Don't Mistake Third December Paycheck for Holiday Bonus

Don't Mistake Third December Paycheck for Holiday Bonus

By Alexis BlueUniversity Communications
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University of Arizona employees will receive a third paycheck this month, but you shouldn't mistake it for an extra stocking stuffer.

In fact, you might want to make some room in the Santa-shaped cookie jar to stash the extra "dough" since another check won't come for three and a half weeks.

Because of the dates on which the University's holiday closure falls this year, employees will receive a check on Dec. 23, just four days after the month's second check, to cover the Dec. 15 to Dec. 28 pay period.

Campus is officially closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 2, and because Jan. 2 would have been the regular payday, a third check needed to go out before the closure to avoid late payment, said Michelle Meyer, payroll manager. Paychecks are not distributed on days that the University is closed.

While it might be tempting to spend the cash on last-minute holiday shopping, another paycheck won't be coming until Jan. 16.

"If you have a savings account, move it immediately into a savings account," Meyer advised. "Move it. Don't look at it. Don't even recognize the fact that it's there."

"If you have a budget, stick to it," added Joy Trent, payroll program coordinator.

This is the first time in about a decade that a third check needed to be distributed prior to the holiday closure, Meyer said.

Only mandatory deductions will be subtracted from the 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.

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 five unpaid days. Employees may use leave time for those five days or take them unpaid.

General questions about payroll deductions can be addressed to Payroll Operations at or 621-9097. Questions about benefits payroll deductions may be addressed to Human Resources at or 621-3662.

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