Most employees have their paychecks directly deposited. However, you may choose to personally pick up your paycheck at the Business Office, with a picture I.D., after 11:00 a.m. on the first of the month (or the first business day thereafter). Direct deposit paperwork must be received in the Payroll Department by the 20th of the month to be in effect for the next payroll on the 1st. The payroll office strongly encourages you to check your online payroll records (see below) prior to your first paycheck in order to verify method of payment and your account number.
Employees no longer receive a monthly paper copy of their paycheck stub. Instead employees can view their pay stub information online using mySFA. Pay stub information will be ready a few days prior to the first of each month. After logging into mySFA, go to "myServices," click on "Employee Services," click on "Payroll" and then click on "Pay Stub." The Employee Services page will also give you access to many other types of information, such as accrued sick leave hours, benefits information, and other personal information in the system.
There are several payroll items which may require clarification.
First, regular earnings are a set amount every month. In months containing a holiday, your check stub will indicate holiday pay; however, the total pay will remain the same.
Second, federal taxable gross wages (those subject to federal income tax) are calculated by subtracting retirement, sheltered health benefits, parking, health care reimbursements, dependent care reimbursements, and tax sheltered annuities from regular monthly pay, plus any imputed income you may have.
Third, FICA and Medicare tax bases are calculated using the same formula with two exceptions. The base is not reduced by retirement deduction or tax sheltered annuities.
SFA offers health and basic life insurance to all benefits-eligible employees. Enrollment in health insurance coverage may be subject to a 90-day waiting period. You may choose to add:
short-term disability, and/or
These coverages will be tax sheltered, with the exception of dependent life, short-term and long-term disability. In addition, there is a prescription drug program. You will need to make arrangements to pay health insurance premiums for dependents in the summer if you are not teaching or did not choose a 12-month distribution.
In order to receive a paycheck and benefits, you must attend an orientation session with Human Resources. Items you need to bring to the orientation session include: social security card, documents for I-9 identification (such as driverís license, birth certificate, or passport), and information on beneficiaries (such as addresses, birth dates, and social security numbers). In addition, you will be asked to select a primary care physician at this initial meeting. Therefore, you should inquire and solicit opinions regarding local physicians prior to the meeting (although you can easily change this later if desired). Human Resources has a directory available which lists eligible physicians.
The health care reimbursement account allows you to set aside tax-free money to cover eligible health care expenses you incur for yourself and your eligible dependents during the plan year. With a dependent care reimbursement account, you may set aside money, tax free, to cover child care and care of elderly or disabled dependents. In both cases, if you do not use the money set aside during the plan year, you lose it.
All employees appointed for at least four and one-half months or a full semester at 50% must contribute to a retirement plan. Faculty and certain administrators are given an option to choose either the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) at the time they are first employed in Texas at 100% for a full semester or 4-1/2 months. ORP eligible employees will receive a packet of information and will have 90 days from date of employment in which to choose ORP in lieu of TRS. Faculty members will be enrolled in TRS until the Benefits Office is notified by the faculty member within 90 days that he/she wishes to enroll in the Optional Retirement Plan. Otherwise, the faculty member will permanently remain a participant in TRS.
If you choose to go with the ORP, you will contribute 6.65% of your gross income through payroll deductions. In addition, SFA contributes 6% of your gross income so that 12.65% of your income goes toward retirement. If you choose to go with TRS, you will contribute 6.4% of your gross income through payroll deductions. In addition, SFA contributes 6% of your gross income so that 12.4% of your income goes toward retirement. With either retirement plan, normal social security contributions will be deducted from your gross income, thus providing you with social security retirement benefits.
It does not matter which company you choose for your ORP as long as it is on SFA's list of authorized ORP companies. This list is available from Human Resources. You may choose to deduct additional money (above your required 6.65%) from your paycheck to put in a supplemental retirement annuity (Tax Sheltered Annuity) and/or deferred compensation plan. There is a limit to these extra deductions which Human Resources calculates, and this additional money will NOT be matched by the state.
Most of these ORP companies offer a variety of funds; you can make choices among all the different funds a company offers. Most have a range of investment options, so you can diversify your portfolio depending on your age, life situation, and investment goals. In addition, if you leave the state of Texas, be aware that not all ORP companies operate in all states. If you think you will not be staying at SFA, this should factor into your decision.
Summer Pay Options
Summer Pay: 9 OR 12 Month Pay
If you have a 9 month contract, you may elect to be paid over 9 months or 12 months. If you have a 10-month, 10.5-month or 11-month contract, you may elect to be paid over the months of the contract or 12 months. You make this election by completing the salary spread form available in the Budget Office or Human Resources. Once elected, the salary spread option will continue unless cancelled in writing. Keep in mind that changes may only be made at the beginning of a fiscal year (by September 15th) and remain in effect for the entire year. The calculation for the salary spread is your gross annual pay divided by 12 months.
Extra Money Options
What options do you have at SFASU if you would like to earn some additional money beyond your salary? While these options might not be available to everyone in every department, they are available to at least some on campus.
Teach Online Courses. Distance courses are increasingly popular for our campus students and those at a distance and online courses are in demand. In order to teach an online course at SFASU, you must be a Certified Online Instructor. You do this by taking an online course offered on campus. Once you pass the course you can design a course under the guidance of the Office of Instructional Technology. An approved 3-credit-hour course could earn you about $2500 when it is offered. If you are the person who delivers the course, you earn a fee of $1000 for a 3-credit-hour (plus an additional $10 per student per semester credit hour for every student after the first 33 who are enrolled). If someone else has already developed the course, you can still earn a fee for delivering it each time you teach the course. If you personally keep intellectual property rights you will not receive payment for the development of the course, only pay for teaching it. These fees might change so check with the Office of Instructional Technology for all the details about the exciting developments in online instruction.
Teach An Overload. Some departments offer stipends to faculty who are asked to teach overloads to meet demand for specific courses. Check with your Department Chair to see if overloads are a consideration.
Teach Summer Classes. Teaching courses in the summer can be lucrative for tenure track and tenured faculty as the summer salary is figured as a percentage of your regular salary. Summer classes are not always available in all subjects in all departments as the issue of summer enrollment is critical. The courses usually offered are courses required for degrees and electives that attract a large number of students. A faculty member would normally teach two classes (six hours) in either Summer 1 or Summer 2. Some colleges have restrictions that do not allow faculty to teach both terms while others with heavy graduate degree commitments often encourage summer school teaching throughout the summer. Check with your Department Chair about summer school options.
Teach SFA101. This is a one credit hour freshman experience class usually taught in the fall semester. Its goal is to help freshman students adjust to SFA and find their way in college and includes relevant subjects for freshmen. A stipend (around $1,000) is available to those teaching the course. If you are interested in working with incoming freshmen, contact Dr. Tim Clipson at the SFA101 office.
Propose and Teach a Community Service Course. If you have an idea for a workshop or course that might be of interest to the community, propose it to the Dean of your college. Each college is responsible for its own community service activities. Your proposal would include such things as the audience, dates and times for the activity, facilities and equipment needed, and whatever salary you might wish to list. Approval for such a course is up to the Dean.
Help with UIL. In April each year SFASU serves as the Regional host for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Competitions which are a series of academic and athletic competitions for Texas high school students. Students who win at the Regional event go on to compete at the State event. Serving as an activity director or judge might be right up your alley. Small stipends are available. Contact the Deanís Office of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts.
Apply for a Faculty Research Grant. The university approves a number of faculty research grants each year if you have a big research project that you need time and money to complete. The money would be similar to that which you might earn for summer school (there are salary limits). Some people choose to do the research during a Summer Term instead of teaching. Others like to teach one term and research the other. You have to apply for a university faculty research grant about a year before you really want to use it, so start early. Contact your Dean or Department Chair for the details.
Win an Award. The university recognizes a number of faculty each year for teaching. In addition, many colleges also recognize exceptional research and/or service. If you win such an award, you might receive a check or you might have funds available to you to purchase items to help you in your research or in professional development and travel. So, get out there and win an award!
Write a Grant. You may write a mini-grant to help support your research efforts which could include such things as postage, salary for a graduate assistant, and supplies related to your research. You can also write a much larger grant. If you have a great idea, the Research and Sponsored Programs Office, provides instruction and advice on how to apply for a grant and how to turn your request into real dollars.
Write a Book, Book Chapter, or Review a Publication. Book publishers are always looking for faculty to review possible new publications or make suggestions for revisions on existing texts (these tend to be for small stipends). There are also opportunities to write chapters (minimal pay in most cases) or write entire texts (which takes much longer but can be more financially rewarding).
Caveat on Funds. If you decide to take outside employment not related to your professional activities at SFASU, according to policy (Outside Employment (E-35)) you will need to do the following:
ďAn individual desiring permission to engage in outside employment must complete the "Request for Approval for Outside Employment" form and route it through administrative channels to the appropriate academic dean, director or vice president for approval, prior to beginning outside employment. Each academic dean or director will provide a summary report of individuals approved for outside employment to the vice president by mid-term of the fall semester. Each vice president will provide the President with a summary report from each respective division.Ē Check Outside Employment (E-35) for more details.