia Commonwealth University
PO BOX 980568
Richmond, VA  23298-0568
Voice:  804-827-6036
Fax     804-828-2051

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