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Biweekly Pay Cycle Conversion

Beginning January 1, 2018, all hourly and non-exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be transitioned to a biweekly, one-week lag pay cycle. Recognized nationally as a best practice at colleges and businesses, a biweekly pay cycle will enable the college to provide a more accurate and timely reporting of employee benefits and ensure a more efficient payroll process.

If you are in one of the affected group of employees, you will receive your last semi-monthly paycheck on December 29, 2017. This check will include earnings for the pay period of December 16, 2017 through December 31, 2017 for full-time employees and December 6, 2017 through December 13, 2017 for part-time employees. The first biweekly pay check for 2018 will be on January 12, 2018 and will include the earnings of January 1, 2018 through January 5, 2018 for full-time employees and December 14, 2017 through January 5, 2018 for part-time employees.

Due to the fact that the paycheck of January 12 will only cover 5 days for full time employees and recognizing the financial difficulty that employees may encounter during the conversion, the College will offer employees the Transition Assistance Program. Your first full biweekly paycheck will be on January 26, 2018 and will include the earnings for the pay period of January 6, 2018 through January 19, 2018. Please view 2018 Biweekly Paycheck Dates for a full listing.


What should you do to prepare for the conversion to a biweekly pay cycle?

  • We encourage you to review your personal financial situation and to determine your income needs during the time of conversion.
  • Review your current tax withholding elections to make any necessary changes.
  • Make changes to your automatic payment withdrawal dates or bill pay dates to align with your new pay schedule. These may include automatic bank drafts or loan payment scheduled with your bank.
  • Review and adjust your current budget to determine the impact of the pay frequency schedule.
  • Review your paycheck for accuracy.
  • Review any payment schedules for mortgage payments, utility bills, installment loans, etc., to ensure that the change in pay dates does not result in late payments. 
  • Use the Biweekly Pay Calculator to determine what your gross biweekly pay may look like.
  • Consider participating in the Transition Assistance Program.
  • Attend informational sessions and budgeting seminars provided by the College.
  • View presentation of Biweekly Pay Conversion Information Workshop.

 

Transition Assistance Program

Employees who choose to participate in the Transition Assistance Program will select one of the following  options:

  • Vacation Cash-out: employees will have the opportunity to use 5 days of accrued vacation leave.
  • Compensatory time Cash-out: employees will have the opportunity to accrue and carry up to 5 days (based on the employees schedule) of compensatory time beyond the College's 30 day limit for the sole purpose of the biweekly pay cycle conversion. Comp Time must be tracked and reported using the "Compensatory Time Record Sheet". Compensatory time will be accrued based on the time worked as follows:
    • Hours worked up to 40 physical work hours will be banked 1 x total hours worked

    • Hours worked beyond 40 physical hours of work will be banked at 1.5 x total hours worked

If you choose to participate in the Transition Assistance Program, you must complete and submit to Payroll a Transition Assistance Program Election form by 4:00pm, November 1, 2017 to:

Mail - MS#26
Email - payrollmail@palmbeachstate.edu
Fax - 868-3103 or ext. 13103

Can I apply for both the Vacation Cash Out and a Compensatory Time Cash-out?
No, you can elect only one option.

Do I have to pay back the Vacation Cash-out?
No, you do not have to pay the college back.

When will my vacation hours be deducted from my leave balances if I choose to use the Vacation Cash-out option?
The hours will be deducted after the completion of the December 29, 2017 payroll. You must have the vacation hours available at that time to be paid. This will include the accrual that an employee would be eligible to receive on January 1, 2018. If your available accrued vacation falls below the 5 days required, you will not be able to participate in the program.

How can I calculate my Vacation Cash Out amount?
You can estimate your amount by calculating your weekly hours x hourly rate. Hourly rate is calculated by dividing your annual salary by 2080 hours for employees who work a 40 hour week and by 1080 hours for employees who work a 35 hour week.

How can I calculate my Compensatory Time Cash Out amount?
You can estimate your amount by calculating your hourly rate x total number of compensatory hours accrued to a total of 5 days.


How will my paycheck be affected by the conversion?

Below you will find a breakdown of how your deductions and accruals will be affected by the change to a biweekly pay cycle. If you have additional questions you can contact one of our team members listed below.

Sick and vacation accruals
You will continue to accrue your sick and vacation time 1st of the month following the month in which it was accrued. You must be in paid status for a total of 11 working days per month in order to receive your accrual. Example: If you are in paid status for at least 11 days within the month of January, you will receive one full day on the first of February

Overtime pay 
Overtime wages will be paid in the pay period in which they are worked. Presently, under the semi-monthly pay cycle, overtime is paid 1 to 2 payperiods after time is worked.

Paycheck deductions
Deductions that are on a percentage basis will continue without change. Some examples include FRS employee contribution, social security and medicare.  If the deduction is based on a fixed flat-dollar amount, the amount will be recalculated to a biweekly amount. Example:

semi-monthly payroll $250 deduction x 24 semi-monthly periods = $6,000 yearly payments 
biweekly payroll $6,000 yearly payments / 26 pay periods = $230.77 biweekly deduction


Will my benefit deductions change?

Yes. Because deductions are taken in arrears (ex. December 29th deductions pay for January benefits coverage), the December 15, 2017 pay check would be the last deduction of the 2017 plan year. The first deduction of the 2018 plan year will be seen on your December 29th, 2017 paycheck. Please refer to the Benefit Deductions Comparison. Please note: Comparison based on 2017 benefit rates.

  • If you are being converted to the biweekly pay schedule, your last semi-monthly paycheck on December 29, 2017 will have your first deduction for your January 2018 coverage.
  • Your first biweekly pay check on January 12, 2018 will have the second half of your deduction for January 2018 coverage.
  • Your second biweekly pay check on January 26, 2018 will have the first half of your deduction for February 2018 coverage.

How does the change in pay frequency affect my Federal taxes?

We will continue to tax you according to the Federal W-4 form you currently have on file. Your biweekly earnings will be taxed based upon the biweekly tax schedule set by the Internal Revenue Service. You can review the tax schedules on the following link: http://www.irs.gov/ 

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 calculated out to a yearly amount and then divided by 26 for a biweekly amount. If you do not want the current additional amount to be split in this manner, please submit a new W-4 Form to the Office of Human Resources by January 1, 2018.

Changes to your tax withholdings are likely not necessary, unless you determine it would be appropriate given your specific situation. However, you may change your W-4 withholding at any time. Biweekly tax withholdings will continue to be based upon IRS guidelines. The IRS Publication 15 (Circular E) Employer’s Tax Guide can be accessed at http://www.irs.gov/ . You might also consider increasing your 403b deductions or FSA contributions during Open Enrollment in October, thereby reducing your taxable income. Contact a member of the benefits team at benefits@palmbeachstate.edu.

Sample Paycheck Comparison

  Biweekly 2018 SemiMonthly  
Annual 25,000.00 25,000.00 25,000.00 25,000.00
Gross 961.54 25,000.00 1,041.67 25,000.00
Taxable Gross 932.69 24,250.00 1,010.42 24,250.00
Taxes Single 0 108.70 2,826.20 118.16 2,835.84
Fica 59.62 1,550.00 64.58 1,550.00
Medicare 13.94 362.50 15.10 362.50
FRS 28.85 750.00 31.25 750.00
Net 750.43 19,511.30 812.57 19,501.66

 

 

  Biweekly 2018 SemiMonthly  
Annual 30,000.00 30,000.00 30,000.00 30,000.00
Gross 1,153.85 30,000.00 1,250.00 30,000.00
Taxable Gross 1,119.23 29,100.00 1,212.50 29,100.00
Taxes Single 0 136.68 3,553.68 148.07 3,553.68
Fica 71.54 1,860.00 77.50 1,860.00
Medicare 16.73 435.00 18.13 435.00
FRS 34.62 900.00 37.50 900.00
Net 894.28 23,251.32 968.81 19,501.66

 

 

  Biweekly 2018 SemiMonthly  
Annual 35,000.00 35,000.00 35,000.00 35,000.00
Gross 1,346.15 35,000.00 1,458.33 35,000.00
Taxable Gross 1,305.77 33,950.00 1,414.58 33,950.00
Taxes Single 0 164.66 4,281.16 178.38 4,281.12
Fica 83.46 2,170.00 90.42 2,170.00
Medicare 19.52 507.50 21.15 507.50
FRS 40.38 1,050.00 43.75 1,050.00
Net 1,038.13 26,991.34 1,124.64 26,991.38

 

 

  Biweekly 2018 SemiMonthly  
Annual 40,000.00 40,000.00 40,000.00 40,000.00
Gross 1,538.46 40,000.00 1,666.67 40,000.00
Taxable Gross 1,492.31 38,800.00 1,616.67 38,800.00
Taxes Single 0 192.54 5,008.64 208.70 45,008.80
Fica 95.38 2,480.00 103.33 2,480.00
Medicare 22.31 580.00 24.17 580.00
FRS 46.15 1,200.00 50.00 1,200.00
Net 1,181.98 30,731.36 1,280.47 30,731.20

 

 

  Biweekly 2018 SemiMonthly  
Annual 45,000.00 45,000.00 45,000.00 45,000.00
Gross 1,730.77 45,000.00 1,875.00 45,000.00
Taxable Gross 1,678.85 43,650.00 1,818.75 43,650.00
Taxes Single 0 233.70 6,076.20 253.18 6,076.32
Fica 107.31 2,790.00 116.25 2,790.00
Medicare 25.10 652.50 27.19 652.50
FRS 51.92 1,3500.00 56.25 1,350.00
Net 1,312.74 34,131.30 1,422.13 34,131.18

 

Have additional questions?

Please review the detailed Frequently Asked Questions or you can contact:

Darlene Rodweller, Payroll Associate (last names A-K) ext. 13102
Jennifer Scott, Payroll Associate (last names L-Z) ext. 13097
Eunice Gaston, Payroll Specialist, ext.13101
Dawn Bullock (benefits/ deductions), ext.13994
Kelly Ingram, Interim Payroll Manager, ext.13098
payrollmail@palmbeachstate.edu

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