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Composite Benefit Rates (CBRs)

Composite benefit rates are developed in order to cover the costs of fringe benefits offered by the university.

With the implementation of UCPath scheduled for Spring 2020, the way that HR and Payroll Services are handled will be significantly transformed from previous practices. A primary goal of UCPath is to streamline and standardize HR and Payroll processes for increased efficiency at the campus-level and consistency across other UC campuses.

One of the components of the UCPath implementation is the transition to a Composite Benefit Rate (CBR) structure, which will provide a simplified and predictable methodology for forecasting employee benefit costs charged to the University.

To plan for this change and reduce the impact funding is awarded once CBRs are in effect, beginning July 1, 2019, for budget development and planning purposes, UC San Diego will use Campus Planning Benefit Rates (CPBRs) for all financial planning activities, including sponsored agreement proposal budgets. Early adoption of the planning benefit rates in sponsored research proposal development, prior to July 1, 2019, is encouraged to reduce the impact that the new rates will have on future awarded research projects.

This transition does not affect how or the amount individual employees pay for their benefits. This new structure only changes how fringe benefits are charged within the University once UC Path is implemented.

To assist departments with this transition, the Costing & Policy Office, in collaboration with the Campus Budget Office (CBO), has created this webpage with various resources, including a complete list of title code mapping to Campus Rateto assist departments forecast current and future benefit costs.

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What are Composite Benefit Rates (also known as CBRs)

The Composite Fringe Benefit (CBR) rate is an average of all eligible benefits applicable to an employee group. Each group is based on individual employee attributes which fall into a certain group. The composite fringe benefit rate is a percentage of the employee’s gross salary based on which employee group they fall into.

Our current practice assesses fringe benefits based on thousands of detailed rates, and with the adoption of CBRs, individual employee fringe benefits will be assessed using oneof the nine possible rates, which will be made available for FY20 budget and sponsored award planning purposes. Composite Benefit rates decrease the administrative burden to budget and manage sponsored awards and decrease the risk of under-recovering funds.

CBRs for Fiscal Years 2019/20 & 2020/21 will be approved by our Cognizant Agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Projected rates (FY21-FY24are estimates for planning purposes only (e.g., multi-year budgeting, contract and grant proposal submissions) and are subject to change. 

If future approved composite fringe benefit rates are higher or lower than the projected rates budgeted at the proposal stage, PIs will need to re-budget accordingly.

What is included in the CBR?

To determine what costs are included in the CBR, three categories of benefits have been detailed below:

CBR-Benefits.png

How to Apply CBRs & Campus Planning Benefit Rates

Beginning July 1, 2019, UC San Diego will use Campus Planning Benefit Rates (CPBRs) for all financial planning activities, including sponsored agreement proposal budgets.

CBRs are assigned to employees by the looking at a few different attributes of their current appointment and benefits eligibility. Specifically, it will help in knowing the employee's

  1. BELI (benefits eligibility) Status
  2. Current Title Code/Job Code
  3. DOS Code/Earn Code

If you need assistance in collecting this information, please contact your Department Budget Officer.  A complete list of title code mapping to Campus Rate can be found here.

 

CBPRs FY20

 

Sponsored Award Budgeting & Mitigation

Sponsored Award Budgeting

To ensure there will be sufficient funding to cover the cost of fringe benefits, it is important to apply the appropriate Composite Benefit Rate (CBR) during the budget development of a Sponsored Project proposal. Adjustments are made to CBRs each fiscal year in order to balance any over- or under-recovers from prior year activities. If an inaccurate CBR is included in a Sponsored Project proposal, it may result in the need to re-budget project funds from other direct-cost line items.

CBRs are assigned to employees by looking at a few different attributes of their current appointment and benefits eligibility. Specifically, it will help in knowing the employee's

  1. BELI (benefits eligibility) Status
  2. Current Title Code/Job Code

If you need assistance in collecting this information, please contact your Department Budget Officer.  A complete list of title code mapping to Campus Rate can be found here.

Please note;

  • GSR fees are not included as part of the CBR. If applicable, please ensure GSR fees are included in the project budget.
  • The below budget planning figures are for full-benefit eligibility employees. Partial (Campus Rate C) or no benefit eligible (Campus Rate D) appointments are included in their own categories.
  • The projected rates (FY20-FY29) are estimates for planning purposes only. They are subject to change as rates are adjusted and negotiated with our cognizant agency.
  • Please use a 3% rate escalation for each additional year past what has been provided.

 

Sponsored Award Mitigation

The campus currently provides a composite planning rate for staff and for academics. We understand for research proposal budgeting, departments use either these composite planning rates or current individual rates if they are known.  We also know that there is existing variability between proposal benefits and actual benefits charged.  The shift to 9 CBRs will have some impact on awards, especially existing multi-year awards which were approved with different fringe benefit rates than the new CBRs. The campus is developing a short-term mitigation plan to assist existing multiyear research contracts & grants experiencing significant financial hardship created by the transition to CBRs.

This Mitigation Program is still being developed and more information will be made available in the coming months.

FAQs and Useful Resources

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