Berkeleyan

Regents act on UCRP, eligibility

12 February 2009

The Board of Regents has approved a proposal to restart employee contributions to the UC Retirement Plan, voting last week to require employees systemwide to begin putting 2 percent of their salaries into the pension fund as of April 15, 2010.

The end to the 19-year-long “contribution holiday,” as expected, was declared by the regents at their meeting at UCSF-Mission Bay as a way to shore up the sagging retirement fund.

The regents suspended employee contributions to the fund in 1990. Under the plan passed on Feb. 5, employee contributions would continue to grow in subsequent years, though the amount has not yet been determined. In a recent message to UC staff, President Mark Yudof sought to allay concerns about the fund’s health by assuring employees that “your UCRP benefits are secure” and “UCRP investments are well-diversified.” Yudof also noted that prior to 2007-08, the fund had posted positive investment returns for five consecutive years (2003-07) and for 16 of the previous 20 years (1988-2007).

Changes to eligibility
In other action, the board approved changes to the system’s requirements for freshman admission, expanding the opportunity to all California high-school students who complete at least 11 of UC’s 15 required college-prep courses by the end of their junior year, achieve a weighted GPA of at least 3.0, and take either the ACT with Writing or the SAT Reasoning Exam. Seniors who meet these requirements would be entitled to a full and comprehensive review of their applications at each UC campus to which they apply.

The changes will take effect for the class entering in fall 2012.

The board also approved the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, meant to support college access for students from lower-income families by establishing a minimum level of gift assistance for undergraduates with financial need and household incomes below $60,000 a year.

For more on the regents’ actions, see the news section at www.ucop.edu.