Composite Benefit Rates (CBR)


Composite benefit rates are developed in order to cover the costs of fringe benefits offered by the university. The rate is determined by creating a pool of benefit costs and dividing by a salary base. The rates are negotiated by UCOP with the federal government one fiscal year at a time. This rate represents the percentage that will be assessed against the employee’s salary, and this amount will post to the same department and fund to which the individual employee's salary posts.


If you have questions about Composite Benefit Rates, please contact Hervé Bruckert from the Central Resource Management Team at

FY2023-24 Composite Benefit Rates

Approved Rates (UCPath Rates)

Projections for Planning Purposes

CBR Rate Group



























Limited (this includes Postdocs)









Employees with No Benefit Eligibility


















FY25 CBR calculated rates have been submitted to the federal government for approval. We anticipate approval by June 30, 2024.

Please note that future year rate estimates are for planning purposes only (for example: multi-year budgeting, financial aid planning, contract and grant proposal submissions, etc.).

Earnings Codes Excluded From the Salary and Wage Cost Base

UC Berkeley DOS to Earn Code Mapping

CBR Flowchart and Logic

The excel file at the link below has tabs with the following topics:

CBR Flowchart and Logic

1. CBR Table

2. Employee Class Categories Class Table

3. Pre to Post UCPath CBR driver

4. Shift in CBR logic

5. Simplified CBR logic

6. Sample UCPath ledger details

7. Employee

8. Eligibility Table

9. CBR rate group

10.Summer salary Earn Codes

11.CBR breakdown of fringe benefit expenses percentage

The following graph depicts the pre UCPath and post UCPath CBR logic starting in FY20 (see also tab 4 of file above):

What’s included in and excluded from CBR (Berkeley Fringe Benefit Components)

Benefits included in CBR

Benefits Administration, Dental Benefits, Disability Benefits, Employee Support Programs, FICA Tax, Incentive Award Programs, Life Insurance, Pay for family care and bonding, Medical Benefits, Retiree Health Benefits, Retirement Benefits, Senior Management Supplement, Unemployment Insurance, Vision Benefits and Workers’ Compensation. Postdoctoral scholars childcare has been added for FY24.

Benefits not included in CBR (which should be budgeted for separately)

The Interest portion of the UCRP Supplemental Assessment, as well as Tuition remission and Graduate Student Health Insurance and Other Employee Benefits, are excluded. Automotive & Employee Liability insurance (GAEL) is excluded as well and has a separate rate.

CBR Expense Reclassification

CBR benefit expense adjustments have to be managed via UCPath.  Any manual journal entries on accounts #530xx will need to be reclassified by fiscal close.

The following account codes need to be reclassified as these actions need to be processed via UCPath and not via manual journal entry:

53060 - Benefit Assess-Acad Regular

53070 - Benefit Assess-Staff Regular

53080 - Benefit Assessment - Limited

53085 - Benefit Assess - No Eligibility

53086 - Benefit Assessment - Student

53090 - Benefit Assessment - Contra

You can reclassify your expenses to the following account codes:

53950 - Miscellaneous Staff Benefits

53910 - Employee Bnft Trsfr Contra-Exp

 For FY2021-22, email will also be sent directly to the preparers of the journals for which the entries need to be reclassed.  

If you have questions or feel that the requested reclass will create an accounting problem for your division please contact the CBR Finance Lead, Herve’ Bruckert at

Job aid on benefits eligibility triggers

This is a link to the job aid on benefits eligibility triggers.

Benefit Cost Transfers

Benefit Cost Transfers are similar to Direct Retros, but instead of changing the funding for salary, you can change the funding for benefits. Benefit Cost Transfers only change the funding source, not the benefit amounts. For example, if funding does not allow for CBR to be on an award, a BCT can be processed to change the fund used for CBR to a discretionary fund. These transactions are fairly rare, so if you are unsure about making a Benefit Cost Transfer, please check with the Controller’s Office at For access to this transaction, please submit a SARA request

FAU Redirect for Work-Study CBR Assessment on Federal funds

Starting in FY2019-20 the CBR rates and framework were negotiated with the Federal government by UCOP. Under this new CBR framework, many things changed including how CBR is now being assessed on students. Since CBR assessed on work-study is not allowed on Federal Funds, for FY21, UCPath was reconfigured via an FAU redirect to charge the CBR assessed on Work Study's Federal Funds to fund 67308 instead. This will avoid having to reclass those expenses manually. This also means that the department will be assessed 100% of the CBR student charge. 
For the FY21-22 Work-Study award year, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will cover the share of the CBR assessed on Federal Work-Study funds in the interest of maintaining Work-Study opportunities for students during this unprecedented time.  This decision is subject to annual review and funding availability.

Link to GAEL, UCRP supplemental interest and VLA rates:


Details on CBR in UCPath

Employee CBR Groups

UCPath predetermines the majority of the employee groups available in UCPath. The five CBR groups used in UC Berkeley are standard groups under UCPath. 

As of FY2019-20 there are two new CBR groups for UC Berkeley: Employees with No Benefit Eligibility and Student (Grad & Undergrad students). 

Employees with No Benefit Eligibility: This group includes costs associated with employees previously classified as Exempt. These are employees that are not eligible for health and retirement but have benefit costs associated with FICA or Workers’ Compensation that need to be assessed.

Student (both Grad and Undergrad students): This group includes costs associated with GSIs and work-study students. As a clarification, Postdocs are classified within the existing “Limited” group rate.

CBR Assessment

In UCPath the CBR assessment uses a different assessment base. The CBR used to be assessed to the full annual salary, however in UCPath the CBR is only assessed to productive (non-Vacation) time. Vacation leave taken, earn code VAC and Vacation leave – accrued, earn code VLA are not being assessed CBR.

Stipend: Pre UCPath, Stipends were not assessed CBR. Under UCPath, Stipends are assessed the CBR rate starting in FY2019-20 and will also be assessed vacation leave. Stipend are no longer on the list of earn codes excluded from CBR. However, if a stipend is being provided as a form of incentive pay we encourage you to review the Earn Codes excluded from CBR list and select an appropriate Earn Code to exclude this pay from these assessments.

Postdoc Fellows: Postdoc Fellows will now be assessed CBR at the Limited rate. This is a significant change and has been identified as such by other UC campuses. We will continue to partner with other UC campuses and UCOP to find a solution. There are currently no known issues with Postdoc Paid Directs or Postdoc Employee positions. Please note we are actively working on solutions regarding Academic Stipends with UCOP as this is a known system-wide issue.

Bridge funding for FY20 and FY21: Central campus will provide some bridge funding for FY20 and FY21 to offset CBR assessed on Academic Stipends and Post Doc Fellow. 

Vacation Charges

Vacation Leave Assessment (VLA): In UCPath, the VLA is a federally compliant assessment rate that accrues the total amount that is funded into the liability pool by applying a standard rate across all fund sources. UCPath has three accrual rates: one for non-accruing faculty and staff, one for accruing faculty, and one for all other accruing non-faculty academics and staff.

Vacation Accruals assessed on Recall Positions: Vacation accruals are being assessed on recall positions. This is a known issue across the UC system and we are working with UCOP on a solution.

UCRP Supplemental Assessment-Interest

This supplemental interest assessment was previously included in the CBR rates, but the Federal government has determined that the interest portion of the assessment is unallowable to federal funds and must be removed from the CBR. In FY2019-20 the UCRP supplemental interest assessment is a separate assessment from the CBR.

CBR Terminology

CBR Groups: the CBR assessment rate groups’ employees are assigned to.  Each location can have up to 14 groups. The group determines what percentage of salaries are assessed.

BELI Codes: They were used pre UCPath to categorize the various types of benefit eligibility pools for Health and Welfare and Retirement plans.

Eligibility codes: They are used in UCPath to categorize the various types of benefit eligibility pools for Health and Welfare and Retirement plans.

Z – comp DOS codes: They were used pre UCPath as a list of DOS codes excluded from the CBR assessment process.

Earn codes excluded from CBR: They are used in UCPath as a list of earn codes excluded from the CBR assessment process.

Employee class: They are used in UCPath to categorizes employees under different classes (Academic, Staff, Post Doc or Student). The employee class is one of the drivers of the CBR rate.