Payroll FAQ's

NEW EMPLOYEE/REHIRE

What can I expect from my first pay check?
  • You will receive a paper check.
  • It will be a pay period in arrears (click on ‘Pay Period Chart’ below for periods and check dates).
  • The check will be mailed to the mailing address listed in VTHR.
Do I need to complete W-4 tax withholding status for Federal or Vermont?
  • Yes. Otherwise you will be taxed at the IRS prescribed default of Single/0.

I am a RE-HIRE. Will I need to re-establish my direct deposit or tax withholding status in ESS?

  • Yes. None of your previous information will be re-implemented.  You must log into ESS and set up your Direct Deposit and positively elect your Federal W-4 withholdings.  A new Vermont W-4 form is also required to be sent to Payroll.
I have returned to State government as a TEMPORARY employee. Will I have access to ESS and will I need to update my personal information, direct deposit and tax withholding information?
  • Yes. You will have access to ESS and you should definitely update your information as it would have terminated when your classified position ended.
  • Should you require assistance logging in or for password reset, contact the VTHR Help Desk at (802) 828-6700 or by email VTHR.Helpdesk@vermont.gov

PAY DATES

How often am I paid and what are the pay dates?

PAYCHECK

How can I determine what my net pay will be in my paycheck?

My net pay is less or more than expected?
  • Changes in your tax withholding status can cause your net pay to be different.  The higher the number of exemptions elected, causes taxes to be lower resulting in a greater amount of net pay.
  • Adding, dropping or changing your benefit elections also changes your net take home pay.  Many benefits also offer pre-tax advantages which further reduces your federal/state withholding.
  • Hours paid – carefully check your pay advice and time sheet to be certain you were paid for hours reported/worked.  Contact your Supervisor or Delegate immediately if there is a discrepancy.
  • Taxable Fringe – a fringe benefit is defined by the IRS as “a form of pay for the performance of services. For example, an employee is provided with a fringe benefit when allowed to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.” In this example, personal use of a state owned vehicle would be considered a fringe benefit and would be added to your taxable gross income.
What are ‘Taxable Expenses’ or ‘Taxable Fringe’ and why are they on my pay statement?
  • Taxable Expenses – Certain types of expense reimbursements, such as commuting mileage; expenses that are submitted for reimbursement more than 60 days after the expense is incurred; cash advances in excess of actual expenses that are not re-paid within 120 days after the expenses were paid or incurred are taxable income. They are added to an employee’s pay check, increase taxable gross income, taxes are withheld accordingly, and income is reported annually on the W-2.
  • Taxable Fringe – a fringe benefit is defined by the IRS as “a form of pay for the performance of services. For example, an employee is provided with a fringe benefit when allowed to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.” In this example, personal use of a state owned vehicle would be considered a fringe benefit and would be added to your taxable gross income.

DIRECT DEPOSIT

How can I get my pay direct deposited to my bank account(s)?
I have set up or changed my Direct Deposit information in ESS, why have I received a paper check?
  • When bank account information is added or changed, the new account is ‘tested’ or ‘pre-noted’ on one pay cycle to assure it’s correct.
    • If correct, subsequent pay will be direct deposited to the new account(s)
    • If incorrect, payroll will receive notification from the financial institution and notify you of the error.  You will continue to receive paper checks until the account can be properly verified.

DEDUCTIONS

What deductions are mandatory?
  • There are two types of ‘mandatory’ deductions or deductions included within the State of Vermont’s Collective Bargaining Agreements:
  1. Mandatory or Involuntary Deductions include taxes, garnishments, or tax levies. These deductions are IRS regulated or court ordered (i.e. child support) and withheld accordingly. Employee authorization for these deductions is generally not required; however, changes in tax withholding status does require written authorization.
  2. Voluntary deductions are permitted or bargained deductions that are withheld and require written authorization. These include:
    • Medical Insurance/Domestic Partner Coverage
    • Life Insurance
    • Deferred Compensation – 457 Plan and Roth IRA Contributions
    • Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan Contributions (VHEIP)
    • Flexible Spending Accounts – Health and/or Dependent Care
    • W4 Additional Flat Tax Amounts – Federal or State
    • VSEA / VTA Union Dues
    • Union Supplemental Dental, Life, Disability Insurances or other benefits as bargained.
Will payroll deduct a voluntary wage assignment from my pay?
  • No, these are specifically prohibited. Payroll will not set up individual deductions for employees’ voluntary wage assignment payments to a third party.
I don’t understand the deductions from my paycheck?

TAXES/TAX FORMS

Where can I get a Vermont W4 form?
Why does my pay statement reflect $0 being withheld for Federal or State taxes?
  • You either checked “EXEMPT” when completing your Federal and/or Vermont W4 or you listed a large number of exemptions on your W4 causing $0 to be withheld.
  • If you are not exempt from Federal/State taxes and do need to have taxes withheld from your pay, log in to ESS and update your W4 withholding as soon as possible.  If you need assistance, contact a VTHR Payroll Specialist at (802) 828-6700.

RETIRE/RESIGN FROM STATE GOVERNMENT

What can I expect in my final paycheck?
  • You will be paid for all hours reported on your timesheet through your termination date on the pay date following the period ending that includes your last day.
  • Your final pay will be direct deposited.
  • Access to ESS will cease on your last day of employment.
  • Your standard deduction for benefits, retirement and dues will be withheld.
  • Benefit coverages will cease on your last day with the State of Vermont.
  • Accrued, unused annual leave balances will be paid out. For most employees, payout of these wages is not subject to retirement.
  • Personal leave balances are not automatically paid out. Personal leave payout is subject to Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA’s) and written approval by Appointing Authority, is required to be sent to Time and Labor.
  • Sick leave balances are not paid out.
  • Deferring leave payouts to your Empower 457 Plan or changing amount of deferral at termination. Employees are encouraged to contact Benefits http://humanresources.vermont.gov/benefits-wellness or by email to DHR.Benefits@vermont.gov to discuss requirements, limitations and expectations.
What if my ADDRESS has or will change?
  • You should notify the VTHR Help Desk (802)828-6700 or email to vthr.helpdesk@vermont.gov so that your year-end W-2 and 1095 statements are mailed correctly.

ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

Where can I get more Payroll information or assistance?