layout University Affiliated Research Center - UC Santa Cruz - NASA Ames Research Center

Human Resources

UARC Human Resources provides support, guidance, advice, and counsel to University Affiliated Research Center management and staff for all human resource functions. The HR staff is located in Building 19, Room 1089.


  • Sick Leave and Vacation Accruals
  • Notice of Separation / Layoff
  • Medical Insurance
  • UC Retirement Plan
  • Tax Deferred Savings Plan
  • UCSC Employment

    1. What happens to my accrued vacation?

    Employees will be paid out their vacation accrual balance as of July 31, 2016 in their final paycheck which they will receive on Friday, July 29, 2016.

    2. How is the rate of pay calculated for the payout of accrued vacation?

    The way to calculate the rate would be to divide your annual salary by 2088 (the number of working hours in the year). That will give you your hourly rate; multiply that by the number of accrued hours of vacation you have at the time of separation from UC employment to get the total payout amount.

    3. What are my options for my vacation accrual pay out?

    You will receive pay for your unused vacation time earned as income paid to you in your last paycheck. To defer your "vacation payout" income to your tax-deferred retirement savings plan, you may elect to start, change or increase your voluntary contributions to UC Retirement Savings Program 403b and or 457b. It is important to note that contribution elections are subject to payroll deadlines and Maximum Allowable Contributions (MAC) so, if you are going to defer all or part of your vacation payout to a tax deferred plan, it will be important for you to do that at the Fidelity website by the monthly deadline which is July 15 for staff who are paid on a bi-weekly basis and July 21 for staff paid on the first of the month.

    For all UC Retirement Savings Program elections, payroll and processing deadlines, as well as other plan rules, apply. Allow up to 72 hours for 403b election changes to load to payroll system.

    Note: According to IRS rules, enrollment/changes in the 457(b) Plan cannot go into effect immediately. Enrollment and changes to enrollment affects earnings for the month following enrollment and the deduction is taken from the paycheck on the first of the subsequent month. For example, if you enroll or change your 457(b) contribution in May, the enrollment or change is reflected on your July paycheck(s). Contributions to the 403(b) and 457(b) Plans are reported annually on employees' W-2 forms, but are not included in income subject to taxation.

    4. What happens to my accrued sick leave?

    Sick leave accrual is not paid out upon separation from UC. It is important to note however, that if you elect retirement within 120 days of separation, you will receive retirement service credit for your sick leave based on a UC formula. Sick leave accruals can only be applied as service credit after an employee has already vested by meeting the five years of actual service credit.

    5. What happens if I am participating in a Health or Dependent Care FSA?

    Your participation in the Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and/or Dependent Care FSA will end on the last day of the month of your separation, July 31, 2016. Health FSA participation may be continued through COBRA and the option to continue will be included in your COBRA notice and election packet from CONEXIS. Dependent Care FSA is not available for COBRA continuation. Please refer to summary plan descriptions of the FSA plans for additional detail (available at the following link: You may submit claims for eligible expenses incurred through the last day of participation by the submission deadline. Expenses incurred after the participation end-date aren't reimbursable. For assistance with claims or COBRA continuation, contact CONEXIS at 800-482-4120 UC's FSA plan and COBRA administrator.

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    6. When will I receive the letter notifying me of my separation from UC?

    There is a two-step notification process for employees covered by the MSP personnel program. These employees will receive an 'Intent to Terminate' letter 60 days prior to the July 31, 2016 separation date, on or before June 1, 2016. MSP employees will receive the second notification, the Letter of Termination on or before July 1, 2016. Employees covered by the PSS personnel program will receive their layoff letters 30 days prior to the July 31, 2016 separation date, on or before July 1, 2016.

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    7. How long will my UC medical, dental and vision insurance be in effect?

    Your medical, dental and vision benefits coverage will be in force through July 31, 2016. However, if you are electing retirement immediately following layoff, you may be eligible for a one-month extension of coverage. Contact the UCSC Benefits Office at 831-459-3993 for eligibility information.

    8. How does a separating employee enroll in COBRA?

    A COBRA notice and election form will be mailed to your home address from UC's COBRA administrator CONEXIS following your separation. Complete the election form and remit payment directly to CONEXIS by the established deadline for continuation of coverage. Additional questions on enrolling may be referred directly to CONEXIS. The CONEXIS Participant Services department is available Monday through Friday, 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PT); you may call toll free 1 (877) 422-2767. Or, register and log in to your account at 24 hours a day.

    9. How can a separating employee find out how much their COBRA payment will be?

    COBRA continuation of enrollment and rate information is available at the following link:

    10. Can I pick a different provider through COBRA than the provider I have as an active employee?

    There are limited parameters that allow a person to select a different plan under COBRA than the plan they had as an active employee. The Federal COBRA entitlement allows continuation in the same plan as during employment. You may select a different plan if you move outside your current HMO-plan service area (e.g. if you move out of California following separation). Additionally, UC policy allows employees subject to Layoff to select Core Medical for the COBRA continuation period. See UCnet for medical plan information:

    See your COBRA election notice for instructions on how to select Core medical.

    11. If an employee elects retirement upon separation, is s/he still eligible for unemployment benefits?

    Determinations for eligibility for Unemployment Insurance benefits are made by the California State Employment Development Department. Visit to apply for UI benefits.

    12. Is it possible to continue with UC health-care benefits if the separated employee is willing to pay the full cost through the time I'm eligible for Medicare, 4 years from now?

    No. There is no provision or process for continuation of UC coverage beyond the federal COBRA and Cal-COBRA entitlements. For more information about the health insurance marketplace options in California, check out: Covered California at

    13. If I have 10 years of UC Retirement Plan service credit and elect to retire immediately following layoff, can I still receive that medical plan coverage if I am employed by another company that provides medical benefits?

    Yes that is possible. However, you should carefully consider your coverage options AND the primacy of coverage when there is more than one plan covering one person. More insurance is not necessarily better insurance and can be expensive for very little or no benefit. For example, it generally makes no financial sense to be covered by more than one HMO plan. Employer coverage is generally primary coverage, meaning that plan pays for benefits first; UC Retiree Health would be subordinate to any employer coverage. Therefore, you may wish to consider suspending your UC Retiree Health eligibility during any period that you are covered by another employer's plan, which you can do during the retirement process. By suspending UC Retiree Health you preserve your future eligibility to be covered by UC Retiree health. Additionally, suspending coverage also minimizes conflicts caused by coverage under more than one plan. You can return from suspended coverage upon the loss of your current coverage or during Open Enrollment.

    Contact UC RASC at 800-888-8267 with questions about how to suspend and "un-suspend" retiree health benefits.

    14. How much does UC health coverage cost the retiree?

    Currently, UC contributes toward the monthly cost of medical and dental coverage, but unlike the pension plan this is not a federally protected benefit and while UC has no plans to end these contributions, they can change or stop altogether in the future. The amount UC will contribute depends on the date you were hired and the amount of service credit you have earned. More information is on the UC Retiree health and welfare benefits website. You will be provided with your estimated retiree health costs with your Personal Retirement Profile (PRP).

    Additionally, medical and dental premiums and plan options are renewed each year and are communicated during the annual Open Enrollment for UC Employees and Retirees. Look for the next year's premium and plan information in October on UCnet.

    15. If I have at least 10 years of service with UC, how soon after separation from UC must I retire in order to be eligible for the medical plan benefits?

    To be eligible for retiree health benefits, employees must meet all of the following criteria at the time of retirement:
  • Choose to receive a monthly retirement benefit
  • Be enrolled in or eligible to enroll in UC employee benefits on the day they retire.
  • Continue coverage at the time they retire.
  • Have a retirement date that is within 120 days of the date they end UC employment (If one decides to wait longer than 120 days to retiree, for example, to increase the age factor used to calculate the pension, you lose eligibility for UC retiree health.)
  • Continue coverage until the retirement income begins
  • If you were hired after January 1, 1990, your contribution is determined by UC Retiree Health Graduated Eligibility Rules , please refer to the following link:
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    16. Where can I see my UCRP service credit?

    You may view your UCRP service credit on At Your Service Online website: (

    You must register a username and password to view your personal information and you view your UCRP service credit totals under the Retirement and Savings tab. UC Retirement Plan service credit accruals are updated on a monthly basis, whether you receive monthly or bi-weekly pay, around the 10th of each month.

    17. I plan to elect retirement from UCSC upon separation even though I plan to work for the new NAMS contractor. What do I need to do to start the retirement process?

    Retirements for UC Retirement Plan members are handled by the UC Retirement Administrative Service Center (RASC) located in Oakland, CA at the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). The link to the RASC office is:

    UC RASC Contact Information:
    Phone: 1-800-888-8267 (in U.S.)
    Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (PT)

    P.O. Box 24570
    Oakland, CA 94623-1570

    Web form (5 business day turnaround time):

    18. I plan to elect retirement from UCSC upon separation. Can you tell me my separation date?

    The last day of employment for UCSC UARC staff will be July 31, 2016. Although that is a Sunday, that is the date that will be used as your separation date.

    19. Is there a difference between separation and retirement?

    Yes. Separation simply means leaving UC employment. Retirement is your election to receive income from UC's Retirement Plan. Your retirement must follow your separation. You may not be both employed and retired from UC on the same date. Often, retirement is the day following your separation. Even if that day is a weekend or a holiday.

    Simply put:

  • Your separation date is the last day of employment at UCSC in any capacity
  • Your separation date is last day you receive pay at UCSC including sick leave pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, catastrophic leave pay, etc.
  • Your retirement date is the first day you receive retirement income from UCRP

  • 20. I am not vested with the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) but would like to know the amount of my UCRP contributions that I need to cash out or roll over. Where can I get that information?

    You may view the sum of your pre-tax contributions to UC Retirement Plan on the At Your Service Online website: Log in with your Username and Password; go the Retirement and Savings tab; click on the Retirement Estimator application and see "Your current and projected UCRP balances".

    21. How can I find out how much service credit I have with UC?

    You may view your current UC Retirement Plan service credit accrual on the At Your Service Online website: Log in with your Username and Password; go the Retirement and Savings tab; click on the Retirement Estimator application and see "Information used to calculate your UCRP estimates". UCRP Service Credit information is updated around the 10th of each month. Service Credit totals include the sum of all UC Retirement Plan service credit earned, at any UC location.

    22. I will have been a UCSC employee for approximately 4 years and 8 months (based on my hire date). The UC Retirement Plan vests employees after 5 years of service. What are my options? Can I keep my UCRP entitlement intact after separation from UC?

    If you have not achieved 5 years of UCRP service credit as of your separation date, you are NOT eligible to remain an inactive member of the Plan and must request a distribution of UCRP Accumulations. To make a distribution request, complete and submit UBEN 142 ( following your separation date.

    Recommended timing: Submit completed UBEN 142 to UC RASC between 30 days and 120 days of separating from UC employment.

    23. What is an Inactive UCRP member?

    An inactive UCRP member is a former employee who is vested with the UC Retirement Plan. To vest means to acquire certain rights. Once vested, you have a non-forfeitable right to receive UCRP retirement benefits upon leaving UC employment and reaching retirement age.

    24. I have almost 4 yrs of service with UC and I am hoping to get another UC job in the future, so that I can meet the vesting requirement. Can I leave the UCRP service credit as is?

    If you have not achieved 5 years of UCRP service credit as of your separation date, you are NOT eligible to remain in UCRP an inactive member of the Plan. You must request a distribution of UCRP Accumulations. To make a distribution request, complete and submit UBEN 142 ( following your separation.

    If you return to UC employment in the future, you may request a re-deposit of your previous UCRP accumulations through a UCRP Service Credit Buyback Request. More information is available at the following web booklet:

    25. I am vested with UCSC and I am retirement age. If I accept a full-time position with the new contractor, will I still be able to collect my monthly UCRP pension benefit while I'm also collecting a paycheck from my new employer?

    Yes, you can retire from UC and collect the monthly pension payments while employed by another company.

    26. How can I determine the amount of my monthly pension?

    You may view your estimated pension benefit at My UCRP benefit estimates on the At Your Service Online website: Log in with your Username and Password; go the Retirement and Savings tab; click on the Retirement Estimator application and see "My UCRP benefit estimates". Once logged in, you may look at estimates automatically created for you; you may click on the arrow ">" to view more automatically-generated retirement dates; or, you may click on the "?" next to View More Monthly Income Options to see retirement estimates for dates of your choosing.

    27. Is it correct that if I'm vested, I don't have to retire from UC until I want to and, by waiting longer I may receive a higher amount?
    If you are vested with UCRP, you may defer retirement to a later date. You may be advantaged, in terms of the retirement income, by waiting until you have reached the maximum age factor. Age factors increase each month on the birth day of (the day of the month on which you were born) until age you reach the maximum age factor.

    Maximum age factors are reached at:

  • Age 60 for 1976 Tier members and
  • Age 65 for 2013 Tier members
  • Note that if you retire more than 120 days after your separation/layoff date, you will not be eligible for University retiree health coverage.

    28. If I retire now from UCSC, can I work for UC in the future?

    A retiree who is receiving monthly retirement income may be hired into a career position after an open recruitment process. If you are hired at any UC under these circumstances, generally: you must suspend your monthly retirement benefit, return to active UC Retirement Plan membership, and earn additional UCRP service credit in your new appointment. You'll be required to contribute to UCRP in an amount determined by your membership. You'll be required to suspend any medical, dental, vision and/or legal coverage you had as a retiree and you may enroll in any health and welfare plans for which your reemployment qualifies you. Following the end of your reemployment, you may re-retire, with any applicable offset for retirement benefit income already received. Contact UC RASC at 800-888-8267 for more information on your rights and responsibilities.

    If you retire from UC and elect a Lump Sum Cashout as your retirement benefit, you may not return to work in a career position or long-term appointment at any UC location.

    29. Is UC service credit for retirement transferable to the California State University system?

    The two retirement systems are separate- there is no "transfer" of service credit but there can be advantages to what is called UCRP/CalPERS Reciprocity. You can find complete details here: The form, Election of Reciprocity (UBEN 157) is included in the document.

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    30. Can UARC employees contribute the maximum to the UC 403B and 457 savings programs before separation and still contribute to the new company's 401K plan (assuming the new company has a 401K plan)?

    IRS regulations set annual limits for contributions to tax deferred savings plans, e.g., 401k, 403B and 457 plans. When changing employment mid-year, speak to your trusted tax advisor or a member of the Fidelity Planning and Guidance Consultant team about limits on contributions to retirement plans. Members can reach the Fidelity planning and guidance consultants at 1-800-558-9182 (5:00am to 6:00pm M-F)

    University of California, as a public school system, offers participation in section 403(b) Plans and 457(b) Plans. IRS regulations have established the following limits for contributions to 403b and 457b plans for 2016:

  • Employees who are under age 50 may contribute up to $18,000 to each plan (totaling $36K between both plans)
  • Employees who are over age 50 by 12/31/2016 may contribute up to $24,000 to each plan (totaling $48K between both plans)Important timing consideration: Any contributions to 403(b) and/or 457(b) made in connection with termination of employment including severance pay issued to individuals must be dated on or before the last day of work. Conversely, any payment of severance or terminal vacation pay made after the last day of employment may not have any 403b or 457b salary deferral contributions deducted. Contact a Fidelity Retirement Services Planning and Guidance Consultant at 1-800-558-9182 for assistance.

  • 31. Will I need to "roll over" my 403b account? Or, can I leave it as is without making regular contributions to it, even if I'm no longer a UC employee?

    The minimum balance requirement is $2,000.00. You may leave your 403(b) and/or 457(b) and/or Defined Contribution Plan (DC Plan) account on deposit with Fidelity Retirement Services after separating from UC provided each account balance is at least $2000.00. You may consider combining account balances (rollover funds from one account to another) in order to satisfy the minimum balance requirement if you wish your money to remain on deposit. Contact a Fidelity Retirement Services Planning and Guidance Consultant at 1-800-558-9182 for assistance.

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    32. How do I find the current job openings for the University of California?

    UCSC job openings:

    UC wide job openings:

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