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Paycheck reminders for the new year

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New year, new paycheck. Paid bi-weekly? Your December paychecks covered your January health insurance premiums, so they may have looked different, too.

Here are a few changes to look out for on your first paycheck of the new year.

New benefits

Did you enroll in any new benefits during Open Enrollment, or change your contribution to your Flexible Spending Account? You’ll start seeing deductions for your 2021 premiums in your January paycheck, or in your December paychecks if you’re paid bi-weekly. Whether you’re paid monthly or bi-weekly, your 2021 FSA contributions will begin with your first paycheck in January.

A couple of additional reminders for members of UC Health Savings Plan:

  • Confirm both your payroll deductions and UC’s contribution to your Health Savings Account.
  • If you’re contributing less than the IRS maximum for 2021 (increased to $3,600 for single coverage or $7,200 for family coverage, including UC’s contribution), it’s not too late to increase your contribution. And remember — the IRS allows people who are 55 or over to make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $1,000 a year. 

Changing costs 

Though UC works hard to keep costs for its medical plans stable, you may see a change in your premiums even if you didn’t change plans. Changes to employee contributions for single coverage across all pay bands range from increases of $0 to $12 per month.

Retirement contributions

UC’s voluntary Retirement Savings Program offers a convenient, tax-advantaged way to save for retirement. Check to make sure your contributions are where you’d like them to be. If you transitioned from casual to career status, you may see changes to your deductions for retirement benefits. 

Tax changes

Depending on your situation, you may see a change in your January paycheck:

  • The OASDI (old age, survivors and disability insurance) tax will be withheld from income up to $142,800 in 2021. If you reached the maximum last year, your deductions will restart in January.
  • The Additional Medicare Tax will restart if your salary and wages exceed $200,000 in a calendar year.

If you have any questions about your paycheck, you can contact UCPath.

One final reminder – Be W-2 savvy

Accessing your W-2 electronically is convenient and safe, eliminating the chance that your W-2 will be misplaced or stolen. If you have not already signed up to receive an electronic W-2, UCPath’s deadline for requesting one for your 2020 tax information is Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.

Once you’ve signed up online, all notifications about your W-2/W-2c will be sent to your preferred email address on file in your benefits account, so make sure your contact information is up to date.

Remember that UC does not send actual W-2 statements to employees by email or text. You must sign in to UCPath using a safe, known link to view your electronic W-2 (if you enrolled to receive one). If you receive an email or text that has a link or an attachment for viewing your W-2, it is a phishing scam designed to gain your private information. Do not open any attachments or click on any email links that claim to give you access to your W-2!

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