Terms and Definitions

What is a bi-monthly pay period?

Updated: May 22, 2024

Bi-monthly pay period definition and meaning

A bi-monthly pay period is a payroll schedule where employees receive payment twice per month, usually on the same calendar days. It is also referred to as a semi-monthly pay period. When an employer uses a bi-monthly pay period, it issues 24 paychecks per employee in a year.


More about bi-monthly pay periods

While bi-monthly technically means once every two months, in the payroll world, it has come to mean twice per month, or semi-monthly. Pay dates are typically the first and 15th of the month, or the 15th and the last day of the month, for a total of 24 pay runs per year.

Using bi-monthly pay period in a sentence

“Paying employees bi-monthly would mean having consistent cash flow requirements, because there are always two pay periods per month .”

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