Introduction

This document provides instructions, some frequently asked questions and summarized benefits data from the 2016-17 AAUP FCS for data managers. There are few things to keep in mind for any benefit you report:

  1. You should only report benefits for full time faculty reported on Form 2 and at their rank (if benefits are reported by rank) on Form 2. If you report them as 9 month faculty on Form 2, report them as 9 month faculty on Form 3 even if you pay medical and other benefits for 12 months.
  2. Only Employer contributions are reported. Employee contributions should NOT be included in the data reported.
  3. If projections or estimates are used, they should be for actual expenditures for current faculty. Actuarial costs that are not actually spent in the current academic year should not be included.

In Form 3, the number covered for each benefit is the number of faculty members (of those reported on Form 2) for whom a benefit amount was paid. For tuition especially, this is only the number of faculty for whom a tuition amount was (or will be) actually paid in a given year–not the number who were potentially eligible to receive such payments. Note that the number is of faculty, not a total number of persons (dependents) covered.

Projections/Estimations of Benefits

For some benefits, final numbers may not be available by January 26, 2018 for the 2017-18 academic year. You can use estimates or projections. For example: Tuition is not finalized by January 26. There are several possible estimation techniques.

  1. Project, based on past spring semesters, what the tuition expenditure.
  2. Use the fall semesters as an estimate of the spring semester.
  3. Use the spring numbers, even if before the census date.
  4. Any internal institutional practice that produces a reasonable estimate.

If there is anything you want us to know or are concerned about: contact us at aaupfcs@aaup.org

Remember that survey data can be continuously updated until June 2018 in the web portal. We publish updated tables in July.

Ranked versus Unranked Benefits

When you begin filling out form 3 online, you will be prompted to mark whether your are submitting data by rank or simply total benefits for all ranks. In either case, institutions should only report benefits for those full time faculty included in form 2. ## Conversion Factors for 11/12 month faculty Benefit expenditure amounts for 11- and 12-month faculty that are not generally figured as a percentage of salary are not converted. These include medical, dental, disability, tuition, unemployment, and “other” benefits. Other items will be converted using the factor entered in Form 2. If you provided only converted salary figures in Form 2, please follow the same procedure in Form 3. We only convert (with the institutional conversion factor) the following benefits: FICA and Retirement. All others are not weighted with the institutional conversion factor. We encourage institutions to enter a conversion factor. We recommend 9/11 or .818181 that is traditionally used. If you do not enter a conversion factor on Form 1, we will replace empty conversion factors with 1.0 .

FICA

FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) benefits are made of two components: 6.2 % OASDI (Social Security) and 1.45% HI (Medicare) of wages with a total 7.65 % of wages. There are two components to what is withheld: an employer and employee contribution. For OASDI, the contribution is applied up to the Social Security Wage Base (SSWB) for 2017, $127,200 and for 2018, $128,400. Medicare is applied to all wages, even above the SSWB while there is an extra medicare tax (but not employer contribution) required for individual income over $200,000 ($125,000 Maried, filing separate and $250,000 married filing jointly).

This value gives us an important quality indicator for the submitted data. It tells us if an institution might mistakenly be including employee contributions in the submitted benefits data (if an institution’s FICA percent of average salary is near 15.3 %) or if an institution might have included some non-salary compensation in the calculation of aggregated benefits (if FICA is 7.7 % to 10 %). FICA above 7.65 % will generate an error in the portal and the research office will follow up directly with an instituion. FICA below 7.65% is not an error and is possible because of the SSWB. From an institutional research perspective, this number gives insight into salary distribution: the more highly compensated employees a cohort has (i.e. faculty with wages greater than the SSWB), the lower FICA is as a percent of overall salary.

There is one set of exceptions to FICA benefits: some public institutions are exempt from either OASDI or HI, or both. In those cases, there is no FICA contribution (or just the 1.45% medicare component).