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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 01/01/2024 - 06/30/2024)


State Retirement 24.91%


FICA (Social Security) 07.65%


Unemployment Compensation     .01%


Workers' Compensation      .40%
  Total  32.97%


Calculation of Fringe Benefits

(A+B+C+D) × (Monthly Salary x Effort months) + (Monthly Health Insurance x Effort months)

(32.97% × Salary Calculation) + Health Insurance Calculation

(A+B+C+D) × (Monthly Salary x Effort months)

32.97% × Salary Calculation

Graduate and Undergraduate when enrolled  and regularly attending classes

.40% x Salary

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

(B+C+D) × Salary

8.06% × Salary



Health Insurance (all rates effective 01/01/2024 - 06/30/2024)

Health insurance: twelve-month appointment

Coverage Type State Health Plan  Dental  Total Per Month
(12 mo. appt.)
Total Annual
Employee Only $ 480.60 $ 13.48 $ 494.08 $ 5,929
Employee / Spouse $ 1,007.08 $ 13.48 $ 1,020.56 $12,247
Employee / Child $ 798.28 $ 13.48 $ 811.76 $ 9,741
Full Family $ 1,274.94 $ 13.48 $ 1,288.42 $15,461


Health insurance: nine-month appointment

  Coverage Type Total / Month
Employee Only $   658,77
Employee / Spouse $1,360.75
Employee / Child $ 1,082.35
Full Family $1,717.89

Office of Sponsored Awards Management

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