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Direct deposit of your paycheck saves you, UCLA aggravation

Want to avoid long lines at the bank and needless trips to an ATM? Want full access to all the dollars in your UCLA paycheck on payday, instead of having to wait one day later? How would you like to receive your paycheck even if you’re ill or on vacation?
 
Then direct deposit is the way you need to receive your UCLA paycheck, instead of waiting for a paper one. Besides saving time and aggravation and knowing that your paycheck can’t be lost or stolen, you’ll also be saving UCLA a considerable amount of money that’s now being spent on printing out a payroll check on paper (Think green!). The university must also pay other employees to process a paper check, track it as it arrives in a department and get it into the hands of the right employee, who must sign for it.
 
payday“All of that work and time that’s now required in order for you to receive a paper paycheck becomes unnecessary when you sign up for direct deposit. UCLA can then send your check right into your bank account electronically,” said Aurora Orozco, manager of payroll operations for UCLA Payroll Services.
 
Approximately 91 percent of UCLA and UCLA Health System employees are already taking advantage of direct deposit. But more than 6,000 employees still receive a paper payroll check.
 
“Some people just like the feeling of getting that physical check,” Orozco said. “Maybe they don’t trust technology. They think it’s somehow more secure to receive that check. But there really aren’t any security issues with direct deposit.”
That’s because there are strict federal laws that govern the direct-deposit process, using the Automatic Clearing House Network, created and overseen by the federal government, she explained. Under direct deposit, the process of transferring funds from UCLA to your bank account goes through the Federal Reserve, where security is at a very high level.
 
Even if you had direct deposit and closed your bank account, but didn’t inform Payroll Services or your own department, it’s easy for UCLA to communicate with your bank to retrieve the money and get it to you.
 
“The Automatic Clearing House Network enables us to communicate with other banks if the money was sent to a closed account. The whole process is highly regulated,” Orozco said. That’s why most banks will make employees’ direct-deposited earnings available to them on the morning of payday after UCLA electronically deposits the money in employees’ bank accounts overnight.
 
“But if someone takes a paper paycheck they received that day to a bank teller or ATM for deposit, usually only $100 to $200 of those funds will be made available to them on that day,” she explained. “The rest of their paycheck is going to be available to them the following day, after the paycheck clears.”
 
Receiving UCLA W-2 forms electronically through the At Your Service Online website also offers huge advantages. Employees will get them sooner than paper W-2 forms that have to be mailed to them, and they never have to worry about their forms being lost in the mail or stolen, along with their Social Security numbers.
 
In fact, the 77 percent of UCLA employees who have opted to receive their 2012 W-2 forms electronically can now find them posted on their secure At Your Service Online website.
 
Those who have chosen paper forms will have to wait to receive them in the mail, Orozco said. If you are getting a tax refund, you could apply for that refund sooner with an online W-2 form.
 
Opting for an online W-2 will, again, save the university the huge cost of buying paper, printing complex forms and mailing. UCLA spends tens of thousands of dollars on postage alone.
 
Mailing the W-2 form to you also makes the process less secure. “We can’t vouch for the security of a paper W-2 form once it leaves the campus and goes out in the mail,” Orozco said. “People get upset if they don’t receive it on time or it goes to an old address if you haven’t notified your department or payroll of your new address.”
 
An online W-2 form, however, is available to you on the secure At Your Service Online website, which is password-protected.
To sign up for direct deposit, go to the At Your Service Online website. Sign in with your password and click “Direct Deposit” under the heading, “Income & Taxes.” Follow the instructions. You will need the routing number (ABA number) for your bank and the account number for the checking or savings account where the money should go. You can also take this information to your department’s human relations representative and they will make the change to direct deposit for you.
 
To sign up for an online W-2, go to the At Your Service Online website and select “W-2” under “Income & Taxes.” Follow the instructions. You will need to make sure that the email address in your contact information is correct. You’ll be notified by email when your W-2 becomes available at At Your Service Online.
 
If you have any questions or you have never used the At Your Service Online website before or need your password reset, call UCLA Payroll Services at (310) 794-8754 or (310) 794-8736 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.