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Pay & Benefits

Overview


Your paycheck is just a part of your total compensation.  Eligible employees have access to leave, retirement, health, and wellness benefits beginning on the first day of employment.  Explore the links below to learn more about benefits programs and eligibility, paychecks, payroll deductions, and taxes. 

Your agency human resources office can provide you with information about your eligibity for state benefits.  Eligibility for certain benefits, including health insurance, paid leave, and longevity pay, is tied to position type.  Access this link to view a broad overview of benefits eligibility based on position type.

Form W-2

The State of Montana is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to furnish all employees with a Form W-2 for each calendar year to be used when completing the employee's annual tax return. The Form W-2 details your compensation and tax withholding amounts for the calendar year and must be provided to you by January 31 of the following calendar year.

You may request to stop receivng paper copies of the W-2 statement in the mail and instead consent to receive your W-2 statement online via self-service. Note: This option is only available to employees with access to Employee Self-Service. If you do not have self-service access, you will receive a paper W-2 statement in the mail.

View electronic consent information above to begin receiving all future W-2 statements online via Employee Self-Service.

Address Change
All address changes must be reported to agency HR/Payroll staff or updated in Employee Self-Service by January 24 to avoid delayed or misdirected W-2 statements. The US Postal Service WILL NOT forward Important Tax Return Documents.  Even if this date has passed, please update your address as soon as possible.

Lost or Misplaced W-2 Statements
Lost or otherwise misplaced W-2 statements are not the responsibility of the State of Montana. Employees can request a reprint of the W-2 statement only AFTER sufficient time has passed to allow for delivery of the W-2 statement. The earliest date to begin requesting reprints is February 15.  Employees opting to receive their W-2 online via self-service will be able to reprint their W-2s at any time after it becomes available.

Corrected W-2 Statements
Contact your agency HR Payroll staff with any W-2 statement discrepancies.

W-2 & Tax Resources

Form 1095-C

The Form 1095-C includes information regarding the medical insurance coverage offered by the State of Montana to eligible employees.  Health Care and Benefits Division distributes the 1095-C beginning with the 2019 tax year.  Contact HCBD with questions or to receive a copy of your 1095-C form.  Contact your current employing agency to obtain a reprinted 1095-C for 2018 and prior years.

Form 1099-R

Tax documents for retirees are issued from the Public Employee Retirement Administration or the Teacher's Retirement System, depending on your retirement plan. If you have questions about your 1099-R or need one reissued, please contact your retirement plan administrator:

State of Montana employees are covered by one of two different retirement systems.  You must contact the administrator of your retirement system directly with questions about your retirement benefits.

Prior Service Credit

Prior employment in the Montana public sector, such as time worked at another state agency, university system, or local government or school district, may count toward the rate at which you earn annual vacation leave.  If you have prior public-sector employment in Montana, view the instructions to determine if you are eligible to apply previous service toward your annual vacation leave accrual rate.  If you think you are eligible, contact your agency human resources office and complete the Prior Service Credit Form.

Benefits Transfer

If you transfer from one agency to another with no break in service, your benefits will transfer with you if your new position is eligible for benefits.  If you transfer to a state agency from the university system, some benefits may transfer with you.  See the Benefits Transition Tool for more information. 

All State of Montana payroll calendars from 1977 to present can be found on the State HR Help site.

State of Montana Resources & Forms

Additional Resources

State of Montana payroll is processed on a bi-weekly cycle. Pay periods end every other Friday, with each payday 12 days later on the second Wednesday following the end of a pay period.

Exact paydays for each year can be found on the pay calendar.  Usually a calendar year contains 26 pay periods/pay days, including two of which are "FREE" paydays.  Generally, benefit and other voluntary deductions are based on 24 pay periods in a calendar year.  No benefit deductions and rarely any voluntary deductions taken from the "free" paydays.

For each five-year increment of continuous employment with the State of Montana, employees receive a longevity increase added to their base pay. A break in service (termination of employment greater than five consecutive days) ends longevity pay and restarts the accrual process.

See the chart below for longevity increase rates:

Yearly Longevity Increment Hourly Longevity Minimum % of Pay Increase
5 years 10400 hours 1.50%
10 years 20800 hours 3.50%
15 years 31200 hours 5.50%
20 years 41600 hours 7.50%
25 years 52000 hours 9.00%
30 years 62400 hours 10.50%
35 years 72800 hours 12.00%
40 years 83200 hours 13.50%
45 years 93600 hours 15.00%
50 years 104,000 hours 16.50%
55 years 114,400 hours 18.00%
60 years 124,800 hours 19.50%
65 years 135,200 hours 21.00%

Leave accrual rates are based on an 80-hour pay period.  Employees working less than 80 hours per pay period accrue leave on a prorated basis.  Employees working more than 80 hours per pay period do not accumulate additional leave above the 80 hour pay period calculation.  

Sick Leave Accrual

All eligible employees earn sick leave at the same accrual rate of 0.046125 hours per hour in a paid status for a maximum rate of 3.69 hours per paycheck or 96 hours per year.

Annual Leave Accrual

The annual leave (vacation) accrual rate is based on an employee's number of years employed in the Montana public sector, not just at the state of Montana.  Employees with prior service in other public sector areas, including the university system, can "transfer" their prior service when hired by the state (once transferred these hours are categorized as "leave accelerator hours").  Leave accelerator hours are added an employee's hours accumulated at the state, enabling some employees to meet the annual leave accrual threshold sooner.

The chart below outlines annual leave accrual rates based on years of Montana public-sector service.

Completed Years of Service Hourly Accrual Rate Maximum Accrual Per Year (Hours)
0 - less than 10 years .05775 120
10 - less than 15 years .06925 144
15 - less than 20 years .08075 168
20 years or more .09225 192

The Health Care & Benefits Division administers medical, prescription, dental, vision, life, and other related benefits and plans.  Contact HCBD directly with questions about your insurance benefits.

Annual benefits elections are made online during the open enrollment period (every fall) through the Health Care & Benefits Division website.  Visit the Health Care & Benefits Division website for more information about open enrollment. 

You can view and manage your personal information, timesheets and paychecks online through self-service.  If you are a manager, you can also approve employee time and view organization charts through manager self-service

View the self-service and manager self-service user guide for more information.    

Insurance benefit information is no longer housed in self-service.  All transactions and questions regarding those benefits can be found at https://benefits.mt.gov/.

The State of Montana is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to furnish all employees with a Form W-2 (also called the W-2 statement) for each calendar year during which an employee is paid for the employee to use when completing the employee's annual tax return.  The Form W-2 details the employee's compensation and tax withholding amounts for the calendar year. These forms must be furnished (properly addressed and postmarked) by January 31.

Current State of Montana employees who have access to SABHRS HR Self-Service have the option to stop receiving the paper copies of the W-2 statement and instead consent to receive this tax statement electronically via Self-Service. 

Note: If you do not have access to SABHRS HR Self-Service, you will continue to receive a paper W-2 statement in the mail, and no action is required on your part.  You must make sure your mailing address is correct in Employee Self-Service or with your agency HR/payroll office.

Benefits of Receiving Electronic Tax Forms:   

  • Access to an online W-2 statement (employees who do not provide consent cannot access online W-2 statements).
     
  • Earlier access (it will be available earlier than the mailed paper version).
     
  • Once received electronically, significantly less possibility that the W-2 statement may be lost, stolen, damaged, or misplaced.
     
  • Access is available through the easy-to-use, secure website where an employee can access his/her wage, pay advice, and personal information.
     
  • Access can be attained from anywhere (for example, at your accountant's office).
     
  • Cost savings for the State of Montana.
     

The IRS has approved the use of electronic tax statements; however, employees must provide their consent to receive their W-2 in electronic format in lieu of paper format. This webpage contains the required IRS disclosure information and instructions for you to consent to receiving your tax statements electronically.

Please read this entire disclosure notice and follow the instructions to provide consent to receive all future W-2 statements in electronic format only. Providing consent also indicates consent to receive any W-2c (corrected) statements electronically rather than a paper copy. Questions regarding this notice or your W-2 statements should be directed to your agency HR/payroll office.

DISCLOSURE NOTICE

  • An employee who consents to receiving his/her tax forms online will not receive a mailed paper copy.
     
  • If an employee does not consent, he/she will continue to receive a mailed paper copy of the W-2 and must ensure his/her mailing address is correct. 
     
  • The deadline to provide consent to receive the 2019 electronic tax statements is January 17, 2020.  Any consents received after this date are not guaranteed to be effective for the 2019 tax forms.
     
  • Employees providing consent prior to January 17, 2020, will be able to access the electronic version of the W-2 statement by January 31, 2020.  Employees will be notified via their state email addresses once the electronic version is available. Employees providing consent after that date will receive a paper copy of the W-2 statement postmarked no later than January 31, 2020; however, the consent will then be applicable for all future tax years unless one of the conditions in the next bullet point is met.
     
  • An employee's consent to receive his/her W-2 forms online will be valid for all subsequent tax years unless consent is revoked by the employee, employment is terminated, or this service is not supported in a future tax year.
     
  • An employee who chooses to receive his/her tax statement(s) electronically may withdraw consent at any time either electronically, via email, or in writing. The employee's withdrawal of consent will be effective on the date it is received, and the State Human Resources Division will confirm in writing or by email the effective date of the consent withdrawal. If consent is withdrawn, it will only be effective for W-2 statements not yet issued. Written notice to withdraw consent may be submitted to State HR Help, email payroll@mt.gov, or mail to the following address: Central Payroll Services; State Human Resources Division; PO Box 200127; Helena, MT 59620-0127.
     
  • Employees are required to promptly update any personal address or status changes through SABHRS HR or by contacting their agency HR/payroll office directly (access the Address Update User Guide for complete instructions about how to update personal information in SABHRS HR).
     
  • Terminated employees will receive a paper copy of the W-2 statement at the current mailing address listed in SABHRS HR. Terminated employees are required to notify their agency HR/payroll office of any change in mailing address for W-2 statement purposes.
     
  • The hardware and software requirements needed to access the W-2 statements electronically include an internet connection, web browser, and Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar PDF reader software.
     
  • If an employee consents to electronic W-2 delivery and the delivery is unable to be made due to a technical problem, incorrect login or password, or incorrect email address, the employee should contact his or her agency HR/payroll office for guidance. If any change occurs with the electronic delivery process, employees will be notified immediately via email or written notice.
     

For step-by-step instructions to complete any of the above transactions in Employee Self-Service, please read:

Employees are encouraged to use direct deposit whenever possible. Your money is guaranteed on pay day - no matter where you happen to be on that day. You can also choose to setup multiple distributions, allowing your money to be deposited at different financial institutions. For example, you can choose to have a portion of your paycheck deposited into your checking account at one bank and the remainder deposited into your savings account at another bank.

Two ways to enroll:


Be sure to obtain your institution's routing number and your account number from a check rather than a routing slip!

Please note: after enrolling for direct deposit, it may take up to two pay periods for your check to automatically deposit; until that time, you will continue to receive a paper check.  Check the Direct Deposit Pre-Note Schedule for details.

If you elect to receive a paper paycheck instead of using direct deposit, your paycheck will be delivered via the U.S. Postal Service.  Although paychecks are mailed in time to arrive in your mailbox on payday, delays and other issues may effect the timing of delivery.    

IMPORTANT:  If you are looking for general child support questions or are not a State employee but need information about your child support, contact the Montana Child Support Enforcement Division at (406) 444-9855 or toll free at 1-800-346-5437 (in state only).  The information contained on this page is intended for State of Montana employees who need to understand child support or garnishment deductions from their paychecks as well as the process servers who may be serving legal papers to the State Payroll staff.

Information for Process Servers

No matter for which agency an employee works, all State of Montana employee wage garnishments and child support withholdings are processed centrally in the Department of Administration's State Human Resources Division. With the exception of the Montana universities and colleges, the State Human Resources Division processes payroll for all agencies on this list. If you have questions regarding a garnishment, child support, or need to verify employment, please call 406-444-2962.

All garnishments and child support orders need to be delivered or mailed to the following address:

Department of Administration
Attn: Payroll
125 N. Roberts St., Mitchell Building Room 125
PO Box 200127
Helena, MT 59620-0127

Information for Employees

Upon the receipt of a Notice of Levy/Writ of Execution or an Order to Withhold Income for Child Support, the State of Montana is legally obligated by federal and state law to withhold money from an employee's paycheck for child support or unpaid student loans, taxes, or other bad debts.

If an employee has questions as to how garnishments, child support, IRS levies, etc., are processed, please call 406-444-2962, e-mail payroll@mt.gov, or submit a ticket on State HR Help.  Because we receive limited information, we may not be able to provide complete details regarding the required payroll deduction. We can provide you with the entity to contact for more information.

Review the US Department of Labor Fact Sheet for more information on garnishments.

The State of Montana offers an Employee Assistance Program as part of its benefits package. The Employee Assistance Program offers counseling and guidance for legal and financial assistance.