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Benefit rates

The Benefit Rate is a rate charged to the departments to help offset the University share of benefits and FICA.  For Fiscal Year 2020 (beginning July 1, 2019) onward, the benefits rate charged to departments for its employees is levied in two components: a per-person component and a pay-based component.

  • Per-person Component – This component pays for those benefits that are not tied to salary, such as medical and dental premiums.
  • Pay-based Component – This component pays for benefits that are tied to employee salary, such as retirement, life insurance and long-term disability insurance.
  • FICA rate – This is employer share of FICA, made up of 6.2% OASDI and 1.45% Medicare.

Benefit Rates

FY20
Per-person

Pay-based

FICA

$10,000

14.22%

7.65%

Historical benefit rates

How are the benefit components determined and communicated?

The rate is reviewed annually each spring by the System Budget Office.  It is then approved by the Board of Curators and communicated to the Budget Officers on each campus.  The Columbia Budget Office then communicates the rate to the Fiscal Officers.  Please see the UM System benefit rate charges for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

What should a department do if they feel the rate charged was incorrect?

There are times when the Benefit rate charged may be incorrect.  The most common example would be the FICA portion when the employee has multiple jobs and they have a change in FICA status.

  • Flat rate charges – Requests should go through Jamette (Jami) Black in Total Rewards.
  • FICA rate charges – Work with your assigned accountant.  Payroll may also need to be involved.