Don't Mistake Third December Paycheck for Extra Stocking Stuffer

Don't Mistake Third December Paycheck for Extra Stocking Stuffer

By Alexis BlueUniversity Commmunications
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If you're a University of Arizona employee who waits until Christmas Eve to do your holiday shopping, you might be thrilled to see a third paycheck arrive just in time this month, on Dec. 23.

But before you blow your hard-earned cash on a Wii or Zhu Zhu hamster, you might want to remember that you won't be seeing any more green, other than your Christmas tree, until Jan. 15.

Because the UA is closed on Jan. 1, the day that employees would normally receive their checks for the Dec. 14-27 pay period, checks are being cut on Dec. 23, the last day the University is open before winter closure, which runs Dec. 24-Jan. 1.

Another check, for the Dec. 28-Jan. 10 pay period, won't arrive until three-and-a-half weeks later, which means it may be time to go a bit Ebenezer and save and spend wisely so you're still able to pay those bills in your post-Christmas and post-Hanukkah future.

"Don't spend all your money because you're not going to get paid for almost a month," warned Michelle Meyer, payroll manager.

Dropping the third check into a savings account, or making sure you stick to your regular budget if you have one, are a couple of ways to avoid temptation.   

To receive that Dec. 23 check, employees must submit their hours for the Dec. 14-27 pay period by 5 p.m. today through the UAccess Employee system, which allows employees to report time up to 90 days out.

Last year was the first time in nearly a decade that the University's holiday closure fell in such a way that checks would have to be distributed early, Meyer said. The cycle will continue for a few more years, she said.

Only mandatory deductions will be subtracted from the month's third paycheck, including federal and state income tax, FICA, retirement and long-term disability.

Optional deductions, such as contributions to voluntary retirement programs, saving bonds and voluntary group insurance programs – such as health insurance, life insurance and short-term disability – will not be subtracted. Parking fees also will not be subtracted. 

Direct deposit will occur as it normally does for those employees who are signed up for it.

This year's holiday closure includes three paid University holidays – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day – and four unpaid days. Employees may use leave time for those four days or take them unpaid. The University will resume its normal operations on Jan. 4.

General questions about payroll deductions can be addressed to the Payroll Office at payrollinfo@listserv.arizona.edu or 621-9097. Questions about benefits payroll deductions may be addressed to Human Resources at benefits@email.arizona.edu or 621-3662.

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