Postdoctoral scholar compensation is based on the agreement reached with the UAW (the Union representing postdocs at UC) and reflects the current NIH/NRSA guidelines as allowed in the Union contract. Postdocs must be hired at or above the new minimum on the current scale. Base pay levels are outlined in the University of California compensation scale.
Health Insurance & Benefits
The University offers the Postdoctoral Scholars a Health and Welfare package through Gallagher Benefits Services:
The Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits Plan (PSBP) provides a comprehensive program which offers Medical, Dental, Vision, Life and AD&D Insurance, Short-Term Disability Insurance and Voluntary Long-Term Disability Insurance. The Standard Life Insurance program includes Medical Evacuation and Repatriation for visa holders. PSBP is comprised of the following plans, some of which offer you the choice between a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) model.
PSBP Plan Information
Visit the 2023 UC Postdoctoral Scholar Benefit Plans page to find the following:
- Medical Plans Overview
- Dental Plan Overview
- Vision Plans Overview
- Life Insurance Plan Overview
- Short and Long-Term Disability Plan Overview
- Wellness Programs Overview
Policies and procedures regarding terms and conditions of appointments or benefits in the Postdoctoral series which are not included on this site, are contained in Merced Academic Personnel Policies & Procedures (MAPP), APM 390, Gallagher Benefits Services and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA shall prevail if there is a conflict between the website, the MAPP, APM, Gallagher Benefits Services website and the CBA.
UC Postdoctoral Scholar Benefit Plan Overview - Presented by Gallagher Benefits Services, Inc.
Questions About Postdoc Benefits?
UC Merced Academic Personnel
All income from postdoctoral appointments is subject to state and federal tax. For "Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees," i.e. postdocs in title code 3252, taxes are withheld from salaries paid through the payroll system. For California residents, US citizens, or Permanent Residents, no taxes are withheld from traineeships or fellowships.
For international postdocs, federal taxes are withheld unless there is a tax treaty between the US and the postdoc's country. Please refer to the Office of International Affairs for current tax treaty information. For Postdocs who are not California residents, but who are US citizens or permanent residents, federal taxes are not withheld; however, state tax is withheld if the recipient receives more than $9,000 in funds in a calendar year. For tax withholding, Postdocs are considered California residents if they will reside in California 12 months or more.
The University does not report scholarship and fellowship grant payments to the IRS. If postdocs are unsure of the amount of stipend received in a given year, they should contact their sponsoring unit to determine stipend amounts. Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Paid Directs should consult the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a tax adviser concerning payment of estimated quarterly taxes.
Postdoctoral Scholars within the University of California system are exclusively represented by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).
For information on the settlement agreement with UAW detailing what the postdoctoral scholar is responsible for and what the UC pays for various benefits, please see the Monthly Rates, University Contributions & Postdoctoral Scholar Contributions (under "2018 Plan Rates"), Appendix A.