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Salary Administration And Pay Practices

Salary Administration

All full-time salaries are administered in accordance with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement or Board Handbook.

Social Security

Commonwealth employees do not participate in Federal Social Security.  Social Security taxes are not withheld from employees' wages and employees' state service does not constitute creditable service for purposes of Social Security benefits.  Employees retiring with a state pension who also are eligible for Social Security benefits may have their Social Security benefits reduced by Social Security's windfall elimination provision ( or government pension offset (  Since individual circumstances vary, employees should contact their local Social Security Office to find out whether these regulations may affect their Social Security benefits.

Medicare Taxes

Massachusetts State employees hired on or after April 1, 1986 have Medicare taxes withheld from their earnings.  State employees hired prior to April 1, 1986, who have no break in service during their employment with the Commonwealth, are exempt from Medicare tax withholding.

Pay Periods

All full and part-time state employees are paid through the Commonwealth's Payroll System called the Human Resources Compensation Management System (HR/CMS).  With HR/CMS, all full-time state employees are paid on a biweekly basis through direct deposit only.  You will receive a "pay advice" instead of a pay stub.  This pay advice provides detailed information on your payroll tax and deductions, as well as accrual information. You may also view your pay advice online via PayInfo ( or select the "Go Paperless" option and turn off the printing of your paper pay advice and just view your pay advice online.  Contracted, non-benefited employees are paid through HR/CMS on a bi-weekly basis with checks or pay advices issued on Friday.

Attendance sheets must be submitted weekly by 9 a.m. Friday.  Please see or call the Time and Attendance Clerk at extension 5596 for instructions concerning Time Sheets and exception reporting.

Pay Advices

Please review your pay advice each pay period to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in it, since corrections may be prohibited as time elapses.  If you have problems or questions concerning the accuracy of your pay advice, please contact the Payroll Administrator at extension 5597 or stop by the Human Resources Department.

Payroll Deductions

You must authorize any payroll deductions by completing and signing the appropriate forms available in the Human Resources Department (HRD) or from the applicable vendor.  Deductions may vary in HR/CMS.  The chart below details the order in which deductions are taken per pay period.  The description that will appear on your pay advice for each deduction is listed.  This chart also indicates pre-tax and post-tax deductions.


Deductions Description Priority Federal Tax State Tax Pay Period
Federal Fed Tax 1 n/a n/a Every
Medicare Med Tax 2 n/a n/a Every
State Taxes State Tax 3 n/a n/a Every
Retirement State Ret 4 Pre Pre (1) Every
Adjustment to Retirement Adj Ret 5 Pre Pre (1) Every
Alternative Retirement Alt Ret 6 Pre Pre (1) Every
Wage Garnishment Garnish 7 Post Post Every*
Makeup Retirement MakeupRet 8 Post Post Every
Basic Life Insurance Life Ins 9 Post Post First
Basic Health HealthIns 10 Pre Pre First/Second
GIC Optional Life LifeIns 11 Post Post Second
Long Term Disability LTD Amt 12 Post Post First
Union Dues Union Due 13 Post Post Varies
Agency Fee Agency Fee 14 Post Post Varies
Dependent Care Health Care

Assistance; Health Care Spending DepCare 15 Pre Pre Every
Dependent Care DCAP Fee

Assistance; Heath Care Spending HCSA Fee 16 Post Post Every
Tax Shelter Annuity Plan TSA 17 Pre Pre Every
Deferred Compensation Def Comp 18 Pre Pre Every
Savings Bond Sav Bond 19 Post Post Varies
COMECC COMECC 20 Post Post Every
UFUND UFUND 21 Post Post First/Second
(1) The first $2,000 in the total of all Retirement contributions is not subject to MA Tax.
*Determined by Court Order.