Tax-Deferred Savings Plans and Savings Bonds
Tax deferred annuities, tax-deferred custodial accounts, and deferred compensation plans are all ways of saving for retirement without paying current federal and Ohio income taxes on the amount saved. You can make voluntary contributions to one or more tax-deferred annuity or mutual fund custodial accounts or deferred compensation plans through approved insurance carriers, mutual fund groups or agencies. A list of approved vendors is available in Human Resources. Contributions to a tax-deferred annuity/custodial account or deferred compensation plan are deducted from your paycheck before federal and state income taxes are computed. Earnings on the contributions are also deferred from current federal and Ohio income taxation until withdrawn.
You may also participate in the U.S. government’s savings bonds program through a payroll deduction plan. Forms are available in Human Resources and the payroll department.
Wright State University encourages employees and their dependents to enroll for classes at the university. For this reason, the university offers educational benefits under a Fee Remission Plan and under a Qualified Educational Assistance Plan.
A. Employees: Employees who are appointed to work at least 75 percent of full time based on a 12-month period are eligible for both types of educational benefits, for a combined maximum of eight credit hours of class work per quarter.
Fee remission benefits for eligible employees provide for the remission of all of the instructional, general, and out-of-state tuition fees for bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. level courses taken at Wright State University. Fee remission benefits are not provided for courses offered in the School of Medicine or the School of Professional Psychology.
The Qualified Educational Assistance Plan (QEAP) provides benefits for eligible employees for the instructional, general, and out-of-state tuition fees for master's and Ph.D. level courses taken at Wright State University. Where Wright State University does not offer a master’s degree program in a specific field, the QEAP provides fee remission benefits for an employee to take master’s degree course work at another college or university offering the program. Course work for professional degrees is not eligible for QEAP benefits. Qualified Educational Assistance Plan benefits are limited to an annual maximum (currently $5,250) which is set by Internal Revenue Code Section 127.
An eligible employee may also enroll in certain university workshops and non-credit hour courses with a fee remission benefit equal to 75 percent of the fee for the workshop or non-credit course. This benefit is not extended to family members. With your supervisor’s approval, you may take one class or workshop during working hours.
Benefits provided for fee remission and Qualified Educational Assistance Plan benefits for an eligible employee are not subject to income taxation for the employee.
B. Dependents: Qualifying dependents (spouse, son, daughter, stepson, and stepdaughter) of eligible employees receive fee remission benefits for bachelor’s and master’s level courses taken at Wright State University, with no limit on the number of courses per quarter. Qualifying dependents pay an amount equal to 20 percent of the current undergraduate fee for courses taken with fee remission benefits. Federal tax laws require that the tuition and fees waived for qualifying dependents for graduate courses be considered taxable income to the employee. This fee remission amount is included as part of the employee’s gross taxable income for W-2 purposes. Tuition and fees waived for undergraduate courses for qualifying dependents are not considered taxable income to the employee.
Supervisors are encouraged to consider granting release time for employees to attend credit hour courses during working hours, particularly when: the course is a degree requirement and is not offered at another time; the course is sequential and is not offered at another time; the course is pertinent to the employee’s work; or the course will count toward a degree. Released time should not exceed the class time for credit hour courses for which educational benefits are provided.
Employees are expected to cooperate with their supervisors in ensuring that the workplace is operational during periods of released time. Employees should submit requests for released time to attend credit classes, in writing, prior to enrolling for classes during work hours. Employees are also encouraged to be flexible in making up hours granted for released time with their immediate supervisor. Accrued vacation hours may be approved in place of released time at the supervisor’s discretion.
Credit hour courses taken as a development opportunity should be considered on the same basis as non-credit courses or workshops for purposes of granting released time to attend. Released time for such professional development opportunities is generally limited to one course or workshop per term.
Unclassified staff members who are appointed to work at least 75 percent of full time based on a 12-month period are eligible to enroll in either the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) or the Wright State University Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). Unclassified staff members whose appointment is less than 75 percent of full time are enrolled in OPERS.
OPERS offers unclassified staff members the option to select one of three retirement plans. The plans are: (1) a Traditional Plan where defined benefit retirement, disability, and survivor benefits are determined by formulas using the employee’s age, amount of service credit, and final average salary; (2) a Member-Directed Plan where defined contribution retirement benefits are determined by the amount of money, including investment earnings, which the employee accumulates; and, (3) a Combined Plan which has some defined benefit plan and some defined contribution plan features. The employee contribution to OPERS, currently 8.5 percent of the employee’s pay, is deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee’s earnings. The employer contribution to OPERS, currently 13.31 percent of the employee’s pay, is determined by the OPERS Board.
The Alternative Retirement Plan is a defined contribution plan where the retirement benefit is determined by the amount of money, including investment earnings, which the employee accumulates in an annuity account. The employee contribution to the ARP is deducted on a pre-tax basis from the employee’s earnings and is deposited in the employee’s account with an approved annuity provider that the employee selects. The employer contribution to the employee’s ARP account is equal to the OPERS employer contribution less any mandated additional contributions the university must make to OPERS. The current employer contribution is equal to 13.31percent of the employee’s pay.
All unclassified staff members are exempt from Social Security contributions on earnings from the university. Staff hired on or after April 1, 1986 are required to pay a Medicare contribution of 1.45 percent of earnings.
Unemployment Compensation Benefits
Your employment at Wright State is covered under Ohio unemployment compensation law. If you are dismissed from the university and meet the eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. Complete details are available from the unemployment claims office of the Ohio Bureau of Job and Family Services.