HR, Payroll and Benefits News

What are Target Retirement Date Funds?

If you're looking for a simple way to invest for retirement, a Target Retirement Date Fund may be a good option for you!

A Target Retirement Date Fund – also called a Target Date, Lifecycle, or Age-Based Fund – is a low-maintenance, pre-diversified investment option designed to grow more conservative as you approach your “target” date – the date you plan to retire and begin using the money, often age 65. You can learn more about Target Retirement Date Funds by watching this video.

In the UW TSA 403(b) Program, Target Date Funds are set up in five-year increments. If you are using Target Date Funds, when you are farther away from retirement the underlying investments in your fund – also called your “asset mix” – are more growth-oriented, with a higher percentage of stocks. As your target retirement date gets nearer, the asset mix gradually gets more conservative by reducing the percentage of stocks and increasing the percentage of bonds and other more conservative investments.

Target Date Funds have many benefits. This one-fund option:

    • contains a diversified mix of investments in a single fund that is regularly managed based on your personal retirement timeline,
    • provides automatic rebalancing and automatic adjustment of your asset allocation as your investment time horizon grows shorter, and
    • is especially suited for those who are not as investment-savvy or those who may not want to take the time to rebalance their investments themselves.

As with any investment, make sure to review your account as needed to assess your investment mix, making sure it matches your risk tolerance and provides returns that meet your needs. Bear in mind that like any mutual fund, a Target Date fund is subject to risk. The value of your principal (or starting investment) is not guaranteed at any time – not even in the target year.

Where can I learn more? To learn more about the target retirement date funds and the UW System Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program, please visit the UW TSA Program web page. For a basic introduction to the program, attend the Save Smart, Save Early webinar on Monday, May 24. Registration details are provided in the Education section of the TSA web page. If you're unable to attend on that date, there may be other times available – check back regularly! If you’re interested in other financial wellness opportunities, visit the Employee Well-being Webinars page.

 

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

Payroll Schedule Change Coming in July for Employees Paid Monthly

UW System employees paid monthly will move to a biweekly payroll schedule beginning in July 2021.

How You Can Learn More

Visit the Single Payroll web page for frequently asked questions, budget planning information and the 2021 and 2022 payroll schedules.

Take the Following Actions

    • If you have automatic payments set up (for example, mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc.), review your monthly budget and prepare for biweekly paychecks. You may want to adjust your automatic payments to match your biweekly paycheck amounts.
    • If you have certain contributions and/or withholdings on your paycheck, watch for an email the week of May 3 providing information on how this may affect your biweekly paychecks.

Your Paycheck During the Transition from Monthly to Biweekly Pay Schedule

    • Currently you are paid at the end of the month for the month you just worked. When the move to the biweekly pay schedule occurs, you will be paid every other Thursday for the two-week period that ended 12 days before each pay date.

   This is what your paychecks will look like during the transition:

    • You will receive a full monthly paycheck paid on June 30, 2021 (pay for work during the entire month of June).
    • You will receive a partial monthly paycheck on July 30, 2021 (pay for work from July 1-July 17).
    • You will receive your first biweekly paycheck on Thursday, August 12, 2021 (pay for work from July 18-July 31).

Note: You may wish to adjust your personal budget in advance to be ready for the transition, particularly for the partial monthly paycheck on July 30.

Single Payroll Town Hall Meetings

Consider attending an upcoming Town Hall Meeting or watch the recording after the event. For event details including event passwords, access codes, and accessibility accommodations, visit the Single Payroll resources web page.

    • Tuesday, May 4, 2021, 8:00-9:00 AM: For 9-month and summer contract employees
    • Thursday, May 13, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM: For 12-month contract employees
    • Monday, May 17, 2021, 1:00-2:00 PM: Open session for all employees paid monthly

Savings & Spending Plan Workshops

UW System is partnering with UW Credit Union to help you plan for the change in your payroll schedule. The Savings & Spending Plan (Budget) Workshops are available to help you create a plan that works for you.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Payroll Change: Employees Paid Biweekly will have Benefit Deduction Change on April 22nd Paycheck

UW System employees who are paid biweekly will have their benefits deductions split evenly between their biweekly paychecks beginning on the April 22, 2021 paycheck.

Most benefits deductions will be split evenly between biweekly paychecks and included health, dental, vision, and life insurance deductions. In months when there are three paychecks, benefits deductions will not be taken from the third paycheck with the exception of contributions for the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457.

If you are paid biweekly, take the following action:

  • If you have automatic payments set up (for example, mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc.), review and adjust your payments to align with your biweekly paycheck amounts.

How you can learn more

Visit the Split Benefits Deductions resources web page where you will find frequently asked questions, budget planning information and the 2021 payroll schedules. Resources are updated periodically to include new information.

Town Hall Meeting for split benefits deductions

A virtual Split Benefits Deductions Town Hall Meeting was held February 16. View the presentation slides and video to learn how your paycheck will be affected and how to prepare for the change.

Presentation Slides
Presentation Video

Savings and Spending Plan Workshops

UW System is partnering with UW Credit Union to help you plan for your paycheck changes. The Savings and Spending Plan (Budget) Workshops will help you create a plan that works for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 12:00 PM
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 8:00 AM
Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 5:00 PM

Source: UW System Human Resources

Reminder: Schedule Your Time Off – Use Your Vacation and Personal Holiday Time

If you have not taken time off during the pandemic it might be because of travel and gathering restrictions or because you have been busy triaging issues caused by the pandemic to help keep campuses safe. It’s important to step away from work and tend to your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Plan ahead and schedule your paid leave now to avoid losing vacation and/or personal holiday hours.

As a reminder, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Interim Policies were approved as one-time exceptions that allow leave eligible employees to extend the deadline of unused vacation carryover and to carry forward personal holiday hours. The deadline to use the carried over leave time is approaching. Review the charts below for your employee group to determine the deadline for using your vacation and personal holiday time.

 

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Paid Leave Type Year Granted Deadline to Use


Personal Holiday *
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020
(2020 Fiscal Year)


June 30, 2021
July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
(2021 Fiscal Year)


Vacation **
July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019
(2019 Fiscal year)


October 9, 2021
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020
(2020 Fiscal Year)

* Personal holiday hours granted July 1, 2019 and carried over an additional year under the one-time exception outlined in UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 05 Vacation, Compensatory Time and Personal Holiday Carryover must be used by June 30, 2021. Additionally, personal holiday hours granted July 1, 2020 must be used by June 30, 2021 as outlined in UW System Administrative Policy 1211 (formerly BN2) Personal Holiday and Legal Holiday Administration.

** Vacation hours granted July 1, 2018 and carried over an additional year under the one-time exception and vacation hours granted on July 1, 2019 must be used by October 9, 2021. UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 08 Extended Vacation Carryover extends this deadline to October 9, 2021 from June 30, 2021.

Any compensatory time that was earned in calendar year 2019 and carried over under the one-time exception and compensatory time earned in calendar year 2020 must be used by April 30, 2021 or it will be paid out in the pay period that includes May 1, 2021.

Remember to submit your leave reports as leave is taken. Also, for months when no leave is taken or if you have taken a required furlough day, a no leave taken report is required.

 

University Staff

Paid Leave Type Year Granted Deadline to Use


Personal Holiday ^
January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
(2020 Calendar Year)


December 31, 2021
January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021
(2021 Calendar Year)


Vacation ^^
January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2019
(2019 Calendar year)


December 31, 2021
January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020
(2020 Calendar Year)

^ All vacation and personal holiday hours carried over under this one-time extension must be used by December 31, 2021.

^^ All vacation hours granted January 1, 2020 and personal leave granted January 1, 2021 must also be used by December 31, 2021.

 

For detailed information review:

Policies
UW System Administrative Policy 1210 (formerly BN1) Vacation
UW System Administrative Policy 1211 (formerly BN2) Personal Holiday and Legal Holiday Administration

Interim Policies
UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 05 Vacation, Compensatory Time and Personal Holiday Carryover
UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 08 Extended Vacation Carryover
UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 06 University Staff Vacation and Personal Holiday Carryover

UW-Madison Policies
Vacation Policy
Personal and Legal Holidays Policy
COVID-19 Pandemic Leave Policy, Section V

Source: UW System Human Resources

Resources for Benefits Deduction and Payroll Schedule Changes

Employees are encouraged to review the resources available for the upcoming Benefits Deduction and Payroll Schedule changes.

    • If you are currently paid biweekly, most benefits deductions will be split evenly over the first two biweekly paychecks each month beginning April 22, 2021. For resources: Split Benefits Deductions resources web page.
    • If you are currently paid monthly, you will be paid on a biweekly schedule beginning in July 2021, and you will then have most benefits deductions split evenly between your biweekly paychecks. For resources: Single Payroll resources web page.

Resources include frequently asked questions, budget planning information and the 2021 payroll schedules. Information on Savings and Planning workshops and Town Hall meetings is also available. Resources are updated periodically to include new information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS News Online, May 2021

External link: https://etf.wi.gov/news/wrs-news-online/issue/18566

Employee Well-being Webinars

To live well, it is important to take care of your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. One of the ways to do that is by increasing your knowledge about various aspects of your well-being through webinars.

Below is a selection of well‐being webinars available to help keep your well-being on track! Most of the webinars require registration and last approximately 60 minutes. Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars webpage for the registration links and to find more webinars.

  • Well WI Radio: National Minority Health Month/Racism and Public Health
    Vendor: WebMD/StayWell (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
    Date and Time: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 12:00 pm
    Description: A monthly podcast style program where topics of health and well-being are discussed with experts from all around the state of Wisconsin April is Minority Health Month! Join host, Morgan Meinen, as she talks with Lisa Peyton-Caire, MS.Ed., Founding CEO and President of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness.
  • WRS: Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement Benefits
    Vendor: Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)
    Date and Time: Friday, May 7, 2021 - 12:00 pm
    Description: Your Annual Statement of Benefits provides a summary of your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) account information. Join ETF to learn more about the important topics addressed on your statement including
    • How much you and your employer have contributed to your WRS pension
    • Your vesting status and years of service
    • Your beneficiary designation – what happens to your account if you die before taking a benefit
  • Savings & Spending Plan (Budget) Workshop
    Vendor: UW Credit Union
    Date and Time: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 8:00 am
    Description: A change in payroll frequency and timing may bring up questions and financial stress. UW Credit Union Financial Mentors will help you answer those questions and create a spending and saving plan that works for you. This session will also provide options to consider if you will face a temporary budget shortfall due to a change in pay dates.
  • The Art of Active Listening
    Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistant Program (EAP) Administrator)
    Date and Time: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 12:30 pm
    Description: We all “hear”, but often don’t truly listen. In this session, we will explore the differences and learn how to actively listen!

Take the time to manage your well-being! Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars web page to get started.

You must attend webinars on your own time or consult with your supervisor for approval to attend during working hours.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Pre-tax versus Roth TSA Contributions

The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program offers great options to save for your long-term goals. With most UW TSA providers, you can contribute on a pre-tax basis, Roth (after-tax) basis, or a combination of both.

With pre-tax contributions, current taxable income is reduced, and both principal and earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis. When funds are withdrawn, it is taxed as regular income in the year you receive it.

With Roth (after-tax) contributions, the contributions are included in taxable income in the year you make them, but the account balance and earnings are not taxed when you take a qualified distribution. A distribution is qualified if you made your first Roth contribution at least five years before the distribution date, and you are at least 59½ years old.

Wondering which you might benefit from most? Watch this short video: Pre-Tax vs. Roth (After-Tax) Contributions.

Start saving today! You can contribute a percent of your pay or a flat dollar amount. The easiest way to enroll is to submit a completed EZ Enrollment to your human resources office. To enroll with Ameriprise or Lincoln, you will need to work with a representative.

Want to learn more about the program? Visit the UW TSA Program web page. You can also attend the Select, Sign Up and Save webinar on Thursday, April 15, by visiting the Education section. Check out the other education webinar, video, and group seminar opportunities.

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

WRS Statement of Benefits Available

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Statement of Benefits as of January 1, 2021, is now available on the MyUW portal for employees covered by the WRS in 2020.

To view your statement, log in to the portal for UW System institutions or UW-Madison. Launch the Benefit Information app and click on the ETF WRS Statements of Benefits tab.

Your Statement Includes:

  • 2020 earnings and service
  • Updated creditable service
  • Retirement benefit projections (if vested), separation benefit, death benefit
  • Primary beneficiary designation(s)
  • Employee and Employer WRS contributions:
    • For the 2020 plan year, UW System contributed 6.75% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributed 11.65%)
    • For the 2021 plan year, UW System contributes 6.75% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributes 11.75%)

Resources

Review Your Beneficiaries

Review the primary beneficiary(ies) listed on your WRS statement. If there are no beneficiaries listed, you either don't have a beneficiary designation on file, or your designation was made before 1998 (beneficiaries added before 1998 are not listed on your statement). It is recommended that you complete a Beneficiary Designation Form if a beneficiary is not listed on your statement.

Death benefits are paid according to the most recent valid beneficiary designation form on file with ETF prior to your death. If no beneficiary designation is on file, death benefits will be paid according to the statutory standard sequence in effect on the date of death. Your beneficiary information does not automatically change when you have a significant life event occur, such as a divorce or a marriage. To add, change or remove beneficiaries complete a Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320) or Beneficiary Designation-Alternate form (ET-2321). Mail your completed beneficiary designation to ETF at the address listed at the top of the form.

Questions

Information on the WRS can be found on the UW System Employee Benefits WRS web page. If you have questions about your statement after reviewing available resources, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Take the Challenge: Build Your Financial Security

The Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge is under way for all Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) members and their families. The Program is designed to empower members to build financial security and achieve financial wellness at any age. The Financial Fitness Challenge is part of the program that offers participants free access to financial wellness education, resources, and tools to build financial security.

Take the challenge now! Go to https://financialfitnessgroup.com/wi-strong/.

  • Start with a five-minute Financial Fitness Checkup, then take advantage of hundreds of interactive courses, articles, and videos (a $1,000 value).
  • Complete and pass at least five Financial Fitness Academy courses with a score of 70% or higher to earn certificates of completion.

Participants will receive a personalized playlist of courses on topics such as debt management, budgeting, investments, estate planning, and retirement planning. Courses and quizzes take about 15 minutes to complete.

The Challenge: The program is anonymous and only requires an email address and password to participate. Participants login to access the self-assessment checkup and courses anytime beginning today and continuing through 2021. The secure site is powered by the Financial Fitness Group.

Wisconsin Strong: The Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge is a part of the Wisconsin Strong: Your Financial Security™. Visit etf.wi.gov/wi-strong and follow along at #WIStrongSecurity.

 

Source: UW System Human Resources

How To Use Your 2021 Benefit ID Cards

Are you using the right benefit ID card when you see your doctor, pick up a prescription, visit the dentist, or get your eyes checked? Using the right ID card when you check in for your appointment or pick up your prescription can save you time and prevent issues later.

State Group Health Insurance ID Card
Present your health insurance ID card at telehealth/virtual visits, office visits, urgent care visits, emergency room visits, routine eye exam services, and during any other appointments that involve healthcare services.

If you did not receive your ID card or need to request a new one, contact your health plan.

Pharmacy Benefits ID Card
If you are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program, you will have a separate ID card to use for pharmacy benefits. The pharmacy benefits are administered by Navitus. Present your Navitus ID card when you:

    • Visit a pharmacy to pick-up your prescription(s) and/or
    • Request prescriptions through mail order (mail order services are provided by ServeYou)

Contact Navitus at 1-866-333-2757 to request a new ID card or go to www.navitus.com to request one or print one.

Uniform and Supplemental Dental Insurance ID Card
The Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Insurance plans are administered by Delta Dental. There are separate ID cards for the Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Insurance plans. Present both Delta Dental ID cards at your dental appointment(s) if you are enrolled in the Uniform Dental Insurance plan as well as one of the Supplemental plans.

Go to www.deltadentalwi.com to print a dental insurance plan ID card.

      • If you already have an account with Delta Dental, click the Sign In link
      • If you do not have an account with Delta Dental, click the Register link

Once you are logged in, your ID card will appear on the right. Click the appropriate link to download and print or save an electronic version of your ID card. You may also contact Delta Dental at 800-236-3712 to request that your ID card(s) be mailed to your home address.

Vision Insurance ID Card
Vision insurance is administered by DeltaVision/EyeMed. If you are enrolled in vision insurance, present your DeltaVision/EyeMed ID card when you check in for your vision appointment.

Go to the DeltaVision/EyeMed to print a vision insurance plan ID card.

  • If you already have an account, enter your login information, then click Sign In
  • If you do not have an account, click the Need to Register link

Once you are logged in, go to the Account tab, then select Print My ID Card. Contact DeltaVision/EyeMed at 855-544-6035 to request your ID card be mailed to your home address.

Debit Card for Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (LPFSA), Health Savings Account, Parking Account
These accounts are administered by ConnectYourCare (CYC). Upon enrollment you will be issued a single debit card even if you are enrolled in multiple accounts. Click the links below to review eligible expenses for each account.

Contact CYC at service@connectyourcare.com or 833-881-8158 with questions.

Review Your Cards for Accuracy
Review your ID cards for accuracy. If there are errors or if you have not received your 2021 benefit plan ID cards, contact the benefit plan to request them.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Duplicate Tax Statements

Tax statements (Form W-2, 1042-S*, Fellowship Letters) for the current and previous four years are available for active employees in the MyUW portal.

To print duplicate tax statements, log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Payroll Information app and choose the Tax Statements tab. Statements for 2017 through 2020 are available.

If you need a statement from a year prior to 2017, or if you require a tax document that displays your Social Security number, you may request a duplicate tax statement by completing the Duplicate Tax Statement Request.

*1042-S Requests: If you have a Glacier account, your 2020 1042-S Form is available in Glacier. For those without a Glacier account, 1042-S Forms were mailed in late February and are available in the MyUW portal.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Upcoming Changes to the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program

The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program, a supplemental retirement program, is working on enhancements in 2021. As a part of the process, UW System and the TSA Review Committee have carefully reviewed the program, including the current providers, investments, and communications with the following objectives in mind:

    • Simplify the enrollment process
    • Communicate with participants in a clear and engaging manner
    • Streamline the program while continuing to provide leading provider(s) and proven investments

There is no action you need to take at this time. We will keep you updated as enhancements are finalized and implemented throughout 2021. For the most up-to-date information on TSA Program changes, visit the UW TSA 403(b) Program Enhancements page.

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

Updated State Group Life Insurance Premiums Effective April 1, 2021

State Group Life insurance premiums are reviewed annually, and any updates are effective on April 1, 2021. Premium changes for:

    • Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees will be reflected on the April 1, 2021 paycheck.
    • University Staff and Academic Staff non-exempt employees will be reflected on the April 8, 2021 paycheck.

Employees who are currently enrolled in the State Group Life Insurance program can view their updated 2021 premiums at: State Group Life Premium Notice.

Annual Premium Update
State Group Life Insurance premiums will change effective April 1, 2021, if your age category and/or salary changed since April 1, 2020. Coverage levels are based on:

    • Your highest calendar year of eligible earnings
    • Your age as of April 1 each year
    • Your elected coverage level(s)

Premium Rate Changes
Additionally, State Group Life Insurance premium rates will increase for most age categories effective April 1, 2021. There is no change to the premium rates for spouse and dependent coverage.

Review the 2021 State Group Life Insurance premiums. The premium rate changes were approved by the Group Insurance Board which oversees the administration of the State Group Life Insurance program.

The UW System contributes a portion of the cost of your State Group Life Basic and Supplemental Insurance coverage. You pay the full cost of Additional, Spouse and Dependent coverage.

Questions
Review general information about the State Group Life insurance plan, or visit ALEX. If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Summer Prepay Insurance Premium Deductions

Summer prepay insurance premiums are deducted from spring paychecks to cover the cost of continuing insurance coverage through the summer (contract break) months for eligible Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, Student Assistants, and Employees-in-Training.

The following employee groups will have Summer prepay deductions taken for State Group Health Insurance and other insurance programs in which enrolled* in addition to regular monthly insurance premium deductions.

    • Academic (9-month) employees who will return to UW employment in the fall of 2021 will have deductions on April 1, April 30 and June 1 paychecks.
    • Academic (9-month) employees with a summer service/summer session appointment will have deductions on April 1, April 30 and June 1 paychecks.
    • Academic (biweekly non-exempt employees) will have deductions on March 25, April 8 and 22, May 6 and 20 and June 3 paychecks.

Employees will receive an email with an estimated summer prepay deduction amount prior to the above pay dates.

Why are Summer Prepay Deductions Taken in the Spring?
The additional summer prepay deductions are taken to continue an employee’s insurance coverage through the summer (contract break) months. The Summer prepay deductions must be taken in the spring since these insurance premiums cannot be taken during a contract break and cannot be deducted from summer service/summer session earnings.

What if an Employee’s Employment Status Changes?
If an employee’s summer or fall 2021 employment status changes after they have had summer prepay deductions, they may receive deduction refunds. If an employee will be terminating employment, and will not return in fall 2021, they should contact their human resources office to determine their employment termination and insurance coverage end dates.

Employees who anticipate that they will experience any other status change; marriage, adoption, birth, divorce, etc., should contact their human resources office immediately regarding the impact to their insurance benefits.

What if an Employee does not Have Summer Prepay Deductions Taken?
If an employee does not have summer prepay deductions taken in the spring, and then has a summer session/summer service appointment, they will be billed directly for payment of the additional premiums due to provide them with insurance coverage during the summer months.

If a bill is received, payment must be made by the billing invoice due date to ensure that insurance benefits are not canceled due to non-payment. If benefits are canceled due to nonpayment, the next opportunity to enroll in the insurance benefits may be during the fall 2021 Annual Benefits Enrollment period with an effective insurance coverage date of January 1, 2022.

For questions, contact your human resources office.

* Does not include: Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA), and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) deductions. Health Opt-Out Incentive payments and HSA Employer contribution will be processed in the summer months.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Workshops to Offer Details on Upcoming Employee Paycheck Changes

UW System recently announced benefits deduction and payroll frequency changes for employee paychecks. Benefits deductions will be split evenly between biweekly paychecks for all employees and paycheck frequency will change for employees who are currently paid monthly.

If you are currently paid biweekly, most deductions for benefits such as health, dental, vision, and life insurance will be split evenly over the first two biweekly paychecks each month starting with your April 22, 2021, paycheck. Learn more about how this will affect you and your paycheck on the Split Benefits Deductions resources website.

If you are currently paid monthly, you will be paid on a biweekly schedule beginning in July. Learn more about when these changes to your paycheck will go into effect on the Single Payroll resources website.

Town Hall Meeting for Split Benefits Deductions – February 16
A virtual Split Benefits Deductions Town Hall Meeting was held Tuesday, February 16 for current biweekly paid employees. View the presentation slides and video to learn when split benefits deductions go into effect, how your paycheck will be affected, and information on preparing for the change.

Presentation Slides

Presentation Video

Town Hall Meetings Schedule for Single Payroll Change
If you are currently paid monthly, attend one of four virtual Single Payroll Town Hall Meetings. Learn how you will be paid during the transition, how the new payroll schedule will affect your paycheck, and what you can do to prepare for the change. Each session will provide the same information. Each session will have a different topic of focus based on how you are paid. Please attend the session that applies to you. Go the Single Payroll resources website to join one of these town hall meetings:

Wednesday, March 3, Noon-1:00 PM - Overview for All Employees Paid Monthly
Tuesday, May 4, 8:00-9:00 AM - Information for 9-Month Contract Employees
Thursday, May 13, 4:00-5:00 PM - Information for 12-Month Contract Employees
Monday, May 17 1:00-2:00 PM - Open Session for all Employees Paid Monthly

Spending and Savings Plan Workshops
UW System is teaming with UW Credit Union Financial Mentors to help you plan for changes in your paycheck. The Spending and Savings Plan Workshops will help you create a spending and savings plan that works for you. You must register for the workshop. You can register right up until the workshop starts.

Get More Information on Your Payroll Change
Visit the payroll change website that corresponds to your current pay schedule to get FAQs, Personal Budget Planning Seminars, Town Hall Meeting Schedule, and Paycheck Schedule.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Well Wisconsin Program: New Website

Recently, the Well Wisconsin Program administrator (StayWell) merged with WebMD Health Services. If you are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program, you are eligible for the Well Wisconsin Program. To participate in the Well Wisconsin Program this year, you need to create a new account on the new well-being website known as WebMD ONE.

Although WebMD and StayWell have merged, the Well Wisconsin Program remains the same in 2021. To earn the $150 wellness incentive, you need to complete a health assessment, a health check and one well-being activity by October 8, 2021.

How to Get Started with WebMD

    • Create your new account on the WebMD ONE website and/or
    • Download the Wellness At Your Side mobile app through the App Store or on Google Play (code: SOWI)

The WebMD ONE website and Wellness At Your Side mobile app is where you will track your progress toward earning the $150 well-being incentive.

Reminder: Your privacy is important. Whether you are completing the health assessment, health check or speaking with a WebMD health coach, WebMD is committed to protecting your privacy. Watch the privacy video for details.

Review the Well Wisconsin Program page to learn more about the program.

Source: UW System Human Resources

UW System Announces Payroll Schedule and Benefits Deduction Changes

UW System will be changing the paycheck frequency for employees who are paid monthly and splitting benefits deductions between biweekly paychecks for all employees.

When This Change Will Occur

For Employees Who Are Paid Biweekly:

    • Most deductions for benefits such as health, dental, vision, and life insurance will be split evenly over the first two biweekly paychecks each month starting with your April 22, 2021, paycheck
    • In months when there are three paychecks, benefits deductions will not be taken from that paycheck with the exception of Wisconsin Retirement System, Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 contributions

For Employees Who Are Paid Monthly:

    • On July 30, 2021, you will receive a partial monthly paycheck for days worked between July 1-July 17
    • Starting August 12, 2021, you will begin receiving biweekly paychecks every other Thursday (except on Legal Holidays)
    • Most deductions for benefits such as health, dental, vision, and life insurance will be split evenly over the first two biweekly paychecks each month starting with your August 26, 2021, paycheck
    • In months when there are three paychecks, benefits deductions will not be taken from that paycheck with the exception of Wisconsin Retirement System, Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 contributions

What You Need to Do

    • If you have automatic payments set up (for example, mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc.) review your monthly budget and prepare for biweekly paychecks and split benefits deductions. You may want to adjust your automatic payments to match your biweekly paycheck amounts.
    • If you have payroll deductions that are flat dollar amounts (for example, Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b), Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457, additional tax deductions, direct deposits into multiple accounts, etc.), you may want to change these amounts.
    • You can update your direct deposits on the MyUW Portal https://my.wisconsin.edu.

How You Can Learn More

Visit the payroll change website that corresponds to your current pay schedule to get FAQs, Personal Budget Planning Seminars, Town Hall Meeting Schedule, and Paycheck Schedule.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online

Electronic 2020 W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statements) are now available in the MyUW portal. Employees will receive a paper copy of the W-2 Form via U.S. mail by February 1, 2021. Paper copies are mailed to all employees except those who chose to receive an electronic only W-2 by January 18, 2021.

Instructions to View/Print 2020 W-2 Form.

Availability of Other Tax Forms
Some employees will receive additional tax forms from UW System. These additional forms are not applicable to all employees. Examples include:

    • Form 1095-C - A separate communication will be sent to employees who will receive this form.
    • The Fellowship Letter - Typically available in February.
    • The 1042-S Forms - Typically available in the MyUW portal in March. Employees who have chosen electronic delivery through the Glacier System may have access to their forms earlier. Others will have their form mailed to their home address. Instructions to View/Print 1042-S Form and Fellowship Letter.

Resources
Visit Tax Statement Help for resources regarding the various tax forms.

Filing Taxes
Employees should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2020 earnings statement, to file taxes.

Some employees have had adjustments to their 2020 taxable earnings since the last 2020 payroll was paid and 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 IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns on February 12, 2021. Employees may want to file their return as soon as all tax forms are received to minimize the chance of a fraudulent return being processed using their Social Security number, or Individual Tax Payer Identification number. More information is available on the IRS website.

If you have questions, contact your Payroll office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Employee Assistance Program Vendor Change January 1, 2021

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) vendor for most* UW System institutions will change on January 1, 2021 from FEI to Kepro.

The EAP services provided by Kepro will remain confidential and continue to address personal and/or work-related concerns. Some of the specific concerns you may use the EAP for include:

    • emotional issues
    • substance abuse
    • grief and loss
    • legal and financial issues

The EAP will continue to provide you and your household family members up to six sessions per person per issue per year.

How to Contact Kepro:

    • Phone: 833-539-7285 or 877-334-0489 (TTY)
    • Website: https://sowi.mylifeexpert.com (code SOWI); to access the online resources, you will need to set-up a username and password

If you are currently receiving services through FEI, you may continue to do so through December 31, 2020. After January 1, 2021 you should contact Kepro to continue EAP services with your current provider (if they are in the Kepro network) or a new provider.

Note: FEI recently sent their network providers a communication making them aware of this change. The communication included information for them to become a Kepro provider.

For more information, visit the UW System EAP webpage.

* Excludes UW-Madison and UW-Superior

Source: UW System Human Resources

New Mental Health Resource Available

A new mental health resource offered through SilverCloud is available to employees. SilverCloud is an online platform that offers self-guided, interactive programs and skill-building tools to help manage anxiety, depression, stress, resilience and insomnia. It is available to all employees and students at no cost. If you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms for any one of the above conditions, this may be an effective way for you to help manage these conditions.

What does each SilverCloud module contain?
Each module takes an average of 40 minutes and automatically saves your progress so you can come back later if you get interrupted. A typical module contains seven parts:

    1. Introduction: Helps you decide which module to get started with.
    2. Quiz: Helps gauge your knowledge and absorption of new information.
    3. Main Content: Displays the most important information and activities about the topic.
    4. Personal Stories: Based on real-life people, clinical knowledge and experiences to help you realize you are not alone.
    5. Tools: Activities that reinforce the information you learned throughout the module.
    6. Staying in the Present: Many topics discuss living in the past or thinking about the future. This activity uses mindfulness principles to bring you back to the present.
    7. Review: Allows you to reflect, set goals and incorporate what you learned into your life.

How should I use SilverCloud for my well-being?
Studies have shown that online cognitive behavioral therapy can provide an effective form of care for motivated individuals experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. SilverCloud may supplement traditional therapy or appointments with a counselor or you may use it without needing a counselor. A referral from a mental health or medical professional is not necessary to use this free online program.

Where should I go to get started?

For additional information on SilverCloud, go to the Mental Health Resources page.

What is the main difference between SilverCloud and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
The main difference between SilverCloud and the EAP is that Silver Cloud is self-guided whereas the EAP allows you to speak with a counselor for help on a much broader range of services (e.g. work/life balance, will preparation, financial concerns, etc).
Note: Both programs are free and confidential.

For additional information on the EAP, go to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) page.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Benefits Resources during COVID-19

Many UW System employees and their families are working through change to their daily routines due to COVID-19. Watch these brief videos to help you understand why this change is necessary:

If you are covered by the State Group Health Insurance Program, you may have questions on if or how your doctor’s visit will be covered if you or a covered dependent shows symptoms of COVID-19. To answer your questions regarding testing, telehealth, biometric screening cancellations and more, visit the Department of Employee Trust Fund’s (ETF) COVID-19 webpage. ETF’s webpage includes information about using telehealth and nurse line services as an alternative to an office visit.

We realize that the current situation may cause stress and worry for you and your family. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to UW System employees, their spouses or significant others, and their dependents. Services available may include a consultation on legal or financial concerns or help with how to handle an unexpected day care situation (e.g., child day care or adult/elder care). Visit the EAP webpage to determine how to contact the EAP provided at your institution.

For additional information see: Benefits during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This document provides a summary of benefit plan changes you may be able to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as links to valuable pandemic-related resources.

Source: UW System Human Resources

How To Get Medical Care When You Need It Fast

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.

Take these steps now to prepare for the unexpected:

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 recommend treatment, prescribe medication, refer you to a specialist or tell you, based on your symptoms, if you should see a doctor in-person.

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 the State Group Health Insurance plan?
Due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, effective March 27 through December 31, 2020, telemedicine services are covered at 100%. After December 31, 2020, contact your State Group Health Insurance plan carrier to find out how your telemedicine service(s) will be covered. Any follow-up care may be subject to the copayment, deductible and/or coinsurance as described on the Comparison of Health and Pharmacy Benefits.

How can you obtain additional information regarding telemedicine services?
Generally, health plans offer telemedicine services through their online portals and/or through a mobile app. If you’re unable to find telemedicine information through your health insurance plans online portal, contact your health insurance plan directly by calling the toll-free number on your health insurance ID card. Otherwise, go to ETF's Telehealth Options web page for more information.

Source: UW System Human Resources