2022 News Archive

Investment Changes to UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program

UW System is excited to announce several changes to the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP) investment lineup.

New Lower-Cost Share Classes
In July, ten investment options in the UW 403(b) SRP lineup moved to a lower-cost share class or a lower-cost fund. The new share class offers you the same investment strategy and risk, but the overall expenses will be lower, and the funds will have a different ticker symbol.

Investing in a lower-cost share class means that less of your money goes toward fees. Your existing balances in, and future contributions to, these investment options will automatically be directed to the new share class of the same fund. The transfer of balances will appear as an exchange on your account history and quarterly statement.

Discontinued Fund
The UW 403(b) SRP offers Vanguard Target Retirement Funds in the core investment lineup through both TIAA and Fidelity. Vanguard recently directed the merger of the Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund into the Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund. A fund merger is a corporate fund action that directs the closure of one fund, which is then replaced by another fund. If you are invested in the Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 Fund, your current assets and any future contributions will be directed to the Vanguard Target Retirement Income Fund.

New Fund
Effective in August, the Vanguard Target Retirement 2070 Fund will be added to the investment lineup.

Resources
See Investment Options on the UW 403(b) SRP webpage for more details on these changes.

Want to learn more about the program? Visit the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program webpage.

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

Summer Prepay Deductions: Summer Employment / Family Status Changes

If you are an employee who had Summer prepay insurance premiums deducted from your spring, 2022 paychecks, who has since had an employment or family status change, contact your institution benefits contact for information on how your insurance benefits and deductions may be affected.

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?
Summer Prepay premiums are deducted from spring paychecks to maintain insurance coverage between academic years for employees who do not work one or more months during the summer (contract break) and are expected to return in the fall.

These deductions are in addition to regular insurance premium deductions. If you had these deductions in spring, 2022, you would have received an email prior to each deduction with an estimated deduction amount.

For more information, review the Summer Prepay Deductions web page.

What if Your Employment/Family Status Changes Over the Summer?

Employment Status: If your summer or fall 2022 employment status changes after summer prepays are deducted, you may receive deduction refunds. If you will be terminating employment, and will not return in fall 2022, contact your institution benefits contact to determine your employment termination date and insurance coverage end dates.

Family Status: If you will experience any other status change such as a marriage, birth of a child, divorce, contact your institution benefits contact for information on how your insurance benefits may be affected.

Note: 9-month employees’ insurance premium deductions will resume on the September 22, 2022 paycheck.

Resources

Questions
If you have questions, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Bank Unused Vacation Hours

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees with a 12-month appointment have an annual opportunity to bank unused vacation after completing 10 or more fiscal years (July 1 through June 30) of continuous service. The deadline to bank unused vacation allocated in fiscal year 2021-22 is September 30, 2022.

Instructions for viewing your leave balances and banking unused vacation are available in the Banked Leave Conversion Tipsheet. Vacation and carryover balance hours that are eligible to be banked may be viewed beginning July 1.

How Much Vacation Can You Bank?

Years of Continuous Service Hours That Can be Banked *
First 10 Years 0
10+ to 25 Years 40
25 Years and Over 80
* The amount of vacation that can be banked is prorated for part-time employees.

There is no limit to the total number of hours (balance) that can be retained in your Banked Leave account. Once vacation is banked the hours do not expire.

When Can Banked Leave Be Used?
With your supervisor’s approval, banked leave hours may be used whenever you are allowed to use paid leave.

What If You Terminate Employment?
Unused banked leave hours will be paid to you at your wage rate at termination.

Resources:

If you have questions, contact your Institution Leave Administrator.

Source: UW System Human Resources

June 30 Deadline to Use Carryover Vacation and Holiday Hours

The deadline for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees to use carryover vacation, personal and floating legal holiday hours is June 30, 2022. Schedule and use this leave by June 30, 2022, or it will be lost.

Paid leave is granted to Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees in annual basis appointments on a fiscal year basis (July 1 - June 30).

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Paid Leave Type Year Granted Deadline to Use
Personal Holiday July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022  (2021-22 Fiscal Year) June 30, 2022
Floating Legal Holiday Hours December 25, 2021
January 1, 2022
June 30, 2022
Vacation Hours July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021  (2020-21 Fiscal Year) June 30, 2022

University Staff Employees

As a reminder, paid leave is granted on a calendar year basis.

  • Personal Holidays granted January 1, 2022, must be used by December 31, 2022.
  • Floating Legal Holidays (January 1, December 24, December 31, 2022) must be used by December 31, 2022.
  • Vacation granted January 1, 2021, must be used by December 31, 2022.

Resources:

WEA Trust To Exit State Group Health Insurance Program

WEA Trust announced on June 1, 2022, they will no longer offer health insurance after this year. In the State Group Health Insurance Program all current WEA Trust network areas and offerings will no longer be available to employees after January 1, 2023.

If you are currently enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program and have WEA Trust as your insurance carrier, your health insurance will continue with WEA Trust through the end of 2022. During the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) this fall you will need to choose a new health insurance carrier effective for January 1, 2023. As the ABE time frame nears you will receive information about available insurance carriers for the coming year.

WEA Trust is one of several health insurance carriers available in the State Group Health Insurance Program for the Health Plan and High Deductible Health Plan. WEA Trust is the carrier available for the Access Health Plan and Access High Deductible Health Plan.

The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is responsible for negotiating with insurance carriers to ensure that employees across the state have access to high quality insurance providers and health care options.

WEA Trust includes:

  • WEA Trust East
  • WEA Trust West - Chippewa Valley
  • WEA Trust - Mayo Clinic
  • Access Plan by WEA Trust

Resources:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Resources for Mental Health Well-Being

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also affects how we manage stress, relate to others, and make decisions. Mental health well-being is important from childhood through adulthood.

Take a moment to think about your mental health well-being. Below are early warning signs that suggest you may benefit from reaching out to a mental health expert.

• Eating or sleeping too little or too much
• Having low or no energy
• Feeling helpless or hopeless
• Experiencing mood swings
• Arguing consistently with family or friends

Improving your mental health well-being may help you realize your full potential, cope effectively with stress, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to your community.

Review the UW System Mental Health Resources to understand the benefits programs available to UW System employees that include mental health support services.

You can get more information about mental health at www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth.

Source: UW System Human Resources

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 are several well‐being webinars available to help keep your well-being on track! Most of the webinars require registration and are 30-60 minutes. Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars web page for the registration links and to find more webinars.

Well WI Radio Podcast: Birds are Better than TikTok
Vendor: WebMD (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
Date and Time: On demand
Description: The Well Wisconsin Radio podcast focuses on topics of health and well-being discussed with experts from around the state of Wisconsin. Join host, Morgan Meinen, as she talks with Dr. Matthew Reetz, Executive Director of the Madison Audubon. During this episode, they will discuss the mental, physical, and ecosystem benefits of birds, and how you can help birds’ habitats at home. Listen to this episode to learn more.

Blind Spots that Can Diminish Your Brand
Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistance Program Administrator)
Date and Time: Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – 12:30 pm
Description: We often don’t realize the small things that we do (or fail to do) that can be perceived negatively. Join this webinar to help you discover your blind spots and learn about ways to minimize or eliminate your blind spots for a nearly flawless brand.

Preparing for Your Retirement
Vendor: Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)
Date and Time: Wednesday, June 15, 2022 – 1:00 pm (several other dates and times available)
Description: If you are planning to retire within the next five years, you may want to tune into this webinar. This webinar will explain how the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) retirement benefit works, who is eligible, how to apply for retirement benefits, and the types of annuity options. Join this webinar to learn more about the retirement process.

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

Webinar attendance is on your own time. Consult with your supervisor for approval to attend during working hours.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Submit Leave Reports by June 30, 2022

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees (who have or had an active leave-eligible appointment) are required to submit monthly leave reports for each appointment, whether or not leave is used. Employees are required to report leave on or before the day the leave is taken, or if no leave is taken, to enter a “No Leave Taken” at the end of the month.

Missing leave reports must be entered by June 30, 2022 for fiscal year July 2021 through June 2022.

Failure to submit leave for fiscal year 2022 will result in a permanent reduction of sick leave hours.

Even one unsubmitted leave report will reduce an employee’s sick leave balance resulting in less sick leave available to use if needed. Long term, a reduction of sick leave hours will result in fewer hours available to use for the Sick Leave Credit Conversion Program which allows employees to pay for health insurance in retirement.

How do I Know if I have Missing Leave Reports?

Employees with missing leave reports receive email reminders every two weeks listing their missing reports. Employees may also check for missing leave reports at any time in the MyUW portal.

Resources

If you have questions, contact your Institution Leave Administrator.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Mental Health Support Available Through Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides employer-paid mental health and other well-being resources for UW System employees and their household family members.

Mental health is a critical part of overall health. Everyone faces challenges in life that may impact their mental health. If life challenges are making it difficult for you to cope, how do you know if what you are experiencing is anxiety or depression? When is it time to get professional help? Are you turning to drugs or alcohol to help you cope?

Don’t wait to reach out for mental health support. Contact the EAP today for help.

The EAP is available twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year to help you connect with a counselor either in-person or virtually to discuss your concerns. Household family members are also eligible for counseling. EAP counseling is confidential and solution-focused with the goal of bringing measurable improvement to the situation.

Grief and Loss Support: Grief and loss are difficult emotions that most everyone experiences. The past few years have been especially difficult. Your EAP can help you work through the emotions that may be causing you distress.

Financial Support: Financial struggles can be a significant source of stress. EAP financial advisors can address your specific concerns and help you determine solutions for managing your financial situation. Take advantage of this free service.

Daily Living Support: Stress associated with daily life can be overwhelming. Whether you’re looking for a cleaning service, realtor, new gym, dog walker, day care options or a moving company, contact the EAP. The EAP will conduct a search and present their findings to you so you can evaluate your options.

Legal Support: Seeking legal advice can be time consuming and expensive. Through the EAP, you have access to creating wills, and a free 30-minute legal consultation with an attorney with expertise in your matter. If you choose to retain the attorney, there will be a 25% reduction in the hourly rate.

Resources: The EAP webpage includes contact information and resources.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Edvest College Savings Plan 529 Day

Consider celebrating Edvest 529 Day by enrolling in Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan. It’s a convenient way for families to save for higher education costs.

There are many benefits to opening an Edvest account:

  • Flexible investment choices
  • 100% tax-free compound earnings
  • Money can be used at any accredited school
  • State income tax deduction (limitations apply)

Attend the 529 Day Webinar on Monday, May 23, 2022 at 11:30 am to learn more.

$50 Bonus for Opening an Edvest Account
When you open an Edvest account with a $50 contribution between May 24 and May 31, 2022 and recurring contributions of $25 or more for at least 6 months are set up, Edvest will provide a match $50 on or before January 31, 2023.

Celebrating 25 Years
In 2022, Edvest is celebrating its 25 year anniversary by awarding a $529 account contribution to one winner every month throughout the year.

For information on the 529 College Savings Plan and entering the promotions go to Edvest.com.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Earn Your $150 Well-Being Incentive

If you are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance program, you may earn a $150 well-being incentive through the Well Wisconsin program, administered by WebMD.

To earn the incentive, complete a health assessment, a health check and one well-being activity by October 14, 2022.

The Well Wisconsin program provides tools and resources to help you set well-being goals, track your progress, and stay motivated toward earning your incentive.

Start Earning Your Incentive with WebMD

  • Login or create an account on the WebMD ONE website 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 well-being incentive.

Privacy: 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 additional information.

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

Posted: 05/04/2022 Featured Article; Moved to News: June 17,2022

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS News Online, May 2022

May 2022 Edition
External link: https://etf.wi.gov/news/wrs-news-online/issue/18611

Previous Issue: WRS News Online, January 2022

Source: WI Dept of Employee Trust Funds

Update Address/Personal Information Before End of Spring Semester

Now is the time to review and update your address if it has changed, or if you will terminate UW employment at the end of the spring semester. This will ensure that your tax forms and other documents are mailed to the correct address.

When you terminate employment, you will no longer have access to the MyUW portal to access your tax forms.

It is also important to make sure your Personal Information is up to date (name, emergency contacts, phone numbers, etc.).

For reviewing and updating your Personal Information, including your address: review Videos and Tipsheets

Please note:

  • Student employees must also update their address in their campus student information system.

  • If you have direct deposit and will terminate employment at the end of the spring semester, make sure you have received all UW payments before closing your account.

If you have questions, contact serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Telemedicine: Get Medical Care Fast

Would you like to seek basic medical care from the comfort of your own home? The telemedicine services in the State Group Health Insurance Program may allow this option.

What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, is the remote, virtual diagnosis and treatment of patients. This means you may be able to access non-urgent medical care through video chat or a virtual house call. Through telemedicine, a doctor may recommend treatment, prescribe medication, or tell you to see a doctor in-person (based on your symptoms).

By using telemedicine, you may receive care quicker and it may be less expensive than an office or urgent care visit.

Preparing to Use Telemedicine:

1. Watch the Get Medical Care When You Need It Fast video to help you determine if telemedicine will meet your needs.

2. Review ETF’s Telemedicine Options web page to learn about the different types of telemedicine.

3. Prepare for setting up telemedicine services from your health insurance carrier (such as, downloading a mobile app).

    • Login to your health insurance carrier’s online portal or
    • Contact your health insurance plan carrier by calling the phone number on your health insurance plan ID card.

4. If applicable, download the mobile app.

5. Complete the Get Ready For Care worksheet to help you plan for when telemedicine will not meet your needs (for example: primary care physicians office, urgent care facility).

Source: UW System Human Resources

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 are several well‐being webinars available to help keep your well-being on track! Most of the webinars require registration and are 30-60 minutes. Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars web page for the registration links and to find more webinars.

Well WI Radio Podcast: Stress Management
Vendor: WebMD (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
Date and Time: On demand
Description: The Well Wisconsin Radio podcast focuses on topics of health and well-being discussed with experts from around the state of Wisconsin. Join host, Morgan Meinen, as she talks with Health Coach Alicia Canavera from WebMD. During this episode, they will discuss understanding stress, the effects it can have, and how to ease stress to allow you to live a more fulfilling life. Tune into this episode to learn more.

Assessing the Mental Health of Adolescents and Young Adults
Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistance Program Administrator)
Date and Time: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 12:30 pm
Description: Life can be challenging for adolescents and young adults with all of the choices they have and stressors they encounter while attempting to discern their identity. Join this webinar to learn about the key indicators of mental health challenges and get suggestions for improving mental health. During this webinar, you will also learn how to reduce stress and feelings of isolation.

529 Day
Vendor: Edvest
Date and Time: Monday, May 23, 2022 - 11:30 am
Description: Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan. It allows you to save for your child’s (or anyone’s) K-12 and post-high school education expenses. Attend this webinar to learn about the many benefits such as, a state income tax deduction, tax-free growth on qualified withdrawals, and flexible investment choices.

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

Webinar attendance is on your own time. Consult with your supervisor for approval to attend during working hours.

Source: UW System Human Resources

2022 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? Make sure you have your ID cards prior to needing them. Then, be sure to use the right ID card to save you time and prevent issues later.

State Group Health Insurance ID Card
Present your health insurance ID card for the following visits including telehealth, virtual, office, urgent care, emergency room, and any other visit/appointment that involves healthcare services.

If you did not receive your ID card or need to request a new one, contact your health insurance carrier directly. The phone numbers for the health insurance carriers are listed in the Health Benefits Decision Guide (page 18).

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. Navitus administers the pharmacy benefits. Present your Navitus ID card when you:

  • Visit a pharmacy to pick-up your prescriptions or
  • Request prescriptions through mail order

Go to the Navitus website to request or print a new ID card or contact Navitus at (866) 333-2757 to request a new ID card.

Uniform and Supplemental Dental Insurance ID Cards
Delta Dental administers the Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Insurance plans. There are separate ID cards for the Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Insurance plans. Present both ID cards at your dental appointments if you are enrolled in more than one plan.

Go to the Delta Dental website to print an ID card. If you already have an account with Delta Dental, click the Sign In link. After you login, your ID card will appear on the right. Click the link to download to save an electronic version of your ID card.

If you do not already have an account with Delta Dental, or do not recall your login credentials, contact Delta Dental at (800) 236-3712 to have them mail your ID cards to your home address.

Vision Insurance ID Card
DeltaVision/EyeMed administer the vision insurance. If you are enrolled in vision insurance, present your DeltaVision/EyeMed ID card at your vision appointment.

Go to the DeltaVision/EyeMed website 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 already have an account, click the Need to Register link

After you login, go to the Account tab and select Print My ID Card. Contact DeltaVision/EyeMed at (855) 544-6035 to have them mail your ID cards to your home address.

Payment Card: Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Limited Purpose FSA, Health Savings Account, Parking Account
Optum Financial administers these accounts. After you enroll, you will be issued a single payment card even if you are enrolled in multiple accounts. Click the links below to review eligible expenses for each account.

Contact Optum Financial at (833) 881-8158 to request a new payment card.

Review Your Cards for Accuracy
Review your ID cards for accuracy. If there are errors, contact your institution benefits contact. If you have not received your ID cards, contact the insurance carrier directly.

Source: UW System Human Resources

WRS Statement of Benefits Available

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Statement of Benefits as of January 1, 2022, is now available on the MyUW portal for employees covered by the WRS in 2021.

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

Your statement Includes 2021 earnings and service, retirement benefit projections (if vested), separation benefit, death benefit and employee and employer contributions.

Resources

Important Beneficiary Reminder

It is recommended that you review the beneficiaries listed on your WRS Statement of Benefits and if a beneficiary is not listed, complete a Beneficiary Designation form.

Death benefits are paid according to the most recent Beneficiary Designation form on file with Employee Trust Funds (ETF) prior to your death. Your beneficiary does not automatically change due to a life event, such as divorce or marriage.

If you do not have a beneficiary designation on file, death benefits will be paid according to the statutory standard sequence in effect on the date of death.

To add, change or remove beneficiaries complete a Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320) or Beneficiary Designation-Alternate form (ET-2321) and mail the completed form to ETF.

Questions?

If you have questions about your statement after reviewing the available resources, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

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 are several well‐being webinars available to help keep your well-being on track! Most of the webinars require registration and are 30-60 minutes. Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars web page for the registration links and to find more webinars.

Well WI Radio Podcast: Nutrition and Immunity
Vendor: WebMD (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
Date and Time: On demand
Description: The Well Wisconsin Radio podcast focuses on topics of health and well-being discussed with experts from around the state of Wisconsin. Join host, Morgan Meinen, as she talks with Dr. Beth Olson, an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Nutritional Sciences Department at UW-Madison. During this episode, they will discuss the link between nutrition and the immune system.

Managing Change in our Ever-Evolving World
Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistance Program Administrator)
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 – 12:30 pm
Description: In the face of change, it’s often easy to get stuck. Learning the skills of adaptability can be life changing. Join this webinar to learn about change management and ultimate adaptability in our ever-evolving world.

Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits (WRS)
Vendor: Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 – 11:00 am (several other dates and times available)
Description: Your annual WRS Statement of Benefits shows you the current state of your WRS account. Tune in to this webinar for a better understanding of each section of your statement. By the end of this webinar, you should also be able to interpret your retirement benefit calculations.

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

Webinar attendance is on your own time. Consult with your supervisor for approval to attend during working hours.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Updated State Group Life Insurance Premiums Effective April 1, 2022

State Group Life Insurance premium rates will increase for most age categories effective April 1, 2022. There is no change to the premium rates for spouse and dependent coverage.

View Your Updated Rates
Employees who are currently enrolled in the State Group Life Insurance program can view their updated 2022 premiums at State Group Life Premium Notice. Any change in premium will be reflected on the March 24, 2022, paycheck.

Annual Premium Update
In addition to the premium rate increase, your State Group Life Insurance premiums may also change effective April 1, 2022, if either or both your age category and salary changed since April 1, 2021. Coverage levels are based on:

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

The UW System contributes towards 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 the 2022 State Group Life Insurance premiums.

For general plan information, review the UW System Employee Benefits State Group Life insurance web page. If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Summer Prepay Insurance Premium Deductions

Summer Prepay premiums are deducted from spring paychecks to maintain insurance coverage between academic years for employees who do not work one or more months during the summer (contract break) and are expected to return in the fall.

Summer prepay deductions are in addition to regular insurance premium deductions. Employees will receive monthly emails with the estimated summer prepay deduction amounts.

Faculty, academic staff, limited appointees, student assistants and employees-in-training enrolled in State Group Health and other insurance programs will have summer prepay deductions if:

  • Their academic (9 month) or annual (12 month) contract does not include work during one or more summer months; and
  • They are expected to return to benefits eligible employment on or before the start of the fall semester; and
  • They are eligible to maintain insurance coverage through the summer months.

For detailed information on which plans summer prepays are deducted, the deduction timeline and how life events (employment or family status changes) could affect deductions, review:

If you have questions, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

March 31 Deadline for 2021 FSA Claims

March 31, 2022 is the deadline to submit and substantiate your 2021 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) claims. To be reimbursed for out-of-pocket health care, dependent day care, or parking and transit expenses from your 2021 FSA, you must have incurred eligible expenses by December 31, 2021.

An FSA allows you to be reimbursed for certain out-of-pocket expenses with tax-free dollars. Since these are spending accounts, the money is intended to be spent. Below are the eligible expense lists.

How to Submit Eligible Expenses for Reimbursement

The most efficient way to submit your eligible expenses for reimbursement is electronically by using Optum Financial’s mobile app or website.

Include the required IRS supporting documentation with your submission. Optum Financial will contact you directly when additional information is needed. Remember, all claims must be submitted and substantiated by March 31, 2022.

Carryover Reminders

  • Healthcare FSA: Up to $550 of unused funds will carry over from 2021 to 2022 on/after April 15, 2022. This applies even if you did not enroll in a Healthcare FSA for 2022. Unused funds greater than $550 will be forfeited.
  • Dependent Day Care Account: There is no carry over from 2021 to 2022. Unused funds will be forfeited.
  • Parking & Transit Accounts: All unused funds carry over from 2021 to 2022 on/after April 15, 2022. This applies even if you did not enroll in a Parking or Transit Account for 2022.

For questions about your claims, eligible expenses, or your payment card, contact Optum Financial at (833) 881-8158.

For general information, review the UW System Employee Benefits FSA web page.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Well Wisconsin Program Identifies Health Risks for UW System Participants

The goal of the Well Wisconsin Program is to help you be your best self. The program provides tools and resources to help you set your well-being goals, track your progress, and stay motivated throughout the year, resulting in positive changes to your overall health.

In 2021, 37 percent of UW System employees and spouses eligible for the Well Wisconsin Program completed a health assessment, health check and well-being activity to earn their $150 well-being incentive. This is the highest program participation compared to the other State agencies!

For those that earned the incentive in 2021, the primary health risks were weight, its biological consequences (high cholesterol and blood pressure), nutrition, and sleep. This information helps WebMD, the Well Wisconsin Program administrator, develop well-being activities. For example, to help participants consume more fruits and vegetables, WebMD added the “Five to Thrive” well-being challenge for 2022.

Are you missing out on an opportunity to be more aware of your health?

Earn your $150 incentive in 2022 by completing the health assessment, a health check, and one well-being activity by October 14, 2022. Review the well-being activity options on the WebMD website or through the Wellness at Your Side mobile app (code: SOWI).

For additional information, visit the UW System Well Wisconsin Program page.

Health information is protected by federal law and will never be shared with the WI Dept. of Employee Trust Funds, the group health insurance program, or employers. Review WebMD’s Privacy Statement or view this short video for additional information.

Source: UW System Human Resources

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 are several well‐being webinars available to help keep your well-being on track! Most of the webinars require registration and last 30-60 minutes. Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars web page for the registration links and to find more webinars.

Well WI Radio Podcast: Purpose & Goals
Vendor: WebMD (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
Date and Time: On demand
Description: The Well Wisconsin Radio podcast focuses on topics of health and well-being discussed with experts from around the state of Wisconsin. Join host, Morgan Meinen, as she talks with Dr. Christine Whelan, a Clinical Professor in the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison. During this episode, they will discuss how to set goals and find purpose during times of uncertainty.

Communication Skills in a Virtual World
Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistance Program Administrator)
Date and Time: Wednesday, March 9, 2022 – 12:30 pm
Description: With all of the virtual meetings, email communications, and virtual chats, sometimes the details get lost in translation without intentional communication. Join this webinar to learn about various tools and strategies for effective intentional virtual communication.

Retirement Benefit Calculations (WRS)
Vendor: Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)
Date and Time: Monday, March 14, 2022 – 6:00 pm
Description: If you have requested a retirement benefit estimate, are thinking about it, or are just curious about how your retirement benefit will be calculated, join this webinar!

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

Webinar attendance is on your own time. Consult with your supervisor for approval to attend during working hours.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test Coverage Information

Effective January 15, 2022, UW System employees covered under the State Group Health Insurance Program can purchase over-the-counter COVID-19 diagnostic test kits at no cost.

If you purchase test kits at a pharmacy in the Navitus network, your tests will be covered without any out-of-pocket costs. To locate an in-network pharmacy, go to https://etf.benefits.navitus.com/, then:

  1. Click the blue box for the health insurance plan you are enrolled in,
  2. Click “pharmacy search” on the left side of your screen,
  3. Select 2022 as the plan year, and
  4. Enter the zip code for the city where you would like to purchase your test kit.

If the pharmacy you are looking for does not appear online after you follow the above steps, or you would like help locating an in-network pharmacy, contact Navitus at (866) 333-2757.

If you purchase test kits at a pharmacy that is not in the Navitus network, from a retail store, online, or at your provider’s office, you can submit a claim form to Navitus for reimbursement.

Note: Coverage limits and exclusions apply.

For more information, review ETF's Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test Coverage Information web page.

Source: UW System Human Resources

America Saves Week: February 21-25

Check out the UW System America Saves Week website for over a dozen webinars on budgeting, saving, retirement, and more!

America Saves Week, a national campaign encouraging savings and financial planning, is happening Monday, February 21 - Friday, February 25. UW System is offering free webinars and financial resources during this time to support your financial goals for 2022.

Webinars are presented by the UW (403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP) providers (Fidelity and TIAA), Wisconsin’s 529 plan provider (Edvest), UW Credit Union, Summit Credit Union, and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) Program provider (Empower).

America Saves Week can keep you motivated with information, tips, and reminders to help you reach your financial goals. The America Saves Week campaign is an opportunity to commit - or recommit - to saving for today and for the future.

Check out the UW System America Saves Week Website to have an incredible America Saves Week!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Save the Date! America Saves Week is February 21-25

We hope that you're having a happy and healthy start to the New Year! The America Saves team has hit the ground running and has quite a bit to share with you.

UW System is promoting financial well-being with the America Saves Week campaign February 21-25 with webinars, credit checks, and other resources.

America Saves Week encourages individuals and families to set a goal and make a plan to achieve financial stability.

Check out the UW System America Saves Week Website to have an incredible America Saves Week!

During this week, UW System will feature live webinars, presented by:

UW Credit Union will also offer virtual Credit Checkups.

See you there!

Source: UW System Human Resources

UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program Updates

The UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP) has recently undergone a transition, and here are some updates that may be of interest.

Revenue Returned in November/December 2021
As a result of fee negotiations undertaken by the University of Wisconsin, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity and TIAA returned revenue to participants in November and December 2021. Participants may see this categorized in recent quarterly statements in the following ways:

  • Miscellaneous Receipt for T. Rowe Price participants
  • Revenue Credit for Fidelity participants or 
  • Plan Servicing Credit for TIAA participants

It’s the goal of the University of Wisconsin System and the SRP Advisory Committee to offer the lowest cost program while providing the best possible services and investments. The return of revenue to participants reflects our work towards this goal.

Transfer of Assets from T. Rowe Price to Fidelity or TIAA Completed
In 2022, T. Rowe Price is no longer a provider in the UW 403(b) Program, and in January T. Rowe Price balances were transferred to either Fidelity or TIAA. Balances were moved to Fidelity during the first week of January and to TIAA in the second week of January. With these transfers now complete, all accounts are out of “black out” mode and can be accessed. Fidelity and TIAA have sent notices of completion to affected participants.

Elimination of Minimum Contribution
With the UW 403(b) SRP transition, the minimum contribution of $8 per pay period has been eliminated. This means you can reduce your online contribution to as low as $1 while keeping your contribution active.

As a reminder, you can easily adjust your current contribution amount by logging into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison and clicking “Launch full app” on the “Benefit Information” tile. At the bottom of the screen, click “Update 403(b) Deduction” and edit your deduction.

To start or completely stop a deduction you must use a Salary Reduction Agreement. Remember to monitor your contributions on your earnings statements.

Want to learn more about the program? Visit the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program webpage.

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

1095-C Forms Now Available Online

Electronic 2021 Form 1095-C are now available in the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Paper copies are mailed to all employees except those who chose to receive an electronic only 1095-C by January 18, 2022. Employees will receive a paper copy of the W-2 Form via U.S. mail postmarked by March 2, 2022.

Form 1095-C resources:

Form 1095-C is provided to all employees who were full-time, as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for all or some months of 2021. Employees should retain Form 1095-C with their tax records.

Your dependents will not be listed on the 1095-C. A 1095-B, that will list your dependents, can be requested directly from your health insurance carrier.
More information regarding Form 1095-C and the ACA is available on the Affordable Care Act web page.

If you have questions, please contact serviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

WRS News Online, January 2022

January 2022 Edition
External link: https://etf.wi.gov/news/wrs-news-online/issue/18596

Previous Issue: WRS News Online, November 2021
Next Issue: WRS News Online, May 2022

Source: WI Dept of Employee Trust Funds

Updated ICI Premiums Effective Feb. 1, 2022

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are reviewed annually, and any updates are effective February 1. Premium changes for 2022 will be reflected on the February 24, 2022, paycheck.

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, visit the ICI Premium Notice web page for your personalized updated premium amount. Current enrollees were sent an email January 25 with a link to this web page.

Several factors determine your premium amount:

Your Earnings

  • For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: ICI premium* is based on your 2021 eligible earnings and the elimination period you elected when you enrolled.
  • For University Staff: ICI premium* is based on your 2021 eligible earnings and unused sick leave balance as of December 18, 2021.

    *If you were placed on an intermittent furlough, temporary work reduction, consecutive day furlough or were on an unpaid leave of absence during 2021, review ICI Premium Notice web page for information on how your premium may be affected.

Premium Rates

For 2022 the ICI premium rates will decrease by 50%.

Deferred Enrollment Period

The ICI annual premium update does not reflect any enrollment made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 1, 2022. Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity via an email sent January 15.

ICI Benefits

ICI provides replacement income if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability.

  • Standard ICI coverage provides you with 75% of your gross salary up to a maximum of $4,000 per month (75% of $64,000). Standard ICI coverage is on annual earnings up to $64,000.
  • Supplemental ICI coverage provides 75% of your gross salary to a maximum of $7,500 per month (75% of $120,000). Supplemental ICI coverage is on annual earnings up to $120,000.

More Information

For ICI plan information visit the UW System Employee Benefits ICI web page. After reviewing the web page, if you have additional questions, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

W-2 Forms Now Available Online

Electronic 2021 W-2 Forms (Wage and Tax Statements) are now available in the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Paper copies are mailed to all employees except those who chose to receive an electronic only W-2 by January 13, 2022. Employees will receive a paper copy of the W-2 Form via U.S. mail postmarked by January 31, 2022.

Instructions to View/Print 2021 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 - This form includes information about the health insurance coverage offered to you by your University or through the UW System. A separate communication will be sent to employees who will receive this form.
  • The Fellowship Letter – This form shows amounts paid through the University payroll as a Fellowship/Scholarship, which are not considered to be wages by the IRS and are not subject to Social Security or Medicare withholding. The form is typically available in February.
  • The 1042-S Forms – This form includes a foreign person’s income from a U.S. source which is subject to tax withholding. The form is typically available in the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison 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 2021 earnings statement, to file taxes.

Some employees have had adjustments to their 2021 taxable earnings since the last 2021 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 2021 tax year returns on January 31, 2022. 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 Taxpayer Identification number. More information is available on the IRS website.

If you have questions, contact your Payroll office.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

ICI Deferred Enrollment through March 1, 2022

You may be eligible to participate in the annual Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) Deferred Enrollment period now through March 1, 2022. Eligible employees were notified by email on January 15.

ICI provides replacement income if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability.

Eligibility

  • If you are currently enrolled in the ICI plan and have Standard ICI coverage, you may be eligible to enroll in Supplemental ICI coverage during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period.
  • If you are not currently enrolled in the ICI plan, you may be eligible to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period. This is the only time during the year you may enroll in the ICI plan without providing evidence of insurability.

Visit your ICI employee web page to view your ICI eligibility and for personalized data to assist you in making an enrollment decision.

How are ICI Coverage and Premiums Determined?

ICI coverage and premiums are based in part on your eligible earnings*. For Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees, the elimination period you elect when you enrolled is an additional factor. For University Staff employees your sick leave balance* is also a factor.

*If you were placed on an intermittent furlough, temporary work reduction, consecutive day furlough or were on an unpaid leave of absence during 2021, review the ICI employee web page for information on how your premium may be affected.

ICI Benefits

Standard ICI coverage provides you with 75% of your gross salary up to a maximum of $4,000 per month (75% of $64,000). Standard ICI coverage is on annual earnings up to $64,000.

Supplemental ICI coverage provides 75% of your gross salary to a maximum of $7,500 per month (75% of $120,000). Supplemental ICI coverage is on annual earnings up to $120,000.

For More Information or to Enroll

Review the UW System Employee Benefits ICI web page.

To enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period, submit an application to your institution benefits contact by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 1, 2022.

If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources