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Your New Year’s paycheck checklist

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

Here’s a handy checklist of changes to look out for on your first paycheck of the new year.

  • New benefits: Did you enroll in UC’s new Supplemental Health Plans during Open Enrollment? Enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, or change your contribution amount? You’ll start seeing deductions for your 2020 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 2020 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 2020 (increased to $3,550 for single coverage or $7,100 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 a decrease of $12 per month to an increase of $16 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 few 2020 IRS changes reflected in your January paycheck:
  • The OASDI (old age, survivors and disability insurance) tax will be withheld from income up to $137,700 in 2020. If you reached the maximum last year, your deductions will restart in January.
  • The Additional Medicare Tax will restart if your salaries and wages exceed $200,000 for 2020.
  • The annual deferral limit for 403(b) and 457(b) plans increased from $19,000 to $19,500.

If you have any questions about your paycheck, you can contact your local Payroll Office or 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, the deadline for requesting one for your 2019 tax information is Jan. 2 for At Your Service Online (AYSO) and Jan. 18 for UCPath. 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 your benefits account 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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