The university's benefit eligibility chart is a useful tool for determining available benefits at a quick glance across all types of appointment classifications (employee groups)
Note about retirement: Postdocs with a 75%-100% appointment (100% equaling full-time employment) have 120 days to select a retirement plan. The plans are discussed at the new employee medical center orientation. In addition, the Ohio State Office of Human Resources hosts information sessions that can help you select the plan that best fits your particular situation. Visit their site for more information. Each postdoc will have personal considerations and preferences that will factor into this decision. The postdoc office does not recommend one plan over another but does suggest that postdocs take note of the time it takes to become vested in the various plans since postdoctoral positions are by definition temporary, limited to a maximum of 5 years at Ohio State for postdocs in the College of Medicine.
Compensation and Taxes
Disclaimer: The information below is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered tax or legal advice. For tax or legal advice, please contact a qualified professional. Basic tax information and commonly used forms are available from the Ohio State Office of Human Resources Tax Office/Payroll Services. Payroll Services, however, cannot provide personalized tax guidance and encourages individuals to contact a tax adviser or the Intenal Revenue Service (IRS), 1-800-829-1040 for specific information and advice about your tax obligations.
Postdocs who are foreign nationals may want to review the materials posted in the Nonresident Aliens section of the Payroll Services site. Postdocs who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes (excluding permanent residents with green cards) must use Glacier software, which will determine the correct amount of federal tax to be withheld from their paychecks. An email with a password and information about Glacier should arrive two to three weeks after you begin your postdoctoral position. If you are a nonresident alien and you have not received Glacier information, please contact the Tax Office. It is important to establish a record in the Glacier system because you may qualify for the benefit of a tax treaty if one exists between your home country and the United States. More information about U.S. taxes is available from the Office of International Affairs.
Multiple appointments, supplementation and additional compensation
Because many funding sources have specific guidelines and restrictions concerning supplementation of stipends, additional compensation, and multiple job appointments, faculty and administrators should contact their COM Compensation Consultant and their sponsored program officer with any questions about these matters.
Compensation: Starting and subsequent salaries are determined by the advisor (the PI who is supervising the postdoc). All salary changes thereafter must be submitted to COM Compensation for review and approval, including annual salary increases and increases based on years of postdoctoral experience. In accordance with The College of Medicine/Office of Health Sciences’ Compensation Office policy, the minimum salary allowable for a postdoctoral researcher is $30,000/year. However, The Office of Postdoctoral Research strongly recommends that faculty and administrators consult the NIH NRSA stipend levels for guidance on minimum compensation based on years of experience.
Taxes: Withheld from salaries.
Compensation: Usually, the grantor specifies the stipend. See NIH NRSA stipend levels for the NIH stipend scale for postdoc fellows on NRSA training grants (T32s) or individual F32 fellowships.
Taxes: Per government guidelines, the university does not withhold taxes from the stipends received by postdoctoral fellows who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The stipends are not considered wages, but they are taxable as income. Fellows are responsible for paying local, state, and federal estimated quarterly income tax as needed to meet their tax obligations.
Search for documents on the IRS website using the basic search box in the upper right-hand coner.
- Tax Topic 355: Estimated Tax
- Publication 505: Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
- Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education
- Form 1040-ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals (instructions for calculating and submitting your estimated tax payments)
State of Ohio Income Tax: Estimated Payments, includes a link to form IT 1040ES
City of Columbus: Quarterly Statement of Estimated Tax instructions and Form
See HR Benefit Plan Rates regarding how the health care benefit may affect taxable income.