Affordable Care Act Impact on Special Payroll

The purpose of this communication is to inform hiring managers of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements and its impact on Special Payroll hiring.  The new ACA regulations require employers to offer health care insurance to all full-time employees and requires employers and employees to report on the benefits offered and received.  In accordance with ACA, full-time is defined as anyone working an average of 30 hours per week or more, or 130 hours per month or more.

The State of Connecticut provides health care insurance to any employee with an appointment period of greater than six (6) months that works at least half-time relative to their position, which in some cases equates to as low as 17.5 hours per week.  Consequently, the State and therefore the University are ACA compliant for the majority of our workforce.

ACA regulations may impact individuals hired on the special payroll.  Although Special Payroll is intended for certain types of short term, temporary (6 months or less), seasonal or part-time professional staffing needs, occasionally appointments may exceed 6 months.  In those cases, it is possible that some of our special payroll employees are now eligible for the State of Connecticut Health Benefits in accordance with ACA.

Changes Needed at UConn

  •  Special Payroll Teaching Appointments:

For the purposes of ACA all teaching for credit appointments will have to be converted to hours.  The conversion rate is 1 credit = 2.25 hours.   Given that most of our Adjuncts, Special Payroll Lecturers and Instructional Specialist teach a maximum of 8 credits per semester (8 credits x 2.25 hours = 18 hours) they should never reach the 30 hours per week threshold per semester or summer teaching and therefore would not be eligible for the State Health Insurance.

  •  Special Payroll non-teaching appointments:

Effective immediately, all non-teaching appointments on special payroll are required to have an hourly rate and the anticipated weekly hours when submitting a new SPAR request.  Reminder: the State of Connecticut minimum hourly wage is currently $9.60.  If a pending SPAR request does not currently have this information, HR will reach out to the department to obtain it.

All non-teaching Special Payroll employees will be required to complete a time record in TAS until the university switches to the State of Connecticut’s Core-CT system (anticipated summer of 2016).

Departments will need to provide specific scheduled hours on dual employment forms.  Any dual employment form that does not contain the hours will be returned to the department.

Departments must use the new Special Payroll offer letter templates  Please be sure that you are using the most up-to-date template in all SPAR requests.

HR and Payroll will be required to audit these appointments every month to assess if an employee exceeds the threshold.  Should an employee meet the threshold, HR will contact the affected individual to offer health insurance and will notify the appropriate department contact.

  • Fringe Benefit Rate:

The fringe benefit rate will not be changed in FY16.  Should a Special Payroll employee become eligible and accept the health insurance between now and the end of the fiscal year, the fringe benefit rate will remain the same.

The FY17 special payroll fringe rates incorporate the increased expenses the university expects and is included in the developed rate.  In FY17 departments will be charged 21.5% for any employee paid on Special Payroll.  The new blended rate incorporates actual employee experience and includes all potential fringe costs – retirement, FICA, unemployment compensation, and now health care.  The Budget Office will monitor the impact of the health insurance changes over this next year and may need to further adjust the fringe rate the following year.

The FY17 Fringe Rates can be found at Budget Office will not be providing budget increases in FY17 to accommodate special payroll fringe benefit increases.

Please Note:  Any non-teaching requests already processed in SPAR as of 1/1/2016 will not be changed.  However, as mentioned above, this group will have to complete biweekly time records.

The above does not apply to regular payroll faculty and staff on Special Payroll or re-employed retirees.

Please feel free to share this message as appropriate.

For more information, contact: Human Resources at 860-486-3034


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