FAQ

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What is semi-monthly pay?

  1. What is happening?

    On July 1, 2012, the University will implement a new semi-monthly pay cycle and move all monthly and biweekly paid NASA staff, graduate students, excluded students and postdoctoral fellows to the new cycle.
  2. How long is each pay period?

    Each month will be divided into two pay periods. The first pay period is the 1st to the 15th of the month. The second pay period is the 16th to the last day of the month. Pay dates will occur on the 10th and 25th of each month. In the event the 10th or 25th is a non-banking day, the pay date will be the preceding banking day..

Who is impacted by this change?

  1. Who will change to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    The semi-monthly pay cycle will be used for NASA staff, graduate students, excluded students and postdoctoral fellows.
  2. I am an AASUA member. Will I be changing to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    Employees in the AASUA agreements (Faculty, Administrative Professional Officers (APO), Faculty Service Officers (FSO), Librarians, Contract Academic Staff Teaching (CAST), Sessional and Other Teaching Staff (SOTS), Academic Trust) will remain on the monthly payroll cycle and will not change pay frequencies unless they also have a concurrent appointment outside AASUA. In that case, the AASUA appointment will be paid monthly and the non-AASUA appointment will be paid semi-monthly.
  3. Why aren’t AASUA members moving to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    AASUA has been consulted on a proposal to move AASUA members to a semi-monthly pay cycle. As each of the seven AAUSA staff agreements contains clauses that specify that salary shall be paid monthly, several changes/amendments would be required to the current AASUA staff agreements so AASUA declined to participate in a change to semi-monthly pay at this time. AASUA members may wish to contact their Association if they have further questions.
  4. Does a change to a semi-monthly pay cycle paid 10 days in arrears require ratification to the NASA agreement?

    The current NASA collective agreement with the University of Alberta contains a Memorandum of Understanding that allows the University to proceed with a change to pay cycles for the members of NASA with a minimum of six months notice of the change. Formal notification of the change was provided to NASA on December 21, 2011. NASA will jointly work with the implementation team to prepare and deliver communications with NASA members in the next several months.
  5. Who was consulted prior to this decision being finalized?

    Service Excellence and Efficiency Project and the Semi-Monthly Pay Cycle initiative is sponsored by the Vice President, Finance and Administration and was approved for implementation by the Executive Planning Committee on May 19, 2011. Stakeholders from the University’s executive, leadership teams, NASA, AASUA, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Graduate Students Association, Post-Doctoral Fellows Association, Financial Services, Research Services Office, Administrative Information Systems, HR management group, personnel contacts group, faculties, departments and others have been consulted in making the decision to move to semi-monthly pay.
  6. Has NASA been consulted?

    In accordance with the Letter Of Understanding on Pay Periods contained in Appendix C of the Common Provisions of the NASA Agreement (available at http://www.nasa.ualberta.ca/collective-agreement) which has been ratified by NASA members for the last several years, the University has served notice to commence the implementation of a new pay cycle beginning July 1. NASA is working jointly with Human Resource Services to openly communicate with all affected members and to minimize the impacts of the change.
  7. Who is working on this project to move pay cycles?

    A joint team of resources from Human Resource Services, AIS, TCS and the office of the Vice-President, Finance and Administration has been analyzing impacts to the change and will be actively engaging the University community throughout the remainder of the implementation project.

Why are you introducing semi-monthly pay?

  1. Why are we moving to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    The decision to move to a semi-monthly pay cycle from the current monthly pay cycle is one that was made after extensive analysis, careful thought and consultation with several stakeholders across the University. The new payment cycle will nicely align with other colleges, universities and industries and provide for quicker and more efficient payment for employees and students. After implementation, we are confident that employees, students, departments and the University will collectively see numerous benefits from being paid on a semi-monthly basis.
    The current monthly and biweekly pay cycles prove to be challenging and problematic for employees and students, as well as payroll and the University alike. Due to the time required for departments and Payroll to correctly process employee transactions such as new hires, rehires, terminations, pay rate changes, leaves of absence, vacation and other transactions, the payroll cut-off that departments must adhere to is currently very early each calendar month and as a result, changes that impact the employee in the last 2/3 of the month cannot be accurately reflected in that month’s pay cheque/deposit. Each year, thousands of employees and students require special off-cycle payments and paper paycheques to ensure that they can get paid for the time they have worked or to correctly process adjustments to pay. Rather than having the convenience of having payments direct deposited into their bank accounts, off-cycle cheques must be cashed at the bank and are often placed in hold by the bank to ensure they clear. Employees that start late in the month may be forced to wait until the end of the next month in order to get paid or are required to physically come to Payroll or the departments to pick up a paper cheque. To ensure that employees and students can get paid on-time, accurately and effectively as possible, the University must change the method in which we pay.

    What benefits will this have to staff and students?

    The semi-monthly pay cycle will result in numerous benefits for employees and students including one common payment cycle for all non-academic staff and students, more frequent payments each month, increased accuracy and timely payment of earnings, payment of exception pay (ex overtime) in the current period rather than the next period, more up-to-date vacation and absence reporting, increased use of direct deposit and fewer paper cheques to cash, and ensured compliance with AB Employment Standards Code. Employees will be paid for time worked after they work it and it will be an accurate reflection of the salary earned during that period. Employees should no longer be forced to pick up a paper paycheque required to correct errors in their pay.
  2. Why are monthly paid employees moving to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    If you are a salaried employee paid monthly, currently you receive your monthly salary on the second last banking day of each month. In order to pay you on that day, Payroll must send the direct deposit file to the bank and print pay cheques several days before that. All changes affecting your job, benefits, earnings and pay must be reviewed and entered into the PeopleSoft HCM system much earlier than that in order to complete the payroll calculations and prepare the file for the bank. This process takes Payroll between 10-12 days each month.

    Because it takes so many days to ensure payment to you, department deadlines must be several days before the end of the month. As a consequence, Payroll must often forecast your pay each period before you have actually earned it. Changes that occur between the deadline and pay deposit date may not be processed in time and must then be paid in future pay periods or with an off-cycle pay cheque.

    Paying you 10 days after the pay period ends will allow Payroll the opportunity to effectively process all employee changes affecting your pay after they have happened, eliminating the need to forecast your pay. This will reduce the need to produce off-cycle cheques and recall overpayments.
  3. Why are hourly paid employees moving to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    If you are an hourly paid employee, currently you are paid every two weeks or 10 days after the end of each biweekly pay period. Each pay period is 14 calendar days long, running Sunday to Saturday with pay day the 2nd Tuesday after that. To achieve greater processing efficiency, it is more effective to combine all similar type employees on the same cycle. Fortunately, the impact of moving from a biweekly pay cycle to a semi-monthly cycle will be small. You will continue to be paid about 10 days after each pay period ends however the pay periods will be slightly longer than the biweekly pay period was. When moving to a semi-monthly pay cycle, you will now receive your wages for the 1st to the 15th of the month on the 25th and your wages from the 16th to the end of the month will be paid on the 10th of the following month. You will now be paid 24 times each year.
  4. Why should I change to a semi-monthly pay cycle?

    Moving biweekly and monthly payments into a combined pay cycle for all employees will result in streamlined, simplified and standardized payroll processes leading to increased efficiency, reduced service delivery cost, improved service to customers and enhanced internal controls. This change will provide more frequent and timely payments to employees and students and reduce the need for off-cycle pay cheques to correct incorrect payments.

When is semi-monthly pay starting?

  1. Why is this change taking effect in July 2012?

    As both monthly and biweekly cycles are being replaced with a semi-monthly cycle for NASA staff, graduate students, excluded students and postdoctoral fellows, July 1, 2012 is the first day of both the next monthly and a biweekly pay periods. The June 1-30 monthly pay period will be completed and the June 17-30 biweekly pay period will also be over. Implementing the change beginning July 1 will result in no partial pay periods being needed for either group of employees moving to semi-monthly pay periods.

    July is also a good month to implement as fewer employees, students and postdoctoral fellows are active during that time frame and as a result, impacted by the change.
  2. When will my pay be deposited to my bank account?

    Your pay will be deposited on the 10th and 25th of the month. If either of these days falls on a statutory holiday or a weekend, the bank deposit will be made on the previous banking day.
  3. Will there be a change to the date on which I am paid?

    Yes, staff that are currently paid hourly on the biweekly schedule will move to the semi-monthly schedule beginning in July 2012. The date on which you are paid will change from the 2nd Tuesday following the pay period to the 10th and 25th of the month, unless those days are a non-banking day in which case the pay date will move to the prior banking day.

What should I do to prepare?

  1. Do I need to make any changes to my taxes or withholdings (ex TD1 form)?

    If you have requested to have additional tax withheld from your pay each pay period, your monthly amount will now be divided by two and 50% will be withheld from each semi-monthly pay.

    If you want to change, add or remove the amount of additional tax withholding you make, please complete a new Federal TD1 form and submit it to Payroll. Forms are available from the Forms Cabinet on the Human Resource Services website at www.hrs.ualberta.ca.
  2. Do I need to make any changes to my direct deposit information?

    No, unless you want to change the bank account to which your pay is deposited. If you do wish to make a change to your direct deposit information for July, please update your direct deposit account through Bear Tracks.
  3. Do I need to talk to my bank about this change in pay dates?

    You may want to review the timing of all of your automatic withdrawals and payments to utility companies, banks, mortgage companies, credit cards, or other vendors to make sure you can meet your financial obligations with this change in pay dates. You may want to talk to your bank or those vendors about aligning your payment schedules to your University payroll deposit.

    In some cases, realigning mortgage payments to a more frequent payment schedule, such as an accelerated biweekly schedule, can save you thousands of dollars in interest payments over the term of your mortgage.
  4. Will the University reimburse me for any fees that my bank may charge me if I choose to alter my mortgage payment date?

    The University will not reimburse staff for fees charged by banks if you choose to modify the dates on which loans are withdrawn from your bank account. You may wish to talk to your bank to discuss alternatives to changing your automatic withdrawal dates.

How will my pay and benefits be impacted?

  1. How will my semi-monthly pay cheque be calculated?

    If you are currently paid monthly, your monthly salary and other earnings will be divided by two and paid in each semi-monthly pay period. For example, if you currently earn a monthly salary of $4,000 and another $200 in responsibility pay, your semi-monthly salary will be $2,100 ($4,000/2 + $200/2). Optional deductions for items like Canada Savings Bonds, United Way, parking, optional life insurance and computer purchase plan will have the monthly amount divided by two and deducted in each pay period. If you contribute to Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP), your deduction will be taken each pay period based on a percentage of your semi-monthly salary. Employer paid benefit deductions will be paid on the first pay period of each month.
  2. Will the University be holding back 10 days of my pay?

    While it may appear as though the University is holding back 10 days of a monthly employee's pay, what will happen in the semi-monthly pay cycle is that you will actually be paid 5 days earlier than you are currently for half of your month's earnings and 10 days into the next month for the 2nd half. You will be paid all salary which you have earned, however just after you have completed the pay period.
    In the current monthly payroll cycle, employees are paid for the entire months earnings (1st - 31st) on the 2nd last banking day of the month. You must wait for the entire month to be paid the salary that you earned in that month. Days you worked at the beginning of the month, aren't paid until the end of the month. On a semi-monthly pay cycle, employees will be paid twice each month within 10 days of each pay period. On the semi-monthly pay cycle, days that you worked during the first half of the month are paid on the 25th of each month, or five days earlier than you were paid previously. Days worked in the 2nd half of the month will be paid 10 days into the next month. On an ongoing basis, employees will receive two pay cheques each month, on the 10th and 25th, the total of which is the same as a month's earnings.
    In the month of July 2012, in order to move to a semi-monthly pay cycle, the University is realigning the pay periods and paying you for each pay period's earnings after you have worked them. Time you worked on the first 15 days of the month will actually be paid to you 5 days earlier than it has been before.
  3. When will I receive the exception pay that I report on my timesheet (e.g., overtime, callout pay)?

    You will receive pay for any exception time you worked in the pay period in which it was reported. If you worked overtime in the first pay period of the month and the department that you work in enters that time through distributed time entry by the deadline, you will be paid that overtime on the pay deposit of the 25th.
  4. Will my benefits or voluntary deductions change with semi-monthly pay?

    To maintain as much consistency as possible in basic gross pay and net pay between both pay periods in a month, your base pay, optional deductions and ongoing payments will be split in half and paid each pay period. For example, voluntary deductions such as Canada Savings Bonds contributions, computer purchase plan, United Way or additional withholding tax currently processed monthly, will be divided by two and taken each pay period.

    Employer paid benefit costs for health, dental, life insurance and more will be processed in the first pay period of each month only. Contributions to the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) will be taken from each pay cheque. Employee paid benefit costs for optional benefits like supplemental life insurance will be taken on the first pay period of the monthly only.
  5. How will the pay cycle change impact my pension?

    The pay cycle change does not directly affect your termination or retirement benefits. Pensionable service for 2012 will reflect the total number of months and pay periods paid in 2012. However, because the last pay period of December 2012 (Dec 16-31) will be paid on January 10, 2013, the amount of pensionable service attributed to you for the 2012 year will be a maximum of 11.5 months or .9579 years.

    The pensionable service for the December 16-31 pay period will be reported in the 2013 pension service. Assuming you worked full-time all year in 2013, your 2013 pensionable service would 1.0 years. If you were to retire in 2013, you would earn pensionable service right up to the date of your retirement including the service for December 16-31, 2012. Ex. If you retired in July 1, 2013, you would have pensionable service from January 1- June 30, 2013 (0.50 years) plus December 16-31, 2012 (0.04 years) for a total of 0.54 years in 2013. That amount is added to all prior service reported in 2012 and earlier.
  6. Does the change in pay dates affect the average 5 highest consecutive years' salary used to calculate pension benefits?

    No. There is no change to how the Public Service Pension Plan calculates your highest five consecutive years’ salary. Pensions are and will continue to be calculated based on the average five highest consecutive years' salary (to pensionable salary maximums). You will be credited all service and salary right up to your last day of pensionable service.
  7. What happens to my last pay deposit/cheque if I terminate my employment with the University?

    Should you terminate your employment with the University, your last pay deposit or cheque will be issued to you for all wages and salary earned up to your last day worked. Since pay dates will be about 10 days after each pay period end date, you should keep your bank account open after your last day of work in order to receive your last pay deposit.
  8. Will my timesheets be impacted?

    Timesheets will be changed from a two week timesheet to a full semi-monthly pay period time sheet allowing you to enter time for the complete pay period. Paper timesheets in this new format will be available to departments to distribute in July.
  9. Does moving to semi-monthly pay paid 10 days after the pay period mean that I am losing 10 days of pay?

    No. You will be continued to be paid for all time that you work or salary earned but you will be paid for that time 10 days after the pay period ends. Should you leave the University, you would be paid for all earnings up to and including the last day of employment or your appointment.
  10. I have a garnishment order on my wages, how will this change in pay dates impact me?

    It is your responsibility to notify the recipient of your support payments that your pay dates are changing. For all other garnishment orders, the University will send a letter to the appropriate agency on your behalf to notify them of the change in pay dates.
  11. Does changing to a semi-monthly pay cycle paid 10 days after the pay period ends comply with Employment Standards?

    Yes. Employment Standards of Alberta requires the payment of wages no later than 10 calendar days after the end of the employee's pay cycle. In the University semi-monthly pay cycle, pay dates will always be 10 days or less following each pay period.

How will graduate students and postdoctoral fellows be impacted?

  1. I am a graduate assistant and receive one third of my gross pay as a monthly scholarship payment and the remainder as salary and award (stipend). How will I be paid on the semi-monthly cycle?

    Beginning July 2012, you will be paid your salary and award (stipend) on a semi-monthly basis or twice a month. Your monthly scholarship amount will also be paid semi-monthly except in the first month of the scholarship in which you will receive the full monthly amount. For example, a graduate assistant employed as a principal instructor who works 12hrs a week currently receives and award of $875.25 and a minimum salary of 1,305.75 per month. On the semi-monthly cycle a graduate assistant would receive an award of $437.62 and a salary of $652.87 every pay period of the appointment.
    If you have a monthly scholarship of $1000 per month you will continue to receive $1000 per month in either a lump sum or two equal payments depending on how many paychecks you receive in that month. For example if you started your appointment on September 1, your first paycheque on September 25 will include a scholarship payment of $1000. Each subsequent paycheque would have a scholarship payment of $500 per pay.
  2. I am a postdoctoral fellow and receive my salary as a fellowship payment. How will I be paid in a semi-monthly cycle?

    All postdoctoral fellows will be paid on a semi-monthly basis, regardless of the types of earnings you receive (salary or scholarship). Your monthly earnings will be divided by two and paid in each pay period.
  3. How is my scholarship payment impacted?

    If your scholarship is to be paid on an on-going basis (exceeding one pay period), you will be paid scholarship payments on both the 10th and 25th pay cheques/deposits. If you are receiving a one-time scholarship payment, this will be paid either on the 10th or 25th depending on when Payroll receives the payment form from the department.
  4. Do I need to do anything differently as a result of this change?

    No. However the department must prepare the appropriate payment form and send to Payroll before the payroll deadlines for the pay period in order for you to receive your scholarship payment in that pay period. If the department misses the deadline, the scholarship would be paid in the pay period following receipt of the required form.
  5. What should I do if I do not receive my scholarship payments on the pay cheque I expected them?

    You may wish to contact your department to ensure that the required paperwork has been submitted to Payroll. Your department will work with Payroll to ensure accurate and timely payment.
  6. I only receive a scholarship. Am I eligible for the cash advance?

    No. If you only receive scholarship payments, you are not eligible for the cash advance on this payment type. However, as the first pay period of the month is now paid on the 25th (or previous banking day), you will receive your scholarship payment five or six days earlier than you did previously on the monthly payment cycle.

    Scholarship payments previously paid monthly will be paid semi-monthly beginning in August, 2012. On July 30 you will receive your full monthly scholarship, but on August 10th you will receive half of your monthly scholarship, and the second half on August 25th.

    If you have a graduate assistantship or a grad salaried appointment, you are eligible to request the cash advance because these appointment types will be paid on a semi-monthly basis, 10 days after the pay period ends. You can choose an advance of up to 70% of the semi-monthly gross earnings you will receive on your graduate assistant or graduate salaried appointment.
  7. How will my automatic tuition fee deductions change on the semi-monthly pay cycle?

    Graduate students appointed to teaching or research assistantships will have outstanding tuition balances automatically deducted from their pay cheques by the Payroll system in the month following the start of the Fall, Winter and Summer terms. Tuition owing as of October 1 will be deducted, to a maximum of 80% of your salary, from your October, November and December pay cheques in five equal installments. Tuition outstanding as of February 1 is deducted in five equal installments from salary earned in February, March and April. The same process is used for the June to August terms.

    On the monthly cycle, graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants and trust appointees (TAP A & TAP B) were paid monthly and had outstanding tuition fees deducted in three equal installments over each term. On a semi-monthly cycle, those appointments are now paid semi-monthly 10 days after the pay period ends, so fees will be deducted in five installments.

    Note: Students cannot exempt themselves from this payroll deduction.

    For more information about the Graduate Assistant Fee Deduction process, please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research website

What is the one-time cash advance option?

  1. Since I will not be receiving a full month's pay in July, how will I meet my expenses at the end of the month?

    To assist with this transition, the University is offering an optional one-time cash advance to eligible salaried employees, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to help offset any financial challenges affected individuals may face in the first month of the change. The advance will be paid on July 25, 2012 and would be repaid in equal installments over a maximum of 24 pay periods. The cash advance is only available upon request. More details of the cash advance program, including how to apply, will be provided to you in the coming weeks.

    For more information about the cash advance, visit the Cash Advance Program section of this website.
  2. Is the cash advance a loan or a payroll advance on my earnings?

    From a payroll and tax perspective, the one-time cash advance payment made on July 25 is considered an interest-free loan rather than a payroll advance. The cash advance is not the payment of your actual earnings before the pay date but rather an interest-free loan to help you adjust to the negative impact of only receiving one pay cheque/deposit in the month of July 2012. As an interest-free t4, the amount advanced is repayable back to the University over an agreed upon length of time and the recipient must be assessed a taxable benefit on the value of the interest collectable on the loan.
  3. Will new employees starting at the University on July 1, 2012 be eligible for the cash advance?

    The cash advance program is designed to assist those employees, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that will be financially impacted by only receiving one pay deposit in July. Employees starting employment with the University in July or later months are not negatively impacted and will not be eligible for the advance.
  4. When can I make my decision on whether to take the one-time optional cash advance?

    The cash advance program option form will be available on April 1 and your choice must be finalized by June 1. After June 1, you will not be able to make changes to your choice for the amount of advance or the repayment period.
  5. Will there be any other changes to my pay in July that I should take into account when deciding whether or not I need a cash advance?

    For NASA staff that are also contributing to the Personal Leave Plan, you may want to factor that deduction into your assessment of pay for July. Staff that are eligible for salary increments in July will also have their gross pay increased in the pay period in which the increment applies.
  6. Who will be eligible for the one-time optional cash advance?

    The cash advance will be offered to salaried employees, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that meet the conditions outlined within the program. In general, if you are paid on the monthly pay cycle, have regular salary earnings, are actively employed during June and July and have a term of appointment that extends past August 24, you are eligible to receive the cash advance.

    Specific conditions of the cash advance program are available on the Cash Advance Program page of this website.
  7. Who is not eligible for the one-time optional cash advance?

    The cash advance program is not available to hourly staff paid on the biweekly cycle before or during the July implementation period. The cash advance program is designed to offset the potential financial hardship that salaried employees moving the semi-monthly cycle will experience when only have of their July earnings are paid in July. As hourly employees are already paid 10 days after the pay period, they will receive two pay deposits/cheques in the month of July.
  8. May I request a specific amount for my advance?

    You may request a cash advance in any amount up to 70% of your July 1, 2012 semi-monthly base salary. Base salary does not include scholarships, overtime, responsibility pay, shift differential, or other supplements.

    Example: An employee with a base salary of $4,000/month may request a maximum cash advance of $1,400. ($4,000 / 2 x 70%).

    Please refer to the Cash Advance Program section of the website for more details on the advance program options.
  9. If I request the advance, will taxes, deductions or pension be taken from the advance?

    No taxes, deductions or pension will be taken from the advance. The amount of the advance that you requested, subject to the maximum allowable amount, will be added to your gross pay on the July 25, 2012 pay deposit.
  10. Will interest be charged on the advance?

    You will not directly pay interest on the cash advance but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does require that the University assess a taxable benefit for the amount of interest that would be charged on the interest-free loan using the CRA’s prescribed interest rate which is currently 1%.
  11. Will the pay advance be added to my 2012 T4?

    While the cash advance will be added to your gross pay, it will not be taxed as income and therefore not reported on your T4 next year. You will be assessed a taxable benefit for any interest collectable on the interest-free loan using CRA’s prescribed interest rate. The taxable benefit will be reported on your tax slip.
  12. How much is the taxable benefit on the cash advance?

    While the advance is not taxable, the taxable benefit that a member pays on the 1% interest as assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency will be relatively small. For example, if you were to choose a cash advance of $2,000 repayable back over the maximum of 24 pay periods, you would repay $91.38 each pay period and be assessed a taxable benefit of $0.83 per pay period. The amount of actual income tax you pay on that taxable benefit could be approximately a third of that amount depending on your income tax bracket. The tax paid on the taxable benefit will be very small and would be reported on your 2012 and 2013 year-end tax slip (if repayment period exceeds 2012).
  13. Once I begin repaying my pay advance, will I be provided with an updated balance each pay period? How will I know when I've repaid the advance in full?

    Your online pay statement in Bear Tracks will show your total cash advance as an earning (SEMI-ADVAN) in your year-to-date balances. The amounts you pay on the advance will show in the after-tax deduction section as (SEMI-RECOV). To calculate the balance owing on the advance, subtract the amount you have repaid to date (YTD) from the advance amount shown on your pay statement.
  14. What happens if I terminate my employment before the advance is paid in full?

    The balance of the advance will be recovered from all monies paid to you on your last pay cheque. If your final pay cheque is not large enough to cover the outstanding advance balance, you will be required to pay the outstanding balance to Payroll within 30 days by cheque, credit card or direct payment.
  15. Do I need to do anything if I don't want the cash advance?

    You don't have to do anything at all. Only employees who request an advance by end of day June 1 will receive one.
  16. What else can I do to prepare for this pay cycle change?

    The cash advance is designed to offset any financial effects of this change. If you would rather not receive the cash advance, you may want to start saving additional funds from your current pay cheques and setting money aside for the pay period July 16-31 that won’t be paid until August 10. If you have any outstanding banked time, you may request that it be paid out and use that to offset the delay in payment of July 16-31 earnings.
  17. How does the cash advance affect project or department budgets?

    The cash advance will be paid from a central administrative account and all repayments will be deposited to that account. There is no impact to project or department budgets.

What impact will semi-monthly have on my year end taxes?

  1. How will my 2012 tax slips (T4/T4A) be impacted?

    Your tax slips (T4/T4A) for the 2012 tax year will accurately reflect your taxable income, taxable deductions, taxable benefits and income tax, CPP and EI paid during 2012. Earnings and taxes for the pay period December 16-31, 2012 will be paid on January 10, 2013 so will be reported on your 2013 tax slips.

    Please talk to your tax advisor if you need assistance with any tax planning.
  2. Does the change to a semi-monthly pay cycle result in a pay decrease to monthly paid employees in 2012?

    No, your gross earnings for the 2012 year would be the same as if you were continuously paid on the monthly pay cycle. Take the example of an employee who earns $30,000 per year and compare their earnings under the current pay cycle and the new pay cycle.

    Under the current pay cycle, the employee would earn $30,000 for the time they work from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2012 by Dec 31, 2012. Under the new pay cycle, the employee will still earn $30,000 for the time they work from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2012, however payment for the last pay period of December (Dec 16-31) won’t be paid until Jan 10, 2013. If you take the one-time payroll advance, your total earnings (gross pay) for 2012 may actually be higher than your gross pay would have been had you not switched to semi-monthly pay.

I plan to retire in 2013. How will semi-monthly pay impact my retirement?

  1. How will the pay cycle change impact my pension?

    The pay cycle change does not directly affect your termination or retirement benefits. Pensionable service for 2012 will reflect the total number of months and pay periods paid in 2012. However, because the last pay period of December 2012 (Dec 16-31) will be paid on January 10, 2013, the amount of pensionable service attributed to you for the 2012 (January 1, 2012 to December 15, 2012) will be a maximum of 11 ½ months or .9579 years.

    The pensionable service for the December 16-31 pay period will therefore be reported in the 2013 pensionable service year. Assuming you worked full-time all year in 2013, your 2013 pensionable service would 1.0 years. If you were to retire in 2013, you would earn pensionable service right up to the date of your retirement including the service for December 16-31, 2012. Example: If you retired in July 1, 2013, you would have pensionable service from January 1- June 30, 2013 (0.50 years) plus December 16-31, 2012 (0.0418 years) for a total of 0.5418 years in 2013. That amount is added to all prior service reported in 2012 and earlier.
  2. Does the change in pay dates affect the average 5 highest consecutive years' salary used to calculate pension benefits?

    No. There is no change to how the Public Service Pension Plan calculates your highest five consecutive years’ salary. Pensions are and will continue to be calculated based on the average five highest consecutive years' salary (to pensionable salary maximums). You will be credited all service and salary right up to your last day of pensionable service.
  3. I currently have automatic withdrawals taken from my bank account at month end for my bridge benefit coverage. Am I impacted by this change in pay dates?

    No, benefit deductions will still only be deducted once per month in the first pay period of the month.
  4. Will the pension benefits that I receive from the Public Service Pension Plan (PSPP) be impacted?

    No. Pension benefits you are paid from the PSPP are paid by the respective pension plan administrators, rather than the University. Pension continues to be paid on a monthly basis.

General Questions

  1. How does the University benefit financially from this change in pay dates?

    The decision to pay NASA employees, graduate students, excluded students and postdoctoral fellows 10 days after the pay period end date was not driven by a financial benefit for the University.

    Normally, about 80% of the University’s payroll is paid on a monthly cycle on the 2nd last banking day of the month. In a semi-monthly pay cycle, the University will now pay employees earlier each month resulting in less for the University to use for short-term investment. Deferring the payroll expense for the July 16-31 pay period until August 10 will actually have little impact to the University's investments. Any potential cash flow benefit is offset by the fact that as a result of this change, current monthly paid staff will be paid twice per month, earnings will be paid on the 25th of each month rather than on the 29 or 30th and exception pay for salaried staff will be paid in the current pay period rather than in the next pay period.

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The Cash Advance Option Form is no longer available as of June 1, 2012. 

Calculators

Net Pay & Advance Calculator (NASA Staff)

Net Pay & Advance Calculator (Graduate Students)
-Example (for the fall term)

Net Pay & Advance Calculator (Postdoctoral Fellows)

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Dr. Chris Cheeseman

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Phone: 780.492.4395

Email: se2help@ualberta.ca 

 



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