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BLOG: UH Phasing Out Paper Payroll Statements

March 31, 2014, 2:01 PM HST
* Updated April 1, 12:28 PM
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Direct deposits of paychecks and other payments have become so popular they are practically the norm.

Just ask the US Treasury, which last year stopped issuing paper checks to the millions of people who receive Social Security benefits.

For the estimated 8% of recipients who don’t have a checking account, or for some other reason can’t receive direct deposits, the funds are placed on a pre-paid debit card.

According to BankCreditNews.com, the Treasury estimates it saves 93 cents for each payment made electronically rather than by check. That is expected to save the agency – and taxpayers – $1 billion over the next decade.

The Internal Revenue Service will still send your refund in the form of a check, but warns that it will take at least twice as long for you to receive your money.

But even if your pay comes via direct deposit, most businesses and all Hawaii government agencies still also provide a paper payroll statement.

Even more anachronistic are those pay and pension statements that come in the mail, even if the money itself is electronically sent to your bank account.

The University of Hawaii announced today that beginning next month, employees signed up for direct deposit of their pay will receive their statement electronically, i.e., via email.

“The new application is expected to save money, improve security and enhance sustainability,” the university said in a press release.

According to R.J. Yahiku, spokesperson for the state Department of Accounting and General Services, UH is the first state department in Hawai‘i to convert to electronic payroll statements.

Interim UH President David Lassner said the change is overdue.

“This is truly a win-win-win project,” Lassner said.

“We will save money by not having UH staff sorting and distributing thousands of pieces of paper twice a month to employees on six islands,” Lassner said.

“We will improve security since sensitive payroll information will not be passing through many hands on their way to employees.  And we will save the state money and improve sustainability since they no longer need to print hundreds of thousands of pages per year for UH employee pay statements.”

About 12,600 UH employees will convert to online payroll statements. The new system will also allow them to access all of their statements since November 2000 by logging onto a secure website using their UH usernames and passwords.

UH employees who have declined to participate in the State of Hawa‘ii direct deposit payroll program – apparently those who enjoy filling out deposit slips and making those trips to the bank — will continue to receive paper paychecks.

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