What is the Bi-Weekly Payroll Project?

For consistency among all state agencies, the Office of Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) has requested that all MUS campuses transition to a bi-weekly payroll cycle that is synced with the rest of Montana's state agencies.

Currently, employees at MSU-Bozeman and Northern are paid monthly. Employees at Great Falls College and MSU-Billings are paid every other Friday. After the project implementation is complete, all MSU employees will be paid every other Wednesday.

Benefits of Bi-Weekly Payroll

There are numerous benefits of a bi-weekly pay cycle.

  • New employees will receive their first paycheck much sooner. In some cases, new employees must currently wait up to six weeks before they receive their first paycheck.
  • Employees will be paid in a more timely in relation the work they perform.
  • Funds will be deposited into your Health Savings and Flexible Spending accounts bi-weekly, giving you access to those funds sooner.
  • Contributions to retirement plan accounts will happen bi-weekly, allowing them to be invested sooner.

When will this happen?

The target transition date is February 26, 2021. That will be the last day the university will use a monthly pay cycle. Beginning, February 27, 2021, employees will begin a two-week payroll cycle which always begins on a Saturday (12am) and finishes on a Friday (11:59pm). You will receive your first bi-weekly paycheck on Wednesday, March 24, and it will be for all the work performed between Feb. 27 and March 12. Thereafter, you will receive a paycheck every other Wednesday. The next check arrives on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Please be aware that your paycheck is for a 2-week period of work. It does not cover hours right up to the day before the paychecks are cut. Those are captured in the next check. Download a 2021 Pay calendar (PDF)

Who is working on this project?

Bi-Weekly Payroll Steering Committee

MSU-Bozeman: Terry Leist; Mike Trotter; Jeannette Grey-Gilbert; Tim Capps; Jerry Spicher

MSU-Billings: Heather Hanna

MSU-Northern: Suzanne Hunger

Great Falls College MSU: Mary Kay Bonilla

Bi-Weekly Core Project Group

MSU-Bozeman: Max Thompson, (Project Lead); Julie Clay, (Project Manager); Stephanie Pressly,

(Communications Lead); Tom Hoffman (UIT) ; Liza Heer (UIT) Keith Krutchkoff (UIT); Patti Yasbek (Facilities); Becky McMillan (Auxiliaries); Kerri Marx (Auxiliaries)

MSU-Billings: Jackie Ellsbury

MSU-Northern: Kelly Leeds; Amy Skryja.

Great Falls College MSU: Kathy Haggart

Bi-Weekly Working Group

36 cross-departmental, cross-campus stakeholders

How will changing bi-weekly payroll cycles impact employee payroll processing?

Current pay cycles (workdays in each paycheck), dates employees are paid, and the number of annual paychecks will change. What will not change is your total gross annual earnings (wages before deductions and taxes are withheld).

Total Annual Earnings Current annual earnings

No change to annual total

Pay cycle/Work week Sunday through Saturday Saturday through Friday
Number of paychecks annually 9 or 10
Pay Days 11th of the month Every other Wednesday
(starting March 24, 2021)
Last paycheck in old cycle March 11, 2021
For February earnings
First paycheck in new cycle   March 24, 2021
For earnings Feb. 27 - March 12
Deductions Percentage/Flat amount deductions from all checks Two paychecks per year will not include flat amount deductions

Additional Information

Additional information can be found on the this web site, including Frequently Asked Questions, calendars and calculators. Information will be added to the site as it becomes available.

For questions, contact kleeds@msun.edu.