Payroll for Employees

The President's Office Administration and Finance, in coordination with UITS, works with campuses to ensure that all employees are paid accurately and on time. Whether you are a new employee or a longtime member of the UMass team, we are here to answer your questions and guide you through the payroll process.

Information for All Employees

UMass employees have access to payroll services through HR Direct.  When you log in to HR Direct, you can submit or approve timesheets, view your paycheck, enroll in direct deposit, and update tax withholding options. The Human Resources department provides step-by-step user guides for completing common tasks like submitting timesheets and enrolling in direct deposit.

Getting Paid via Direct Deposit

When you opt for direct deposit, your pay is deposited directly into your bank account. It is the fastest and easiest way to access your money.

To change your direct deposit settings:

  1. Log in to HR Direct.
  2. Select Employee Self-Service if this is not your homepage default view.
  3. Select the Direct Deposit tile and follow the instructions for updating your information.

Human Resources provides step-by-step guides for enrolling in direct deposit and updating your direct deposit information.

If you want to open a checking or savings account for direct deposit, UMass provides a list of banks throughout Massachusetts that provide fee-free accounts.

Getting Paid via a Paycard

If you choose not to receive your pay via direct deposit, you can use the Global Cash Visa Paycard as an alternative. This program provides you with a Visa debit card where your pay will be deposited each pay period.  See the resources below for more information about receiving your pay via a Paycard:

When you view your paycheck in HR Direct, it is broken down into several sections. Here is what each one means and how it affects your pay. 

  • Pay Period — The time for which you are being paid. This is typically a two-week period
  • Gross Pay — Your total pay before any taxes and deductions
  • Taxes — Depending on your employment type, several types of tax are withheld each pay period including Social Security, Medicare, federal income tax, and Massachusetts income tax
  • Deductions — These are amounts you have chosen to have deducted from your pay for employee benefits. Examples include health insurance, retirement plans, and parking/transportation passes
  • Net Pay — The amount you receive after taxes and deductions have been subtracted from your gross pay
  • Paid Time Off and Sick Leave — Your paycheck also includes a summary of your used and available time off
  • Direct Deposit Distribution – Indicates the account(s) and amount(s) of the direct deposit

Most UMass employees are paid every two weeks and receive their pay via direct deposit. To see upcoming pay dates for this year, check the 2021 pay calendar.

You can access a copy of your paycheck, as well as tax withholding options, and direct deposit enrollment in HR Direct:

  1. Log in to HR Direct.
  2. Select Employee Self-Service if this is not your homepage default view.
  3. Select the Payroll tile and select the Paycheck you wish to view.

All UMass employees have taxes withheld from their paychecks. While the kinds and amounts of tax vary by your employment type, you should understand how you are taxed to ensure that your paycheck is accurate.

Payroll taxes deducted from your paycheck include Social Security, Medicare, federal income tax, and Massachusetts income tax. Tax amounts are based on your gross pay and the tax withholding options you chose on federal form W-4 and Massachusetts form M-4. To learn how to update your tax withholding options in HR Direct, see the guides to updating federal W-4 information and state M-4 information.

If you are an international employee, visit the nonresident alien tax and compliance portal to learn more about how your earnings are taxed in the U.S.

If you are an employee who lives or works outside of Massachusetts, visit our Employees Outside of Massachusetts guide to state payroll taxes. 

The University of Massachusetts is encouraging all employees to opt in for an electronic Form W-2 for tax year 2021. Consenting to receive an electronic Form W-2 will benefit you in the following ways:

  • Identity protection: Multiple levels of security protect all information within the Employee Self Service System
  • No delayed or lost W-2’s: No possibility for a Form W-2 to be lost, delayed or misplaced by the U.S mail service or by the employee, once received
  • Secure access: Access is available at the same easy-to-use, secure web site at which you can access your wage and general account information. You will also be able to access W-2’s from prior years at any time
  • Easy access: Access can be attained even if you are not presently at your residence, i.e. if you are traveling 
  • Early access: The electronic W-2’s will be available to you approximately 2 weeks earlier than a traditional paper W-2 

How do I receive an electronic Form W-2?

The process for giving consent to receive the electronic W-2 version is quick and easy:

  1. Log in to HR Direct.
  2. Select Employee Self-Service if this is not your homepage default view.
  3. Select the W-2/W-2c Consent tile.
  4. Select the I consent to receive W-2 or W-2c forms electronically check box, and click the Submit button.

Once consent is given it carries forward each year and does not need to be repeated.

Please note that if you change your mind after opting to receive an electronic W-2, you can reverse your decision at any time by logging into HR Direct and unchecking the consent box. 

For more information on W-2 consent, please visit HR website – W2 Consent.

Additional Information

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Payroll for New Employees

Welcome to UMass! Find all the payroll information you need in one place.

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Payroll for Student Workers

See how the payroll process works for student employees.

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Payroll for International Employees

Get payroll and tax guidance for foreign individuals and entities.

Need Assistance?

Do you need assistance with a payroll related issue?
Contact the University Payroll Office by calling (774) 455-7579
or submitting a support request using the links below.

Create a Case    Email Support