Biweekly payroll shift: what you need to know

EDIT: Please note the change proposed by DPA (to transition to biweekly instead of semi-monthly pay) did not pass the legislature in 2018. The earliest payroll changes would go into effect is mid-2019. You may still use the form at the bottom of this post to submit your questions and we’ll follow up. 

You can read more about it at the Denver Post.


For information from DPA, please visit the biweekly lag pay transition website. If you cannot find an answer to one of your questions, please submit them through our online form.

In 2015, Colorado’s legislature approved a bill that shifts how state employees are paid. The bill originally required the state to pay classified employees twice a month, but has since been amended to biweekly (every other week). 

The Colorado WINS Executive Board supported the bill for two reasons:

  • First, employees should be paid at least twice monthly. Forcing middle-class families to wait an entire month between paychecks is anachronistic and creates a hardship for many working families.
  • Second, for those who earn overtime this will ensure that you receive that pay in a much more timely fashion.

Moreover, some state employees are already on biweekly pay, so this would align the timekeeping systems across department. 

Going to a biweekly lag pay means workers will have greater paycheck transparency, because pay stubs will reflect the actual number of hours worked in a particular pay period (including overtime or pay differentials). It will also more closely align your paycheck with your work schedule. 

Right now, employees are “paid current” on the last working day of each month for that same month’s work, based o the number of expected hours that employee is projected to work each month. Employees complete their time sheets after payroll runs so an employee’s overtime or pay differential isn’t paid until a month after the work is completed. 

With biweekly lag pay, employees complete time sheets for actual time worked and this is used to calculate payroll and allocate labor costs. This also allows the state to simplify payroll and avoid situations where employees need to repay the State. 

The switch to biweekly lag pay may initially be difficult for some salaried workers. To ease the burden of the transition, the state is helping employees in the following ways:

  • The State will offer an interest free loan to employees during the transition month of July 2018, to cover the gap created by the switch. Employees will be able to take a loan for up to 17 days of your individual take-home pay and payments will be automatically deducted from their biweekly paychecks beginning August 3. There will be no credit check or verification of assets to qualify. Simply, if you work for the State of Colorado and will be transitioning to biweekly pay, you qualify for the loan.
  • The State will implement a benefits holiday for July 2018. For those employees who are enrolled in the State’s Kaiser or UnitedHealthcare plans, the State will pay the employees’ deductions to health and dental benefits for that month. (This will not apply to institutions of higher education.)

DPA also advises to check your automatic bill deductions and adjust them accordingly. 

You get more information about the switch on DPA’s biweekly lag pay transition website. If you cannot find an answer to one of your questions, please submit them through our online form.

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