Skip to Content

Office of Sponsored Awards Management

Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits are monetary benefits to an employee that do not affect the employee's salary or wages. At USC, these are composed of health plans, insurance plans, social security and retirement plans (or a subset thereof). The portion of the employee's fringe benefits paid for by USC comprise the fringe benefit dollars included in sponsored research budgets.

Fringe benefit costs are established annually and are based on real costs.  If salaries/wages are listed in the sponsored project budget, then fringe benefit costs should also be included as a separate line item in the budget.  The rates are determined by the employee’s classification (faculty, staff, post-doctoral, graduate student, undergraduate student or temporary hourly wage employee) and are applied as a percentage to an employee’s proposed annual salary/wages. To calculate fringe benefit costs, multiply the salary by the applicable benefit rate and then add the dollar value of USC's contribution to the employee's health coverage. Health insurance amounts are calculated based on the employee's choice of health plans and dependent coverage (see insurance costs below). 


Fringe Benefits (Effective 01/01/2019 - 06/30/2019)


State Retirement 20.61%


FICA (Social Security) 07.65%
  Total 28.26%


Calculation of Fringe Benefits

(A+B) × Salary + (C-Health Insurance × person months EFFORT or % EFFORT)

28.26% × Salary + Health Insurance Calculation

(A+B) × Salary

28.26% × Salary

(A+B) × Salary + (C-Health Insurance) × person-months EFFORT or % EFFORT 

28.26% × Salary + Health Insurance Calculation

 No fringe percentage should be charged


*Temporary Help (non-student) may elect to participate in the SC Retirement System. 

(B) × Salary

7.65% × Salary



Health Insurance (all rates effective 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2019)

Health insurance: twelve-month appointment

Coverage Type State Health Plan  Dental  Total Per Month
(12 mo. appt.)
Total Annual
Employee Only $ 406.24 $ 13.48 $ 419.72 $ 5,037
Employee / Spouse $ 801.22 $ 13.48 $ 814.70 $ 9,776
Employee / Child $ 621.60 $ 13.48 $ 635.08 $ 7,621
Full Family $ 1002.26 $ 13.48 $ 1015.74 $12,189


Health insurance: nine-month appointment

  Coverage Type Total / Month
Employee Only $   559.63
Employee / Spouse $1,086.27
Employee / Child $   846.77
Full Family $1,354.32