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FICA Alternative Plan

The FICA Alternative Plan is a defined contribution plan authorized under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Employees in certain temporary positions are mandated to participate in lieu of earning credit for Social Security. Nonresident aliens (NRA) under F-1 or J-1 visas are exempt from FICA withholding as long as they are nonresident aliens for tax purposes and would not be eligible to participate in the FICA Alternative Plan.

Participants contribute 7.50% of their wages and decide how to allocate the money in their account among the available investment funds. The benefit depends on the amount of money contributed and its growth over time.


Who participates?

  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Post Docs
  • Housestaff
  • OPS Employees (Both Exempt and Non-Exempt)

Who does not participate?

  • Faculty
  • USPS
  • Students
  • Grad Assistants
  • Fellows
  • Phased Retirees
  • Rehired Retirees


Enrollment is automatic.

Contribution Rates

  • Mandatory Employee: 7.50% of biweekly earnings
  • Voluntary Employee contributions are not permitted to this plan




Loans and hardship withdrawals are not permitted.

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