Calculating Fringe Benefits & Payroll Deductions

Fringe benefits for faculty, staff, and students working on your sponsored project are allowable as direct costs in proportion to the salaries charged to the grant.

Generally, sponsors will allow you to list a single, flat percentage for fringe benefits. Here are the current rates:
  • 31.41% for 9-month faculty
  • 42.88% for 12-month Staff and EPA Administrative (Employees Exempt from the State Personnel Act) personnel
  • 21.86% for students and non-student temps
    Note: Depending on the level of enrollment (minimum of 6 credit hours) a student may not be exempt from FICA & Disability tax. Additionally, student workers are subject to income tax reporting and taxation. 
  • Inflate the fringe rates by 0.5% for each subsequent year for all personnel on multi-year projects.
  • Always check this page for the current fringe benefits rates for Appalachian personnel, as they change over time (and not necessarily on a regular schedule).

Here is a breakdown of what is included in fringe benefits; use these percentages if a sponsor requires you to break out individual fringe benefits:

  • Social Security: 7.65%
    • Apply the Social Security rate to all Appalachian personnel in your budget.
  • Medical: 8.21% for faculty; 16.41% for staff (SPA and EPA Administrative); 11.51% for students and non-student temps
    • Apply the medical insurance rate to all persons in your budget who are at least 75% FTE (3/4 time employees).
    • Note: student and non-student temporary employees may now be eligible for health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act, depending on the total number hours worked in the UNC system
  • Retirement: 12.85% (Optional Retirement Programs, TIAA-CREF, Prudential, etc., for Faculty); 16.12% (State retirement system for Staff)
    • Apply retirement to all persons in your budget who are at least 75% FTE (3/4 time employees).
    • Do not apply retirement to employees hired on a temporary basis.
    • If uncertain about the status of temporary employees, contact Human Resource Services (HRS).
  • Reserve for Unfunded Benefits: 2.7%
    • Includes workers compensation, unemployment, and other terminal benefits. 
    • Apply the rate for the Reserve for Unfunded Benefits to all Appalachian personnel in your budget.
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