In August 2006, the university provided faculty receiving nine-month contracts with an option to receive their pay distributed throughout 12 months instead of 10. This option allowed faculty to either continue receiving 10 checks per year, each being one-tenth of the contracted salary amount, or to receive 12 checks per year, each being one-twelfth of the contracted salary amount.
Unfortunately, implementation of the 12-month payment option resulted in a few undesirable consequences, including reductions to retirement benefits in certain situations and potential tax penalties related to deferred income. To retain the benefits of having earnings distributed throughout 12 months while eliminating the risk and exposure to faculty on certain retirement and tax situations, an alternative means of distributing earnings throughout 12 months will be utilized next fall.
Beginning in August 2008, any faculty member seeking a 12-month distribution arrangement will receive 10 paychecks (August through May) and may elect a payroll deduction to have a portion (one-twelfth of their annual contract amount or other amount they select) of each of the 10 checks remitted to an interest-bearing account at the Georgia Federal Credit Union. This account will be in the name of the faculty member and is available as needed during the course of the year or during the 11th or 12th month.
This new arrangement offers a number of advantages, including flexibility to change deductions as needed. A question-and-answer page has been posted online (www.hr.uga.edu/benefits/fac_10-12_pay.html) to explain the issues and details of the new plan.
Nine-month contract faculty members currently on the 12-month pay plan will continue with that plan through the 2008-2009 academic year. Payments in the amount of one-twelfth of their contract amounts will continue unchanged through July 31, 2008.
Anyone wishing to begin or continue receiving the benefits of the 12-month earnings allocation plan using the payroll deduction to an account at GFCU may make this arrangement directly with the credit union.
The GFCU works with the payroll department to process thededuction for deposit into personal accounts. Faculty may contact a GFCU account representative at (888) 493-4328 to establish accounts and create the payroll deductions. The extension for the UGA branch is 1700 and for the Athens branch it is 1400. Both offices are prepared to assist UGA faculty. GFCU representatives plan to be on campus in the spring to provide additional information during several drop-in sessions. Questions about the new 12-month earnings allocation plan may be directed to employee benefits at (706) 542-2222. Questions about the GFCU payroll deduction form should be directed to payroll at (706) 542-3431.