Composite Benefit Rates - 5 Things You Need To Know

Background:  With UCPath go-live on June 1, 2020, the system will implement a CBR for the employer share of benefits for all faculty and staffWhat is a CBR?  A CBR is the cost of employee benefits as an average percentage of gross salary cost applicable to an employee group.  UCSF Campus employees will be categorized into six CBR groups.

Following are several questions received by the CBR team recently:

Will there be a new VLA rate in UCPath?

Yes. In UCPath, the VLA rate is categorized into three groups for both Campus and Health: Group 1 is for employees ineligible for vacation leave, Group 2 is for Non-Faculty Academics and Staff, and Group 3 is for Faculty. The Group 1 rate must be 0%, and each business unit determines the rates for Groups 2 and 3. Rates can be the same for each group, or different.

At UCSF, the Campus Groups 2 and 3 were recently updated from 6.17% for both groups to 7.17% and 7.41% respectively. Due to the timing of these updates happening so close to UCPath go-live, the new VLA rates for groups 2 and 3 may or may not be reflected in the first monthly and bi-weekly pay periods. In addition, Budget & Resource Management will monitor the VLA rate closely to ensure it is generating adequate funding for vacation leave. VLA rates will be adjusted up or down throughout the year as these changes occur.

How do I find the UCPath benefits eligibility code for an employee?

In PPS, the Benefits Eligibility (BELI) Code in the employee’s appointment determined their eligibility status. Employees with BELI Codes = 1 were eligible for full benefits; all others were not. In UCPath, the BELI code is going away, and benefits eligibility will be determined by the Eligibility Config Code. An Eligibility Config = F (Full) or FO (Full Override) indicates the employee is eligible for Full Benefits; all others are not. To determine if an employee is eligible for full benefits, see the table below.

Benefits Package Initial Requirements Continuing Requirements
Full Member of a UC-sponsored defined benefit retirement plan

An appointment that is 50% or more for 12 or more months
1,000 Eligible hours worked in a rolling 12-month period, including previous UC employment

Minimum 17.5 hours/week or 43.75% average paid time (APT) over rolling 12 month period
Mid-Level NOT a member of a UC-sponsored defined benefit retirement plan

Minimum 50% appointment for 12 months or more
An appointment that is 100% for 3 or more months (but less than 12 months)

Minimum 17.5 hours/week or 43.75% average paid time (APT) over rolling 12 month period
Core Minimum 43.75% appointment for any duration Minimum 17.5 hours/week or 43.75% average paid time (APT) over rolling 12 month period

Employee is ineligible for Health and Welfare Benefits because of excluded appointment type or does not meet the BELI 1 – 4 requirement:

  • Appointed less than 43.75% and/or average paid time (APT) is less than 17.5 hours/week or 43.75%/month
  • "Casual restricted" or student reserved position
  • "Per diem" appointment
  • "By Agreement" appointment without pay related to time on pay status
  • "Without salary" appointment
Post-Doctoral Benefits EMPL_CLASS = 23  

Departments will pay the full benefit CBR for employees eligible for full benefits; for all other employees, the department will pay the Partial/Minimum/Student CBR. See the CBR by Title Code Lookup to determine which CBR group each Title Code pertains.

How much of the CBR for the Postdoctoral Scholar rate will be for health insurance? I can only pay the health insurance portion on their F32, T32 and NRSA awards.

UCSF’s CBR agreement is applicable to all federal and non-federal sponsors and sponsors should adhere to the full rates. However, for sponsors with restrictions on allowable benefits costs, such as F32, T32 and NRSA awards, the 2019-20 Postdoctoral Scholar CBR is 20.4%. Health insurance represents 84.1% of the rate. The Medical Benefits included in the rate will be the Health Insurance contribution, Core Medical Insurance, and the PSBR Health Insurance. Below is a table of all the CBR Benefits including these costs.

UCSF Postdoctoral Scholars Fringe Benefit Costs benefit category percent of rate: 2019-20 2020-21
Benefits Administration 1.0% 1.0%
Dental Benefits 2.9% 2.8%
Disability Benefits 1.1% 1.1%
Employee Support Programs 0.0% 0.0%
FICA Tax 5.1% 5.0%
Incentive Award Programs 0.0% 0.0%
Life Insurance 0.4% 0.3%
Medical Benefits 84.1% 84.6%
Retiree Health Benefits 0.1% 0.1%
Retirement Benefits 0.5% 0.5%
Senior Management Supplement 0.0% 0.0%
Unemployment Insurance 0.8% 0.8%
Vision Benefits 0.6% 0.5%
Workers' Compensation 3.4% 3.3%

In PPS, departments pay a Vacation Leave Assessment (VLA) for every vacation-eligible employee, but there is no charge once an employee reaches their maximum vacation accrual. Is the assessment process changing with UCPath?

Yes, the Vacation Leave Assessment process is changing with UCPath. In UCPath, VLA will continue to assess to the funding department even after an employee reaches their maximum vacation accrual. This means that departments with employees at the maximum vacation accrual will effectively pay charges where they did not pay charges before. In order to avoid this situation, departments should strongly encourage their employees to take and record their vacation, so that they receive a VLA (VAC) credit when the employee takes vacation. Implementing this simple practice could yield significant financial benefits for all departments, especially those with large numbers of faculty. Faculty accrue vacation at the highest rate and are more likely to be at maximum vacation accrual; as a result, their vacation credit dollars would be, on average, higher in value. The VLA secotion of the CBR website has more detailed information about how the VLA assessments and credits may appear on the ledger.

Which ERN codes are assessed CBR and/or VLA?

In PPS, Description of Service (DOS) codes define the compensation to be paid. In UCPath, PPS DOS codes will be replaced by Earnings (ERN) Codes. The conversion from DOS to ERN will not necessarily be 1 for 1. Some DOS codes are being eliminated; some will convert into multiple ERN codes; and others will consolidate into single ERN codes. The UCPath Integrations Team has provided a current DOS to ERN code mapping file.

The CBR website has a CBR and VLA by ERN Code Lookup to assist you with understanding which ERN Codes will be assessed a CBR and/or VLA. You can filter on ERN Code, ERN Code Description, and whether CBR and/or VLA will be charged. Financial analysts interested in employee-level planning may want to use the DOS to ERN mapping file and the CBR and VLA by ERN Code Lookup in their 2020-21 financial planning.

Please visit the CBR website for more information or email [email protected] with any questions.

To learn more about the Composite Benefit Rate in UCPath, check out the CBR Webinar recording and presentation slide deck if you were unable to join the live session on April 7.