What is the change?

MIT is changing its pay schedule for faculty, salaried staff, graduate students, and fellows from monthly to semimonthly.


Will my total monthly pay change?

No. Affected groups (MIT faculty, salaried staff, graduate students, and fellows) will receive the same total amount of pay each month as they do with the current pay cycle.


What is a semimonthly pay cycle?

A semimonthly pay cycle occurs twice per month—on the 15th of the month and the last day of the month. If either of these dates falls on a weekend or holiday*, the pay date will be on the preceding business day. Instead of the current 12 pay dates per year in the monthly pay schedule, there will be 24 pay dates per year in the semimonthly schedule.


How is semimonthly different from biweekly?

A biweekly pay schedule occurs every other week and would generate 26 pay dates per year.


Who is affected by this change?

MIT faculty, salaried staff, graduate students, and fellows.


When will the change go into effect?

The change will go into effect for April 2018 pay. The pay date for March 2018 will be March 30, 2018 (this is the last month you will receive the entire month’s pay at the end of the month). Pay for April 2018 will be divided into two payments, on Friday, April 13, and Monday, April 30.


I am part-time salaried staff. Does this affect me as well?

Yes. You will transition to a semimonthly pay schedule too.


I am paid weekly. Will there be any changes to my pay schedule?

No. You will continue to be paid on a weekly basis.


Can I opt out of this change?

No. All monthly-paid faculty, salaried staff, graduate students, and fellows will transition to the semimonthly pay schedule.


How will this change affect my tax withholdings and deductions?

Monthly payroll tax withholdings and deductions will be equally divided between the two semimonthly pay periods, with three exceptions—Commuter Rail, Vanpool, and Educational Loan Plan deductions, which will continue to be deducted on the last pay date of the month only.


Will I need to re-elect additional tax withholdings?

No. If you already have elected to have additional tax withholdings, they will be equally divided between the two semimonthly pay periods.


I recently noticed that my state tax withholding has increased slightly. Is this a result of the new semimonthly pay schedule?

No. Massachusetts allows for a tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) and Medicare taxes up to $2,000. The MIT payroll system takes this deduction into account when calculating the Massachusetts state tax withholding amount. Once your Social Security and Medicare year-to-date balances reaches $2,000, your Massachusetts tax withholding will be slightly higher. This will occur each calendar year but is not related to the change in pay cycle.


I have my direct deposit sent to two banks (or two accounts at the same bank). Do I need to take action for my additional direct deposit?

No. You do not need to make any changes. Whether you have set it up for a fixed amount or a percentage amount, the pay will be split evenly between the two semimonthly pay periods.

Does this change affect Lincoln Laboratory?

Yes. All MIT faculty, salaried staff, graduate students, and fellows—including those at Lincoln Laboratory—will transition to the semimonthly schedule.

Do I need to adjust the timing of my bill payments?

No. Because you will receive half of your pay earlier than in the monthly schedule, there is no need to adjust the timing of your current bill payments.

Why is my net pay higher in the first pay date than the second pay date?

Your monthly gross pay is the same for both pay dates, but there are a few deductions that are only taken at the end of the month. These include deductions for MBTA Commuter Rail Passes, the Vanpool program, and the MIT Educational Loan Program.

What are the advantages of a twice monthly pay cycle?

  • A more frequent pay schedule results in earlier pay each month and more frequent contributions to your 401(k).
  • The semimonthly pay schedule aligns with payroll best practices and the trend among Boston-area universities and businesses.
  • The current monthly pay schedule can be difficult for individuals coming to MIT from an institution or business with a more frequent pay cycle. The semimonthly schedule can ease this transition.

How are contributions to my 401(k) made for a semimonthly pay pay cycle?

  • On the first pay date of the month, your contribution to your 401 (k) is sent to Fidelity. On the second pay date of the month, your contribution, and MIT’s matching contribution (for both pay dates) is sent to Fidelity. 

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have additional questions, please contact the VPF Communications Team at vpfcomm@mit.edu.

There will also be several information sessions for members of the community who would like to learn more about the transition. Click here for details. 


For Administrators Who Provide HR/Payroll Support to Their Areas:

Will salary distribution still be monthly?

Yes. Salary distribution will continue to be monthly, posting on the last business day of the month. DACCA reporting will also remain unchanged.


Does the cutoff calendar change for the new schedule?

Yes. Click this link to view the cutoff calendar--Updated to 2019


What if I miss the first cutoff date?

Employee will be paid the full monthly amount on the second pay date of the month.