PPM Section 5 - Payroll deductions and wage attachments
The University is required by law to withhold income tax and Social Security (FICA) from pay.
In addition to the required deductions, a number of voluntary deductions are available as a
service to employees. Also see Payroll Deductions in the Employee Handbook.
- Income tax and exemptions
Federal and state income taxes are compulsory deductions under federal and state law. Taxes
are withheld from each bi-weekly pay in accordance with the gross pay per bi-weekly pay and the number
of exemptions claimed on the employee's W-4 Withholding Exemption Certificate. Until an employee
files a W-4 with the Payroll and Disbursements Department, the maximum deduction will be withheld, in accordance
with the law.
Any change in exemptions requires that a new W-4 be submitted to Payroll and Disbursements. The online W-4 form is available in Employee Self Service through GoWMU by selecting the W-4 Tax Information option. This online form may be used for federal and state tax reporting. Paper forms are required to change local tax withholding and are available via Payroll and Disbursement Forms.
- Social Security (FICA) and Social Security numbers
Deductions for Social Security are required by federal law. A percentage of pay, as determined
by the Social Security Act, is withheld from each bi-weekly pay. In addition, the University is
required to contribute an equal amount for future Social Security retirement and/or disability
Social Security contributions are recorded and reported by Social Security number; therefore,
it is critical that the payroll advice reflects an accurate Social Security number. To correct a Social
Security number, contact HR Services.
- Voluntary deductions
- Employees may authorize deductions from their pay for banks and credit unions, United Way, WMU's Annual Fund, recreation fees, and season tickets for
University athletic and cultural programs. More information and applicable authorization
forms are available from Payroll and Disbursements.
Voluntary deductions to meet other personal financial obligations are not allowed unless
they are part of a bank or credit union deduction and include the direct deposit of pay.
- Group Insurance, Tax-Deferred Savings and Flexible Spending Plans
Payroll deduction covers employee premiums for group insurance programs. In addition,
employees who enroll in the optional tax-deferred savings plan or flexible spending plans
will have contributions deducted from pay.
- Wage attachments
Although the University does not wish to become involved in the personal financial matters
of employees, it is required to honor garnishments, wage assignments, and levies as prescribed
- Garnishments. Properly authorized garnishments require withholding pay based
upon a formula established by law. Payroll and Disbursements notifies all individuals for whom garnishments are received, specifying the latest date
a release of garnishment can be presented to avoid the stated payroll deduction. Wages
are garnisheed by one writ of garnishment per pay period. If more than one garnishment
is received during any given pay period for an individual employee, only the earliest
received writ of garnishment can be honored.
- Wage assignments. Properly authorized wage assignments require that a specific
amount of pay be withheld. The stated deduction must be withheld from consecutive pay
periods until such time as the University receives a release and/or the amount of indebtedness
- Levies. Properly authorized levies require a specified withholding for a particular
pay period. Levies are processed in compliance with federal or state statutes.
Procedure Wage attachments
- Should any department, other than Payroll and Disbursements, receive garnishments, wage assignments, or levies
for a University employee, those forms should immediately be delivered to Payroll and Disbursements. Payroll and Disbursements
will process the necessary paperwork to ensure compliance.
- As with other employment matters, garnishments, wage assignments and levies are to be treated
in a confidential manner.