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Employee Length-of-Service Awards

Read the information below to learn about non-cash length-of-service awards.

Departments can give awards to employees in recognition of length of service. These awards must be:
  • Tangible, personal property
  • Non-cash or non-cash equivalent (such as a non-negotiable gift card or gift certificate)
  • $400 or less in cost
  • Based on length of service and not on an employee's classification
  • Given as part of a meaningful ceremony

Recipient requirements

Recipients of length-of-service awards:

  • Must have contributed at least five years of service to UCSD
  • Cannot have received a similar award in the four years prior to receiving the length-of-service award


Department heads have the authority to approve transactions.

Taxability of awards and gifts

When UCSD policy is followed, non-cash awards and gifts are not taxable to the employee, see limits.

Funding sources

Allowable funding sources include:

  • State funds
  • Federal funds: Awards must meet the requirements outlined in OMB Circular A-21 (PDF).
  • Other funds: Fund guidelines must allow award expenditures. If a fund's guidelines are more restrictive than UCSD policy, the fund policy prevails.


For Disbursements gift card, reimbursement or direct payment, use MyPayments - payment type Awards, Gifts, Prizes; sub-type Length of Service (Employee).

Notice: UCSD's non-cash award policy is derived from UC Policy and Regulations. Published policy is decisive as it has been adapted to UCSD's organization, delegation of authority, terminology, and chart of accounts.