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Payroll Services wants to keep you informed about news that impacts our campus. If you want to receive News and Information as it happens please sign up for our UC Merced Payroll List Serve. Click Here to sign up! The archive of recent news items are listed below for your convenience.

 2013 Payroll Year-End Processing11/19/2013

Payroll Year-End 2013 - With the upcoming holidays and the end of the year just around the corner, many of our deadlines for timesheets submission have been moved forward.  For further information, please go to:

 Supreme Court's DOMA, Prop 8 Ruling7/29/2013

UC taking steps to implement changes resulting from Supreme Court's DOMA, Prop 8 Rulings 

Like employers across the country, UC has been reviewing the legal, policy and operational implications of the Supreme Court rulings on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for the university and its employees and retirees. 

As a result of the rulings employees in same-gender marriages are no longer subject to taxes on the "imputed income" for UC's contribution to the cost of health insurance coverage provided for a same-gender spouse enrolled in UC-sponsored benefits. 

In addition, the employee's portion of the cost of health insurance coverage for his or her spouse may be deducted on a pretax basis rather than on an after-tax basis.
The rulings do not affect same-gender domestic partners.
"We know employees and retirees are eager to see these changes go into effect, and we are working as quickly as possible to make them," said Dwaine Duckett, vice president of human resources. "Unfortunately, implementation is more complicated than it may seem, and it will take more time than we would like."
The immediate priorities for UC are: 
  • Making programming changes to payroll and HR systems necessary to implement the tax changes
  • Encouraging faculty and staff who were married prior to the rulings to self-identify as soon as possible to ensure they benefit from the changes
  • Getting guidance from federal agencies on the effective date of the change
  • Assisting employees when that guidance becomes clear
In addition, Duckett said, retroactivity is of critical importance to those affected, and federal guidance has not yet been issued. "It is understandable that people want equitable tax treatment to the fullest extent. We will be prepared to support them and help navigate retroactivity issues when the guidelines become available."
Work has begun on the programming and administrative details to implement the changes, and UC expects them to be ready by mid-September.
In the meantime, employees and retirees who currently have a same-gender spouse will need to self-identify in order to ensure the taxes on imputed income are not withheld once the programming changes have been completed.
Employees should submit the UPAY 850 form to their local benefits office.
Retirees should submit the UBEN 100 form to the UC Retirement Administration Service Center.
There is no need to complete the entire form, but be sure to include employee or retiree name, employee ID number, spouse's name and marriage date.
Special enrollment period
As a result of the Supreme Court rulings, UC employees and retirees have the opportunity to enroll their same-sex spouse in UC health benefits or, in some instances, to change the plans in which they are enrolled.
  • If an employee or retiree marries his or her same-gender domestic partner who is not currently covered by UC's health and welfare programs, the employee or retiree may enroll in and /or add his/her new spouse and eligible family members to health and welfare plans within 31-days of the marriage. Coverage is effective on the date of marriage.
  • If a same-gender spouse married prior to the Supreme Court rulings is not currently covered by UC's health and welfare programs, the employee/retiree has a period of eligibility to enroll in and/or add his/her same-sex spouse and eligible family members in health and welfare plans due to changes in tax treatment. Coverage is effective on the date of receipt of the enrollment form.
  • If same-gender spouses married prior to the Supreme Court rulings, or same-gender domestic partners married after DOMA, are currently covered by UC's health and welfare programs, the employee or retiree may change plans now and/or add eligible family members due to changes in tax treatment. This is a limited eligibility period applicable only to medical, dental, vision, Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. Coverage is effective on the date of receipt of the enrollment form.
In all of these cases, taxes on imputed income will be deducted until payroll system programming changes have been completed. Benefits and payroll offices will retain copies of the enrollment forms so that once the system is updated the employee or retiree record can be changed to allow for accurate tax treatment.
To enroll an eligible same-gender spouse, employees should submit a completed UPAY 850 enrollment form to their local Payroll/Benefits Office, and retirees should submit a completed UBEN 100 enrollment form to the Retirement Administration Service Center.
Per UC's family member eligibility verification (FMEV) process, newly married couples will be required to submit proof of their marriage. UC is working with Secova, FMEV administrator, in an effort to prevent the need for previously verified couples to resubmit documentation.

Other issues
There are several other outstanding issues related to taxes and benefits to be resolved either through guidance from the federal government or though changes in UC processes. These include whether the federal law will apply for employees and retirees who live in states that do not permit same-gender marriage, whether the tax changes will be retroactive, and what additional operational and policy changes UC will need to make to address benefits enrollment and eligibility changes needed as a result of the Supreme Court rulings.
"Those affected by these changes can feel confident that UC will make the adjustments necessary to be consistent with the law as quickly as we are able," Duckett said. "UC will assist anyone in understanding their rights and obligations going forward."
Watch for more information on At Your Service.

DOMA and Tax Refund (PDF)

Updated DOMA news (PDF)


 Contribution rates to the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) for both the University and Faculty/Staff will increase effective July 1, 20136/18/2013

Starting July 1, the University will pay 12 percent of pay, up from 10 percent and contributions for faculty and staff will rise to 6.5 percent of pay, up from 5 percent (contributions for union-represented employees are subject to collective bargaining where applicable).

As you know, the Board of Regents in 2010 adopted a series of measures as part of a carefully-constructed, multi-pronged strategy to ensure the long-term viability of UCRP benefits and also to help reduce the $24 billion unfunded liability to UC’s retirement programs.

Even with these changes, the UC’s retirement benefits remain very attractive.  In fact, very few public and private employers across the country offer a traditional pension and retiree health benefits. At UC, we know these are valued benefits for our faculty and staff, and we are working diligently to sustain them. 

You will see the increased contributions reflected in your regular paychecks for July earnings, paid between July 17 and Aug. 8, 2013, depending on your payroll cycle. Employee contributions are pre-tax.
For more information about the UC’s strategy to protect your retirement benefits, visit the Future of the UC Retirement website at http://ucrpfuture.universityofcalifornia.edu/.

 Vacation Maximum Compliance5/4/2013

​In preparation for UCPATH (single systemwide payroll and human resources system), Human Resources will begin reviewing employee leave accrual information for policy compliance.

Employees:  If you have any timesheets that have not been submitted, please submit as soon as possible so your time record can be updated.
Supervisors: If you have any timesheets that you have not yet approved, please approve as soon as possible so your employees time record can be updated.

Vacation Max_Short Version.jpg
For further questions regarding policy, please contact Human Resources at hr@ucmerced.edu.

 2013 Federal Tax Rates1/1/2013

The new tax legislation that Congress approved on Jan. 1, 2013, and President Obama recently signed may affect the 2013 federal income tax withholding on your paychecks.

The tax rate will go up for individuals earning $400,000 or more a year and for families making $450,000 or more. All rates reflect the annually inflation-adjusted income brackets.
UC is updating its payroll system to start withholding at the new tax rates before the Feb. 15, 2013, deadline set by the Internal Revenue Service. The new tax rates will be reflected in paychecks issued on or after Feb. 15.
Because Congress did not pass the legislation until the early part of January, UC is using the 2012 federal tax rate schedule to process payroll for paychecks issued prior to Feb. 15.

 Important news regarding the 2013 FICA - OASDI & Medicare12/31/2012

​Effective January 1, 2013:

  • The OASDI rate will return to 6.2%. The two-year decrease in the employee Social Security tax rate to - 4.2% from 6.2% - is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.
  • The taxable salary wage base for Social Security increases from $110,100 to $113,700.
  • The Medicare tax rate will remain 1.45% since there is no wage base (but is scheduled to increase 0.9% to a maximum of 2.35% when employees earn more than $200,000.
Click Here- For learn more about the Social Security Program for 2013

 Earnings Statement for Biweekly 12/19/2012

The earnings information for the December 19, 2012 is now available in UC AYSO. For your convenience, this is a link to UC AYSO: https://atyourserviceonline.ucop.edu/ayso/ 
Thank you for waiting patiently for the problem to be resolved.
 Payroll Year-End Information12/17/2012

As we get ready to head into December with campus closure starting 12/24/12 until 1/01/13; we would like to remind you of some very important Payroll Year-End information and inform you so some changes that will take place in 2013.
Biweekly employees, timesheets are due on 12/17/12 for pay period end date 12/09/12 - 12/22/12 (for check date 1/02/13); employees need to estimate time worked for 12/16/12 - 12/22/12.
Click Here - For more information on the upcoming pay dates, W-2 and changes to the 2013 Payroll Taxes.
Click Here - For the full Payroll Year-End Processing Calendar.
 Career Tracks Effective October 1, 201210/1/2012

Career Tracks implementation is scheduled for October 1, 2012, for non-represented staff employees. Each employee will be assigned a new job title that is part of a designated job field and family; which means, you will also have a new PTR timesheet. If you do not see your Career Tracks timesheet, please do not worry as the Departmental Processors are still in the midst of updating the new PTR timesheets.
How do I know I am impacted?
For monthly employees, you should have a timesheet that end at September 2012 and a new Career Tracks timesheet starting October 2012. For biweekly employees, you should have a timesheet that ends on September 29, 2012 and a new Career Tracks timesheet starting September 30, 2012.
Please contact payroll@ucmerced.edu if:

    MO Employees: you do not see your new timesheet by October 15, 2012
    BW Employees: you do not see your new timesheet by October 10, 2012
    Have further questions re regarding PTR

If you have any further questions regarding Career Tracks, please reference HR Website on Career Tracks Implementation or contact comp@ucmerced.edu.

 PX Unit Update-Agency Fees8/20/2012

​The Fair Share Agency Fee deduction percentage for the Postdoctoral Scholars (PX) Unit has increased from .865 to .900. (Agreement)
Effective Dates:
BW: Pay period begin date = August 7, Pay period end date = August 20, Pay Date = August 31
MO: Pay period begin date = August 1, Pay period end date = August 31, Pay Date = September 1

 Resources for non-exempt employees migrating to bi-weekly pay cycles July 1st. 7/1/2012
 UC Retirement Plan Contributions Increasing July 17/1/2012

​Faculty, staff and UC will contribute more to the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) beginning July 1.
Rates for most faculty and staff will rise to 3.5 percent of pay, up from roughly 2 percent for most employees.  The university will pay 7 percent of pay, up from 4 percent. The amount will increase again in July 2012, with employees paying 5 percent and UC paying 10 percent.

Faculty and staff will see the increased contributions reflected in their regular paychecks for July earnings, which are available between July 20 and Aug. 6, depending on whether employees are paid biweekly, monthly or another cycle. All employee contributions are pre-tax.

The new contribution levels affect only active members of the UCRP and are subject to collective bargaining for represented employees.
The Regents approved the increases last fall as part of a plan to address UCRP’s unfunded liability.
For almost 20 years, until the spring of 2010, UC and its faculty and staff did not pay into the retirement plan because the plan maintained a surplus.  But a combination of factors –steep market losses, the lack of contributions and changing demographics – led to a deficit.
Until UC and its employees together begin contributing enough to cover the annual increase in cost for active members (in excess of 17 percent of pay), the pension program’s  current $14 billion unfunded liability will grow, adding to the pressures on UC’s operating budget.
In the past year, the Regents have taken a number of actions to address the pension shortfall.  Those actions include establishing a new tier of benefits for employees hired beginning July 1, 2013, and approving internal borrowing options to better  fund the pension plan.
Learn more about UCRP and Regents actions to reduce the plan’s unfunded liability at the Future of UC Retirement Plan website:  http://universityofcalifornia.edu/sites/ucrpfuture/.

 Final Rule Adopts Interim Rule Improving Integrity of Form I-9 Process4/1/2012

​ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule that adopts, without change, an interim rule to improve the integrity of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process. The interim rule has been in effect since April 3, 2009.

The main changes made by the interim rule and adopted by the final rule include: prohibiting employers from accepting expired documents; revising the list of acceptable documents by removing outdated documents and making technical amendments; and adding documentation applicable to certain citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register and will be available at www.uscis.gov.  The final rule is effective on May 16, 2011. Employers may continue to use the current version of the Form I-9 (Rev. 08/07/2009) or the previous version (Rev. 02/02/2009).  The Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) was updated on Jan. 5, 2011, and is available for review at www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf.

UC Merced has already been in compliance with the interim ruling and will continue following the guidelines set forth and adopted with the final ruling issued by USCIS. Please continue to use the I9 form provided on our  Payroll Services website Form I-9 (Rev. 08/07/2009).

 Important Information Regarding your 2011 W-22/1/2012


​If you signed up to receive an electronic copy of your 2011 W-2, it is now available though AYSO.

If you elected to receive your W-2 in paper form,and did not pick it up from your department, it was maield to your address on file.
 Social Security Update - Randomization 6/25/2011


The Social Security Administration (SSA) is changing the way Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are issued. This change is referred to as "randomization". The SSA is developing this new method to help protect the integrity of the SSN. SSN Randomization will also extend the longevity of the nine-digit SSN nationwide. The SSA will implement the new assignment methodology on June 25, 2011.

SSN randomization will affect the SSN assignment process in the following ways:
  • It will eliminate the geographical significance of the first three digits of the SSN, currently referred to as the area number, by no longer allocating the area numbers for assignment to individuals in specific states.
  • It will eliminate the significance of the highest group number and, as a result, the High Group List will be frozen in time and can be used for validation of SSNs issued prior to the randomization implementation date.
  • Previously unassigned area numbers (e.g., 8XX) will be introduced for assignment excluding area numbers 000, 666 and 900-999.
Data was pulled from the May UCRS Payroll Maintenance file (PPI740) to identify any current employees that have a SSN beginning with an 8 in PPS.  For UCM there were no employees identified, therefore, we do not have to update any employee data.
More information about these changes is available at the following URLs: