Fringe Benefits Cost Recovery Policy


The Research Foundation recovers the funds needed to cover the cost of employee fringe benefit programs by applying fringe benefit rates.


All Research Foundation accounts that fund employee salaries (including hourly-paid)) are charged for the recovery of fringe benefit costs based on the current fiscal year’s approved fringe benefit rates. Fringe benefit costs may not be waived.\

Fringe Benefit Rates

Rates are provided in the Rates resource area under Fringe Benefit Rates.

Rate Development

Research Foundation Employees

Separate fringe benefit rates are developed for Research Foundation regular, graduate student, undergraduate student, and summer-only employees. The rates represent the ratio of the total cost of benefit programs to the total salary base of all employees in the category.

Each rate is an average for employees within a particular Research Foundation employee category. As a result, the rates do not indicate the specific cost of benefits for any particular employee. A particular employee’s benefits cost may be greater or less than the average.

SUNY Employees (IFR)

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has agreed to allow a separate rate to be charged directly to sponsored projects for SUNY employees in non-student positions working on a Research Foundation project and appointed through the Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR) process. Therefore, the New York State federal fringe benefit rate published by the State Comptroller's Office will be used to determine monthly reimbursement to each campus for salary and fringe benefits for all new and continuing projects with an IFR payroll.

Applying the Rate

Regular Employees

The regular employee fringe benefit rate is used to calculate fringe benefit charges for all employee (including hourly-paid) salaries except those paid to full-time SUNY students appointed to specific titles, SUNY employees in IFR appointments, and to employees in summer-only appointments.

SUNY Students

The appropriate graduate or undergraduate student fringe benefit rate is used to calculate fringe benefit charges for the salaries of SUNY students appointed to the following titles:

Summer-Only Employees

The summer-only fringe benefit rate is used to calculate fringe benefit charges for all summer-only employees.

The rate applies to an employee when the employee is appointed to one of the following categories:

Cost Sharing

The New York State fringe benefit rate is used in calculating the fringe benefit amount for cost participation resulting from SUNY faculty and staff effort. Since there are no New York State fringe benefit rates for graduate and undergraduate students, fringe benefit costs for graduate and undergraduate students are not included in cost participation calculations.

Application Budgets

The approved fringe benefit rates for each fiscal year must be used to develop budgets for sponsored program applications.

When budgeting for future fiscal years when the rate is not yet known, the approach described in the “Budgeting with the Rates” section of the Fringe Benefit Rates for Fiscal Year 2014 document is recommended. Future year(s) rates are estimates and are subject to change. The rates are used for encumbering future year(s) costs in the business system and for submitting sponsored program applications.

Expenditure (Account) Records

Existing Actual and Encumbrance (Accounts) Records

When a fringe benefit rate changes, existing encumbrance and actual expenditure records, except vacation, sick, and severance actual and encumbrance expenditures, are updated in the computer system to reflect the new rate. The system updates are effective for the payroll period in which the new rate goes into effect.

The Oracle system uses the expenditure item date when calculating the fringe benefit rate. The new fringe benefit rate is effective July 1, 2004; the updates in the Research Foundation Oracle system are effective for the payroll period June 26–July 9, 2004. The SUNY Employee (IFR) rate will be effective beginning with the July monthly IFR payroll. Any retroactive payroll expenditure items that apply to a pre-July 2004 date but which are processed on or after July 1, 2004, are processed using the fringe benefit rate that pertains to the expenditure item date.

New Accounts

The fringe benefit rates for the current fiscal year are automatically generated when new awards are established.

Fringe benefit rates cannot be changed.

IFR Appointments

The IFR payroll process will no longer allow input of a different rate for retroactive transactions. All transactions that occur on July 1, 2001 or later will be assessed the current fiscal year rate.



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