Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time Program Fiscal Year 2021
Northern Arizona University will implement a Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time Program for the 2020-2021 fiscal year as a result of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees will have a reduction in their salary during the 2021 Fiscal Year in addition to receiving a balance of paid Personal Flex Time. Your personal flex time and pay reduction are determined by your gross salary. View the Salary Reduction Chart to see how you are affected. The use of Personal Flex Time will be available Monday, July 13th.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to participate in the Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time program? Accordion Closed
This program impacts the majority of our faculty and staff. However, as mentioned in the President’s message, no regular (faculty, administrators, academic professionals, classified staff, and service professional) full-time employee earning less than an annual salary of $50,000 will participate. Regular employees working less than 40 hours or are less than a 1.0 FTE who’s Fiscal or Academic full-time equivalent salary is $50,000 or above will have a prorated salary reduction amount and associated Personal Paid Flex Time.
Salary notices specific to each employee are expected to be sent out the week of July 20th.
What about grant funded, post-doctoral scholars, and H1 visa holders? Accordion Closed
Only employees who are 100% grant funded are exempt. Everyone else is subject at a pro-rated amount.
Post-Doctoral Scholars are exempt from this program. H1 Visa Holders are exempt from this program.
When will the program be effective? Accordion Closed
For employees working the full fiscal year or those working less than the fiscal year who have elected to be paid over 12 months the salary reduction will be divided equally over 25 pay periods, beginning on the July 31, 2020 pay check with the final deduction on the July 2, 2021 pay check.
For employees working less than 12 months and being paid over their contract period, the salary reduction will be divided equally over 19 pay periods, beginning on the August 28, 2020 pay check with the final deduction on the May 21, 2021 pay check.
When will I know the impact to my pay? Accordion Closed
Individual salary notices will be sent out to Staff and Faculty on July 22, 2020.
Are personal flex time days paid? Accordion Closed
Yes, they are paid days off.
If the salary reduction takes me below $50,000, do I take the full reduction? Or will my reduction stop at $50,000? Accordion Closed
You will take the full reduction in pay and will also receive the Personal Flex Time. Please refer to the Salary Reduction Chart to determine the amount of Personal Flex Time you will receive.
Is there flexibility in when Personal Flex Time can be taken? Accordion Closed
Yes, supervisors can offer flexibility based on operational needs and the needs of employees.
Can I work during my Personal Flex Time if I need to? Accordion Closed
No. You are not to work or perform job duties during your Personal Flex Time. Employees and supervisors are expected to work together to develop plans to ensure continuity of work and productivity.
How will a new employee be affected? Accordion Closed
Most new employees hired after July 1, 2020, and during the program participation dates will be required to participate in the programs on a pro-rated basis. All new hires subject to the programs will be notified in accordance with adopted Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time guidelines and will be required to comply with all measures. For more information about new employees, please visit our employment site.
What is the difference between this Personal Flex Time our Flexible Work Schedule policy? Accordion Closed
The Personal Flex Time associated with the Salary Reduction program are paid days off that every employee participating in the program receives. You are not to work or perform any job duties while using your Personal Flex Time.
This should not be confused with the Flexible Work Schedule and Telework Options policy that establishes flexible work schedule options and addresses related concerns. During the COVID -19 outbreak, reasonable documentation of all telework approvals is required, but the requirement to implement formal telework agreements has been temporarily suspended.
What policy allows for NAU to implement this program? Accordion Closed
The Arizona Board of Regents policy 6-812 outlines the Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time Program.
Paid Time Off
Will I lose vacation or sick time due to the salary reduction? Accordion Closed
No. Your existing vacation and sick leave accruals are not affected. In addition, you will continue to accrue vacation and sick time at your normal FTE.
Will I be prohibited from using vacation or sick time due to Personal Flex Time? Accordion Closed
No. You can continue to request and be approved for vacation or sick time following normal departmental procedures. Your supervisor retains the right to approve or deny requests and balance time off requests against departmental business needs.
May I use Personal Flex Time in place of sick time? Accordion Closed
Yes, you may apply Personal Flex Time instead of sick hours in any situation where sick hours would normally apply.
What increments of time can I take the Personal Flex Time in? Accordion Closed
Personal flex time can be taken in the same increments as sick and vacation time.
How will the reduction in pay be reflected on my paycheck? Accordion Closed
Beginning on your paycheck issued July 31, 2020, you will see on each paycheck the amount by which your pay is reduced. We will add a line to your paycheck that will reflect the reduction from your regular salary. An example of what this looks like coming soon.
How do I request to take my Personal Flex Time? Accordion Closed
Similar to vacation, requests should be discussed with your supervisor. Personal Flex Time will be available as an option (Time Reporting Code – TRC) on your timesheet in LOUIE beginning July 13th. You will see all your available Personal Flex Time at once and as you use it the balance will decrease. The use of Personal Flex Time will begin on Monday, July 13th.
Will my Benefits be affected? Accordion Closed
Your eligibility for benefits, such as health and dental insurance, will not be affected. There will also not be any impact to the accrual of vacation, sick leave, and retirement service credits.
What is affected:
- Long-term disability benefits and premiums under the Arizona State Retirement System are calculated as a percentage of earnings and, therefore, will be reduced slightly.
- Arizona State Retirement System and Optional Retirement Plan contributions are calculated as a percentage of earnings and, therefore, will be reduced. ASRS participants should contact ASRS for help determining whether their pension might be impacted.
Can I reduce my contribution to the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)? Accordion Closed
No. The ASRS includes members from all state employers and the rates are actuarially determined to support future retirement benefits. Therefore, the University is not able to negotiate the ASRS rate. However, because your contribution is based on a percentage of your salary, the contribution will be proportionally reduced while the Program is in effect.
Can I reduce my contribution to the Optional Retirement Plan? Accordion Closed
No. Arizona Revised Statute §15-1628 regarding Optional Retirement Programs requires that the University and the employee each contribute 7% of earnings. However, because your contribution is based on a percentage of your salary, the contribution will be proportionally reduced while the Program is in effect.
Will the salary reduction impact my retirement benefit with ASRS? Accordion Closed
Your ASRS contributions are based on a percentage of your salary. Therefore, your ASRS contributions will be reduced by the percentage of your salary reduction. Average compensation is considered as part of the calculation to determine your pension benefit, and you are encouraged to contact ASRS to discuss your individual situation and how you specifically will be impacted. You may learn more about the pension benefit calculation on the ASRS website.
Deciding when to retire is a very personal choice. We are in unprecedented times and recognize that some employees may experience a larger impact than others. It is important to gather all necessary information, and consider speaking with a financial advisor when determining what may work best for you.
As an Optional Retirement Plan participant, will my retirement benefit by impacted? Accordion Closed
ORP contributions are calculated at a fixed 7% of earnings, matched by the University. Therefore, your ORP contributions will be reduced by your pay reduction. At the time you retire, your benefit will be based on the value of your investments in the market. You may wish to schedule a consultation with your TIAA or Fidelity representative to review your account and retirement savings goals.
I have a voluntary supplemental retirement account—403(b) or 457(b). Can I change my contribution amount or access my account to offset my reduced salary? Accordion Closed
Yes. You can suspend or change your contributions to the voluntary supplemental retirement programs at any time.
If I am currently on a paid leave of absence, how does this impact me? Accordion Closed
While on a paid leave of absence, you will participate in the Program.
If I am currently on an unpaid leave of absence, how does this impact me? Accordion Closed
You will participate in the Program once you return to a paid status.
Will faculty participate in the Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time program? Accordion Closed
Yes. Faculty are included in the program. For faculty, the total salary on the Notice of Appointment will be used to determine the amount of reduction.
Will supplemental pay be subject to the program? Accordion Closed
No, it will not be impacted. In addition, summer and/or winter session earnings not included in your Notice of Appointment will not be part of the pay reduction program.
Will faculty be able to take some of their Personal Flex Time on teaching days? Accordion Closed
Faculty are expected to take Personal Flex Time in such a manner that it doesn’t affect their teaching responsibilities. Personal Flex Time may be taken in hourly increments to facilitate scheduling. Faculty will need to work with their department heads to accommodate the needs of the department. We must ensure that our students consistently receive their education, even while the Program is in effect.
If I am on a full-year sabbatical, am I subject to the Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time Program? Accordion Closed
Yes. Employees on a full-year sabbatical are subject to the Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time Program. The program is based on your gross annualized salary and will be prorated at .60 FTE for a full-year sabbatical.
If I am on a semester sabbatical, am I subject to the Salary Reduction with Personal Flex Time Program? Accordion Closed
Yes. Employees on a semester sabbatical are expected to participate in the programs.
How will Personal Flex Time affect service and research responsibilities? Accordion Closed
Faculty will need to work with their department heads to review service, research, and teaching responsibilities. Decisions should be made that are driven by the needs of the department as informed by the preferences of the faculty member.