Non-Salary and Deferred Compensation Policy

I. Introduction

This policy establishes guidelines and procedures for non-salary and deferred compensation at UNC Asheville in accordance with UNC Board of Governors Policy 300.2.14.

II. Scope

These provisions apply to Faculty and Non-Faculty employees holding positions exempt from the State Human Resources Act (EHRA).  Exceptions:

A. Non-Salary and deferred compensation for the Chancellor is governed by the UNC Board of Governors Policy 300.2.14 and 300.1.5,

B.The Athletic Director and Head Coaches in Athletics are governed by the UNC Board of Governors Policy 1100.3 and its guidelines.

III. Definitions    

A. Non-Salary Compensation – For the purposes of this policy, non-salary compensation is defined as items of monetary value other than:

1. Base salary
2. Salary supplements for additional temporary, acting, interim, or administrative responsibilities beyond base salary
3. Employee awards

Non-salary compensation includes but is not limited to a vehicle or vehicle allowance, provision of housing or a housing allowance, club memberships in the name of the employee, and other special campus benefits provided for job-related reasons.  Payment of moving expenses, which are also considered non-salary compensation, is addressed in a separate policy.

Exclusions from the definition of “Non-Salary Compensation” include items that are required by UNC Asheville  for the express purpose of conducting University business.  Examples include:  provision of housing when occupancy of such housing is required as part of the job; reimbursement of professional or work-related travel expenses, including mileage reimbursement for business use of a personal vehicle, and allowable per diem meal expenditures while on travel status; payment of required visa-related fees for work authorization of non-resident alien employees; and the provision of equipment to perform the work of the position, including computers, cellular phones, personal data assistants (PDA), pagers and similar work-related items.

B. Deferred Compensation – For the purposes of this policy, deferred or delayed salary or compensation shall be broadly defined to include, but is not limited to, any employer payment or contribution paid

1. directly to an employee,
2. to the employee’s account or plan, or
3. to a person acting in a capacity similar to a trustee for the employee, which is paid later than the regular or next subsequent payment cycle, except for an error that is promptly corrected upon discovery.

Delayed and deferred compensation  include  any retirement plans or accounts, annuities, and life insurance accumulating any cash value.  Delayed and deferred compensation also include both tax qualified and non-qualified plans, and any other similar form of payment, whether tax sheltered or not. The State of North Carolina and UNC Asheville offers employees standard benefit offerings for deferred compensation, including voluntary 457, 403(b), and 401(k) options.

C. Senior Officer– current Senior Officers at UNC Asheville are:  Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellors, Chief of Staff, University General Counsel, and Senior Administrator of University Enterprises/Director of Athletics.

IV. Policy

A.  Non-Salary Compensation

Within the parameters outlined below, non-salary compensation may be provided for reasons that are relevant to attracting or retaining staff of the highest possible quality.  Decisions concerning non-salary compensation shall not be based on the employee’s race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation[1], national origin, disability, veteran status or genetic information.  In accordance with UNC Policy 300.2.14, this policy specifies non-salary compensation that is provided to defined categories of employees uniformly.  Advance approval by the Board of Trustees, is required for any other non-salary compensation.

1. Funding Source and Tax Reporting

The funding source for non-salary compensation shall not be state-appropriated funds, except as noted below.  Non-salary compensation may be provided by an associated foundation or other associated entity only if permitted by that entity’s policies and approved by the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.  The Board of Trustees may approve an exception permitting non-salary compensation to be funded from state-appropriated funds only when also permitted by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM).

Non-salary compensation shall be appropriately reported to federal and state tax agencies.  The value of personal use that is deemed not to be job-related must be reported and assessed appropriate taxes.

2. Excluded Items

Provision of housing and/or provision of meals, when occupancy of the housing and/or provision of meals is required as part of the job and is documented in the job description, reimbursement of professional or work related travel, and the provision of equipment to perform the work of the position, are all permissible and are not considered non-salary compensation as used in this policy.

In accordance with the State Budget Manual, interview-related travel and lodging expenses for EHRA job candidates is considered official state business. Due to restrictions outlined by OSBM in administering state funds, UNC Asheville typically utilizes trust funds for interview related expenses. Payment/reimbursement of such expenses is not considered to be “compensation” to the individual and is not treated as taxable income. Expenses of accompanying family members cannot be paid or reimbursed.

3. Housing

Positions categorized as executive administrators, senior institutional/chief functional officers, athletic director, assistant athletic director, head coaches and assistant coaches may be offered on-campus housing (if available), or if funds are available may be reimbursed for receipted housing costs as part of the initial hire, up to $2,000 per calendar month for up to 3 months.  Temporary housing and/or temporary housing costs that exceed these limits, or that are provided to any other employee, must be authorized in advance on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Trustees.

Positions categorized as temporary or interim, where the incumbent assumes the roles and responsibilities of a permanent employee, may receive housing benefits for up to 6 months, unless extended and approved by Board of Trustees.

Unless the employee is required to live on campus, the housing options outlined above are considered taxable income.

Housing costs that are provided to employees whose job requires them to live on campus, as specified in the position description and approved by the Chancellor, do not require prior approval by the Board of Trustees. UNC Asheville complies with Federal and State regulations regarding taxability.

 4. Vehicle and Parking Costs

Vehicle and parking costs for EHRA employees, except those listed below, must be approved by the Senior Officer and the Chancellor, and approved on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Trustees. Any personal use of such vehicles must be reported to the Finance Division and is considered taxable income. In addition to the vehicle assignment for the Chancellor, the following positions are allowed (but are not required) by this policy to receive one leased vehicle, courtesy vehicle, or comparable vehicle allowance (plus associated vehicle insurance, vehicle tax expenses, and campus parking permits, if any) for the primary purpose of conducting University business as approved by the Chancellor:   the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the Chief Development Officer.  The Director of Athletics and head coaches to whom contracts are issued may receive vehicles as provided under the express terms of those contracts.

5. Athletics and Cultural Events

a. Positions categorized as Senior Officers and senior administrators/chief functional officers may be provided with admission to university related athletic or cultural events for job-related purposes, including admission for an accompanying guest if the guest is expected to assist in university related hosting activities.

b. In accordance with NCAA, Big South, and Athletics Department policies, athletic event tickets may be provided for coaches and athletic administrators in accordance with the Athletics Department Ticket Policy that is maintained by the Athletic Director and approved by the Chancellor.

c. Athletic or cultural event tickets or related amenities provided to any EHRA employee for discretionary use, must be authorized by the division’s Senior Officer in advance on a case-by-case basis, and must be reported for tax purposes. Excess single-use tickets to campus events that could not otherwise be sold may be distributed on a non-discriminatory basis as occasional employee recognition/appreciation awards authorized by the Senior Officer and are not considered taxable to the employee.

6. Discounts and Privileges

a. “Employee” discounts on products or services such as those offered through university business operations must be made available to all benefits-eligible university employees and may not exceed 20% of the cost charged to non-employee customers for the same products or services.  Any cost waiver or discount exceeding 20% must be reported to Payroll as taxable compensation on a case-by-case basis.

b. Occasional meals or refreshments of de minimis value that are furnished at a business meeting for the  purpose of retreats, recruitment, or business (such as coffee or a working lunch provided to a group of employees at a meeting) are permitted but must be paid from discretionary trust funds.

c. Regular meal privileges or lodging provided to an employee as a required condition of employment (such as meals provided to the residence halls’ Community Directors) may be permitted.

7.  Incentive Compensation

a. Incentive payments provided to employees for participating in an approved research study conducted by UNC Asheville or through the University’s Wellness Program are authorized by this policy. Payments of cash or equivalent must be included as compensation through Payroll and are taxable.

b. Incentive-based compensation beyond base salary provided to any Athletics employee outside of an approved athletics contract  must be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Trustees.

c. Any other form of incentive-based compensation beyond base salary for achieving performance or productivity – including, but not limited to, bonuses, incentive compensation for employees involved in fundraising, admissions, alumni membership, sales, revenue-generating programs, or similar activities – is prohibited unless expressly authorized by UNC Board of Governors.

8. Club Memberships

Any club membership for an employee must be job related, and the club must have a policy prohibiting discrimination against groups protected by federal and North Carolina law. In no case may the funding source be state-appropriated funds.

9. Cash, Gift Certificates, and Gift Cards

Provision of other forms of non-salary compensation or benefit – including but not limited to cash, gift certificates, and gift cards must be  treated as taxable income as applicable.

10. Source of Funds and Reporting of Compensation

Unless permitted by the Office of State Budget & Management and approved by the Board of Trustees or Board of Governors, state appropriated funds shall not be used to provide non-salary compensation.  Non-salary compensation funding may be provided through the University by   a University-associated foundation, if permitted by foundation policy.

11. Reporting Requirements

Provision of any non-salary compensation or benefit must be reported by the department to the Payroll Department and treated as taxable income as applicable.

B. Deferred Compensation

The State of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina system offer employees options for deferred compensation, including insurance programs.  Unless expressly approved by the Board of Governors, UNC Asheville or its associated entities may  not provide any other employer-paid or privately-paid options for deferred compensation to any employee.

This policy does not prohibit the institution from making permitted employer contributions to the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).

V. Procedures

A. Non-Salary Compensation Approvals

Unless noted otherwise in this policy, Board of Trustees approval is required before providing non-salary compensation to an employee. Any proposed non-salary compensation must be documented using the Non-Salary Compensation form.

1.      The form must be approved by the appropriate Senior Officer and submitted to Human Resources
2.      Human Resources forwards the request to the Chancellor for approval
3.      Once approved by the Chancellor, the request will be forwarded to UNC Asheville’s Board of Trustees for approval, if required.

B. Deferred Compensation Approvals

Requests for deferred compensation must be made by memorandum by the appropriate Senior Officer.  Requests that are endorsed by the Chancellor must then receive approvals from both the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors prior to the commitment or provision of such compensation.

C. Recordkeeping

Records of approved non-salary and deferred compensation are maintained by Human Resources and/or the Finance Office as appropriate.

[1] UNC Asheville acknowledges and understands that the category of gender identity or expression or sexual orientation is not a protected category under federal or state law and therefore cannot be grieved beyond the campus level.

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