HR, Payroll and Benefits News

Do you have a Health Care FSA or HSA balance?

The administrator of your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and/or Health Savings Account (HSA) will change from TASC to ConnectYourCare (CYC) effective January 1, 2020.

Communications regarding this change began in August 2019. To review these communications, key dates and frequently asked questions, go to the FSA & HSA – 2020 Vendor Change webpage.

Health Care FSA

Carry over: If you have funds in your Health Care FSA on December 31, 2019, that are eligible to carry over into 2020, these funds WILL carry over to CYC. However, the funds will not be available for you to use until May 1, 2020. Make sure you plan accordingly. On/after May 1, 2020, you may use your CYC payment card to access your FSA carry over funds.

Your TASC FSA payment card will be inactivated on December 31, 2019. After December 31, 2019, you will need to submit a Reimbursement Claim Form to TASC to request reimbursement for expenses incurred in 2019. You have until March 31, 2020 to submit your 2019 expenses to TASC.

Health Savings Account

Your TASC HSA payment card will be inactivated on February 3, 2020 if you electronically consent to transfer your HSA balance from TASC to CYC. Funds will be transferred between February 4, 2020 and February 29, 2020. Make sure you plan accordingly. You can expect to access your HSA balance transferred from TASC to CYC by March 1, 2020.

You may still use your TASC HSA payment card through February 2, 2020 even if you have completed the electronic consent.

Your TASC HSA payment card will remain active if you do not electronically authorize the transfer of your account from TASC to CYC by December 31, 2019. However, if you transfer your funds after December 31, 2019 or leave your funds with TASC, you may incur monthly administrative fees and an account closure fee. To avoid these fees, complete the electronic consent to transfer your balance from TASC to CYC no later than December 31, 2019. Transfers that occur after December 31, 2019 must be initiated by the employee directly with TASC.

Resources: Additional information may be found on the FSA & HSA – 2020 Vendor Change webpage.

Source: UW System Human Resources

2020 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Contribution Limits

The IRS recently announced the 2020 contribution limits for the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program and the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457 Program.

In 2020, employees may contribute a basic maximum of $19,500 to the TSA Program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $6,500 for a total of $26,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $39,000 (under age 50) or $52,000 (age 50 or older).

If you have 15 years or more of service with the UW System and have contributed less than an average of $5,000 per year over your UW System employment, you may have an additional "catch-up" opportunity with the TSA Program. Contact your human resources office for more information.

Both pre-tax and Roth (after-tax) contributions count towards the annual limits. Note: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are a type of retirement account separate from the TSA and WDC Programs and have separate limits.

To increase (or decrease) your TSA deduction for 2020, login to the the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or UW-Madison. Launch the Benefits Information tile. On the bottom of the screen, click on “Update TSA Deductions” to make your change. You can also submit a TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your human resources office.

If you are enrolling for the first time, you can use the EZ Enrollment Form or set your account up online (or paper application) with the provider(s) of your choice and then fill out the Salary Reduction Agreement.

For questions on the TSA program, visit the TSA website or contact your human resources office.

To change your WDC contribution call the WDC office at (877) 457-9327 or access your account at the WDC website. The WDC website also has information about enrolling in the program. WDC changes must be made with Empower, the third-party WDC plan administrator.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Social Security and Medicare Taxes for 2020

The Social Security wage base will rise to $137,700 in 2020 from $132,900 in 2019. This means that the first $137,700 of an employee's taxable wages are subject to Social Security taxes. An employee and the UW will each pay 6.2% on taxable wages up to $137,700.

An employee's entire taxable salary is subject to Medicare tax. Both the UW and the employee pay 1.45% on all taxable compensation. Further, any taxable wages that exceed $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) are subject to an additional 0.9% tax. There is no employer match for additional Medicare tax.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Maximizing Your UW TSA 403(b) Contribution for 2019

You may be aware that the UW TSA 403(b) Program is a great way to save additional money for retirement, but did you know that you can contribute up to $19,000 to your account in 2019? If you are age 50 or older at any time in 2019, you can also contribute a “catch-up” amount of $6,000 for a total of $25,000.

To see how much you have contributed to your TSA account in 2019, check your earnings statement. If you want to increase your contribution amount:
1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or UW-Madison.
2. Launch the Benefit Information app.
3. On the bottom of the screen, click on “Update TSA Deductions” to make your change.

If you are paid monthly, you have one paycheck remaining for 2019 – November 29.

If you are paid biweekly, you have three paychecks remaining for 2019 – November 21, December 5, and December 19.

If you are not enrolled in the UW TSA 403(b) Program, and are interested in enrolling, visit the UW TSA 403(b) Program website to find out how to enroll and start saving for your future retirement.

If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

What You Need to Know About Telemedicine

Would you like the ability to seek basic medical care from the comfort of your own home?

If so, the telemedicine services in the State Group Health Insurance Program may allow you to do so. With flu season just around the corner, now may be a good time to learn about telemedicine.

What is telemedicine/telehealth (used interchangeably)?

The remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of electronic communication. This means that for non-urgent medical care, you may be able to access care through video chat or a virtual house call. Through telemedicine, a doctor may be able to recommend treatment, prescribe medication, refer you to a specialist or tell you, based on your symptoms, if you should see a doctor in-person.

Note: These services vary among insurance carriers in the State Group Health Insurance Program.

Why should you consider telemedicine services?

You may receive care quicker and it may be more convenient than going to your doctor’s office or to urgent care. They are also typically less expensive than an office visit or urgent care visit.

How will your telemedicine service be covered by your State Group Health Insurance?

This will depend on which plan design you are enrolled in.

  • Health Plan: Telemedicine services are covered at 100%.
  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): Telemedicine services are covered at 100% after you meet your deductible. This is necessary to comply with Health Savings Account (HSA) eligibility requirements as well as coverage mandates per the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

How can you obtain additional information regarding telemedicine services?

Generally, health plans offer telemedicine services through their online portals. If you’re unable to find telemedicine information through your health insurance plans online portal, contact your health insurance plan directly by calling the tollfree number on your health insurance ID card.

Or, watch the Get Medical Care When You Need It Fast video to help you determine if telemedicine may meet your needs.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Human Resource System Update Provides Easier Access to Self Service Pages and Resources

Due to a November 3, 2019 Human Resource System (HRS) update, UW employees now have easier access to HR related Self Service pages and resources through simplified navigation.

Navigating to Self Service Pages
Navigation from the MyUW portal to HR related Self Service pages did not change. Employees can continue to choose portal tiles related to Payroll, Benefits, Time and Absence, etc., to navigate to Self Service pages.

Employee Self Service Home Page
To simplify navigation for employees, once in Self Service, there is no need for an employee to navigate back to the portal to choose a different HR related tile to complete an additional task.

Now, conveniently located within Self Service, there is a home button on the top right of each page that takes users to the Employee Self Service home page. This home page provides a collection of tiles for navigating to Self Service pages relating to Payroll, Benefits, Time and Absence, etc. By clicking a tile, an employee has access to the pages pertaining to that topic and related tasks, without the need to leave the Self Service environment.

Navigation Within Self Service Pages
Self Service pages now include a convenient left side bar with tabs to other related Self Service pages. This allows the user to navigate between pages within that specific Self Service environment.

Help Resources
Help resources are available on all Self Service pages by clicking the action menu (three stacked dots) on the top right of each page. These are the same help resources that will continue to be available through the MyUW portal (for UW System institutions or UW-Madison) and on the UW Service Operations home page.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

University Insurance Association (UIA) Life Insurance Annual Premium Deduction

The University Insurance Association (UIA) Life Insurance annual premium of $24.00 will be deducted from October monthly earnings, paid November 1, 2019.

Participation in the UIA Life Insurance plan is a condition of employment for UW System Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointment (FA/AS/LI) employees. Additionally, eligible employees must meet the minimum monthly salary threshold which is $2,734.00 for the 2019-2020 plan year, October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. The minimum monthly salary threshold is determined each year and is based on 45% of the average instructor's salary for the previous year.

Once an employee becomes eligible for coverage, eligibility will continue for the full plan year. Employees must re-qualify for eligibility each year.

For more information about the plan, including coverage levels, visit the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Take Action Now: Submit Missing Leave Reports to Avoid Sick Leave Reduction

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees (who have or had an active leave-eligible appointment) are required to submit a leave report for each appointment, each month, whether or not leave is used.

Failure to submit any leave report(s) will result in a reduction of your sick leave hours.

For the July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 fiscal year leave reports were due June 30, 2019. While June 30, 2019 is the preferred submission date, failure to submit all leave for the July 2018 through June 2019 fiscal year by September 30, 2019 will result in a reduction of employee sick leave hours. Even one unsubmitted leave report may reduce an employee’s sick leave balance.

Leave reports may be submitted electronically via the MyUW portal. To check for missing leave reports, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison 
  2. Go to the "Time and Absence" module 
  3. Click on the "Leave Reports" link

Paper leave reports may also be submitted.

Employees with missing leave reports receive monthly email reminders that lists their missing reports.

Visit the Time and Absence Help Pages for assistance with reporting leave. If you have questions or are unable to report your leave at the link above, contact your Institutional Leave Administrator.

To review the sick leave policies, see:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Reminders for Health Care Flexible Spending Account Participants

The Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Limited Purpose Health Care FSA allow participants to pay certain out-of-pocket expenses with tax-free dollars. Since these are spending accounts, the money must be spent on eligible expenses. This article is a reminder for participants to use their FSA money and to substantiate claims timely.

Eligible Expenses
Health Care FSA eligible expenses include:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision

Limited Purpose Health Care FSA eligible expenses include:

  • Medical (post-deductible only)
  • Dental
  • Vision

How to Pay for Eligible Expenses
Once eligible expenses have been incurred, determine how to pay for them. In most situations, the Health Care FSA debit card (from the Health Care FSA administrator, TASC) will work at the point of sale or service. However, there are other options to submit FSA claims manually or to substantiate a claim after the debit card has been used:

Provide Information Timely to Substantiate Claims
For efficient processing, remember to include appropriate IRS required supporting documentation with claim(s) submission. TASC will contact participants directly when additional information is needed to substantiate claim(s).

Review your account at https://partners.tasconline.com/ETFEmployee to see if you have claims that require documentation.

Failure to provide documentation to the Health Care FSA administrator (TASC) when requested may require repayment by the employee. Repayment is done by deducting money from the employee's paycheck on an after-tax basis. Claims should be substantiated timely to avoid repayment.

Carry Over Reminder
Up to $500 of unused funds in a Health Care or Limited Purpose FSA will carry over into the following year (even if you do not enroll in the FSA for the following year). Unused funds greater than $500 on March 31 will be forfeited.

FSA Administrator Change
Effective January 1, 2020, the FSA administrator will change from TASC to ConnectYourCare (CYC). Claims incurred January 1 – December 31, 2019 should be submitted to TASC by December 31, 2019. Claims incurred January 1, 2020 and after should be submitted to ConnectYourCare.

For more information on this change see the Flexible Spending Account – 2020 Vendor Change.

For additional resourcesresources: UW System Employee Benefits website.

For questions, contact TASC at (844) 786-3947 or 1customercare@tasconline.com.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Enroll Today with the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program

Saving for retirement is important. The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) provides participants with a strong retirement foundation. Most people will need additional savings to supplement their WRS pension.

You can save for your long-term retirement goals through the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program - a voluntary supplemental retirement savings plan. An extra savings cushion can help cover major expenses in retirement - like healthcare. It may also provide resources so you can do the things you enjoy, like travel or pursue your favorite hobbies.

Why should you save with the UW TSA 403(b) Program?

  • You can choose to contribute on a pre-tax and/or Roth (after-tax) basis.
  • The TSA Program is flexible - you can start, stop, or change your contribution amount and your investments at any time, as often as you wish.
  • It's automatic - once you sign up, your deferrals continue until you stop them.
  • It's inexpensive - there is no participant fee, and you have access to low-cost institutional share class funds with Fidelity, TIAA, and T. Rowe Price.
  • It's portable - you can take your savings with you if you move to a different employer.
  • It’s easy - you can use EZ enrollment with Fidelity, TIAA, and T. Rowe Price and invest in Target Date funds.

Don’t hesitate. Use EZ Enrollment to sign up, or visit UW TSA 403(b) Program enrollment to find out more about the program and enroll online. Start today to save for tomorrow!

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS News Online, September 2019

External link: https://etf.wi.gov/news/wrs-news-online/issue/17856

Employee Assistance Program Webinars

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), administered by FEI, provides UW employees and members of their household with confidential resources to address personal and/or work-related concerns. EAP services are offered at no cost to employees.

The 2019 Monthly Webinar Series is open for registration. Click here for webinar information and registration.


November 2019 Webinar: Effective Communication and Why You Want It

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:00pm Central Standard Time

Description: We spend 75% of our time communicating in one way or another, and some even say we're always communicating. Many of the problems we have in both our personal and professional lives are traced back to communication. Join us for an engaging discussion on effective communication and walk away with tips and tools you'll need to become a better communicator.


December 2019 Webinar: Elder Care - Legal and Financial Issues

Date and Time: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 11:00am to 12:00pm Central Standard Time

Description: Preparing you or your parents for their legal issues is critical. Learn the importance of a Living Will and what your parents should have readied to secure their assets and meet their specific needs. By combining elements of estate planning, wills and trusts, and the health care planning issues facing our parents in later years, you will walk away informed and empowered.


Webinar Registration: Registration is required. Click here to register. Follow the individual links on each webinar for registration.  Note: Employees must attend a webinar on their own time or consult with their supervisor for approval to attend.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Where Do I Find Flu Shot Information?

Are you looking for information regarding the effectiveness of a flu vaccine or flu shot clinics close to home? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is a great resource for information about the effectiveness and benefits of a flu vaccine.

If you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance, login to the StayWell portal to locate flu shot clinics near you. Many institutions schedule them onsite between September and December.

Source: UW System Human Resources

New Summer Leave Reporting Process Implemented June 2, 2019

A new, simplified summer leave reporting process was implemented June 2 for 9-month Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees (FAASLI) who have a Summer Session or Summer Service position.

Nine-month FAASLI who are employed over the summer months are required to complete monthly summer leave reports even if no leave was taken during this time period. Failure to report leave during the summer will result in a sick leave reduction. Refer to UPS Operational Policy: BN 3 Sick Leave (section 4.G.(3) and (7) for additional information.

To access the new leave reporting process, Log into the MyUW System portal. Launch the Time and Absence app and click on the new tab: Summer Appointment Leave Reporting. Note: All monthly employees will see the new tab even if they do not have a Summer Session or Summer Service position. If an employee without a summer appointment clicks on the new tab, it will simply indicate that no Summer Session/Service found. Twelve month FAASLI should continue to report all of their leave via the Request Absence tab.

Highlights of the simplified summer leave reporting process include:

  • One screen to record either sick leave taken or no leave was taken
  • Elimination of the need to select a specific job for entry purposes
  • Ability to enter summer leave beyond the summer period

Reference the tipsheet, Enter Summer Leave, for instructions on how to enter leave for the summer. If you have questions, contact your Institution Leave Administrator.

Source: UW Service Center