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Staff Fringe Benefits

Determining staff benefits on a real cost basis

Individual and Family Benefit Charges (Maximum for Federally Sponsored Projects)

Staff Fringe Benefits Table for the Current Year will assist you in determining appropriate staff benefits to be included in sponsored proposals. It shows for various salary categories the maximum levels of staff benefits chargeable to sponsored accounts. It displays flat costs and is updated each January. (With thanks to Brian Watson for providing this.)

(See other historical fringe benefit spreadsheets (2009-2018) below, under References & Resources.)

Benefits as a Percentage of Salary (Human Resources)

You may download a copy of the U-M Human Resources University Office Benefits as a Percentage of Salary Report for Fiscal Year 2020. This view displays percentages.
(Updated June 26, 2019)

You can also view previous year reports on the Human Resources website. (Both will link to a downloadable Box file.)

Determining costs using Benefit Estimators

It may not be possible to determine in the proposal stage the actual configuration of staff benefits for a particular research project. Therefore, an estimator often is used, based on an average percentage of salaries committed to the project. However, if the mix of salaries for faculty and staff is distributed over a broad range (e.g., from $25,000 to $180,000), it may be appropriate to use several estimators to ensure that adequate funds for staff benefits are provided in the proposal budget.

Benefits percentages vary widely--from 25% for salaries of $180,000 to almost 81% for salaries of $24,000. One estimator often used in the past, 30%, had been the midpoint in previous ranges. Units are encouraged to examine recent benefit expenditures to determine if a different estimator or several estimators should be used.

Graduate Student Research Assistants Salary and Benefit Costs

See GSRA Cost Estimates for more information.