Summer Salary Benefit Info Session
Our union recently learned some good news and some bad news about our retirement benefits. The good news is that some UCLA lecturers who teach during summer session have been receiving supplemental retirement benefits on their summer salaries. The bad news is that management has also informed us that they are canceling these summer retirement benefits, effective immediately.
This is an affront to our dignity and a serious erosion of our rights as faculty members. Read on for more details, including what you can do to fight back against the loss of benefits.
During the academic year, lecturers with at least a 50% academic year appointment accrue credit in the UC Retirement Program (the pension). For lecturers with 100% academic year appointments who teach during the summer, UC management has also been contributing to a separate Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) during summer sessions.
The Summer Salary Benefit (or SSB) consists of a 3.5% payroll deduction plus a 3.5% employer match for a total of 7% of your summer salary. To find out if you received the SSB during 2016, check your earnings statements at At Your Service Online. The SSB contributions would be shown under the "UC Contributions" column with the label "SS-Contrib" and under the "Deductions" column with the label "SS-Deduction."
To check whether you received the SSB in earlier years, you can see your balances in your Fidelity NetBenefits account. Log in, click "View Details," and look for "UC DCP." If you have a DCP account, select the "Summary" and "Balance" tabs, and scroll down to look for "Sources" on the lower right-hand side of the screen. If "Summer Salary" exists as one of the Sources, you have been receiving the SSB.
You can access a fact sheet on the SSB published by the UC Office of the President here. If you have difficulty understanding your account balances, or if you'd like to request a statement, please call Fidelity Retirement Services at 1-866-682-7787. You can also call the Retirement Administration Service Center at 1-800-888-8267 for answers to your questions.
UC management informed our union about these benefits only recently, at the end of February. Immediately after they confirmed that we have been receiving the benefit, they also informed us that they are canceling it because it exceeds the minimum benefits they are required to provide according to our contract.
This is an outrage. We will begin bargaining to try to save the benefit next month. But this is not a fight that can be won in bargaining alone. If you care about the erosion of our faculty benefits and want to oppose the cancelation, please join us for a meeting on Thursday, April 6 at 4 PM in Ackerman 2412 to learn more and make a plan to fight back. As a union, we can only respond in proportion to your participation, so we need to hear from you if this is something you care about.