Understanding the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B form is one of many keys to fostering a strong relationship with not only SAG-AFTRA as an organization but also with the profession of acting itself as a feasible way of life.
In this post, we’ll let you know exactly why the Exhibit B is so important and walk you step-by-step through the process of filling one out for yourself.
Let’s start with an important question...
To fully understand the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B form, we’ll have to first dive into some background.
To remain compliant with SAG-AFTRA and continue to be able to hire SAG-AFTRA performers, producers and production companies are required to adhere to certain rules and procedures.
Of course, the exact nature of those rules changes per the type of contract signed with SAG-AFTRA. But these rules run the gamut, from observing union holidays to making residual payments within specific timeframes, to even paying performers through a SAG-AFTRA approved payroll services company, like Wrapbook.
While the potential range of requirements for SAG compliance may seem a little extra, these regulations are far more than just hoops for producers to jump through.
SAG-AFTRA’s procedures exist to protect the vulnerable working class of screen performers and provide them with essential services that they may not have access to otherwise.
And the most important of which is arguably…
The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan performs the vital tasks of negotiating and organizing health insurance for groups of freelance laborers who have almost no leverage themselves separately, alone as individuals. Without the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, performers often face the dire choice between paying high rates for minimal care with private insurance companies or having to forego health insurance altogether.
To alleviate this situation, SAG-AFTRA crafted a more equitable method of healthcare access for its members by requiring compliant production companies to pay a certain percentage of their SAG employees’ earnings directly into a fund dedicated to the health plan itself. SAG-AFTRA’s strategy creates collective bargaining power with insurance companies and grants its members the kind of financial backing usually reserved for major corporations.
The earnings percentage dedicated to the health plan is paid as a remittance on top of the performer’s actual earnings, meaning that you’ll have to pay for and budget for budget an additional amount beyond the SAG-AFTRA member’s base rate.
As you can imagine, keeping track of who’s paying whom, when, how, and why in this situation can get complicated fast.
After all, you don’t pay performers just for shooting days on set. You also pay them for rehearsing days, holding days, rerecording days, promotional appearances, residuals, and as many other activities as your gloriously budget-unconscious director can imagine.
To manage that information and the health plan contributions made under it, the minds at SAG-AFTRA invented the Exhibit B form.
The SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B, is a document that logs all the juicy details of reported earnings and health plan contributions in a single place on a per payment basis. It allows SAG-AFTRA to appropriately process any payments you make and allows you to stay SAG-AFTRA compliant with as little confusion as possible.
Like the notorious SAG-AFTRA Exhibit G, the Exhibit B may look intimidating at a glance, but filling it out is relatively straightforward.
Let’s take a look.
The first step in working with the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B form is to make sure you’re working with the right version of the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B form.
The Exhibit B comes in several variations, each corresponding to a different set of SAG-AFTRA contracts and, therefore, differing slightly from one another in the details. These separate documents are increasingly referred to by the more generic term “Contribution Forms” to avoid confusion, but their essence remains the same across the board.
In the context of this guide, we’ll refer generally to the main sections of the Exhibit B- which cover similar information within each of the form’s variations- and zoom in on details specific to the variations only when noteworthy.
For the best reading experience, we recommend that you follow along with the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B form appropriate for your production’s contract type.
Keep in mind, if you're already using Wrapbook, you can pull the version that pertains to you into the software to disseminate accordingly.
Take a moment to select and download it from the list below:
Once you have the right form in hand, open it and join us below for the next step.
At the top of all versions of the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B, you’ll find a large section dedicated to basic information about your production. If you’ve never seen an Exhibit B before, the sight of all these blank fields may seem momentarily overwhelming...
But don’t panic. You’ve got this.
While it may look like a lot, the reality of the basic information section is just that: basic information. This is the “demographics” section of the Exhibit B form, the part where you describe details that you already know and almost certainly have written down somewhere.
To fill out most of this section, all you’ll have to do is trawl your records for the answers. And for anything that might throw you off, you can always reach out to your SAG-AFTRA representative.
However, there are a few form-specific subsections worth exploring in more detail.
On both the TV/Theatrical/Net Code/New Media and the Corporate/Educational/Interactive/Radio/Audiobooks versions of the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B, you’ll notice a subsection entitled “Select Contract” in the upper right corner.
The nature of the “Select Contract” subsection is self-explanatory; you simply have to mark the box next to the specific SAG-AFTRA contract type that your production operates under. However, it’s crucial that you enter the correct information here.
“Why?” you might ask.
Because the details of your specific contract determine the percentage of the SAG-AFTRA member’s earnings that needs to be remitted to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.
If you check the wrong box, you could end up either paying a higher price or catching the wrong kind of attention from the SAG-AFTRA organization.
A good producer wants neither of these things.
On the TV/Theatrical/Net Code/New Media version of the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B, you’ll notice a rectangle labeled “TV/New Media Only.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the contents of this rectangle only apply to productions operating under television and new media contracts.
The left side of this elongated quadrilateral- entitled “Length of picture”- requires a straightforward answer. Just check the box that most accurately describes the runtime of the project for which you’re filing the Exhibit B.
Meanwhile, the right side of the rectangle refers to something labeled “Side Letter K.”
The term “Side Letter K” refers to a SAG-AFTRA television contract provision that, “allows for a reduced contribution rate for pilots, presentations and television productions in the first two seasons of any new one-hour series first exhibited on or after July 1, 2005.”
In other words, if you’re able to check the “Yes” box, you’ll have to remit a lower percentage of your SAG-AFTRA employees’ earnings to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, important savings for the budget-minded producer.
Once you’ve filled out all of your basic information, you’re ready to move on to the next section.
The presence of the “Use Type” section on the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B for commercials represents the most significant difference among the different contribution form variants. Similar to the AICP bid form, you might know this version of the Exhibit B intimately if you work in advertising and almost certainly not at all if you don’t.
The “Use Type” section is where you would note all the minutia regarding where, when, how, and how long your commercial will actually air. This information is basic but highly specific.
Every single detail has the power to impact the earnings of a SAG-AFTRA performer, which in turn means that every single detail has the power to impact the amount their employer would have to contribute to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.
For instance, just like the choice of shooting a commercial in Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago can impact the price and process of a production before it even begins, the choice of airing that same commercial in those same cities (or any other) can impact its price and process well after the fact.
The same goes for the questions of whether the commercial was made for cable or the internet, whether or not it airs in other countries, and even whether or not it’s a Spanish language commercial.
Entering correct information into the “Use Type” section of the Exhibit B is critical to remaining SAG-AFTRA compliant, but some of it is actually determined by your relationship with the union itself.
SAG-AFTRA offers several agreements specific to commercial productions that differ according to the locations and number of locations in which the commercial will be airing.
The “Program” subsection found in the upper left corner of the “Use Type” section is where you’ll identify your production’s type of agreement on the Exhibit B.
The different agreements stipulate different rates of pay for specified volumes and combinations of airing regions, effectively enabling productions to enjoy bulk discounts for agreeing to air commercials under certain conditions.
A production selects its choice of agreement well before cameras roll, so this information should be readily available by the time you need to file an Exhibit B.
If you want to read more about the different types of agreements available through SAG-AFTRA and how they might affect your production, however, check out our Essential Guide to SAG-AFTRA Rates.
When you’re ready, let’s move on to the next step.
The next section of the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B remains relatively similar across all variations of the form. In it, you’ll need to enter your SAG-AFTRA member employee’s personal information.
The key to this section is in making sure that the information you enter here agrees with the information appearing on your production’s contract with not only SAG-AFTRA but also the employees themselves.
Any discrepancy between different pieces of paperwork could raise red flags with SAG-AFTRA, potentially costing your production precious time or financial resources.
And speaking of saving time and money, here’s a quick pro-tip:
Each Exhibit B contains entry fields for multiple employees, sparing you from the tedious task of filing multiple forms per payment and allowing you to cover multiple contributions to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan with but a single check.
And with the cutting of checks in mind, let’s move on to the Exhibit B’s penultimate section.
This is the part where you bust out your calculator and figure out exactly how much your production owes to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.
If you’ve done your due diligence and filled out the Exhibit B form correctly up to this point, this should be the most straightforward section you’ve faced thus far. In most cases, all you need to do is multiply the gross compensation paid to your performers in the Exhibit B form by the contract-stipulated percentage that must be remitted to the health plan. The resulting total is how much you owe the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan in pure dollars and cents.
In some cases, your production may also need to calculate payment based on what is known as “Liquidated Damages." Liquidated damages are paid when one party breaches some element of a contract at a rate agreed upon at the time of the contract’s signing. If that situation applies to your production, you’ll need to refer directly to the relevant contracts to discern the correct amounts. As far as the Exhibit B is concerned, the manner of calculation remains the same.
Now, with your payment information locked in, you’re ready for the final step in completing the SAG-AFTRA Exhibit B.
The final and most important step in completing an Exhibit B is getting it signed.
So just slap an appropriate, legal signature on that bad boy and you’re good to go.
You’ll also need to actually send the form along with its corresponding contribution to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan. Without the payment itself, the Exhibit B is little more than a very official-looking piece of paper.
Contributions to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan help supply a vital service to many of the performers and artists who are the lifeblood of the entertainment industry.
At Wrapbook, we're all about providing the very best free resources to producers and their crews. However, this post is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Answers do not create a company-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. Seek the advice of a licensed attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction before taking any action that may affect your decisions or rights.
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