Lehigh University is changing its semi-monthly payroll to bi-weekly. This change will begin in August 2022.
July 29, 2022 will be the last semi-monthly pay for non-exempt staff. In August 2022, affected employees will receive their first bi-weekly pay which will reflect a smaller amount, because they will be paid more frequently. The Frequently Asked Questions below provide important information about when affected employees can expect to be paid as well as benefits and withholdings. Employees should carefully consider their personal situations and take any necessary action to avoid personal financial miscalculations.
Student workers will complete their existing spring/summer AY 2021-2022 contracts on semi-monthly pay. New contracts for the AY 2022-23 will be paid on a bi-weekly payroll.
Earnings Statements provide current information on direct deposit, contributions and withholdings. Please visit Banner Self Service and carefully review your Earnings Statement.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Introduction to Bi-weekly Payroll
Yes. Employees and students who are paid semi-monthly will move to a bi-weekly payroll.
Beginning with the new academic year 2022-23 (effective mid-August or September 1, 2022) Lehigh University will move student workers who are currently paid semi-monthly to a bi-weekly payroll. This group includes Research Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, Research Undergraduates, Gryphons, and TRAC Fellows.
Yes, if they are paid on the semi-monthly payroll.
This change will result in a clearly defined two-week work period that includes both regular and exception pay. Exception pay includes overtime, vacation time, sick time, etc.
This will end the confusion surrounding regular pay on one paycheck and overtime on another.
Because weeks are often split in the semi-monthly pay, calculation of overtime is complicated. Bi-weekly pay makes it easier to calculate overtime on a weekly basis.
It will be much easier to calculate overtime when the entire week is all in the same pay period.
There will be no more splitting of regular time and overtime in two different paychecks.
You will receive your paycheck every other Friday.
The payroll schedule change will include a deferred pay (also called arrears) to coincide with the bi-weekly payroll schedule.
For example, currently, hours worked for a period of 8/1 through 8/15 are paid on 8/15. This creates delays in processing overtime worked and recording exception time. When the transition to bi-weekly pay occurs, ALL hours worked for the period of 8/1 through 8/13 will be paid in one paycheck on 8/26.
- Review your personal finances and determine if you need to adjust your budget for bi-weekly paychecks.
- If you have recurring or automatic payments (for example, rent, mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc.), you should review your monthly finances to prepare for bi-weekly paychecks.
- If you make a voluntary flat dollar amount retirement contribution, you may want to review these amounts as you will be receiving two additional pays throughout the year. Go to www.tiaa.org/lehigh or call TIAA at (800)-842-2252 for assistance.
You will be paid every other Friday.
You will be paid 26 times per year, versus 24 times on the semi-monthly schedule. Because you will receive two additional pays per year on a more frequent basis, your bi-weekly pay will be slightly less than your regular semi-monthly pay.
Please view the 2022 and 2023 Bi-weekly Payroll Calendars here.
Bi-weekly pay periods run for two weeks beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday.
Payday is every other Friday, for the time reported in the previous pay period. The result is that there is a two-week lag between the time when hours are reported and when the employee is paid.
The payroll calculator illustrates how the 2022 and 2023 calendar years will be paid during the transition from semi-monthly to bi-weekly pay and then over the on-going biweekly payroll schedule.
Overtime worked on Sunday July 31 will be included in the first bi-weekly pay in August.
In 2022, there will be 14 semi monthly pay periods, one bridge payment, and 10 bi-weekly pay periods.
In future calendar years, there will be 26 bi-weekly pay periods.
Affected (non-student) employees will turn in their first bi-weekly time sheet in TimeClock Plus for the two-week pay period ending Saturday, August 13. They will be paid for that time two weeks later, on Friday, August 26.
Hourly paid student workers will begin being paid bi-weekly two weeks after they turn in their first timesheet, or four weeks after the start of their AY 2022-23 contract.
Students paid on a stipend will be paid according to the dates specified in their contract.
We recognize that for some employees, going four weeks without a paycheck could be a financial burden. To address this, the University administration has approved a one-time bridge payment on August 12th for employees affected by this payroll change.
Nonexempt staff members will receive their last semi-monthly paycheck on July 29th. The first regular biweekly pay will occur on August 26 (for hours worked during the period of 8/1 through 8/13). The bridge payment will help lessen the impact of not having a regular paycheck during this time.
The bridge payment is a subsidy offered by Lehigh to bring affected employees W2 earnings back to what they would have been had there been no change to the payroll schedule.
August 12 is the date for the bridge payment.
Eligible employees are currently paid semi-monthly on continuous appointments.
Students who are on semester or academic year contracts are not eligible.
The gross amount of the bridge payment represents 3.2% of your annual salary.
No, you do not have to repay it. The University is absorbing the cost of the bridge payment.
You do not have to take action. The bridge payment will be paid automatically to affected employees.
- Flexible benefit deductions (healthcare premiums)
- Employee contributions to TIAA
- Parking Fees
University retirement contributions will not be made on the bridge payment.
No annual leave is lost. Annual leave will not be accrued with the August 12th bridge payment, but it will be doubled in the following August 26th pay.
Graduate students may request a payroll advance by having their supervisor contact the Graduate Associate Dean of their college. Please use the Salary Advance Form (Graduate Student) found here.
Impact on Benefits and Deductions
With bi-weekly pay, there are 26 pays per year.
Flexible benefits and parking
Deductions with flat rate premiums include benefits where you pay a set amount each month. They include health insurance, dental, parking, etc. There will be no change to these flat rate monthly premiums because the total number of deductions in the payroll is 24 per year, meaning two per month. Because there are 26 pay periods in a year, you will end up with two "benefit holidays" -- two payrolls where your flat rate deductions are not withheld.
The first benefit holiday will occur on December 30th, 2022. That means you will receive three paychecks in December, the third of which will not include these flat rate premium deductions.
Voluntary retirement deductions can be percentage based or flat rate. It is your choice.
Regardless of which option you have chosen, these are taken in all 26 pay periods.
If the amount deducted is a percentage of your earnings, you will contribute the same amount over the course of a year on a bi-weekly basis as you would have on a semi-monthly basis.
If you contribute a flat dollar amount each pay period to TIAA you may want to consider changing the amount. Because you will have two additional pays each year (26 versus the current 24), if you do not change your flat dollar amount contribution you will be contributing more money into your retirement savings annually. For example, if you typically contribute $100 in each semi-monthly payroll for a total of $2,400 per year, you will end up contributing $2,600 for the year when your pay frequency changes to bi-weekly. You can make changes to your TIAA contributions on the TIAA website or app.
With bi-weekly pay, there are 26 pays per year. This means that there are two months in a year where you will receive a third paycheck.
A benefit holiday occurs twice a year when there are three paychecks in a month. In these paychecks, there will be no deduction for flexible benefit flat rate premiums.
As noted, the first benefit holiday will occur on December 30th, 2022. That means you will receive three paychecks in December, the third of which will not include flexible benefit (i.e. healthcare) deductions.
Voluntary deductions, such as TIAA retirement contributions, can be either percentage based or flat dollar amounts. Both percentage based and flat dollar contributions do not receive a benefit holiday as they are taken out of all 26 paychecks.
Taxes are a percentage of earnings and thus will be deducted over 26 pay periods each year.
Garnishments will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
You will still accrue the same amount of vacation time you are eligible for across the year, but the accrual rates will be slightly less per pay period based on the higher frequency of pays.
Personal financial counseling is available for full-time, benefits-eligible employees through our Employee Assistance Program, provided by Uprise Health. They can be reached at 1-800-395-1616.
There are also many other resources available to you and your family as you navigate this change.
Time and Leave Reporting
Reporting of time in TimeClock Plus is still required for non-exempt employees. TimeClock Plus includes fields to track time off as well as time worked for the reasons outlined below.
The University tracks employee time because:
- Nonexempt employees are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which is governed by the Department of Labor.
- The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay and recordkeeping.
- FLSA is intended to protect workers from unreasonable work expectations without compensation.
- All hours worked and not worked must be reported on time sheets in TCP for nonexempt employees according to this law.
- Time records provide your supervisor with accurate accounting of how many hours are being worked.
- Time records allow the University to calculate its financial liability to employees.
- If an employee overlaps between departments, the time records provide an internal accounting for budgetary purposes.
- In cases where a leave of absence is requested, such as Family Medical Leave, eligibility requirements must be met by demonstrating that the regulatory minimum number of hours have been worked. This is calculated by evaluating the time records.
You can find your current deduction costs in Banner self-service by selecting Employee and then Pay Information.
We have created a payroll calculator as a resource to illustrate how the 2022 and 2023 calendar years will be paid gross during the transition from semi-monthly to bi-weekly pay and then over the on-going biweekly payroll schedule.
Please send questions to email@example.com
For personal financial counseling, contact Lehigh's Employee Assistance Program, Uprise Health at 1-800-395-1616. You can ask to speak with a financial consultant. Lehigh's EAP benefit offers a free 30 minute financial consultation.