Faculty Professional Life Accounts and Payroll Stipends

Faculty Professional Life Accounts and Payroll Stipends

 

Academic Affairs is now offering a new option for faculty compensation for certain activities, such as independent study supervision, for which in the past, faculty have received taxable stipends added to monthly paychecks. Under the new program, faculty will receive grant money equivalent in value to the current stipend rate.  Faculty will be able to accumulate this grant money in individual Professional Life Accounts (PLAs), which can then be used to fund expenses that contribute to furthering one's professional life. As grant money only payable toward certain kinds of expenses, these funds will not be considered taxable income for faculty. Faculty can spend their grant money as soon as the funds have been deposited to their PLA, and they can choose to accumulate a balance over the course of multiple academic years in order to fund major expenses, such as research equipment or conference travel. 

For example, under the current Payroll program, a $125 stipend can be reduced by as much as 40% as the result of FICA plus federal and state withholdings (putting about $75 in your pocket).  Under the Professional Life Account program, you will have access to the full $125.

Beginning in January 2013, both programs will be available to faculty. Each faculty member will need to choose the program in which he or she wishes to participate for each calendar year. Faculty will be compensated according to the rules of the program they are enrolled in during the time of the activity.

Professional Life Account program Payroll program
  • receive full value of grant money (i.e. non-taxable);
  • accumulate grant money over multiple years;
  • use to fund valid professional expenses
  • receive stipends through taxable addition to payroll check

Enrollment forms for 2014 are due Dec. 16, 2013.  Watch your e-mail for instructions on how to enroll.

If you wish to receive stipends in your checks, you do not need to do anything.