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Student Employee Retirement Plan (SERP)

 
 

The Student Employee Retirement Plan is a state-mandated plan in lieu of Social Security for all higher education students. A 403(b) retirement savings account will be established in the student’s name at TIAA/CREF contributions made to the SERP. The contribution amounts assessed against wages are 7.5% for the SERP and 1.45% for Medicare.

Participation in the SERP/Medicare is mandatory if students do not meet one of the following conditions for exemption:

Summer
 

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students: Must be officially admitted as a degree-seeking student and enrolled at least half-time (3 credits for summer) for a summer term running concurrently with your work schedule.

Fall and Spring
 

  • Undergraduate Students: Must be officially admitted as a degree-seeking student and enrolled at least half-time (6 credits).
  • Graduate Students: Must be officially admitted as a degree-seeking student and enrolled at least half-time (5 credits).

   TIAA CREF Brochure

Evaluation Process


The evaluation process to determine which students are subject to Medicare/SERP contributions has been modified to more closely track with IRS guidelines. During periods of enrollment, the evaluation process will use enrollment checks at the end of each bi-weekly pay period for hourly student employees and on the 15th of each month for monthly employees (Graduate Assistants). When the 15th of the month falls on a Sunday, the monthly evaluation process will run on the Friday preceding the 15th. 
 
  • Monthly Salaried Employees (Graduate Assistants):  A Majority of Graduate Assistants are appointed in August and some in January, so these students must be registered AND their appointments must be setup in the HR/Payroll system by the August & January evaluation dates to be part of the SERP evaluation process for that month. These dates are:
  • August 2016 enrollment check for monthly employees is August 15, 2016
  • January 2017 enrollment check for monthly employees is January 15, 2017 

Students not enrolled at least half-time for a term on any of the designated dates will have Medicare/SERP assessed against any wages or salary earned during that pay period. However, students who enroll at least half-time for a term during a subsequent pay period will have Medicare/SERP deductions discontinued for work performed during the subsequent term.

Students with F1 or J1 visas AND with a tax status of nonresident alien are exempt from Medicare/SERP.

Students who have “career” employee status (any appointment as a State Classified, Faculty, Administrative Professional, Post Doctoral Fellow or Veterinary or Clinical Sciences Intern) are not exempt from Medicare/SERP withholdings being deducted from any “student” wages or salaries.