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Social Security Tax

Rule for Exemption from Social Security

Student Assistants are exempt from Social Security tax only when they maintain enrollment in school at 6 units or more and are limited to working no more than 20 hours/week, inclusive, between Fall and Spring Semesters.   Students employed during the Summer period are not exempt from Social Security taxes, unless they enrolled in Summer Session. 

Rule for Medicare and Retirement Plan  

Students who are not eligible for exemption under the above guidelines are subject to Medicare taxes at 1.45% and are required to be enrolled in an alternate retirement plan currently identified as the Department of Personnel (DPA), Part-time, Seasonal, Temporary retirement Plan which withholds at 7.5%.  Enrollment in this retirement plan is mandatory. Refund of these retirement funds cannot be made until an employee is separated from all State employment. PST Refund Form Adobe Reader Logo

Since May 1, 1996, it is Federally-required to tax Bridge Student Assistant for Social Security.  All students are required to notify their departments if they think they should not be subject to Social Security.  Please note that non-resident alien student assistants are not hired as Bridge Student Assistants.  Non-resident alien student assistants retain their 1868 job code for all employment regardless of season. 

Summer Session Employment

Vouchers retained in department offices must have the following statement on each voucher being submitted as pay for a regular Student Assistant, Class 1870: 

I CERTIFY THAT I AM ENROLLED IN SUMMER SESSION DURING THE SUMMER OF 2007 AND THEREFORE QUALIFY TO BE  PAID AS IN A 1870 (STUDENT ASSISTANT) PAY CLASS WHICH IS EXEMPT FROM SOCIAL SECURITY TAX.

(Ref. 8/1/97)

The Part-Time, Seasonal or Temporary (or PST) Employees Retirement Program

Retirement withholding is 7.5%.  The PST Retirement Program is a mandatory retirement savings program authorized by federal law for employees who are not covered by a retirement system. If you are a State or CSU employee who is not covered by Social Security and you’re excluded from coverage under the California Public Employees Retirement System, you’re automatically enrolled in the PST Program.  PST Fact Sheet Adobe Reader Logo

Bridge employees are automatically enrolled in the PST Program.

This program is set up as a 457 Plan, a type of retirement savings plan governed by IRS rules. The program is administered by the Savings Plus Program, part of the Department of Personnel Administration.  For more information about the PST Retirement Program, visit the SPP website or call SPP toll free at 866-566-4777.

Is it possible to withdraw contributions from my PST account? 

Yes.  The form to request a refund of this retirement fund is available as a downloadable form:  PST Form Adobe Reader Logo