How many pay periods in

How many pay periods are there in a calendar year? Whether you’re an accountant or an employee, knowing how many pay periods left in the current year is important for managing finances and the overall cash flow. 

How many pay periods in a year is entirely dependent upon your pay frequency. Your pay frequency is based on the contract your employer presented you when you started your employment. It can be either one of the following.

  • Weekly
  • Semi-monthly
  • Monthly

Although the first and the last types of pay frequencies don’t need much explanation, the semi-monthly pay frequencies are oftentimes mistaken. What semi-monthly (also known as bi-weekly) pay frequency refers to is the employee gets paid twice a month, usually at the middle of the month and the last day of the month. 

The employees who are getting paid weekly have 52 pay periods. The employees who are paid on a semi-monthly basis have 26 and those who are getting paid monthly have 12. 

Here is a table to demonstrate the pay frequencies and the number of pay periods during the year, accounting for 2021 for the time being.

Pay FrequencyTotal Pay Periods

How many pay periods are left for 2023 or 2024 is connected to what month and week you’re in. Simply, calculate how many pay periods are left by subtracting the number of pay periods during the year with the number of pay periods that have passed.

As for whether or not you can change the pay frequency, it’s up to the establishment – meaning the business – and the policies within. If the employer is willing to adjust the pay frequencies, it can happen. If not, don’t expect much. Since a different pay frequency means the whole payroll system undergoing changes, most employers won’t look at it willingly. So weigh-in your expectations and discuss this with your employer if you want to get paid by a different pay frequency. 

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