Mar. 22, 2022: In April, eligible Georgia State employees will begin receiving a $5,000 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) recently approved by Governor Brian Kemp and state legislators.
The majority of pay adjustments will be completed in April, but there are many unique situations, such as mid-year hires, job changes, and leave statuses, that will require manual pay adjustments into May.
Do you have a question that is not listed below? Please submit your questions here.
COLA - Eligibility FAQs
Employees who are hired, transferred, or promoted into an eligible position and begin work on April 1st will be eligible to receive the $5,000 COLA increase to base salary. In some circumstances, if a salary has been negotiated at a higher level, the institution may evaluate and make a determination to ensure internal equity.
The $5,000 salary increase is for all active, full-time, regular, benefits eligible faculty and nonacademic staff of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. The increase will be prorated based on full time equivalency (FTE). Non benefited employees, including temporary and those working less than 30 hours are not eligible for the increase.
Employees who have been hired, transferred, or promoted into an eligible position and begin work on April 1, 2022, will be eligible to receive the $5,000 COLA increase to base salary.
Temporary workers such as students, rehired retirees, and Panther Temps are not eligible.
Employees working less than 30 hours (less than .75 FTE) are not eligible.
Yes, salary rate increases will be processed upon their return to active status.
Typically, if someone is in an active HR status and within the FMLA window or other protected leave (e.g., Military or Parental leave), then they will be eligible for the supplemental pay. However, if no work is performed during the calendar year, the employee will not be eligible. Reference HRAP on Sick Leave without Pay and other related policies.
Yes, provided they are fully benefits-eligible, working 30 hours (.75 FTE) or greater.
Yes, 9/10-month exempt employees are eligible for the pay supplement. If a 9/10-month exempt employee’s employment begins before or during August 2021, and the employee worked the full contract period, they will be eligible for the full supplemental payment. The ongoing increase for FY23 will be applied and appropriately distributed across their 9/10 month pay schedule. Based on the standard payment schedule, 9/10-month employees will receive $250 less than the full $5,000 for FY22. The remaining $250 will be paid as regular earnings supplement during the month of May for 9/10 month exempt employees. If the employee is hired after August, the supplement will be prorated.
August – March - $3,750
April - $500 (1/10 of $5,000 base salary increase)
May - $500 (1/10 of $5,000 base salary increase)
May - $250 (For Exempt – AFY22 Regular Earnings Payment)
Total - $5,000
Summer Semester Salaries.
The $5,000 Salary Increase is only intended to cover the standard contract and not summer earnings. The system will set the 33 and 1/3 threshold at the increase rate. Related policy: BOR 18.104.22.168 Summer School Salaries: Payment of compensation to faculty members for full-time employment during the summer session shall be at a rate not to exceed 33 and 1/3 percent of their regular nine-months compensation for the previous academic year.
Yes, state funds should be utilized for the supplemental payments due to the increased appropriations provided in the Amended FY 2022 budget. Should the amount provided by the state not meet the total cost, institutions have the flexibility to choose the appropriate fund source for the remaining supplement payments, including state funds in your existing budget.
Individuals employed in an eligible position by another state of Georgia agency who transfer to an eligible position within the USG during the eligibility period may qualify for the supplement. The Human Resources department of the receiving USG institution should review and verify the employee’s eligibility.
If the employee transfers from one eligible position to another eligible position, the USG Service Date will be utilized to determine their pro-ration for the supplemental pay, if needed.
The following link may be used to validate eligible state agencies: https://georgia.gov/state-organizations Organizations that would not count as state agency employment include local education agencies (i.e. K-12 systems), city government, county government, Georgia Military College, and other private institutions of higher ed. Should you have a question about an agency that is not on the list, please contact the system office.
Yes, individuals who are in active HR status during the qualifying period should receive the supplement. Any exceptions should be documented by the institution.
Yes, as long as the employee met the qualifying criteria and remains actively employed.
No. The employee must be in active HR status during the pay period associated with the payment date to be eligible. Institutions may not change the separation or retirement date of an employee solely for the purpose of eligibility to receive the pay supplement or increase to base salary.
Yes, grant funded employees are eligible for the pay supplement.
Yes, foreign nationals will be eligible for the pay supplement. Institutions should adhere to all immigration reporting rules and requirements for compensation, and should note that for some individuals, compensation cannot be changed without notice.
Contact your HRAC Representative and they will help review your concerns.
COLA - Time and Pay FAQs
For eligible USG employees to receive the $5,000 increase for AFY22, a salary adjustment will be awarded prior to the end of this fiscal year in the following manner:
- In April 2022 eligible employees will receive a one-time pay supplement of up to $3,750 based on the number of pay periods an individual was employed by the state between July 1, 2021, and April 1, 2022, and FTE.
- The remaining $1,250 will be included on the normal payment schedule to finish out the fiscal year. For 9/10 Month exempt employees an additional regular earnings payment will be issued for the remaining amount in May to provide for the full $5,000 increase.
The one-time pay supplement will be included in eligible employee paychecks paid on April 22, 2022, for non-exempt employees (paid bi-weekly) and April 29, 2022, for exempt employees (paid monthly).
Payments will be subject to all applicable FICA Taxes, Federal Income Tax, and State Income Tax. In alignment with the State of Georgia’s approach, the supplemental payment will be taxed at supplemental rates established by Federal and State taxing agencies. These rates include 22% Federal withholding, 6.2% OASDI withholding (social security), 1.45% Medicare withholding, and State withholding. State rates will vary by state.
No, the one-time supplement is NOT eligible for retirement benefits. The remaining amount that will be included on the normal payment schedule to finish out the fiscal year is eligible for retirement benefits.
Eligible hourly employees will receive the supplemental payment on April 22, 2022. The ongoing $5,000 cost of living salary increase (hourly rate increase of $2.40385/hourly will be updated in job data effective April 3, 2022. The rate for all hourly employees (9,10, or 12 month) will be calculated in the same manner and based on the dollar amount paid for the role per hour.
All regular, benefits-eligible faculty and non-academic staff of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents who are actively employed on April 1, 2022, will be eligible to receive a $5,000 increase to base pay as a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). The increase will be prorated based on full-time equivalency (FTE).
Payments will be subject to all applicable FICA Taxes, Federal Income Tax, and State Income Tax. Federal and State Income tax will be withheld at the employee’s normal tax rate.
Yes, the base pay increase is eligible for retirement benefits.
Yes, cost of living adjustments that are approved through the legislative budget process and USG policy may exceed the established range and should be documented by the institution.
The OSP (One-time Supplement Pay) earn code will be utilized for the payment.
In alignment with the State of Georgia’s approach, the supplemental payment will be processed and paid as a separate payment and will be taxed at supplemental rates established by Federal and State taxing agencies. These rates include 22% Federal withholding, 6.2% OASDI withholding (social security), 1.45% Medicare withholding, and State withholding. State rates will vary by state. Please be advised that withholding at a flat rate percentage instead your typical withholding percentage could have tax implications. Please take action to review or consult your tax advisor if there is a need to adjust for the change in withholding.
No, the supplement payment will NOT be included in an employee’s regular rate of pay calculation for overtime purposes.
- Employees who are paid monthly will receive the salary increase, benefits increase and premium increase for short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD), and supplemental life insurance (SLF) coverage reflected in the 4/30 pay.
- Employees who are paid on a bi-weekly basis will receive the salary increase effective 04/03; however, the corresponding benefit and premium changes to STD, LTD, and SLF coverage will be reflected in the 05/06 pay date.
Yes, the supplement payment is subject to applicable garnishment withholding requirements.
Yes, the supplement payment is considered taxable income and will be included in the appropriate taxable wage boxes on an employee’s W2. However, there is no special reporting requirement for the supplement payment, so it will NOT be a separate line item on the W2.
All USG one-time supplement payment (OSP) earnings will be loaded to employee additional pay panels centrally by the SSC Payroll team.
The charts below show the prorated amount an employee will receive based on their start date with Georgia State, if they were hired after 7/1/22 (see start date range). Please be sure to reference the appropriate chart: Biweekly, Monthly or 9 / 10 Month Employees.
COLA - Funding and Budget FAQs
The Governor and Legislature have provided state appropriations to fund the one-time pay supplement for Georgia State employees. The one-time supplemental payment will be budgeted centrally using state appropriations and will not impact department budgets or actuals, including fringe.
Departments funded via General Operations (GenOps) will receive budget to cover the increase to base pay in the May budget amendment and in FY23. Self-funded departments are responsible for funding the increase to base pay in FY22 and FY23.
Yes, the supplement will be included in TiGA reporting.