Postdoctoral Scholars

University of California Postdoctoral Scholars with the following title codes are eligible for a Postdoctoral Scholars Benefit Plan (PSBP) designed specifically for them by Garnett-Powers & Associates.

Title code 3252 Employee
Used when a Postdoctoral Scholar is paid through the University payroll system

Title code 3253 - Fellow
Used when a fellowship has been awarded by an extramural agency and paid through a University account

Title code 3254 - Paid Direct
Used when a fellowship or traineeship has been awarded by an extramural agency, and the agency pays the Postdoctoral Scholar directly

Benefits Eligibility

To qualify for this benefit package, a Postdoctoral Scholar’s appointment must be 50% for one year or more, or 100% for 3 months. Postdoctoral Scholars may be assigned to more than one Postdoctoral title concurrently depending on extramural funding agency requirements.

Make sure you are using the correct title code for benefits purposes since the Staff/Academic benefits are completely different than Postdoctoral Scholars.

Benefits Information and Enrollment

Garnett-Powers & Associates is the broker/administrator for the Postdoctoral Scholars Benefits Plan.

Please visit Garnett-Powers to find:

  • Enrollment instructions and forms
  • Descriptions of insurance benefits
  • Cost of insurance plans
  • Information for J-1 and J-2 visa holders

Newly appointed Postdoctoral Scholars have 31 days from their first day at work (date of hire) to enroll in or opt out of benefits.  Postdoctoral Scholars who arrive on campus after their hire date have a second 31-day period of eligibility that begins on their first day on campus. 

Family members arriving from foreign countries after the Postdoctoral Scholar can be enrolled in benefits when they arrive in California.  The Postdoctoral Scholar has a 31-day period of eligiblity that begins on the date the family members arrives in California to add them to their benefit plans.

Your Appointment Letter includes information about your benefits including how to enroll. Please read the information carefully and follow the instructions to enroll in the benefits plans that pertain to your appointment and title code within the required time period.  

If you were a Postdoc at another UC campus and/or are covered by a spouse’s UC insurance, please inform the Benefits Coordinator prior to enrolling in benefits.

Making Benefit Changes

Many of life’s events can have an important impact on your benefits.  You have 31 days from most qualifying events to make changes to your UC benefits.  Review your benefits if you have life events such as:

  • Adding a family member through marriage, domestic partnership, birth or adoption
  • De-enrolling a family member because of divorce, separation, end of domestic partnership, death of a family member, or over-age children
  • Leaves of absence
  • Job Changes including location change, layoff or termination

Go to the Begin Enrollment section of  the Garnett-Powers website for information about  making changes to your current enrollment due to a qualifying event.

Retirement Savings Plans

Postdoctoral Scholars appointed in title codes 3253 and 3254 (Fellows or Paid Directs) are NOT eligible to participate in the Retirement Savings Programs.

For Postdoctoral Scholars appointed in title code 3252 (Employee):

  • Defined Contribution Plan [DC Plan]  University of California Postdoctoral Scholar Employees (3252) who are not otherwise covered by a retirement system contribute to the University of California DC Plan in lieu of paying Social Security taxes at 7.5% rate of your wages, pre-tax.  Participation in the plan is mandatory as a condition of employment.  Nonresident aliens with F-1 or J-1 visa status are exempt from the mandatory DC Plan participation. For more information please see Retirement Savings Safe Harbor.
  • Postdoctoral Scholars appointed in title code 3252 (Employee) are eligible to participate in the voluntary Retirement Savings Programs, 403(b) and/or 457(b), administered by Fidelity Retirement Services

For more information please visit UCnet Retirement Benefits or myUCretirement.

GLACIER for Non-Resident Aliens

For Non-resident Alien information, please visit:

Collective Bargaining Policies and Procedures

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is the exclusive representative of UC Postdoctoral Scholars on all campuses.

Information about this union representation can be found at Postdoctoral Scholar Unit (PX).

Information about additional policies and procedure can be found on the Academic Personnel website.

Maternity & Parental Leave for Postdocs

For information about your options, entitlements and responsibilities during this exciting time, please refer to the Maternity Leave for Postdoctoral Scholars and/or the Parental Leave sections of the Disability website.

Transferring to, or from, a Staff/ Academic Position

Postdoctoral scholars transferring to, or from, a non-Postdoctoral title will have a change in their benefits.

Departments are responsible for notifying the employee of their 31 day Period of Initial Eligibility to enroll in the new benefits plans and updating the Benefits Eligibility Level Indicator (BELI) in PPS.

Please contact the Disability & Postdoc Benefits Coordinator to help with this transition.  

Appointment Ending or Leaving UC

Postdoctoral Scholar benefits end on the last day of the month in which your employment ends. For example, if your last day of work is March 5, your health insurance will end on March 31. Garnett-Powers will send a COBRA packet with continuation options to your home address. Please visit Garnett-Powers for more information about electing COBRA

For information about funds in the Defined Contribution/ Safe Harbor retirement plan, please review Your Guide to Understanding Your Program: Information for Safe Harbor Participants or contact Fidelity Retirement Services at 1-866-682-7787.

For more information, please contact Garnett-Powers or the Disability & Postdoc Benefits Coordinator.

Information presented on this site is not a guarantee of benefits. It is a summary intended for communication purposes.