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FAQs for Timekeepers / Managers - Biweekly Payroll Processing Changes

PERSONNEL TRANSACTIONS AND PAYROLL PROCESSING

Q: What is the difference between an Insurance check, an optional check and a mandatory check?

A: The payroll schedule determines the deductions taken for the Bi-Weekly Employees

Example - August 2013, 3 Bi-Weekly pay periods

Check #1) Biweekly Pay period 7/20 - 8/02 - Insurance
Check #2) Biweekly Pay period 8/03 - 8/16 - Optional
Check #3) Biweekly Pay period 8/17 - 8/30 - Mandatory

Insurance check - The pay period which includes the first day of the month is called the insurance check.

Deductions from this paycheck include:

  • Insurance deductions
  • Retirement deductions (TRS, ERS, ORP)
  • TSA, Deferred Compensation deductions
  • Tax deductions OASDI/EE (social security tax) and MED/EE (medicare tax), Withholding (federal tax)
  • Garnishments

Optional check - The second pay period of the month is called the optional check.

Deductions from this paycheck include:

  • FLXMED, (Flexible Heath Care Spending Account), FLXDEP (Dependent Care Spending Account)
  • Optional deductions including, but not limited to Parking, Field House, Charitable contributions, etc.
  • Retirement deductions (TRS, ERS, ORP)
  • TSA, Deferred Compensation deductions
  • Tax deductions OASDI/EE (social security tax) and MED/EE (medicare tax), Withholding (federal tax)
  • Garnishments

Mandatory check - The third pay period of the month is called a mandatory check.

Deductions from this paycheck include:

  • Retirement deductions (TRS, ERS, ORP)
  • Tax deductions OASDI/EE (social security tax) and MED/EE (medicare tax), Withholding (federal tax)
  • Garnishments

Q: How does the third paycheck of the month affect net pay?

A: Depending on your normal payroll deductions for the first and second checks you may see a difference in the amount of your Federal withholding deduction thereby increasing or decreasing the amount of net pay. As there are no insurance taken and no optional deductions taken usually the mandatory check net (take home pay) is slightly higher.

Note: Employees owing insurance premiums for prior pay periods, may incur a back deduction on the optional or mandatory check.

Q: I have received a pay increase. Why do I not see a difference in my net pay?

A: When reviewing your pay checks be sure to compare the first pay period of the month to another check that is also the first pay period of the month. This comparison insures you are reviewing the pay checks with the same deductions (example: insurance checks) and see the difference in tax calculations because the before tax deductions for insurance will be the same. In other words, do not compare the second pay period of the month to the first. The difference in the before tax deductions will make it difficult to compare net pays.

Q: I did not sign up for TRS, why was it deducted from my paycheck?

A: If you are in a benefit eligible position, TRS is a state mandatory deduction and one cannot elect to stop this deduction.

Q: If I leave UTMB, when will I get my final paycheck?

A: Paychecks for terminating employees are processed during the scheduled payroll cycles. Employees with direct deposit will receive their pay through the direct deposit process, and a final pay stub will be mailed to the home address. Employees receiving paper checks will receive payment through the U. S. Mail. Please assure that your home address is correct prior to leaving UTMB.

Q: Where can I go to add or change my Direct Deposit?

A: Employees are encouraged to use the Self Service option on the UTMB home page. Once inside the self service site, please select Payroll and Compensation, Direct Deposit. Follow the instructions to make your changes. Other options are to obtain a paper Direct Deposit form from our website, complete this and scan to payroll.services@utmb.edu or fax to 409-747-7904. View our Direct Deposit information for more assistance on completing form.

Q: Where can I go to change my W-4 exemptions?

A: Employees are encouraged to use the Self Service option on the UTMB home page. (completing a W-4) Once inside the self service site, please select Payroll and Compensation, then, W4 Tax Information. Follow the instructions to make your changes. Other options are to obtain a paper W4 form from the benefits office or the Payroll Services website, complete the form and mail to Payroll Services at mail route 0921.

Q: If I lose my W-2 form, where can I get a duplicate?

A: Employees may access and print a duplicate W-2 form using the eW-2 website or by sending an email request to finance.payroll@utmb.edu. Payroll accepts all other requests by mail to Route 0921.

Q: How will vacation accruals be paid upon leaving UTMB?

A: Vacation pay for eligible employees with 6 or more months of service will be paid on the final check along with time worked during that pay period. Employees with direct deposit will receive payment by direct deposit, otherwise the check will be mailed to the home address that is currently in the system.

Q: What is OASDI & OASHI?

A: Old Age Survivors Insurance (Social Security) and Old Age Survivors Health Insurance (Medicare).

Q: What if payday falls on a holiday?

A: Monthly employees will be paid on the first working day of the month. Biweekly employees will be paid every other Friday unless a holiday interferes with that schedule. When a holiday falls on a Friday that is a payday, many types of communication will take place such as e-mail broadcasts and communications sent to your department managers to inform the workforce.

Q: What are the effective dates of transactions such as separations and change of status?

A: The following transactions must be made effective on the first day of a pay period:

  • Reclassifications
  • Promotions
  • Demotions
  • Salary Changes
  • Percent of Time Changes
  • Transfers within UTMB

A separation effective date must be the close of business on the last day worked. Please notify your EAST team member as soon as possible. The only exceptions to working the last day are:

  • Retirees may use leave time on their last day
  • Employees going on WCI have a choice of using leave or not
  • Residents may use vacation

Q: What are the effective dates of leave of absence?

A: Employees going on medical leave of absence must use all leave time if eligible and the effective date is day after the last accruals are used or regular time is used.

Employees going on personal leave of absence must use vacation leave if eligible and the effective date is day after the last vacation accruals or regular time is used. It is imperative that employees be put on a leave of absence when they have no accruals left. If this is not done correctly UTMB is unable to comply with the regulations regarding the employee's insurance eligibility

Q: Must a new employee to UTMB begin on the first day of a pay period?

A: No, new employees may begin on any day. An employee who is transferring from another department is not considered a new employee and must begin on the first day of a pay period.

Q: How can an employee get shift differential pay?

A: Shift differential eligibility is determined by job title. The department must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible to compensate employees for shift differential.

Human Resource Compensation determines eligibility and sets the rate according to job title. Eligible departments pay evening shift which begins at 3:00 PM and ends at 11:00 PM, night shift which begins at 11:00 PM and ends at 7:00 AM and weekend shift which begins at 11pm Friday night and ends at 11pm Sunday night. An employee must work a minimum of four hours within shift eligible time periods in order to receive Evening or Night shift differential pay. There are no minimum hours required for an eligible employee to earn weekend shift. Contact your Human Resources Representative when needing further information concerning eligibility.

Q: How can an employee get on-call pay?

A: If your department requires an employee to be on call, an on call shift differential may be paid to them. Approval for a department to pay on call must be obtained from Human Resources. The position an employee holds must be flagged as on call eligible. When employees are called in to work, the on call pay is not interrupted and the employee receives overtime pay or compensatory time according to their status for the hours worked. The employees who are called in are guaranteed two hours of compensation. A request for a position to be eligible for on call must be sent to the Human Resources.

Q: If employees work 12 hour shifts, do they accrue 12 hour holidays?

A: No, employees accrue holiday hours according to their appointed hours (8 hours for full time employees), regardless of the shift worked. When a holiday occurs, the appropriate number of hours will automatically accrue for each employee. Holiday hours may be used in any quarter hour increment.

Q: If employees work a holiday, how are they compensated?

A: Holiday hours will accrue if the holiday is not taken when it occurs. Employees have one year from the date a holiday is accrued to use it. Whenever a holiday is used, the system will use the oldest holiday time accrued first.

REPORTING

Q: Box 1 on my W-2 does not equal my annual salary. Why?

A: Your annual salary is also called your gross salary. Taxable income represents that part of your income that is subject to federal income taxes. Taxable income is calculated as follows:

  Gross salary
Plus: Longevity Pay
Plus: Hazardous Duty Pay
Less: TRS/ORP Retirement Contributions
Less: Deferred Compensation Contributions
Less: Tax Sheltered Annuity Contribution
Less: Amount paid for insurance premiums in excess of premium sharing (special rules apply for disability and life insurance)
Less: Medical and Dependent Flex Contributions
Less: Parking

TAXABLE INCOME

Q: Why is there a difference between Box 1 and Boxes 3 & 5 on my W-2 Form?

A: Contributions to the TRS & ORP Retirement Plans, Tax Sheltered Annuity, and Deferred Compensation plans are exempt from Federal Income Taxes but are not exempt from Social Security and Medicare tax withholding; therefore, the Social Security and Medicare wages reported in Boxes 3 & 5 of your W-2 will tend to be higher than the Federal Income taxable wages reported in Box 1.

Q: Why, on some W-2s, are the Medicare Subject Wages reported in Box 5 higher than the Social Security Wages reported in Box 3?

A: For the 2011 tax year, Social Security tax is assessed on Social Security Subject wages up to a maximum of $106,800. No such contribution limit exists for Medicare Subject Wages.

Q: I did not get a 2011 W-2. Why, and what should I do?

A1: If you are a non-resident alien for United States tax purposes, you are subject to different tax and reporting requirements than U.S. citizens and permanent residents. If you received tax treaty benefits and were not subject to social security tax, a form 1042s will be mailed to you by March 15, 2012.

A2: Employees may access and print a duplicate W-2 form using the eW-2 website or by sending an email request to finance.payroll@utmb.edu.

Q: I received another form called a 1042-S, but not a W-2 Form. Why?

A: If you are a nonresident alien who claimed an exemption from income tax under a tax treaty you may have received a Form 1042-S instead. This is a form that reflects your income that was exempted from tax. If your entire income for the tax year was exempted from Federal Income tax under a tax treaty and also exempted from Social Security and Medicare tax, you will receive only the 1042-S Form. You may receive both a W-2 and 1042-S Form if part or all of your taxable income was subject to Federal Income, Social Security, or Medicare taxes for the calendar year.

Q: I am a nonresident alien who received both a W-2 and a 1042-S Form, but the amounts shown on these forms together do not add up to my gross salary. Why, and what should I do if I believe the amounts are incorrect?

A: As stated in question (1) above, taxable income reflected on Box 1 of the W-2 Form is different than your gross salary. Try converting your gross salary to taxable income per the calculation described in question 1 above. If there still appears to be a serious problem, contact Payroll Services.

Q: Where can I get nonresident alien tax forms to file my personal tax return?

A: Tax forms can be obtained from the IRS web page.

Q: The name on my W-2 does not match the name on my Social Security Card. What do I need to do to update my name with the Social Security Administration?

A: The name in Social Security's records is the employee's name of record. If an employee has changed his or her name, the employee must notify Social Security before the name of record can be changed. The employee must contact Social Security and initiate the name change. The employer's payroll office cannot change Social Security's records. Employees may visit a local Social Security office, or they may call Social Security's toll-free line, 1-800-772-1213. Social Security will send the employee a form to complete and return. Once the form is received, along with valid proof of identity, Social Security will change the name of record.

Address for the local Social Security Office is now:
 
2835 Gulf Freeway
League City, Texas 77573
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