Human Resources System Outage February 22 until February 27 Will Affect Employee Access

Employees will not have access to their online timesheet, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage that began at noon February 22, 2017. The outage is due to an HRS System technical upgrade and is scheduled to continue until Monday, February 27. 

The following self-service features that employees access through the MyUW portals, UW System institutions and UW-Madison, will be unavailable during the outage:

  • Online timesheet
  • Absence reporting
  • Benefits Self-service (‘e-Benefits’)
  • Updates to personal information
  • Access to electronic earnings statements, tax statements (W-2, 1042-S, etc.), leave statements and other HR, Payroll and Benefits documents.

The rest of the portal, with the exception of the HRS System related features and documents, will be available during the HRS outage.

Once the HRS System is upgraded, employees will experience the same functionality that they are currently accustomed to. The upgrade will have minimal impact on system users.

The HRS System manages UW Human Resources, Payroll and Benefits processing for all UW System institutions.  The system is currently running on PeopleSoft’s Human Capital Management software version 9.0. The upgrade will move the system to version 9.2.

Source: UW Service Center

1095-C Forms Available Online

IRS Tax Form 1095-C is available online in the MyUW portal.  Log into the portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. The statement is located in the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab. Paper copies of the 1095-C were mailed to employees via U.S. mail in February 2017 using the same address as the W-2 Form distribution.

 The UW System is providing Form 1095-C to all employees who were full-time, as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for all or some months of 2016. The information on this form will be used by the IRS to determine whether individuals and/or employers are subject to penalties under the ACA’s individual and employer mandates. Employees should retain Form 1095-C with their tax records.

 In addition to Form 1095-C, some employees will receive a Form 1095-B from their insurance carrier. Form 1095-B reflects health insurance coverage provided to an employee or their family member(s) during the previous calendar year. Form 1095-B also documents employee compliance with the ACA Individual Mandate. Employees should retain Form 1095-B with their tax records.

 For more information regarding Form 1095-C, Form 1095-B and the ACA, visit https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/aca/.  If you have questions regarding your Form 1095-C, contact the UW System’s third-party administrator, Businessolver at 1-844-215-5100. If you have any questions regarding Form 1095-B, contact your health insurance carrier that provided the form. 

Source: UW Service Center

GIB Moves to Self-insurance Model for State Group Health Insurance Pending Legislative Approval

On February 8, 2016, the Group Insurance Board (GIB) approved a motion to move to a self-insurance funding model for the State Group Health Insurance program effective January, 2018.   In addition, a move to a regional service model was approved.

According to the GIB, the move to self-insurance seeks to maintain benefits, contain costs and improve quality of the State Group Health Insurance program. The proposed change requires approval by the state legislature.  This approval has not yet occurred.

What is a Self-Insurance Funding Model?

Self-insurance is a way to finance employer health insurance programs. Currently in 2017, the state pays health insurance companies a fixed amount for employee health insurance coverage, and the health insurance companies pay all medical claims.  In the proposed model, the state pays medical claims directly to providers through third-party administrators. 

What is a Regional Service Model?

The GIB approved dividing the state into four regions, with one statewide health plan and additional health plans offering coverage in each region.  The GIB expects that regionalization will streamline program administration, control costs and simplify program information for participants.

To view a map of the proposed regions and which health plans will be offered in each region for 2018, visit the Department of Employee Trust Funds (EFT) Frequently Asked Questions about the proposed health insurance program changes.

How Will These Changes Affect an Employees’ Choice of Doctors?
The proposed change to a self-insurance funding model with a regional service model is not expected to impact employee provider choices (physicians, hospitals, clinics) as 98% of current providers will be available under the new program structure. 

It is expected that many of the health plans' provider networks will overlap. This means that many members can continue to see the providers they see today, even if they have to choose a different health plan.

Will Employees Pay More for Health Insurance in 2018 in a Self-insured Model?

The employee costs for premiums are unknown at this time.  Premiums will be available in the fall, and all employees will have time to review premiums, plan offerings and make any changes to their current coverage during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period.

As more details about the proposed self-insurance program become available, updates will be provided.  In the meantime, employees may find the following resources informative: 

Source: UW Service Center

America Saves Week February 27 - March 4, 2017; Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.

America Saves Week is your opportunity to commit—or recommit—to saving for today and for your retirement.

America Saves is a national campaign that encourages individuals and families to assess their savings and take financial action. The University of Wisconsin is a partner in the America Saves campaign.

Look at the UW’s America Saves website for in-person workshops and interactive webinars, videos, handy tips and information on saving and financial wellness. The easiest and most effective way to save is automatically.

Your UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program can help you save automatically and invest for your long-term goals. If you already participate in the program, consider increasing your contributions. If you are not a TSA Program participant, sign up today. Through the TSA Program you can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both. The UW TSA Program has no participant fees, no loads or trading fees, and access to low-cost funds, including index funds and many funds with institutional share classes. This provides a tremendous benefit for UW employees.

UW TSA 403(b) Program investment options include a wide array of mutual funds and fixed and variable annuities managed by five investment companies: TIAAFidelityT. Rowe PriceAmeriprise/RiverSource Life InsuranceLincoln National Life Insurance. For more information see www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/ret/tsa/ or contact your institution’s Human Resources office.  

If you are just getting started in your career, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll have plenty of time later to fund your retirement. Starting early is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you set aside enough to fund a comfortable retirement. Read Save Smart–Save Early! to learn about the advantages of putting time on your side to accomplish your savings goals.

Don’t let the prospect of having to decide how to invest your retirement money scare you off. Just participating is more important than selecting the perfect investments. Choose an index fund or a Target Retirement Date Fund – designed to match your age and expected retirement date. These simple options provide an easy way to get started. See the enrollment options at www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/ret/tsa/#enrollment.

Start Small, Think Big. Remember, when you are getting started, no contribution is too small. Even if you only set aside one percent of your salary in the UW TSA 403(b) Plan, that’s an important start. Then, as you are able, increase the amount of your salary that you save each year. This will build your savings.

You can start with only $8 per pay period if you’re paid bi-weekly or $20 per month if you are paid monthly. Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future. Save automatically in the UW TSA 403(b) Program.  As millions of savers have learned, what you don’t see you won’t miss.

Source: UW Service Center

Income Continuation Insurance Annual Premium Update

Each year Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are updated on February 1. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the February 16, 2017 paycheck. For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 1, 2017 paycheck.

Current participants’ 2017 premium update will depend on many factors including:

  • University Staff: the ICI premium is based on 2016 earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and sick leave balance/usage as of 12/24/2016 and current category.
  • Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: the ICI premium is based on 2016 WRS-reported earnings and the selected elimination period.

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, you may see your updated 2017 ICI premium, here: ICI Premium Notice. Current enrollees were also sent an email Friday, February 10 directing them to this customized web page.

Please note:  The ICI annual premium update effective February 1 is based on 2016 earnings and does not reflect any enrollments made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 1, 2017.  Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity in late January.

For a full list of ICI premiums and more information about the plan, visit the ICI plan page. If you have questions, contact your institution’s Human Resources office.

 

Source: UW Service Center

Exclusion for Gender Reassignment Related Services Reinstated as of February 1, 2017

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced that the exclusion for services related to gender reassignment for participants of the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program is reinstated as of February 1, 2017.  For more detailed information go to http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht_20170201.htm.

Source: UW Service Center

WRS News Online, January 2017

External link: http://etf.wi.gov/news/WRS_news_01232017/WRS_News_01232017.asp

Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Available Through March 1, 2017 for Eligible Employees

The Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) program is an ‘income replacement’ benefit plan that replaces up to 75% of your gross salary if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability.

If you are not currently enrolled in ICI, you may be able to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period through March 1, 2017.  Eligible employees will be personally notified by email from the UW System HR (uwsystemhr@uwsa.edu) email address.  Employees who receive a paper earnings statement will receive a letter mailed to their home address.

Please see https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/dis/ici/ for more information regarding eligibility and income continuation insurance benefits.

To apply for coverage through the Deferred Enrollment opportunity, you must complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) and return it to your benefits office on or before March 1, 2017.  ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1, 2017.

Questions?

If you have questions, contact your benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 31, 2017

(Additional Tax Forms to be Distributed in February and March)

 The 2016 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available online in the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information app. Paper copies of the W-2 will be mailed via U.S. mail and postmarked by January 31, 2017.

A printed Form W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, if you are filing a paper tax statement, you must write your Social Security number or Individual Tax Payer Identification number in the 'a' field at the top of each Form W-2 section. In order to increase the security of sensitive information online, any U.S. Social Security or Tax Payer Identification number has been removed from the online statements.

Additional Tax Forms to be Distributed

Some employees will also receive additional tax forms from the University (Examples: 1095-C, 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc Form).

  • The 1095-C Form will be mailed via U.S. mail to employees in early February and available on the portal by mid-February.  All UW employees who were full-time for some or all months of 2016 will have a 1095-C form to document that health insurance coverage was offered to them.  Employees will need the 1095-C Form as part of their documentation requirement when filing 2016 taxes.
  • The 1042-S Forms will be available in the Glacier Online Tax Compliance System for those who chose the option of electronic delivery; others will have them mailed to their home address.  The 1042-S forms will be posted on the portal sometime in March. 
  • The Fellowship/Scholarship Letter and 1099-Misc Forms will be mailed to your home address.

Filing Your Taxes

Please remember to use your W-2 Form, not your final 2016 Earnings Statement, to file your taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2016 taxable earnings since the last 2016 payroll was paid. These employees may have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting returns on January 23, 2017 for the 2016 tax filing season. To minimize your chance of a fraudulent return being processed using your Social Security number (SSN), or Individual Tax Payer Identification number (ITIN), you may want to consider filing a return as early as you are able and once you have received all necessary tax forms. More information is available on the IRS website.

Late February HR System Outage Will Affect Availability of Tax Forms on Portal

Please note that the UW’s Human Resource System (HRS) will have a multi-day outage towards the end of February in order to implement a technical upgrade of HRS.  During this outage all electronic statements on the portal, including the electronic copies of all tax forms, will be unavailable.  We anticipate that statement access will be restored when HRS comes back on-line on the morning of Monday, February 27th.  If you need an electronic copy of a statement during the outage, please contact your institution payroll administrator during normal business hours; they will be able to retrieve copies of your statements on your behalf.  See the ‘Help’ link in the My UW Payroll Information app for payroll administrator contact information for your institution.

Source: UW Service Center

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