Wage Attachments

Wage attachment processing has been further enhanced in the new Vista 7 Payroll update. Accuracy in the calculation of attachments has always been a top priority, but we have also focused on flexibility and ease of maintenance in this new design. Many of the calculation specifics that were ‘hard coded’ in our legacy payroll system have been incorporated into payroll set up tables making maintenance of wage attachment calculation rules much easier. If and when attachment calculation rules change, a program update will no longer be required, as  updates will now be handled with a simple change to a payroll set up table.

The Garnishment Rules table is the centerpiece of this new enhanced processing logic. It allows you to define by Garnishment type and country, state or province of issue and what type of rule to follow. Specifics defined in the Garnishment Rule table include items such as;

·         the use of personal and dependent exemption amounts

·         should disposable wages be reduced by attachments with a higher priority

·         what limits are associated with this attachment

·         allocation method to be used when there are multiple attachments and limited funds available

·         are there specific types of deductions such as health care or condition of employment deductions that should reduce disposable wages and,

·         what, if any, fringe benefits should be included in disposable wages

In the past, much of this detail was ‘hard-coded’ in the payroll process and therefore anytime a state changed how an attachment was to be calculated, it required a program change. The new Garnishment Rule table provides a much more flexible and easy method for maintaining ever changing attachment calculations. When assigning a garnishment to an employee’s record you now have the ability to define what rule to follow. For example, you can establish a Child Support garnishment and indicate that the rule to follow (or state of issue) is Maryland. The payroll process will derive all information needed from the employee’s garnishment page and the garnishment rule table

A Garnishment Sort table has also been incorporated into the new enhanced processing logic. This gives flexibility and ease of maintenance to the prioritization of attachments when an employee has more than one. Prioritization of multiple garnishments is one of the most complicated topics in garnishment processing. When establishing garnishments on the employee record Vista does allow you to use the ‘automatic’ prioritization or a manual (or override) prioritization. Please note that the override sort is available for U.S. garnishments only, as it is not needed for Canadian processing.

It is worth noting that the user does have the ability to override the limits used for garnishment processing at the employee level. In addition, we have included a garnishment override transaction which is very similar to the familiar deduction override transaction.

All of the new features in the wage attachment processing enhancement were designed with accuracy, flexibility and ease of maintenance in mind.

Hope Luken
Payroll Tax Compliance Specialist| PDS
hluken@pdssoftware.com