Requesting Benefit Cost Transfers

As announced in the July 2020 Controller's Office Newsletter, the Controller's Office has developed a new process for campus departments to request benefit cost transfers. UCSF's Composite Benefit Rate (CBR) agreement is applicable to all federal and non-federal sponsors, and sponsors should adhere to the full rates. However, a benefit cost transfer may be required when a sponsor has placed restrictions on allowable benefits costs and all — or a portion of — benefits charges must be transferred off of a project.  Due to the limited number of situations currently identified, all benefit cost transfers will be performed initially by Contracts and Grants Accounting.

 

How to request a benefit cost transfer

A new Benefit Cost Transfer Worksheet is now available for departments to request transfers of benefits expenses without also moving salary expenses. The worksheet leverages the MyReports Distribution of Payroll Expense by Account Report to identify benefit costs by Account Code.

Consult the instructions provided in the first tab of the worksheet and note the following guidelines:

  • As a best practice, download a new copy of the form with each submission to ensure you are using the latest version.
  • Only unallowable benefits need to be transferred off using the BCT process.
  • BCTs must be processed per employee. Please submit a separate worksheet for each employee.
  • The BCT process restricts redistribution of dollars to the same deduction code. You cannot use the worksheet to move dollars from one deduction code to another.
  • Do not process a salary cost transfer (direct retro) after you process a BCT transaction for the same paycheck/payroll transaction. Doing so will cause benefit expenses to be out of sync between the direct retro and the BCT.

As a reminder, the regular salary cost transfer (direct retro) process automatically redistributes all fringe expenses, including CBR and non-CBR benefit expenses, according to the user-specified salary expense redistribution. The BCT process transfers only benefits expenses without moving salary expenses.

 

Identifying unallowable expenses for benefit cost transfers

For sponsors with restrictions on allowable benefits costs, the Budget & Resource Management CBR website provides component percentages to accommodate adjustments on an ad hoc basis. Questions about component percentages can be directed to [email protected].

If you have a benefit you want transferred off a non-federal project, indicate the rates in the Justification of Correction box on the Debit Input Tab of the BCT Worksheet. Documentation justifying the need for the BCT is required.

Due to restrictions on funding for postdoctoral scholars under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA), e.g., F32, and T32 awards, benefit cost transfers may be necessary to move the unallowable portion of benefit costs. Consult the following chart to determine the dollar amount needed to transfer off the project.

The identified Federal allowable and unallowable benefits under the NRSA mechanisms are:

  • for FY 2019-20, the allowable benefit rate is 87.6%; the unallowable benefit rate is 12.4%
  • for FY 2020-21: the allowable benefit rate is 87.9%; the unallowable benefit rate is 12.1%

 

UCSF Postdoctoral Scholars Fringe Benefit Costs - Benefit Category Percent of Rate

Benefit Category Allowable under NRSA Mechanisms FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21
Benefits Administration NO 1.0% 1.0%
Dental Benefits YES 2.9% 2.8%
Disability Benefits NO 1.1% 1.1%
Employee Support Programs NO 0.0% 0.0%
FICA Tax NO 5.1% 5.0%
Incentive Award Programs NO 0.0% 0.0%
Life Insurance NO 0.4% 0.3%
Medical Benefits YES 84.1% 84.6%
Retiree Health Benefits NO 0.1% 0.1%
Retirement Benefits NO 0.5% 0.5%
Senior Management Supplement NO 0.0% 0.0%
Unemployment Insurance NO 0.8% 0.8%
Vision Benefits YES 0.6% 0.5%
Workers' Compensation NO 3.4% 3.3%
TOTAL FRINGE BENEFIT COSTS   100.0% 100.0%

 

If you have questions or need assistance using the Benefit Cost Transfer Worksheet, email Contract and Grants Accounting at [email protected]