As a best practice, we recommend setting up payroll groups for all of your companies during the initial company setup process. While payroll groups aren't necessarily required in some cases, it is much easier to set them up in the beginning vs. going back later and setting up after the fact (e.g. when the company adds an HSA plan, etc.)
Payroll groups provide a way to manage employee pay schedules and the payroll systems used for the schedules. When payroll groups are not used, the system determines ee pay frequencies according to their class.
You must setup payroll groups when:
- company offers plans that have IRS max limits or pro-rated employer contributions - like a CDH (HSA/HRA) or cafeteria plan
- ee pay frequencies are different than ee cost deductions - e.g. ees get paid 26 days, but deductions are only taken out of 24
- all benefits don't have the same pay deduction frequency - e.g. medical is deducted from 26 pays, dental is only deducted from 24 pays
- All employees assigned to the same class are not paid on the same pay frequency.
Step 1 - Group Definition
Go to the company Payroll Tab > click Add a group. Enter a name for the group (All Employees, Semi-Monthly, etc.) and select the Pay Frequency. Confirm group is checked as Active and save.
Note: If the group's pay-frequency isn't listed, choose the one that's closest to the number of pays you need. You can manually add or remove pay dates on the payroll calendar to reflect the number of pay dates you need.
Step 2 - Calendar
Once you've defined the payroll group, the next step is to configure the payroll calendar. This step is required. When not configured, ee per pay costs will be incorrect.
Important! You must setup payroll calendars for the entire calendar (not plan) year(s) in which the company plans fall. This is extremely important to note for companies that have off-cycle plan years. For example, if a company's plan year is 7/1/17 - 6/30/18, payroll calendars must be configured for both 2017 and 2018. Additionally, the entire calendar year must be configured (e.g. 1/1/17 - 12/31/17), not just the plan year (7/1/17 - 12/31/17). If the entire calendar year isn't configured, ee per pay costs will be incorrect.
First, select the appropriate year from the drop-down. You will want to select the earliest year from the drop-down for which any of the company's plans start. So, if a plan start date reflects 2017, you will want to select 2017 from the drop-down.
Next, you'll define the pay dates:
Choose the first Pay Date of the year: this should be the first pay date of the calendar year you've selected from the drop-down above - not the first pay date of the plan year.
If a pay date falls on a weekend, when will the check be dated? select the appropriate option for handling pay dates when they fall on a weekend
Once you've indicated the above items and hit Next, the system will auto populate pay dates for the calendar year. It is recommended that you review these dates to confirm they're correct. You can manually add, remove or change the pay dates by clicking on the specified date. Clicking on an existing pay date will remove it, and clicking on a new pay date will add it. Before saving, confirm that the total number of pays are correct (top of page under year drop-down).
The system also creates payroll calendars 5 years out, so you won't need to define the pay dates for each year. However, note that only the auto populated pay dates will be applied to subsequent years, so if you made any manual changes, you'll need to update the subsequent calendar years.
If entered, deduction codes will pull on the standard payroll reports.
To setup payroll deduction codes based on coverage level, go to Settings > Payroll and click *edit* next to the specified payroll group. Next, click on *Advanced Deduction Accruals* in the left nav of the page. Check the box for *Payroll Codes based on Coverage Level*. Additionally, because this page is mostly used for the advanced payroll tracking product, it will also require you to select an option for *File Type*. You can select either option here to satisfy the requirement - this won't actually apply anywhere.
In order to enter additional deduction codes per coverage level, you will first need to have a standard code entered for the plan(s). Once these codes are entered and the page has been saved, a link for *show coverage levels* will appear under each plan that supports payroll codes based on coverage levels. Note: the standard code you initially entered will not be included on the report, so you will need to make sure that the entire payroll deduction code is listed for each line of coverage that's included.
Important! We currently don't support pre/post tax deduction codes on our payroll reports. If both pre/post tax codes are inputted, the Employee Payroll Code will display as 'PRE-TAX/POST-TAX'.
Customize Deduction Dates
You can customize deduction dates for scenarios where certain plans have a different deduction schedule - e.g. plan costs are deducted from 26 pays for all benefits except medical, which is only deducted from 24 pays.
Click Edit next to the specified plan and select pay dates in which deductions will not be taken from an employee's pay. Once saved, the page will reflect the number of deductions and skipped deductions per plan. You can also view past plans by checking the box next to Show Past Plans.
*Always check the Customize Deduction Dates when setting up Payroll Groups to make sure the correct number of deductions appear. The number of dates displayed here is what the system uses to calculate the cost per pay.
Advanced Deduction Accruals
This is only used when payroll deduction codes are based on coverage level (instructions above), or when our advanced payroll tracking product is configured. Otherwise, you can disregard this tab.
Assigning Payroll Groups
Once you've finished setting up payroll, the next step is to assign employees to the correct payroll group. Similar to class structures, all employees must be assigned to a payroll group. You can do this manually via the employee's Profile tab > Payroll Group, or you can include payroll group on the import template when uploading all of the employee census data.
If needed, you can also override an employee's payroll group via the employee's Profile tab > Compensation > Override Pay Frequency. This is useful in cases where only one or two employees have a different pay frequency. When selected, this will override the company payroll group settings for that particular employee.
Per Pay Recalc Tool
Anytime changes are made to a payroll group's calendar and/or deductions after employees have already enrolled in benefits, the per pay recalc tool is triggered. You will see a red needs recalc warning next to Calendar in the left nav of a payroll group's setup, as well as a banner notification on the main payroll page, which indicates that changes were made to payroll and a recalc is needed. You must run the recalc tool in order to update employee per pay costs accordingly.
You can access the per pay recalc tool under the company's Benefits tab > Recalculation Tools.
- As of now, our system uses 12 months to calculate per pay deductions, as 12 months is the standard length of a plan year. We generate the 12 months used to determine per pay deductions according to the plan plan start date. So for example, if a plan is configured for less than 12 months - e.g. 12/1/2017 - 5/31/18 - the system will calculate per pay costs for 12/1/17 - 11/30/18 according to the plan start date and regardless of the plan end date.
- We currently don't support pre/post tax deduction codes on our payroll reports. If both pre/post tax codes are inputted, the Employee Payroll Code will display as 'PRE-TAX/POST-TAX'.
If employee per pay costs are incorrect, check out the following troubleshooting article to help you identify and resolve the issue: Troubleshooting Incorrect Costs
The pay frequency I need isn't available from the drop-down, what do I do?
Choose the one that's closest to the number of pays you need, and then manually add or remove pay dates on the payroll calendar to reflect the number of pay dates you need.
The number of pay frequencies is different than the number of deductions - how do I set this up?
Use the Customize Deduction Dates link (under payroll group setup). This tool allows you to skip deductions for specific pay dates per plan.
How do I change pay dates once my payroll calendar has been setup?
You can manually select/deselect pay dates within the payroll calendar by clicking on pay date. Clicking an existing pay date (in green) will remove that pay date from the calendar. Clicking on an open (not green) date will add that date as a new pay date.
Note! Plans require a recalc if changes are made to a payroll calendar after ees are actively enrolled.
How do I change the pay frequency of my payroll group?
Our logic prevents users from changing the pay frequency of a payroll group once it's been created. To change, you'll need to add a new payroll group with the correct pay frequency, assign all ees to the new payroll group (via import or manually) and then inactivate the old payroll group.
For more information, please see Changing Payroll Frequency.
Why can't I inactive a payroll group?
Payroll groups can't be inactivated if ees are currently assigned to it. You'll need to remove the payroll group assignments from all ee records (via import or manually) before inactivating.
Why can't I skip deductions for the HSA plan (boxes are grayed out)?
Once the plan has active enrollments, deductions can no longer be skipped. The only way to open this up is to remove enrollments from the plan.
The system is not calculating based on the customized deduction dates
If you have a plan that has dates that run either under or over 12 months, the system will calculate based on the number of dates as if the plan was a 12-month policy based on the policy start date.
Example 1: Short policy year. The plan runs from 1/1/2018-3/31/2018. The payroll group is setup as a Bi-Weekly 26 pay frequency and Customize deduction dates show as 6 dates. Any employee who is enrolled in this plan will be calculated based on the full 26 dates as if the policy was effective 1/1/2018-12/31/2018, not just 6.
Example 2: Extended policy year. A policy was extended 3 months 1/1/2018-3/31/2019. The Customize Deduction Dates show 32 dates. The system will split the plan up into two 12-month payroll deduction schedules: 1/1/2018-12/31/2018 and 1/1/2019-12/31/2019.
If an employee has an effective date between 1/1/2018-12/31/2018, we will count the number of deductions on the payroll calendar between those dates.
If an employee had an effective date between 1/1/2019-3/31/2019, we will count the number of deductions on the payroll calendar between 1/1/2019-12/31/2019.