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2020 Salary Reduction FAQs

(Information provided below is subject to change. Check back for updates.)

General Questions

Who is covered under the salary savings plan?
This pay reduction will apply to all regular and temporary staff and faculty whose annual rate is $50,000 or more per fiscal or academic year based on the appointment type, unless the employee is a holder of an H-1B visa.

The salary savings plan does not apply to any student employment (student hourly and all graduate and undergraduate positions) or any employee whose rate is less than $50,000 per year.


What is the minimum hourly or biweekly rate for Fiscal Year appointments covered under the salary savings plan?
A annual rate of $50,000 is $24.038462 hourly or $1,923.076923 biweekly for those calculated on a 12-month basis.

HR/Pay - Pay groups CUN (staff hourly), CUX (staff & faculty salaried) and LTX (staff salaried less than 12 months).


What is the minimum biweekly rate for Academic Year appointments covered under the salary savings plan?

An academic year rate of $50,000 or $2573.529412 biweekly for those calculated on an academic year basis.

HR/Pay - Pay groups LFC (faculty salaried) and LCT (faculty salaried continuing appointment).


How long will the temporary salary savings plan program be in place?

The temporary salary reduction will be effective beginning August 23. The first paycheck affected will be paid on September 18

For faculty paid on an academic year basis the current duration is 9 payroll periods ending on December 26, 2020.   Identified in HR/Pay with pay groups LFC (faculty salaried) and LCT (faculty salaried continuing appointment).

For staff and faculty paid on a fiscal year basis the current duration is 13 payroll periods ending on February 20, 2021.   Identified in HR/Pay with pay groups CUN (staff hourly), CUX (staff & faculty salaried) and LTX (salaried staff less than 12 month).

This plan will be reviewed and evaluated and could be extended. University leadership will be closely monitoring the budget based on enrollment as well as state and federal impacts.


Will employees whose salaries are paid from external funds (i.e., grants, sponsored projects, fees, endowment, etc.) be impacted by the reduction from the salary savings plan?
Yes. All employees meeting the salary reduction eligibility requirements will be affected regardless of funding source. KU must treat each funding source in a consistent manner; therefore salary and fringe costs of employees appointed to sponsored projects must be treated consistently with employees paid on non-sponsored funding to be in accord with the KUCR cost accounting policy. All sponsored project salary savings will stay with the project for use towards allowable project costs. Contact the Office of Research or your Grant Coordinator with questions or concerns regarding re-budgeting needs, effort allocation, etc. related to sponsored projects.

Where can I find the temporary reduction percentage that will be applied to my compensation?

A chart outlining the salary reduction amounts is below.

Salary Tier Salary Adjustment
less than $50,000 0%
$50,000 - $59,999 1%
$60,000 - $69,999 2%
$70,000 - $79,999 3%
$80,000 - $89,999 4%
$90,000 - $99,999 5%
$100,000 - $119,999 6%
$120,000 - $139,999 7%
$140,000 - $159,999 8%
$160,000 - $179,999 9%
$180,000 - $199,999 10%
$200,000 and higher 11%

Calculate your reduction

To calculate your effective salary reduction, download the Fiscal Year spreadsheet (.xlsx) or the Academic Year spreadsheet (.xlsx) depending on your appointment.


I am a faculty member on an academic year appointment with payments beyond the academic year. How will my reduction be determined?
The rate being used to determine the August 23 reduction is based on the academic year amount, which begins on August 18. This amount does not include any summer payments. If the reduction remains in effect for 9 pay periods as currently planned, the full rate will be reinstated as of December 27, 2020, and summer 2021 payments will not be affected.

I am a faculty member who was just promoted to associate or full professor. How will my reduction be determined?
The promotion bonuses will become effective with the first paycheck of the academic year, which is effective August 18. Therefore, the pay rate used for the salary savings plan calculation effective August 23 will include the full amount of the promotion bonus.

If I am approved to participate in the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) and will be retiring Dec. 31, 2020, will I be subject to the temporary salary reduction?
Yes, those participating in the VSIP will be subject to salary reductions or other personnel action designated by KU. However, approved applicants will receive a payout of $100,000 or an amount equal to their FY 2021 budgeted annual base salary, whichever is lower, and not based on the reduced amount outlined in the salary savings plan. Also, upon retirement, any vacation, sick or compensatory leave balances will be paid according to existing University policy and will be calculated at the compensation rate prior to the application of temporary salary reductions.

Does this salary savings plan impact an employee’s non-regular earnings?
For employees who are paid additional premiums for shift and standby, the hourly rate for those earnings is not affected.

For employees who are paid for call back and minimum call back, the minimum time is not affected but the pay is based on the compensation rate in effect at the time the employee is called back to work..

For those employees who work over 40 hours, the rule for earning compensatory time is not affected. The compensatory time payout will be paid at the compensation rate as of the effective date of the payout, with an exception for termination. If an employee is terminating from KU, the payout will be at the rate prior to the application of the salary reduction.


I am working on an employment offer to a new hire. Will the temporary salary reduction be applied?
Yes, a new hire’s salary will be subject to the temporary reduction based upon the salary reduction eligibility criteria. The temporary salary reduction should be communicated as part of any offer of employment that mentions salary.

I am making a verbal offer, should I tell the candidate about the salary savings plan?
Yes, you should communicate both compensation rates (compensation rate without the salary reduction and the one with the salary reduction) if the employee falls under the salary savings plan. It is very important for you to communicate this so the applicant understands why the offer letter has two rates.

How will the pay of new hires with a signed offer letter be impacted?
All non-student employees who have already signed their offer letter will be impacted by this plan, unless the faculty or staff member holds an H-1B visa or are under the salary savings threshold. For example a newly hired faculty member with an academic year appointment will be paid at 100% (offer-letter) rate from Aug. 18 to Aug 22. Beginning with the pay period starting Aug. 23, the pay adjustment (per the schedule) will begin.

Will offer letters reflect the temporary salary reduction?
All non-student and non-H-1B offer letters issued on or after June 19 will reflect the notice regarding the temporary salary reduction.

Why are H-1B holders not being held to the salary reduction?
H-1B employees cannot have their salary reduced nor can they be furloughed because H-1B sponsoring employers must honor the terms of the Labor Condition Application (LCA), the contract that the sponsoring employer engages into with the U.S. Department of Labor.  The LCA sets forth the rules on wage rates and hours that must be followed for each particular foreign worker in H-1B status.

Are there other budget reductions or actions taking place?
Yes. The Budget Office will sweep general use carryforward balances, savings from vacant positions and savings from implementing the salary reduction. The mechanics (and frequency) of these processes will be coordinated with campus budget officers.

Will the key KU administrators who took a 10% pay reduction beginning April 19 for six months be covered under the salary savings plan?
Yes, their pay will fall under this plan as of Aug. 23 and will continue for the duration of the KU salary savings plan.

Does the salary saving plan eliminate the hiring and salary freeze?
No. The salary savings plan along with the financial sweeping of funds will not fully address the projected shortfall. University administrators are using multiple tools to be as creative and compassionate as possible in addressing the financial shortfalls.

Is there a process to request an exception to the salary savings plan?
No. The exceptions or non-covered categories were stated in the announcement, which are all student employees and faculty and staff who hold an H-1B visa and those who do not meet the salary reduction eligibility requirements.

If I have a reduction in my work hours will I still be subject to the salary savings plan?
Yes. If you are a regular or temporary faculty or staff not on an H-1B visa and you meet the salary reduction eligibility requirements you will have the salary reduction. The salary reduction is a financial management tool to address the KU budget shortfall. Individual units with employees who have reduced operations or other pandemic-related circumstances may also need to pursue a reduction in hours.

Paid Time Off and Leave Programs

Are compensatory time payouts impacted by the temporary salary reduction?
Employee or department requested payouts or payouts upon transfers within KU, change in exemption status or payments for maximum overages or any payouts that are not related to a departure from KU will be paid at the compensation rate as of the effective date of the payout. Payouts upon retirement or separation from KU will be paid at the compensation rate prior to the application of temporary salary reductions.

Are vacation and sick leave payouts affected by a temporary salary reduction?
Employees subject to the salary reduction will receive any vacation and/or sick leave payouts (if eligible) upon separation or retirement at the compensation rate prior to the application of the temporary salary reductions.

If I am under a Phased Retirement Agreement, how will the salary reduction impact me?
All employees meeting the salary reduction eligibility requirements will be affected, including those on a Phased Retirement Agreement.

If I am under a leave program (e.g., Parental Leave, Shared Leave, Extended or regular or Extended Family Medical Leave), how will the salary reduction affect me?
All employees meeting the salary reduction eligibility requirements will be affected, including those on a Parental Leave, Shared Leave, Family Medical Leave, and Extended Family Medical Leave.

If I am on a sabbatical or other professional paid leave, how will the salary reduction affect me?
All employees meeting the salary reduction eligibility requirements will be affected, including those on sabbatical or other professional paid leaves.

I have been informed that I will be furloughed, will I still have the salary reduction?
Yes. If you are a regular or temporary faculty or staff not on an H-1B visa, and you meet the salary reduction eligibility requirement, you will be subject to the salary reduction. The salary reduction is a financial management tool to address the KU budget shortfall. Individual units with employees who are not currently working due to reduced operations or other pandemic-related circumstances may also need to pursue a unit-specific furlough.

Benefits

What Benefits are affected by a temporary salary reduction?
During a period of temporary salary reductions, benefits that are calculated as a percentage of salary will be affected. For example, your contributions and KU’s contributions to KPERS, KP&F and the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) mandatory retirement plan are paid as a percentage of your salary and therefore will be reduced.

If you are participating in the KBOR Voluntary Retirement Plan or the KPERS 457 Retirement Plan and you have elected to contribute based on a percentage of your salary, your contributions will be reduced. But if you elected to make voluntary contributions as a flat dollar amount, your contribution amounts will not be affected.

If life insurance benefits are paid while your salary is temporarily reduced, the life insurance benefits will be calculated using the higher of 1) the compensation rate annualized as of the date of death or 2) actual compensation received during the prior 12 months.

If long-term disability benefits are applied for during a period of temporary salary reductions, the annualized compensation rate on the date disability begins will be used.

If you have additional questions or want to determine if changes to benefit plans are permissible, please contact the Benefits Team at benefits@ku.edu.


Can I access my retirement funds during a period of salary reduction?
Under the CARES Act, Coronavirus-related distributions are allowed from the Kansas Board of Regents Mandatory and Voluntary 403(b) Plans. For more information, see information at the bottom of the Kansas Board of Regents Retirements Plan page.

If you participate in the KPERS 457 plan, please contact kpers457@kpers.org about available distribution options.


Will eligible KU University Support Staff (USS) continue to receive their Longevity Bonus?
Yes. Longevity Bonuses are not impacted by KU’s salary savings plan.

Employee Assistance Program and Financial Assistance

Is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) still available to me during the period of a salary reduction?
Yes, benefits-eligible employees have access to EAP counselors who will provide immediate care, concern and assistance, 24/7. Call 1-888-275-1205 (option 1). TDD/TT 800-697-0353. More information is available on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website.

GuidanceResources Online provides timely, expert information on thousands of topics, including, but not limited to wellness, financial planners as well as self-assessments.


Can I apply for the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund?
Eligible employees may apply for the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund. The fund is available to provide emergency financial relief due to natural or personal disasters. Depending on circumstances and documentation provided, the COVID-19 pandemic may be a qualifying event. A salary reduction alone would not make one eligible for the fund. Visit KU's Emergency Aid Network for additional resources.

How can I help KU employees who may face financial hardships?
You can donate to the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund, which provides emergency assistance for staff members who are struggling due to a natural or personal disaster that has caused financial hardship. Additional options for donating can be found on KU's Emergency Aid Network website.

Can I apply for unemployment benefits because my salary is reduced?
No, you will not be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits due to a temporary salary reduction.

HR/Pay

Can I see my compensation rates and the affect on my deductions in HR/Pay?
Yes. Employee self-service shows compensation history and paychecks will show earnings and deductions.

Go to Self Service>Payroll and Compensation>Compensation History (Please note the annual amount is displayed as a 12- month compensation and may not accurately reflect your individual appointment length.)

Go to Self Service>Payroll and Compensation>View Paycheck


If I want to change my payroll tax withholdings, how do I do that?
Federal taxes are changed in HR/Pay.

Go to Self Service>Payroll and Compensation>W-4 Tax Information.

State taxes are changed using the K-4 State Withholding PDF form available on the Payroll Office website.


If I want to change my paycheck distribution between bank accounts, how do I do that?
Changes to direct deposit are made in HR/Pay

Go to Self Service>Payroll and Compensation>Direct Deposit

View this help document for more information about how to change your direct deposit. For security purposes close all pages opened in your browser after accessing pages in HR/Pay.



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