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:
- 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
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.