Effective July 1, 2015, the university has negotiated a Consolidated Fringe Rate (CFR) with the federal government which will be used for all university accounts. Rates for FY16 are as follows:
- Faculty (academic year and summer): 31.6%
- Staff (including Irregular Help staff): 39.2%
- Student: 2.5%
More information and updated rates as they change are located on the Budget Office website. See the accompanying overview and FAQs.
Consolidated Fringe Rate Overview
The University of Idaho has been working to evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a consolidated fringe benefit rate (CFR) methodology for charging employee benefits across all campus budgets, including grants & contracts.
Historically, UI has attempted to allocate costs on an actuals basis. However, that methodology is difficult to monitor and control from a compliance perspective given the cost variability in our self-funded medical program.
Adopting a CFR cost allocation methodology, approved by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, provides a simple way to budget and charge personnel benefit costs across all funding sources on campus. A CFR cost allocation methodology also offers a more comprehensive way to remain in compliance with applicable costing standards established by federal, state and private granting agencies.
As of July 1, 2015, UI will post employee benefit costs using a CFR rather than a mix of actual and estimated employee benefit costs. The CFR is an average of all eligible benefits applicable to an employee group. Each group is based on employee attributes which fall into a certain group. The consolidated fringe benefit rate is a percentage of the employee’s gross salary based on which employee group he or she falls into.
CFR’s decrease the administrative burden to budget and manage sponsored awards and decrease the risk of overcharging or under-recovering funds.
Since the consolidated rate is an average of the total costs of benefits divided by the total salary amount and must be reconciled and approved by the government every year, the campus cannot over-collect by applying the consolidated benefit rate compared to the true actual costs incurred by the campus.
UI uses three rates developed under the requirements of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21 and the Code of Federal Regulations 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance). Each rate is calculated by the development of a pool of fringe benefits (numerator) and of a salary base (denominator). The pool consists of UI’s cost of fringe benefits provided to each employee grouping.
Leave accrual and usage are not included in the employee benefit rates and will be charged separately, except for terminal leave. When the pool is divided by the employees' group salary base, the CFR is developed. This rate represents the percentage that will be assessed against the employee’s salary, and this amount will post to the same department account to which the individual employee's salary posts.
- The CFR will be applicable for all salary expenses for employees.
- The CFR went into effect on July 1, 2015. It is not possible to mix the charging practice of actual costs and using fringe benefit rates.
- The CFR will be applied to all employees who are eligible for benefits regardless of whether or not they accept the benefit, and regardless of which benefits options they elect.
- The CFR now includes a small percentage to create a pool of funds to pay annual leave payouts that occur when employees leave UI employment (terminal leave).
- Provide consistent accumulation and allocation of fringe benefits expenses to all functional activities as required by Cost Accounting Standards
- Improve the budgeting process for all UI funds and standardize benefit costs across employee groups
- Simplify the accounting for fringe benefits expenses (fixed rate with carry-forward)
UI has developed three consolidated fringe rates based on employee type determined by the employee class assigned in Banner.
- Includes all academic and fiscal year faculty on all funding sources.
- Currently 31.6%
- Includes all classified, exempt and nonstudent temporary employees
- Currently 39.2%
- Includes all other employee types
- Currently 2.5%