Staff Semi-Monthly Payroll FAQs

For Gonzaga University Staff From Your Payroll Department



1 . What does semi-monthly payroll mean?^

Semi-monthly pay means that employees are paid more frequently, two payments each month rather than one payment at the end of the month.  Employees may find it easier to manage their personal finances.  The processing time that occurs from when the timesheet is submitted to the time the employee receives pay is referred to as 'lag' payroll.

 

2 . Is there an advantage to semi-monthly paychecks?^

Currently, most of the University's staff receives pay on the last day of the month for the entire month (1st through 31st).  Since timesheets must be submitted in the middle of the month to allow for processing time, the hours paid for the last half of the month are estimated to be worked as scheduled.  When timesheets are submitted for the following month, adjustments must be made for any paid time off as well as any overtime worked during the 'estimated' period of the previous month.

By changing to a semi-monthly system, pay periods are set for the first half of the month (1st through 15th) and second half of the month (16th through 31st), eliminating the estimating of time.  This pay practice is common in many other businesses, will improve efficiency and accuracy of payroll, ensures that employees are paid based on actual time rather than estimated time, and will no longer result in the delay of payment for overtime.

As we move toward employee online self services, information will be collected electronically and will be more timely and accurate.  Employees will be able to submit their timesheets online and view hours used and available.  Watch for more information this summer and fall about the new online self service that will be available in early 2012.

 

3 . When will the change in pay frequency go into effect?^

The first semi-monthly payroll will be August 25, 2011.  All employees will be paid twice a month based on the following pay periods and pay dates:

Pay Period:Pay Date:
1st - 15th of the month25th of the month
16th - last day of the month10th of the following month


The pay issued on August 25, 2011 will be for the pay period of August 1st through August 15th.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The July 29th payday will reflect payment for the full month of July as usual.

 

4 . What happens when the 10th or the 25th falls on a holiday or weekend?^

If the pay date falls on a weekend or holiday, payday will be on the last work day prior to the weekend or holiday.

 

5 . How will my time sheet change for the new semi-monthly pay periods?^

Monthly Reporters – Blue and Peach Monthly Time Cards:
You will receive two new time cards at the end of June for the 6 month period of July through December 2011.

  1. Time card for the months of July and August
    1. July (full month reporting as usual)
    2. August (with the new pay periods, pay dates, & timesheet due dates)
  2. Time card for the months of September through December, with the new pay periods, pay dates, and timesheet due dates

Recording of hours and absences will not change in any way, only the pay periods and due dates.


Hourly Reporters – White Hourly Time Sheets:

  1. Time sheets will be available in Outlook/Public Folders for your use
    1. Time sheets for the pay periods 5/23 through 6/22 and 6/23 through 7/22 will not change
  2. The new time sheets reflecting the semi-monthly payroll will be posted in Outlook/Public Folder for your use.  An original of the newly formatted time sheet will also be forwarded through inter-campus mail to all current hourly employees.
    1. The new hourly timesheets will reflect the new pay periods
    2. The pay period for the August 25th payday will from 7/23 through and including 8/15
Recording of hours and absences will not change in any way, only the pay periods and due dates.

 

6 . Will my semi-monthly pay always equal half of my current monthly pay?^

Non-exempt employees (blue time cards and white hourly timesheet reporters) will be paid based on the number of hours available during each pay period.  While the net pay will be close to half each pay day, non-exempt employees will be paid based on the number of work days available during each pay period.  For example the period of 9/1 through 9/15 has 11 work days and the period of 9/16 through 9/30 has 11 work days, however the period of 10/1 through 10/15 has only 10 work days and 10/16 through 10/31 has 11 work days (including the holiday).  Therefore, employee payments may fluctuate depending on the number of work days available in a pay period.

Exempt employees (peach time cards) will be paid ½ of their monthly gross pay each payday.
Employee's annual pay will not be reduced as a result of the modification in pay frequency.   

 

7 . Will overtime calculations change for non-exempt employees with the semi-monthly process?^

Overtime will be calculated and paid within the same pay period that it is worked instead of as an adjustment on the following month payday if it had been worked during the final two weeks of the previous month. Overtime is calculated base on the employee's hourly rate of pay, this will not change.

 

8 . How will this impact my deductions for medical, dental, and other deductions from my pay?^

Will they be split in half also?

Yes.  All deductions will be split in half and taken from each check.  The deductions made over the course of the calendar year will be the same as made under the monthly pay check.  The exception will be payroll deductions for parking passes if you choose to have the cost of your annual parking pass deducted from your pay.  This deduction will be taken in full on the payday immediately following the purchase of the parking pass.

 

9 . What about my flexible spending accounts that must be fully funded by 12/31/11?^

Your deduction authorization for medical and dependent care flexible spending needs to be realigned with the 9 remaining paydays.  The remaining balance after the July deduction will be equally divided over the 9 remaining paydays so that your account is fully funded and available to you for calendar year 2011.

 

10 . How will this impact my deductions for taxes (federal tax, FICA & Medicare) and pension?^

These deductions are calculated as a percentage of the semi monthly gross pay amount.  Taxes and pension deductions will be based on semi-monthly gross amount.

NOTE:  If you have requested that an additional amount of federal tax be withheld from your monthly pay, you will need to complete a new W-4 form to reset that amount to be taken from your twice monthly pay.  The Payroll Office will notify you via letter with a W-4 form to be completed by you and returned to the Payroll Office by August 1, 2011.

 

11 . How will my direct deposit be affected by the change to semi-monthly payments?^

If 100% of your net pay is going to a single account no action is required on your part.

If your current direct deposit authorization directs your net pay into more than one account, you will need to complete a new direct deposit authorization form to reset your deposits to twice monthly rather than once per month.  The Payroll Office will notify you via letter with a direct deposit form to be completed by you and returned to the Payroll Office by August 1, 2011.

 

12 . What if I find that I need assistance to transition to the smaller paycheck on August 25th?^

The University is prepared to assist all staff with this transition. A one-time salary advance is available to those that find it necessary to ease this transition. The advance may be requested anytime after August 25, 2011 in an amount not to exceed 50% of your usual monthly net pay. Personnel in the Payroll Office are prepared to respond as quickly as possible to your request for this advance and anticipate that your check will be issued within 4 to 5 workdays of receipt of your request. An employee need only to contact the Payroll Office to obtain the request form, complete the form, and return it to the Payroll Office. We are unable to direct deposit advance checks so please feel free to contact the Payroll Office to find out exactly when your check will be ready for you to pick up in our office.

13 . How will I repay the advance?^

The amount of the advance will be deducted from each future semi-monthly payment, in equal increments, beginning on the first payday after the advance is issued and continuing until paid in full.  All advances must be repaid by December 29th in order to ensure proper reporting for tax purposes (W-2 forms).

 

14 . When can I request the salary advance?^

Employees may request the advance anytime after the 8/25/11 payday.  The advance will be processed in the form of a check within 5 days of receipt of your request.

 

15 . Is it necessary for me to notify my financial institutions (bank, credit union, for example) of the change in deposit schedule, especially if I have payments made directly from my account for my mortgage, car loan, etc.?^

If you have automatic disbursements of any kind from your account(s), you will need to ensure there are sufficient funds to cover those transactions, and you may want to discuss this transition with your financial institution(s) if you have any concerns.

 

16 . Is there anyone I should tell that my pay schedule is changing?^

The Payroll Office personnel will notify any vendor that currently has a wage assignment deducted from your pay (e.g. Child Support, garnishment, etc.) that one half of the current monthly deduction will be taken each payday on the 10th and 25th of each month.  These deductions will be forwarded to the appropriate vendor on every payday.

 

17 . What is a web-hosted time entry system?^

Web-hosted time entry system refers to the new Web Time Entry (WTE) product that the University purchased with the Employee Self Service (ESS) module for Banner.  It allows employees to electronically submit their time each pay period and for supervisors to electronically approve the time so that it can be electronically entered into the pay system.  Employees and supervisors will also be able to view past time sheets as well as sick, vacation and personal leave balances online whenever they would like.

 

18 . When will WTE start?^

WTE is in the very early stages of implementation and testing. This product is not expected to be rolled out to the Community until early 2012.  As we work through the implementation process this summer and fall, you will receive more information about this process.

 

19 . Where can I go if I have additional questions?^

Your payroll personnel want to insure the smoothest transition possible from monthly pay to semi-monthly pay.  Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or clarifications.

Linda Grigsby
Payroll Director
grigsby@gu.gonzaga.edu
(509) 313-6805       
 
Maribeth Frazier
Senior Payroll Assistant
frazier@gu.gonzaga.edu
(509) 313-6806
 
Brenda Roske
Payroll Assistant
roske@gu.gonzaga.edu
(509) 313-6980
 
Jana Clarry
Payroll Assistant
clarry@gonzaga.edu
(509) 313-6831