Frequently Asked Questions about the biweekly pay cycle conversion
1. I’m now paid monthly. Will I convert to the bi-weekly pay schedule?
Not all employees will convert to the bi-weekly pay schedule; only if your job is defined as nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will you convert to bi-weekly. Employees whose job titles are exempt will continue to be paid monthly.
2. What do “nonexempt” and “exempt” mean?
Nonexempt employees are eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and record their actual time worked. Exempt employees (generally, academics, managers, and supervisors) are not eligible for overtime. If you are unsure of your exemption status, please check with your supervisor.
3. Why are exempt employees remaining monthly?
Exempt employees receive a predetermined salary each pay period, regardless of the amount of time worked, and are not eligible for overtime. Exempt employees are required to report only non-productive time, such as vacation or sick time.
4. Why do nonexempt employees report time?
FLSA regulations require nonexempt employees to track their hours worked so they can be paid overtime for work in excess of 40 hours per week. To ensure that the university meets these regulations, nonexempt employees report their actual time worked each day. The bi-weekly pay cycle is designed specifically to track hours worked and overtime.
5. Can I choose not to go to the biweekly pay schedule?
No. All nonexempt employees will be making the switch to bi-weekly pay. For union-represented employees, the change is currently a subject of collective bargaining negotiations.
6. When will the change from a monthly pay schedule to a biweekly pay schedule take effect?
- Nonexempt employees will be converted to the bi-weekly pay schedule on February 1, 2013. Here are the specific pay dates during that period:
- If your pay schedule is being converted from monthly to bi-weekly, you will receive your last monthly paycheck on February 1, 2013. This check will include earnings for the pay period of January 1 - 19.
- Your first bi-weekly paycheck will be on February 13, 2013. This check will include earnings for the pay period of January 20 – February 2.
- Your second bi-weekly paycheck will be on February 27, 2013 and will include earnings for the pay period February 3 – 16. You will continue to receive your earnings for each bi-weekly pay period every other Wednesday from that point forward.
7. Why is UC making this change?
The transition is part of a systemwide plan to bring employees at all UC locations onto a standardized pay schedule, with the goal of improving the quality and efficiency of UC’s business processes. The new system provides several benefits, including:
- a systematic approach to Payroll Time Reporting
- standardized payroll cycles across all UC locations
- more efficient and effective time reporting
- fewer manual adjustments
8. What is the advantage to me?
- You will be paid every other week rather than monthly.
- Any overtime hours you work in the pay period will be paid in a more timely manner.
- Your vacation and sick leave balances will be current.
9. I’m currently paid on the first of the month -- what will my new payday be?
As an employee who is paid bi-weekly, you will receive your earnings every other Wednesday.
Please click here to See Bi-weekly pay dates (pdf file).
10. How many bi-weekly pay periods are there in a calendar year?
A bi-weekly pay cycle consists of 10 working days, beginning on Sunday and ending on the second Saturday of the pay period. You will be paid every two weeks, giving you a total 26 bi-weekly pay periods in a calendar year.
11. Will the change in pay frequency affect my sick and vacation accruals?
No -- you will still receive the same accruals. What will change is the accrual schedule. Monthly employees receive accruals on their monthly payday. bi-weekly employees receive sick and vacation accruals every four weeks.
12. How is my hourly rate determined?
There are two methods you can use to calculate your hourly rate (based on a 40-hour workweek):
- Method 1: Take your monthly salary and divide by 174 (the average number of working hours in a month). For example, if your monthly salary is $3250.00 per month: $3250.00 ÷ 174 = $18.68 per hour.
- Method 2: Take your annual salary and divide it by 2088 (the number of working hours in a year). For example, if your annual salary is $39,000.00 per year: $39,000.00 ÷ 2088 = $18.68 per hour
13. What should I do to prepare for the change?
It is important that you review your personal budget situation and determine your income needs based on the new bi-weekly pay schedule. Please note that your first bi-weekly check on February 13, 2013, will contain two weeks of earnings.
In preparation for the conversion, we suggest that you take the following steps:
- Review your current tax withholding elections to make any necessary changes. Pay particular attention to additional tax withholding amounts.
- Request that creditors adjust your automatic withdrawal or bill-pay dates to align with your new pay schedule.
14. Will I need to make any changes to my direct deposit?
No. If you currently have your pay earnings sent to direct deposit, you do not need to make a change. If you have automatic bill pay from your account, you may want to make arrangements with your financial institution about any necessary changes to payment dates.
15. What if I pay some of my bills through automatic bill pay?
If you have automatic bill pay set up for any regular expenses, such as mortgage payments, student loan payments or car payments, we encourage you to work directly with your financial institution(s) to change payment dates as needed.
16. What about months with three bi-weekly paychecks -- how will my deductions be calculated?
For months with three paychecks, one paycheck will have no fixed flat dollar deductions taken (e.g., transit and parking deductions, credit union deductions, 403B loan payments, etc.). These paydays, referred to as benefits deduction holidays, will occur twice a year.
During the initial transition, benefits deductions will be taken from all three February 2013 paychecks as follows:
- February 1: pays for February premiums
- February 13: pays 1st half of March premiums
- February 27: pays 2nd half of March premiums
17. I have a garnishment deduction. How will the transition to bi-weekly pay affect the amount deducted for my garnishment?
If the garnishment deduction is calculated as a percentage of your earnings, a deduction will occur each pay period, up to the maximum deduction allowed based on federal and state regulations. For example, if your garnishment deduction is 25 percent, that amount will be deducted each payday.
If the garnishment deduction is a fixed flat dollar amount, the amount will be recalculated to a bi-weekly amount. That calculation is then divided into two payments. For example, a monthly $250.00 garnishment payment will become $125.00, deducted against each bi-weekly paycheck.
18. When is my retirement deduction taken?
The UC mandatory retirement contributions, UCRP, DCP-REG and DCP-CAS are taken each biweekly payday.
19. I contribute to my 403(b) and 457(b) plans. When will my contributions be taken?
If you set up your contributions as a percentage deduction, the percentage amount will be taken each payday. For example, if your current 403(b) contribution is set at 5 percent per month, a 5 percent contribution will be made each bi-weekly payday.
If you set up your contributions as a fixed flat dollar amount, the flat dollar amount will be divided and taken each bi-weekly payday. For example, if your current 403(b) contribution is $100.00 per month, it will be divided into a $50.00 contribution each bi-weekly payday.
20. Will I need to make any changes to my taxes or withholdings?
If you have an additional tax amount deducted from your paycheck, that monthly amount will be split in half, and 50 percent will be withheld from each bi-weekly check. If you do not want the current additional amount to be split in this manner, please go to the At Your Service website and review and/or update your W-4/DE-4 Form.
21. How does the change in pay frequency affect my Federal and State income taxes?
Your income will continue to be taxed according to the Federal W-4 and State DE-4 forms you currently have on file. Your bi-weekly earnings will be taxed based on the bi-weekly tax schedules set by the Internal Revenue Service and the Franchise Tax Board. You can review the current tax schedules online at:
- Federal Income: http://map.ais.ucla.edu/go/1004906
- California State Income: http://map.ais.ucla.edu/go/1004907
22. Will there be ongoing communications about the bi-weekly pay cycle conversion?
Yes. ANR is developing ongoing communications, a website, and will offer a webinar to support staff who will be affected by this transition.