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Bank error adds pay period to 2011 direct deposit

(Editor's note, Feb. 8: Find updated information about the early payment error from the UNT System Business Service Center.)

If you receive your pay through direct deposit, you may have noticed that funds intended for disbursement to you this January were actually disbursed on Dec. 30, 2011.  Our banking partner, Wells Fargo Bank, processed the electronic funds transfer ahead of our scheduled date of Jan. 2, 2012, in error, which resulted in most UNT employees being paid one additional time in December.

If in January 2012, you received your pay through a paper check, rather than direct deposit, this issue doesn’t affect you, as checks weren’t available to employees until Jan. 2.

The Internal Revenue Service guidelines for income recognition require that income be reported in the year that it is received, whether intentionally or by mistake. That means one additional pay period will be reflected in the 2011 W-2 that was mailed or made available online to you today. Since you didn’t receive a payroll disbursement on Jan. 2, your 2012 W-2, which will be issued in January 2013, will reflect one less pay period.

The consequences of the additional pay period will  affect employees differently.  Each employee’s personal income and tax situation is unique. You may wish to consult with a tax and/or investment advisor(s), if needed, to determine the impact this issue will have on your tax return and investment strategies.

If you are in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) or the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) your retirement savings program is unchanged. However, the higher 2011 and lower 2012 taxable incomes may change your tax liability for each of those calendar years.  You may wish to consult with your tax advisor to determine the impact.

If you contribute to a voluntary tax deferred account (a 403b and/or 457b, also known as TDAs) and are among the small number of employees system-wide that already had reached your maximum allowable annual contribution, the TDA payroll deduction made on Dec. 30, 2011, may be impacted. UNTS Business Service Center staff will contact all affected employees before Feb. 15, 2012, to discuss their individual circumstances.

UNT and Wells Fargo Bank have had a long and productive relationship. The UNT System and university have asked  Wells Fargo to determine how the bank can best assist our employees impacted by the bank’s error.

Meanwhile, the UNTS Business Service Center staff members are available to assist you at 940-369-5500. Additional information about this issue will soon be available on the BSC web site at http://BSC.UNTSystem.edu.

We highly value our relationship with the University of North Texas. We seriously regret any inconvenience this error may have caused. We are working closely with university leadership to mitigate any negative effects to its staff, faculty and employees. - Joe Stroop, Regional Banking Communications Consultant Wells Fargo Bank, Southwest Region, Fort Worth

Posted on: Tue 31 January 2012

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