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Paycheck Reminders for the New Year:

Paycheck reminders for the new year

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 the 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

The deadline to request an electronic W-2 was Jan. 15, 2021. If 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!

 

End of the Year Reminders:

As 2020 comes to a close, here are some important reminders and announcements related to your pay, taxes and benefits — some that may require action. Read closely and mark your calendar for upcoming deadlines.

Jan. 15, 2021: Tax information deadline

UCPath begins processing W-2s in late January. To ensure the information on your W-2 is complete, accurate and reaches you, please take the following steps by January 15.

  • Verify your personal email and home address in UCPath online. Even if you opt for a digital W-2, it’s important that UC can reach you.
  • Verify your dependents. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires UC to make reasonable efforts to obtain Social Security numbers for employees, their spouses/domestic partners and dependents. To review or update your information, log in to UCPath online, then select Employee Actions > Health and Welfare > Dependent Coverage.
  • Opt-in to an electronic W-2. Online W-2s are easy, secure and oh-so-convenient! To sign up, log in to UCPath online, then select Employee Actions > Income and Taxes > Enroll to Receive Online W-2.
  • International workers: Verify your GLACIER account information. International employees may receive a W-2 or 1042-S (Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding). To ensure your tax information is sent correctly, verify that your personal email and home addresses match exactly in UCPath online and the GLACIER tax database. You may also opt to have an electronic 1042-S through GLACIER. Learn more about Form 1042-S.

2020 W-2 statements

  • Employees at locations that transitioned to UCPath during 2020 — UC San Diego, UC San Diego Health, UCSF, UCSF Heath, UC Hastings and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab — will receive two W-2 statements. A statement from At Your Service Online will reflect earnings up to the transition, and a statement from UCPath will reflect earnings for the remainder of the year.
  • Employees from all other UC locations will receive one W-2 statement from UCPath.

Important security reminder

UC does not send W-2 statements by email or text. If you receive an email or text with a link or an attachment for viewing a W-2, it is a phishing scam designed to gain your private information. Do not open attachments or click email links that claim to provide access to your W-2. To access your electronic W-2, always go to UCPath online using a safe/known link.

Federal and State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC)

  • Per the Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act, UC includes a notice with all Form W-2 statements notifying employees that they may be eligible for the federal EITC. This is a benefit for working people with low to moderate-income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund. For more information about the federal EITC, reference IRS Notice 797 or contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-3676 or via www.irs.gov.
  • You also may be eligible to receive the California EITC, starting with the 2015 tax year. The California EITC is a refundable state income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. It is treated in the same manner as the federal EITC and generally will not be used to determine eligibility for welfare benefits under California law. To claim the California EITC, even if you do not owe California taxes, you must file a California income tax return and complete and attach the California EITC Form (FTB 3514). For information on the availability of the credit, eligibility, how to obtain necessary forms and help filing, contact the Franchise Tax Board at (800) 852-5711 or via www.ftb.ca.gov.

Claiming Exemption from Withholding

The IRS requires you to complete a new W-4 form each year if you are claiming exemption from tax withholding. If you wish to claim exemption from withholding in 2021, you must make this choice on UCPath online before Feb. 15, 2021

Have Questions or Need Help?

Log in to UCPath and select Ask UCPath to submit an inquiry. You may also call UCPath to speak with an associate at (855) 9827284 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT) Monday through Friday.

New UCPath Appointment Feature

Try the New UCPath Appointment Feature

 Starting Dec. 7, 2020, all UC employees can schedule phone appointments with UCPath for assistance with submitted inquiries. One-hour appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (PT). Schedule an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you — no waiting required!

Appointments are a great idea for new employees who need help using UCPath for the first time, or who have questions about benefits enrollment. They’re also great for employees who need help with lengthy or multiple inquiries.

(Please note that these appointments are not intended for those who are submitting a complex case on behalf of someone else and require production or IT support.)

 

How to make a UCPath appointment:

  • Log in to UCPath Online
  • Make a note of your employee ID in the upper-right corner of the UCPath portal
  • Select “Ask UCPath” to Submit an Inquiry or view My Inquiries
  • After you submit a new inquiry or select the case number of an existing inquiry, the Case Details page appears. Make a note of the case number you need help with
  • Select “CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A CALLBACK APPOINTMENT” at the top of the page to schedule an appointment

  • Enter your case and employee ID numbers
  • Once your appointment is scheduled, you will receive an appointment confirmation with a calendar attachment via email
  • A UCPath Employee Services associate will call you at the number you have provided at your appointment time

More information on UCPath appointments: 

If you have a question, please visit UCPath and click on “Ask UCPath Center” to submit an inquiry or call (855) 982-7284 to speak with an associate M-F between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.