FAQs: Benefits reactivation

November 3, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Updated Friday, November 6, 2020, at 8 a.m.

Q1: When will I see the retirement match take effect?
A: We will begin implementation of a January 1, 2021 effective date for reinstatement of the retirement contribution.  This will mean the match will begin with the first January bi-weekly paycheck dated 1/15/2021 and the 1/29/2021 monthly paycheck.  

Q2: What can I do if I reduced or canceled my retirement contributions?
A: The University of Michigan Benefits Office will contact the faculty and staff who have reduced or canceled their retirement contributions since July 1, 2020, with information on how to reinstate their retirement contributions so they can receive the 10% match when the time comes. 

Q3: Who will receive the recognition bonus?
A: Michigan Medicine regular faculty and non-bargained for staff hired on or before November 2, 2020 will receive the $500 recognition bonus in their December 31 paycheck, provided they remain employed for any part of the pay period that pays out on December 31. 

The chart further explains eligibility based on employment status.

Q4: When will I see the recognition bonus in my paycheck?
A: It will be in the Dec. 31 paycheck for both monthly paid employees and bi-weekly paid employees.

Q5: Is the recognition bonus pro-rated based on FTE?
A: No, the recognition bonus is not pro-rated and all regular employees will receive the full amount.

Q6: If I am a faculty or staff member in the Medical School, will I receive the recognition bonus from Michigan Medicine and the additional season days provided by the University?
A: No, all eligible U-M Medical School employees (faculty and staff) will only receive the $500 recognition bonus.

Q7: Will faculty with split or dry appointments receive the recognition bonus?
A: Faculty with split and dry appointments will be handled similar to the retirement suspension. Questions should be directed to Faculty Affairs – via their Customer Service Portal using the Compensation category (found here in the lower left corner of the page):  https://faculty.medicine.umich.edu/office-faculty-affairs

Q8: What is the date by which new employees have to start in order to receive the recognition bonus?
A: All employees who were hired on or before November 2, 2020, and meet the criteria provided will receive the recognition bonus.

Q9: If I am retiring on December 31, 2020, will I receive the recognition bonus?
A: Yes.

Q10: Is the bonus grossed up, and how will it show up on our pay stub on December 31?
A: The bonus is not grossed up and will be subject to taxes. It will show up as “salary supplement” on pay stubs for December 31.

Q11: Who will be funding the recognition bonuses? 
A: The recognition bonus will be funded departmentally according to the employees shortcode(s).  

Q12: Is tuition reimbursement considered part of professional development and able to be paid out?
A: No, tuition reimbursement is a separate budget from the professional development fund.

Q13: Will there be a merit increase at the end of FY21 (July 2021)?
A: While merit increases for FY21 (which would have been distributed this past September) were eliminated as part of the Economic Recovery Plan, we will continue to evaluate our financial performance through the economic turbulence of the next several months with the intent of identifying further opportunities to acknowledge the contribution of our employees.

Q14: With regards to professional development, can I attend a virtual conference in December?
A: Departments are permitted to use 50% of their professional development budget based on spend in FY19 and FY20.  If you wish to participate in a conference prior to Jan. 1, please seek approval from your supervisor to ensure that all costs are considered in the 50% allocation. 

Q15: Since FY20 expenses were reduced due to COVID, is it ok to use the FY19 expenses as reference when determining the 50% available?
A: Yes, this is a reasonable approach. 

Q16: Is the $500 salary supplement that will be paid in December eligible to be paid from grant/sponsorship funds?
A: Yes. Units with employees on research grants should note that the $500 salary supplement is allowable on externally funded sponsored projects as the decision to allow employees to receive the supplement was made irrespective of the funding source. It is required that the amount be allocated in proportion to the employee’s effort on the shortcodes active on the effective date.