Income Fund Reimbursable

In SUNY, the University is a State agency while The Research Foundation is a private non-profit corporation operating under a contract with SUNY.

The contract provides for The Research Foundation to be able to collect salaries paid from sponsored projects on behalf of the State and to reimburse the State for salaries of State salaried employees (typically, faculty) for effort on a sponsored project. This permits the relevant State employee to continue to receive his/her salary from the State alone rather than to receive salary from two separate organizations.

Income Fund Reimbursable transactions (Salary Offsets) are the transactions used to recover the value of the salary and fringe benefits paid to state funded faculty and staff devoting effort to research grants. These funds are transferred as payments from the appropriate grant account to the department's state IFR account as reimbursement for the effort provided to the research project that was initially paid for by the state. These are time sensitive transactions treated as actual personnel appointments to the research grants and directly tied to The Research Foundation effort certification process mandated by the federal government.

IFR transactions should be initiated within the first month that effort is being devoted to a research project and in no case should they be processed beyond the current semester. The effort certification process is run on a semester basis three times a year and is fed by the IFR transactions. Retroactivity that extends prior to the current semester causes conflicts with effort certification and cannot be accepted.

Salaries, Stipends and Fringe Benefits

The large majority of sponsored project funds are expended in support of personnel. Personnel support is of two major types

  1. salaries and wages which are paid to employees
  2. stipends which are paid to fellows

Employees are understood to engage in defined project related tasks and have job titles and job descriptions for which they receive salaries and wages (and are issued W2 forms summarizing their earnings at the end of each calendar year). In accordance with their titles and levels of effort, they may be eligible for fringe benefits. The Research Foundation manages its fringe benefits through a pool. The pool recognizes defined major classes of employees with associated fringe benefit rates. The rates are subject to negotiation and approval by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the process by which indirect cost rates are determined. The rates are re-evaluated each RF fiscal year (RF fiscal years run from July 1 to June 30).

Fringe benefit costs are extracted from sponsored projects at the appropriate rate applied to salaries paid independent of an employee's eligibility to receive them.

Fellows are not employees. While Fellows may contribute significantly to sponsored projects, they are understood to be trainees and their support is not for services rendered. They receive stipends as opposed to salaries and wages. Fellows are issued 1099 forms rather than W2 forms at the end of the calendar year. The taxability of their stipends is governed by a complex collection of principles and rulings by the IRS. Fellows receive no fringe benefits by virtue of their appointment, and no fringe benefits are extracted from the sponsored projects which provide their stipends.

For additional information, see the Fellowship Quickguide.

Fellowship

Fellows are not employees. While fellows may contribute significantly to sponsored projects, they are understood to be trainees and their support is not for services rendered. They receive stipends as opposed to salaries and wages. Fellows are issued 1099 forms rather than W2 forms at the end of the calendar year. The taxability of their stipends is governed by a complex collection of principles and rulings by the IRS. Fellows receive no fringe benefits by virtue of their appointment, and no fringe benefits are extracted from the sponsored projects which provide their stipends.

For additional information, see our Fellowship Quickguide.

Participant Stipend

Non-wage support payment for a person engaged in a nonacademic vocational or secondary school education and training program administered by the Research Foundation. In many cases, a participant stipend is paid from summer outreach and enrichment programs. Typically, there is an expectation that the participant be present at program related event(s). 
IRS guidance requires 30% withholding for non citizens. For U.S. citizens, a 1099 is issued for payments exceeding the $600 threshold within a calendar year. 

Three-month Summer Salary

During the time in which faculty have no academic obligation (typically a defined three-month period during the summer), they are eligible to receive their entire salary from sponsored projects (subject to sponsor constraints - e.g., NSF limits salary from its grants to a total of 2/9ths of the academic year salary in any one year period, including summer). Since they receive no State salary during that period, the salary offset mechanism does not apply.

During the summer, academic year faculty become direct employees of The Research Foundation. The result is that they become employees of two separate organizations, each of which has all of the obligations of an employer. This includes the collection of taxes such as Social Security and Medicare from all salaries paid. At the end of the calendar year, such individuals receive W2 forms from both the State and The Research Foundation. For some individuals, the combined Social Security payments will exceed the social security maximum. The excess beyond that maximum can be applied to Federal Income taxes.

PROCEDURE AND FORMS

Summer salary requests only require the approval of the relevant Chair and Dean. Requests for three-months summer salary require two forms:

  1. Three-Month Summer Salary Request Form
  2. Employee Appointment Form (to be used if never on RF Payroll or if more than one year has elapsed since your last RF paycheck) or  
  3. Employee Change Form (to be used if returning to RF Payroll within one year of you last RF paycheck)

For summer salary requests less than three months, submit only the RF Employee Appointment Form or the RF Employee Change Form, using the applicable condition mentioned above.

Requests bearing the indicated approvals will be processed by the Office of Grants Management, provided that the expenditure is allowable by the sponsor and sufficient funds are available in the award. If questions arise after submission of the forms, the Office of Grants Management will contact the faculty member directly.

 

      

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