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Understanding your total compensation from UC

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Every day, we make a difference by working at UC, in every type of job imaginable. Whatever our day-to-day role is, we’re helping to educate students, care for patients and solve the world’s toughest problems.

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Our people make UC great, and we pride ourselves on being a place where everyone feels valued, included and recognized for their contributions. That recognition extends beyond fair and competitive pay to other forms of compensation that may be less visible — such as opportunities for professional growth and mobility, excellent health and retirement benefits, and work-life balance. This bigger picture is sometimes referred to as “total compensation.”

What is total compensation?

Salary is usually the first thing that comes to mind when we think about compensation (salary ranges for all UC positions are available online). But salary is just part of the picture. Along with many other perks, your total compensation from UC includes attractive medical, vision and dental benefits; generous contributions to your retirement benefits; and time off to rest, recharge and care for your family.

Individual UC benefits depend on a few different factors, so here are a few examples to show how total compensation works[1]. For your personalized overview, try the Total Compensation Estimator.

Example 1

Martin is a staff member who joined UC five years ago and has a salary of $60,000/year. He uses his UC health insurance to cover himself, his partner and their children, and he took time off last year to bond with a new child. Martin’s total compensation for 2022 would include UC contributions of:

  • $25,000 toward health and welfare benefits (medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance)
  • $6,700 toward retirement benefits
  • 18 paid days off each year for vacation and sick leave, plus paid holidays
  • Up to eight weeks of pay while on leave, through the Pay for Family Care and Bonding Program

It’s hard to put a price on the value of time off, but the other benefits can be valued at almost $32,000, bringing Martin’s total compensation to almost $92,000 — over 50% more than his salary alone.

Example 2

Brenda joined UC ten years ago and has a salary of $125,000/year. She is single and has UC insurance coverage. Her total compensation for 2022 would include UC contributions of:

  • $13,000 toward health and welfare benefits
  • $17,000 toward retirement benefits
  • About 20 paid days off each year for vacation and sick leave, plus paid holidays
  • Participation, with costs covered by UC, in a professional development program

In this example UC’s contribution to benefit costs alone is about $30,000, for total compensation of about $155,000.

Example 3

Sutton joined UC 15 years ago and has a salary of $200,000/year. They have UC insurance coverage for themselves and their spouse and took a sabbatical last year to focus on their research. Their total compensation for 2022 would include UC contributions of:

  • $25,000 toward health and welfare benefits
  • $27,000 toward retirement benefits
  • Sabbatical leave with pay for three quarters of the academic year

In this example UC’s contribution to benefit costs is $52,000, for total compensation of about $252,000.

Why total compensation matters

Many people tend to look at total compensation only when considering a job offer, but it is also important to review your full compensation package throughout your career as you experience changes in your life and make decisions about your benefits.

For example, if you’re caring for an aging parent, your options for paid and unpaid leave may be front and center. If you’re planning to welcome a new child, your considerations may include the affordability of time off, adoption expenses or additional health care costs. If you’re planning your financial future, you may want to investigate additional savings options through the UC Retirement Savings Program, and find out if you qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program because of your service to UC (a qualified employer).

With Open Enrollment approaching, take time to think carefully about your benefits options. Your choices can help you make the most of your well-deserved compensation for the contributions you make to UC.

[1] Examples are estimated for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect exact compensation.

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