Semimonthly Payroll: Frequently Asked Questions

Semimonthly Payroll: Frequently Asked Questions

In June 2022, the frequency of pay for those on the university payroll changed from monthly to semimonthly.  This page has been updated to provide information on how the change impacts nine-month faculty and graduate assistants who receive pay from August through May each academic year.

What does semimonthly pay mean?

Semimonthly pay means employees will be paid twice a month, usually on the 15th and last business days of each month. Business days are defined as days other than weekends and university holidays. If the 15th falls on a Saturday, pay day will be on Friday; if it falls on Sunday, pay day will be Monday.

How does this change impact pay and insurance premiums for 9-month faculty and graduate assistants? 

 Start and End of the Academic Year

The pay for nine-month faculty and graduate assistants is distributed August through May.   The Academic Calendar has been adjusted for payroll purposes in Workday to pay one-half month’s pay on the last business day in August and one-half month’s pay on May 15th.  Those who start or end their appointment on dates other than the beginning and ending dates of the academic year may receive prorated pay in August or May.

Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums for 9-month benefits-eligible faculty will be split over 17 pay periods starting in September and ending mid-May. Semimonthly premiums are listed on the HR website. Voluntary miscellaneous payroll deductions will be deducted from all pay based on the signed deduction agreement.        

Graduate assistants who elect Student Health Insurance will continue to have the premiums charged to their UA Connect student account.  There is no change to this process.

How does this change affect my federal and state tax withholding?

This change will not increase the amount of your federal and state tax withholding. The payroll system will calculate and deduct taxes based on a semimonthly payroll frequency. This change will be automatic. However, if you have elected to make additional withholdings, you will need to manually change the amount to one-half of the current amount.

What deductions/contributions will I have to manually change?

See the chart below on who is responsible for making changes to deductions/contributions.


Payroll Deductions 

Payroll Staff 


Direct Deposit - Specified dollar amounts designated to savings accounts, checking accounts, etc.  

For example, if you are currently depositing $100 per month to a savings account, you will need to make a change in the Pay section on your Workday profile to avoid $100 deposited to the savings account from each of your checks. The change must be made by August 28, 2022, to be effective for the August 31 payroll.

If you are directing pay into bank accounts by percentages, there is nothing you need to do.

For instance, if you currently direct 100% of your pay into one account or direct specified percentages of your pay into more than one account, your pay will be deposited in the same manner/same percentage(s) but will now be divided between two semimonthly deposits.



Additional Federal/State Income Tax Withholdings– Specified dollar amounts in addition to calculated tax withholdings.

For example, if you are currently deducting $100 per month in additional tax withholdings, you will need to make a change in the Pay section on your Workday profile to avoid $100 deducted from each of your checks. The change must be made by August 28, 2022, to be effective for the August 31 payroll.

If you did not elect for any extra tax withholdings to be withheld each pay period, there is nothing you need to



State and Federal Income Taxes



Insurance Premiums (Medical, Dental, Vision)



Retirement Contributions (Mandatory and Voluntary) 



Flexible Spending Account Contributions



Health Savings Account Contributions



Parking Permit



Parking Fines 



9 over 12 Payment Agreements






United Way



Tuition payments 



Any other voluntary Benefits Products






PCEZ Payments to Computer Store



Annual Fund (including alumni association, KUAF, Women's giving circle) deductions



How does this change affect my leave accruals?

Leave accrual for eligible employees will continue to be provided at the end of each month.

How will the change affect my Career Service Payment?

The Career Service Payment will be paid on the end of the month of your service date. For example, if your Career Service Date is June 4, you will receive the full amount of the applicable career service payment this year on June 30.

Will my total compensation change?


How does this change affect my compensatory time accrual?

Comp time accrual for non-exempt workers will be based on two pay periods instead of monthly.

How will overtime be paid?

Eligibility for overtime remains the same. Non-exempt employees who are eligible for overtime will record hours worked for the FLSA workweek Sunday through Saturday (same as now). Overtime that is entered and approved by the payroll deadline will pay on the current payroll. Example: Non-exempt worker enters time from June 1 - 12 by the payroll deadline (approximately June 13), anything entered and approved for that time period will be paid on June 15. If overtime hours are entered and approved after the current payroll is processed, the hours will pay on the next available payroll.

How does this benefit employees?

First, this change provides more opportunities for increased earnings in retirement contributions, as half of the monthly contributions will be made earlier in the month, allowing more time for benefits to potentially grow.

Second, the university expects that most employees, after making initial adjustments to align with the twice a month payroll schedule, will find the more frequent payroll distribution makes budgeting easier when compared to receiving pay only once a month.




Our financial partnerships offer our employees several educational opportunities on budgeting and financial wellness


Whether you’re the kind of person that lives and spends in the now or plans for the future, there are always ways to save smarter.  Get insights into your current financial situation by watching the TIAA on-demand webinars that provide some practical steps so you can help position yourself for future success.  


Fidelity has several on-demand options available for financial education.

Five money musts.  40 minute webinar.

Spending and saving. 5 minute read.