Some federal shared services payroll centers are making small but significant changes to their pay schedule in 2018. Each payroll center has a slightly different calendar for the new year. These changes can impact TSP contributions, annual leave banks, and other benefits.
The Agriculture Department’s National Finance Center provides payroll for 650,000 federal employees. They announced a few changes to their payroll schedule for the next calendar year. They will continue to begin payroll processing on Thursdays, and employees should receive their paychecks either through direct deposit or mail on Mondays.
NFC employees will receive 27 paychecks in 2018, compared to 26 in 2017.
“The first business day after payroll processing weekend is the official payment date for direct deposit and payer check net salary payments,” a November 28 customer notification read. “Generally, net salary payments have Monday’s date when processed. However, when a federal holiday falls on payroll Monday, these payments are processed with Tuesday’s date.”
In 2018, there are 3 dates when NFC employees will receive paychecks on Tuesday instead of Monday; Tuesday, January 2, Tuesday, January 16, and Tuesday, October 9.
The Interior Business Center provides acquisition, financial management, payroll, and other human resources services for more than 150 agencies. They announced 27 pay periods as well for 2018.
However, the General Services Administration Office of Chief Financial Officer Payroll Services branch will administer only 26 in 2018. This Payroll Services Branch processes payroll information for GSA and client agency employees.
These changes are important to note because it helps dictate how much Thrift Savings Plan participants should set aside to receive full matching contributions from their agencies at the end of the year.
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the agency that administers the TSP, said a few thousand participants reach their annual contribution limit before the end of the year and miss out on full matching contributions from their agency.