2021 News Archive

Don't miss the Annual Benefits Enrollment period!

October 22, 2021, is the deadline to make changes to your benefits for 2022.

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is your annual opportunity to enroll in or make changes to most of your benefits for 2022. ABE runs September 27-October 22, 2021. Changes made during ABE are effective January 1, 2022.

Act NOW before the ABE period ends on October 22, 2021.

Prepare

  • Review your current benefit enrollments in the Benefit Information module in MyUW Portal
  • Visit the ABE web page for the 2022 benefit plan changes and ABE resources:

  Annual Benefits Enrollment Highlights video for an overview of benefit changes for 2022
  Department of Employee Trust Funds Health Benefits Decision Guide
  Virtual Benefit Session schedule

Decide

  • Use ALEX, your virtual online benefits counselor. ALEX walks you through your options and suggests benefit plans based on your answers to a series of questions.
  • You must enroll in these plans each year to participate:
  •   Flexible Spending Account (FSAs): Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, and Dependent Day Care

      Health Savings Account (HSA): Required if you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

      State Group Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive

  • You may be eligible to enroll in, change, or cancel coverage for the plans listed below. For some plans you can add or remove dependents. Visit the ABE web page for additional information and premiums for each plan:
  •   State Group Health Insurance
      Uniform, Preventive and Supplemental Dental Insurance
      Vision Insurance
      Individual & Family Life Insurance (current enrollees only)
      Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
      Accident Insurance
      Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, and Dependent Day Care
      Health Savings Account (HSA)

Act

  • Beginning September 27, self-enroll on MyUW portal

1.  Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison

2.  Go to the Benefit Information module

3.  Click on the Enroll now link

  • All enrollments and changes must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2021.

You will receive an e-mail within 24-48 hours with instructions on viewing your Confirmation Statement for elections effective January 1, 2022. Review your statement for accuracy.

For more information on benefit plans and premiums, visit the ABE web page. If you have questions, contact your institution benefits contact.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Deadlines for Using December 25, 2021, Floating Legal Holiday

Saturday, December 25, 2021 (Christmas Day) is a floating legal holiday which employees may use in accordance with UW System policy.

University Staff employees must use this floating legal holiday by December 31, 2021. For University Staff employees, a floating legal holiday must be used by the end of the calendar year in which it was earned. If it is not used, it is lost and cannot be carried over into the new calendar year.

Faculty, Academic Staff or Limited appointees must use the December 25, 2021 floating legal holiday by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2022). If it is not used, it is lost and cannot be carried over into the new fiscal year.

Saturday, January 1, 2022 (New Year’s Day) will also be considered a floating legal holiday. Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees must use the January 1, 2022 floating legal holiday by June 30, 2022. University Staff employees must use the floating holiday between January 1 and December 31, 2022.

A floating legal holiday occurs when a legal holiday falls on a Saturday. An employee is granted eight hours of floating legal holiday (prorated, if part-time). When a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, the legal holiday is observed, and the UW System is closed on the Monday following the legal holiday.

Find more information, including eligibility to be paid for a legal holiday, on the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Annual Benefits Enrollment: September 27 - October 22, 2021

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is September 27-October 22. This is your annual opportunity to enroll in or make changes to most of your benefits. Changes made during ABE are effective January 1, 2022.

Plan now so you are ready for the enrollment period. Find all of the ABE resources on the ABE web page.

Prepare

  • Review your current benefit enrollments in the Benefit Information module in MyUW Portal
  • Visit the ABE web page for the 2022 benefit plan changes and ABE resources:

  Annual Benefits Enrollment Highlights video for an overview of benefit changes for 2022
  Department of Employee Trust Funds Health Benefits Decision Guide
  Virtual Benefit Session schedule

Decide

  • Use ALEX, your virtual online benefits counselor. ALEX walks you through your options and suggests benefit plans based on your answers to a series of questions.
  • You must enroll is these plans each year to participate:
  •   Flexible Spending Account (FSAs): Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, and Dependent Day Care

      Health Savings Account (HSA): Required if you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

      State Group Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive

    • You may be eligible to enroll in, change, or cancel coverage for the plans listed below. For some plans you can add or remove dependents. Visit the ABE web page for additional information and premiums for each plan.

      State Group Health Insurance
      Uniform, Preventive and Supplemental Dental Insurance
      Vision Insurance
      Individual & Family Life Insurance (current enrollees only)
      Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
      Accident Insurance
      Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, and Dependent Day Care
      Health Savings Account (HSA)

    Act

    • Beginning September 27, enroll on the MyUW portal:

    1.  Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison

    2.  Go to the Benefit Information module

    3.  Click on the Enroll Now button

    • All enrollments and changes must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2021

    You will receive an e-mail with instructions on viewing your Confirmation Statement for elections effective January 1, 2022, within 24-48 hours of enrolling. Review your statement for accuracy.

    For more information on benefit plans and premiums, visit the ABE web page. If you have questions, contact your Institution Benefits Contact.

    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)

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


      June 30, 2021





Vacation **  

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

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


      October 9, 2021

* 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)

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


      December 31, 2021





Vacation ^^  

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

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


      December 31, 2021

^ 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

Posted: 2021-03-11, Refreshed: 2021-06-06, 2021-06-15, 2021-08-06, 2021-08-24, 2021-09-27

Source: UW System Human Resources

Use ALEX To Help With Annual Benefits Enrollment Planning

ALEX is an interactive, benefits decision support tool that can help you make the most of the benefits offered to you and your family. Whether you are a new employee or have worked for the UW System for many years, ALEX is available to you at any time!

ALEX walks you through all UW System benefit plans including health insurance, life insurance, spending and savings accounts, and retirement plans.

Review the ALEX Sneak Peek video (90-seconds) for a preview of some of the 2022 benefit changes.

Then, remember to use ALEX to assist you with making decisions in preparation for the 2022 Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period: September 27–October 22, 2021.

Source: UW System Human Resources

403(b) Program Enhancements: Town Halls

UW System is making changes to enhance the 403(b) Program, the University’s supplemental retirement savings plan.

Updates to the program focus on cost-effectiveness, simplification, and ease of use for 403(b) participants. UW System’s goal is to make it easier for participants to enroll, select investments, and monitor investment performance on an ongoing basis.

UW System will host town halls to discuss the upcoming 403(b) program changes and actions participants may need to take. Town halls are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 2:00pm
  • Monday, November 15, 2021 at 11:00am

Employees will have an opportunity to ask questions during each town hall. Access links to join on the 403(b) Program Enhancements web page. If you’re unable to attend, recordings of each town hall will be made available on the web page shortly afterwards.

Current participants in the program will also receive additional communication from UW System and their providers in the coming weeks.

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

Submit Leave Reports By September 30, 2021, To Avoid Sick Leave Reduction

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.

Employees who were required to take either individual or consecutive furlough days must also submit leave reports for the months furlough was taken. If no leave was taken for a month, a “No Leave Taken” entry must be made.

Submit Leave Reports by September 30, 2021

Failure to submit all leave for fiscal year July 2020 through June 2021 by September 30, 2021, 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.

Employees who do not submit all leave reports for fiscal year July 2020 through June 2021 before September 30, 2021, will receive an email notifying them of the permanent reduction in their sick leave hours.

Submitting Leave Reports

For information on how to submit leave reports, review missing leave reports, enter absences or no leave taken, review the resources on the Time and Absence Help Page.

Questions

If you have questions or are unable to report your leave in the MyUW portal, contact your Institution Leave Administrator.

To review the sick leave policies:

Source: UW System Human Resources

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Versus Non-HDHP

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is September 27-October 22, 2021. ABE gives you the opportunity to select your health insurance plan for coverage effective January 1, 2022. It is important to select the plan design and health insurance carrier that best fits the needs of you and your family.

To help you prepare for ABE, the following information highlights the similarities and differences of the High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Non-HDHP.

Similarities between the HDHP and Non-HDHP

  • In-network preventive services are covered at 100%
  • Coverage for federally required preventive drugs at 100%
  • Both have a deductible
  • In-network coinsurance is 10% (the amount you pay after the deductible for specific services; the plan pays the remaining 90%)
  • In-network providers will provide lower out-of-pocket expenses than out-of-network providers
  • Both allow participation in the Well Wisconsin program to earn a $150 wellness incentive
  • Both provide an opportunity to enroll in Uniform Dental Benefits for preventive dental services
  • Both offer out-of-network coverage through the Access HDHP and Access Non-HDHP. Note: Access plans are more expensive.
  • Premiums will be deducted from your paycheck regardless of whether you use your health insurance

Differences between the HDHP and Non-HDHP

  • HDHPs have lower premiums
  • HDHPs include a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help you prepare for out-of-pocket expenses. An HSA provides three separate tax benefits:
       o   Contributions are tax-deductible
       
    o   HSA assets may grow tax-free (through interest and/or investing)
       o   Withdrawals for qualified medical, dental, and/or vision expenses are not taxed
  • HDHPs include an employer contribution to the HSA (up to $750 for single coverage, $1,500 for family) which remains in your HSA until you use it
  • Non-HDHP have a deductible for medical services and a separate deductible for pharmacy benefits; HDHPs have a deductible that includes medical services and pharmacy benefits
  • Non-HDHP have an out-of-pocket limit for medical services and a separate out-of-pocket limit for pharmacy benefits; HDHPs have a combined out-of-pocket limit that includes medical services and pharmacy benefits
  • Non-HDHP have lower deductibles

Prepare for expected/unexpected out-of-pocket health, dental, and/or vision expenses

Review the expenses you have incurred so far in 2021 for health, dental, and vision services to help you prepare for 2022. Some of the ways you can save for expected and unexpected out-of-pocket expenses include:

  • With a HDHP you may use the HSA for qualifying medical, dental and/or vision expenses or Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for qualifying dental, vision, and post-medical deductible expenses. The intent of these accounts is to set aside pre-tax earnings to help pay for qualifying out-of-pocket expenses.
  • With a Non-HDHP you may set aside pre-tax earnings in a Health Care FSA for qualifying medical, dental and vision expenses, or after-tax earnings in a personal account for out-of-pocket expenses.

For additional information, review the UW System Human Resources Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

UW System Integrity Hotline Available to Students, Faculty and Staff

The UW System Integrity Hotline (formerly known as the Waste, Fraud & Abuse Hotline) is available for all students, faculty and staff to report a concern on a wide variety of issues.

The hotline has been available since 2015 and has more than 40 different categories someone can report on, including:

  • Employee, student, and customer service relations.
  • Discrimination, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
  • Retaliation against whistleblowers.
  • Financial issues like accounting irregularities, records falsification, grant mismanagement, wage/hour issues, or theft of cash or goods/services
  • Academic issues like research misconduct.
  • Operational and environmental issues, like data privacy violations, product quality, and safety issues.
  • General issues, like fraud, conflict of interest, animal care, and athletics.

You are always encouraged to talk to your supervisor, a manager, or someone in Human Resources if you have a concern about misconduct, abuse, fraud, or illegal activity. However, you may also use the Integrity Hotline by calling 855-827-4950 or contacting Navex Global at secure.ethicspoint.com. You may remain anonymous.

Source: UW System

2022 Benefit Highlights

The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is September 27 – October 22, 2021. This is your annual opportunity to enroll in or make benefit plan changes. Changes made during ABE are effective January 1, 2022. Here are some highlights of the 2022 benefits.

State Group Health Insurance
The health plan designs (health plan and high deductible health plan) and most health plan components (deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) will remain the same. There will be a modest increase in employee premiums effective January 1, 2022.

These are the health insurance plan carrier changes:

  • Quartz Community will split into Quartz Central and Quartz West. Since Quartz Community will no longer be offered, employees enrolled in Quartz Community will need to select a different health insurance carrier.
  • Aspirus will be offered for select counties in Central Wisconsin

Here are some of the enhancements to covered services:

  • Coverage will be added for medically necessary corrective jaw surgery
  • Access to coverage for continuous glucose monitors will be expanded to the pharmacy benefit
  • Timeframe requirement will be removed for extractions and dental repairs due to accidents
  • The age for colonoscopy screenings to begin will be reduced to age 45

Uniform and Preventive Dental Insurance Plans
These plans provide coverage for preventive dental services, most basic dental services, and orthodontia services (up to age 19). Coverage for composite/resin fillings for the back teeth will be added to these plans for 2022. Employee premiums effective January 1, 2022 will decrease for uniform dental (employee only coverage) and will increase for the preventive plan.

Supplemental Dental Insurance Plans
These plans (Select and Select Plus) provide coverage for most basic and major dental services. In addition, one of the plans (Select Plus) covers orthodontia services for children and adults. You may enroll in one supplemental dental insurance plan (and either the Uniform or Preventive Dental plan). Employee premiums will increase effective January 1, 2022.

Vision Insurance Plan
This plan provides coverage for an annual eye exam as well as materials (contacts and/or glasses). There is no change in employee premiums for 2022.

Accident Insurance Plan
This plan is designed to protect employees and their families in the event of an injury due to an accident. For 2022, cash benefit payment amounts for most covered injuries (due to an accident) will increase. In addition, a cash benefit will be added for outpatient rehabilitation therapy, when necessary due to an accident. This plan includes an Accidental Death & Dismemberment component. There is no change to premiums for 2022.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Plan
This plan will continue to be offered. Employees may enroll in both the Accident Insurance plan and the AD&D Insurance plan. There is no change to premiums for 2022.

Pre-tax Spending and Savings Accounts
Here are the annual contribution limits for 2022 for the pre-tax spending and savings accounts:

  • Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts: $2,750
  • Dependent Day Care Account: $2,500 or $5,000 (depending on tax filing status)
  • Health Savings Accounts: $3,650 for single health insurance, $7,300 for family health insurance

The Healthcare FSA will have a carryover limit of $550. The Dependent Day Care Account does not have a carryover provision. Health Savings Account balances continue to rollover from one year to the next.

403(b) Program
UW System is making changes to enhance the 403(b) Program, the University’s supplemental retirement savings plan.

Changes to the program will focus on cost-effectiveness, simplification and ease of use for 403(b) participants. UW System’s goal is to make it easier to enroll, select investments, and monitor investment performance on an ongoing basis.

Along with upcoming program changes, the 403(b) program has been rebranded to the UW 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program (SRP), from the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program.

In addition to the name change, the 403(b) Program will undergo enhancements to the recordkeepers (providers) and investment line-up effective January 1, 2022.

  • TIAA and Fidelity will remain as active recordkeepers in the program
  • T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise, and Lincoln will no longer be offered as recordkeepers

If you are a current program participant or enroll in the program in the next few months, you may need to take action based on these upcoming changes.

Watch for emails with additional information about ABE and the 403(b) Program changes. Or refer to the following web pages for additional information:

Source: UW System Human Resources

Deadline To Earn Your Well Wisconsin Program Incentive

Earn your $150 Well Wisconsin Program incentive by completing a health assessment, health check, and one well-being activity by October 8, 2021. You are eligible to earn the $150 Well Wisconsin Program incentive if you are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program. Spouses are also eligible if they are enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program.

Health Assessment: Log into the WebMD website and answer the assessment questions online. The assessment will take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Health Check: Choose from the below options to complete this requirement:

    • Biometric Screening: Check the WebMD website for future clinics located near you. Otherwise, request an at-home screening test kit by logging into the WebMD portal or contacting WebMD via phone. Test kits must be requested by September 17, 2021.
      • Health Care Provider Form: Report your height, weight, and blood pressure from a visit with your health care provider. Your health care provider does not need to sign this form.
        • Preventive Dental Exam: Get a dental cleaning to meet this requirement.
          • Health Coaching Call: Discuss your current health with a WebMD health coach, set well-being goals and explore solutions to help you attain your goals.

Well-being Activity: Select an activity from the WebMD website and get it done!

To learn more, review the UW System Well Wisconsin Program web page.

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 is a selection of well-being webinars available to help keep your well-being on track! Most of the webinars require registration and last 30 to 60 minutes. Visit the UW System Human Resources Well-being Webinars webpage for the registration links and to find more webinars.

  • WRS: Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods
    Vendor: Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF)
    Date and Time: Thursday, August 19, 2021 - 6:00 pm
    Description: This webinar will help you understand how your retirement benefit is calculated in preparation for your retirement. The goal is to help you make the retirement process as stress-free as possible as you look forward to this next chapter of your life!
  • Well WI Radio: The Brain and Youth Sports
    Vendor: WebMD/StayWell (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
    Date and Time: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 12:00 pm
    Description: A monthly podcast style session that 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 Julie Stamm, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UW-Madison. They will discuss the science behind repetitive brain trauma in youth sports, common misconceptions, and how parents can make informed decisions to help protect their child(ren).
  • Wisconsin Strong Program: Take Control of Your Finances
    Vendor: Summit Credit Union
    Date and Time: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 8:30 am or 5:30 pm
    Description: If you feel like you are living paycheck to paycheck or use your credit card more often than you would like, this session may be of interest to you. It will discuss how to make choices that fit the lifestyle you want to live and how to establish new habits that will set you up for successful money management.
  • Caring for Loved Ones at Home
    Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistant Program (EAP) Administrator)
    Date and Time: Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 12:30 pm
    Description: Many elders prefer home care over institutionalized care; however, the task can seem daunting. This webinar will discuss what to take into consideration when determining what option may be best for caring for your loved ones. Various resources will be shared that can help make this living arrangement safe, affordable, and enjoyable for all.
  • 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.

    Updated: July 15, 2021, August 11, 2021
    Archived: October 4, 2021

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Your TSA 403(b) Program – Reimagined!

    UW System is making changes to enhance the TSA 403(b) Program, the University’s supplemental retirement savings plan.

    Changes to the program will focus on cost-effectiveness, simplification and ease of use for 403(b) participants. UW System’s goal is to make it easy to enroll, select investments, and monitor investment performance on an ongoing basis. You can read more about the changes on the 403(b) Program Enhancements web page.

    Along with upcoming program changes, there is a new program name: the University of Wisconsin 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Program, or 403(b) SRP. We are in the process of updating this name with the providers (also known as recordkeepers) and on relevant materials and web pages.

    In addition to the name change, the 403(b) SRP will be undergoing enhancements to the recordkeepers and investment line-up effective January 1, 2022. If you are a current program participant – or enroll in the program in the next few months – you may need to take action based on these upcoming changes. Current participants will be notified via an email about these upcoming changes and any required action in September.

    Stay up-to-date on deadlines and actions you may need to take by bookmarking the 403(b) Program Enhancements web page and watching for articles in the Portal or your institution newsletter.

    Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

    Mark Your Calendar for 2022 Annual Benefits Enrollment

    The Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is set for September 27, 2021 – October 22, 2021.

    The ABE period is an annual opportunity for eligible employees to enroll in or make changes to most benefit plans for the upcoming calendar year. This is the only time you are eligible to make changes to your benefits unless you have a qualifying life event, such as a family or employment change. The changes you make during the ABE period will be effective January 1, 2022.

    Watch for upcoming portal articles and emails for additional information!

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Register for your Flu Vaccine Appointment

    Protect yourself this flu season by getting your annual flu vaccination!

    The Well Wisconsin Program offers workplace flu vaccine clinics because a quick needle stick now is better than a nasty illness later. Flu vaccinations are free and voluntary for employees and spouses enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance Program.

    To receive a flu vaccination, you must:

      • Pre-register
      • Wear a mask to your appointment
      • Present your health insurance ID card at your appointment
      • Complete the digital consent form (available after you register for an appointment online)

    The flu vaccination will protect against the four most likely causes of flu illness during the upcoming season, including the H1N1- strain of influenza. The vaccine is preservative-free. The vaccine is not recommended if you are:

        • Allergic to eggs or egg products
        • Have an active neurological disorder
        • Have a fever, acute respiratory or other active infection or illness
        • Pregnant (contact your physician to discuss if you should get the vaccine)

    To register for your appointment, go to the Well Wisconsin website, either log in or create an account, then scroll down to find the Get Your Flu Vaccination tile and click Register.

    For more information:

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Summer Prepay Deductions: Summer Employment/Family Status Changes

    If you are an employee who had Summer prepay insurance premiums deducted from your spring, 2021 paychecks, who has since had an employment or family status change, you should contact your Human Resources Office regarding impacts to your insurance benefits and deductions.

    What are Summer Prepay Deductions?

    Summer prepay insurance premiums are deducted to continue insurance coverage through the summer (contract break) months. These deductions are taken in addition to your regular, monthly insurance premium deductions.

    Summer prepay deductions were deducted in the spring from paychecks for the following eligible Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, Student Assistants, and Employees-in-Training. If you were eligible for these deductions, you would have received an email prior to each deduction with an estimated summer prepay deduction amount.

      • Academic (9-month) employees who will return to UW System employment in the fall of 2021
      • Academic (9-month) employees with a summer service/summer session appointment
      • Academic (non-exempt employees paid biweekly)

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

    Employment Status: If your summer or fall 2021 employment status changes after you had summer prepay deductions taken, you may receive deduction refunds. If you will be terminating employment, and will not return in fall 2021, contact your human resources office to determine your employment termination date and insurance coverage end dates.

    Family Status: If you will experience any other status change; marriage, adoption, birth, divorce, etc., contact your human resources office regarding the impact to your insurance benefits.

    Note: 9-month employees’ regular insurance premium deductions will resume on the September 23, 2021 paycheck.

    Resources

    For more information, review the resources below:

    Questions

    If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Questions About The Payroll Schedule Change? These Resources Can Help!

    In September 2021, 9-month academic year contract employees will move from the monthly payroll schedule to a new biweekly payroll schedule.

    • If you have a 9-month contract beginning between August 15 and August 28, 2021, you can expect a first biweekly paycheck date of September 9, 2021.
    • If you have a 9-month contract beginning August 29, 2021, or later, you can expect a first biweekly paycheck date of September 23, 2021. 

    Effective July 2021, UW System moved 12-month contract employees from the monthly payroll schedule to the new biweekly payroll schedule.

    Resources

    The following resources provide detailed information about the payroll schedule change and may answer many of your questions.

    • The Single Payroll resources web page includes frequently asked questions, budget planning information, the 2021 payroll schedules and other helpful resources.
    • Update Contributions and Withholdings
      With the biweekly pay schedule, 9-month employees will receive 20 paychecks per academic year instead of 9. Twelve-month employees will receive 26 paychecks per year instead of 12.

      If not updated, certain contributions and withholdings that you currently have taken on a monthly basis, such as TSA, WDC, and additional taxes, will potentially be doubled when you move to a biweekly schedule. To avoid having more deducted than you intended, review this resource to help you recalculate and take action to change the amount deducted from each paycheck. 
    • Pay Date Models 
      This online tool allows you to enter your annual salary to calculate the gross earnings by pay date. 
    • Paycheck Estimator
      This tool is designed to provide financial planning assistance associated with the schedule change.
    • 2021 Payroll Schedules
      This resource provides you with the biweekly payroll schedule. 
    • Slides and videos from previously held Single Payroll Town Hall Meetings are available on the Single Payroll resources web page.

    Questions

    Direct your questions to the following:

    UW System Support
    Email support
    (888) 298-0141
    or (608) 262-0600
       
       
       
       
    UW-Madison
    Email support
    (608) 265-2257

    Posted: July 19, 2021, Updated: August 13, 2021

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    WRS Contribution Rates for 2022 to Remain Stable

    The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) recently announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee and employer contribution rates effective January 1, 2022. The employee contribution for 2022 will decrease slightly.

    The 2022 rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2022, starting with the January 13, 2022 biweekly paycheck. As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

    UW System employee contribution rates are determined by employment category. Most UW System employees are in the General/Teacher/Executive category. Employees with law enforcement or public protection duties (police officers, fire fighters) are in the Protective category.

    WRS Contribution Rates
    Employee Category General, Teacher and Executive Protectives with Social Security
    Year 2021 2022 2021 2022
    Employer Contribution 6.75% 6.50% 11.75% 12.0%
    Employee Contribution 6.75% 6.50% 6.75% 6.50%
    Total Contribution 13.5% 13.0% 18.5% 18.5%

    WRS contribution rates change annually, based on investment performance of the WRS and actuarial factors to pre-fund retirement benefits. In general, when investment earnings are greater than expected, contribution rates may decrease the following year. When returns are lower than expected, rates may increase to make up for the shortfall.

    Contribution fluctuations are considered normal for retirement systems like the WRS that pre-fund retirement benefits.

    For more information visit the WRS web page on the UW System Employee Benefits website.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Employee Assistance Program

    The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential resource that can help you and your household family members address personal and/or work-related challenges. 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 provides you and your household family members up to six sessions per person per issue per year.

    For most UW System institutions (except UW-Madison) the EAP administrator is Kepro.

    How to Contact the EAP:

    • 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

    UW-Madison employees contact the Employee Assistance Office for EAP services.

    For more information, visit the UW System EAP web page.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Self-Guided Mental Health Resource

    SilverCloud is an online platform that offers self-guided, interactive programs and skill-building tools to help manage anxiety, depression, stress, resilience, and insomnia. If you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms for any of the above conditions, this may be an effective way for you to help manage your condition(s). Mental health resources offered through SilverCloud are confidential and available to all UW System employees at no cost.

    What does each SilverCloud module contain?
    Each module takes about 40 minutes. Your progress is automatically saved so you can come back later if you get interrupted. A typical module contains seven parts:

    1. Introduction: Helps you decide which module to start 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 web 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.).

    Additionally, students are not eligible for the EAP; however, they may be eligible for similar services through the student health center at their institution.

    Note: Both programs are free and confidential.

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

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Bank Unused Vacation Now For Future Use

    The deadline to bank unused vacation is soon. Twelve-month Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees (FAASLI) are eligible to bank unused vacation after they have completed 10 fiscal years (July 1 through June 30) of employment. The option to bank unused vacation is a way to save vacation for future use.

    Twelve-month FAASLI are allocated vacation on a fiscal year basis. While they can carry unused vacation into the following fiscal year, the vacation must be used by the end of that fiscal year, or it will be lost. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is currently an Interim Policy which allows an exception to the carryover rule.

    UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 08 Extended Vacation Carryover allows leave eligible employees to extend the deadline of unused vacation carryover from June 30, 2021 to October 9, 2021. This extension applies to vacation hours granted July 1, 2018 and carried over an additional year under the one-time exception. It also applies to vacation hours granted on July 1, 2019.

    How Much Vacation Can I Bank?
    Twelve-month FAASLI are eligible to bank up to 40 hours of vacation per fiscal year after completing 10 fiscal years of employment, and up to 80 hours of vacation per fiscal year after completing 25 years of employment. 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 Banked Leave and the hours do not expire.

    As of June 30, 2021, any remaining vacation or vacation carryover up to the allowable amount is eligible to convert to banked leave. HRS will convert the vacation carryover first then convert the remaining vacation.

    When Can I Use my Banked Leave?
    With your supervisor's approval, you may use the Banked Leave Balance at any time, and it can be used in any circumstance in which you are allowed to use paid leave.

    What If I Terminate Employment?
    If you terminate employment any unused banked leave will be paid to you at your wage rate at termination.

    To View Eligible Banked Leave Hours
    If you have a Banked Leave balance, you may view your balance:

    Instructions for Banking Leave

    To Review the Vacation Policies
       UW System Administrative Policy 1210 (formerly BN1) Vacation

    Interim Policy
       UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 08 Extended Vacation Carryover

    UW-Madison
       Vacation Policy

    If you have questions, contact:
       
    Email Support
       Submit a Request
       (888) 298-0141
       (608) 262-0600

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Mid-Year Benefits Check-Up

    Family responsibilities, extra-curricular activities and/or work-related projects can keep us busy. With so much going on, it may be difficult to keep track of our preventive care or remember what resources are available to help manage our benefits. This article has several reminders and tips to help you manage your benefits.

    Health Insurance
    Most preventive health services are provided at no cost under the State Group Health Insurance plans. Review the services and schedule your preventive visit with your doctor.

    If you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance, you and your spouse (if covered) are eligible for the Well Wisconsin Incentive of $150 by completing three requirements by October 9, 2021.

    Pharmacy Benefits
    Did you know that you can obtain up to a 90-day supply of some medications for just two copays through the mail order service? Visit the Pharmacy Benefits web page for additional information regarding the various cost savings pharmacy benefits programs.

    Create an online account with Navitus to view your medication history, locate participating pharmacies and/or compare costs of prescriptions at different pharmacies.

    Dental Insurance
    Did you know that oral diseases have been linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke?

    Most diagnostic and preventive services are covered at 100% by the Uniform Dental Benefits if you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance with dental. Find an in-network dentist and schedule a preventive visit for you and your covered dependents.

    Crowns, bridges, surgical extractions and many other more complex dental services are covered by the Supplemental Dental Insurance plans. If you are enrolled in supplemental dental and need any of these services, consider contacting your dentist to get your services scheduled.

    Vision Insurance
    Eye exams can detect common vision problems and eye diseases that often have no early warning signs.

    If you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance, you and your covered dependents are eligible for an annual eye exam. Locate an in-network provider and schedule your appointment. Note: Out-of-pocket expenses may apply depending on your health insurance plan selection.

    If you are covered by the vision insurance plan, you are eligible for additional vision benefits such as glasses and/or contact lenses. Locate an in-network provider and schedule your vision appointment today!

    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
    View your FSA balance and file claims timely with Optum Financial/ConnectYourCare (CYC), the plan administrator. The last day to incur expenses is December 31, 2021.

    For the Health Care (including Limited Purpose) FSA, up to $1,000 will carry over from 2020 to 2021. Up to $550 will carry over from 2021 to 2022.

    For the Dependent Day Care Account, up to $2,500 will carry over from 2020 to 2021. However, there will be no carry over from 2021 to 2022.

    Login to the Optum Financial/ConnectYourCare (CYC) website to determine if you have outstanding health care or limited purpose FSA claims that require documentation (substantiation). If so, submit your documents to substantiate your claims timely.

    Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
    If you have outstanding balances with your health, dental and/or vision providers for qualifying health, dental and/or vision expenses, use your HSA payment card for those out-of-pocket expenses.

    Since the HSA allows for a triple tax advantage (contributions, distributions and investment earnings), increase your HSA contribution anytime by submitting an HSA Contribution Change Form.

    Supplemental Retirement Savings Programs
    Are you on track saving for your future? Here are the retirement savings programs available to you through the UW System.

    • Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program
    • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) Program

    Review the information and enroll or make changes to your retirement savings contributions today!

    Visit the Employee Benefits website to learn more about the benefits available to you through the UW System!

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Well Wisconsin Program: 2020 Health Risks for UW System

    In 2020, 32% of UW System employees eligible for the Well Wisconsin Program completed a health assessment, health check and well-being activity to earn their $150 incentive. This amounts to over 10,700 employees that took positive steps to become more aware of their health. In 2020, the UW System had the highest program participation compared to all other State agencies.

    Based on those that completed this program in 2020, the health risk report identified weight, its biological consequences (high cholesterol and blood pressure) and stress as the primary risks for UW System employees. The health risk report provides aggregate data to allow WebMD/StayWell to further develop the well-being activities for future program years.

    Earn your 2021 $150 incentive by completing the health assessment, a health check and one well-being activity by October 8, 2021. Check out 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/StayWell’s Privacy Statement or view this short video for additional information.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Submit Leave Reports by June 30, 2021

    Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees (who have an active leave-eligible appointment) must submit missing leave reports by June 30, 2021 for fiscal year July 2020 through June 2021.

    Note: A reminder email is sent monthly to employees who are missing leave reports. The email indicates which months are missing leave reports.

    Submission of a leave report is required each month, even when leave is not used. Failure to submit missing leave reports will result in a reduction of your sick leave hours.

    How to Check for Missing Leave Reports

     1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System Institutions or for UW-Madison.

     2. Go to the Time and Absence tile and click Launch full app.

     3. Click on Leave Reports in the left hand navigation.

     4. Review the Missing Leave Report.

     5. To submit any missing leave reports, click on Request Absence in the left hand navigation and follow the prompts.

    Furlough Reminder

    The entry of furlough does not satisfy the monthly leave reporting requirement. Furlough is not considered leave.

    If you have furlough and no leave is taken during the month, you are still required to submit a No Leave Taken entry.

    Helpful Resources

    Visit Time and Absence Help for assistance with reporting leave.

    For detailed information review your sick leave policy:

    Questions

    If you have questions, contact:
    Email Support
    Submit a Request
    (888) 298-0141
    (608) 262-0600

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Need help with the Payroll Schedule change coming this July? These resources can help!

    UW System employees paid monthly will move to the biweekly payroll schedule beginning in July 2021. Now is the time to prepare for this change!

    To help you prepare, here are a few of the helpful resources available to you. Refer to the Single Payroll resources web page to get all your payroll change information, including FAQs, budget planning materials and 2021 payroll schedules.

    Payroll Change Resources

    • Pay Date Models
      Pay Date Models allow you to enter your annual salary to calculate the gross earnings by pay date.

    • Update Contributions and Withholdings
      This resource will guide you in making changes to your paycheck contributions and withholdings that may be impacted by the new biweekly schedule.

    • Paycheck Estimator
      This tool is designed to provide financial planning assistance associated with the schedule change from a monthly to a biweekly paycheck.

    • 2021 Payroll Schedules
      This resource will provide you with the new biweekly payroll schedule. 

    Savings & Spending Plan Workshops
    UW System is partnering with UW Credit Union to help you plan for your paycheck changes. Attend the Savings & Spending Plan (Budget) Workshop to create a plan that works for you.
    Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 5:00 PM

    Payroll Schedule Change Town Hall Meetings
    Town Hall Meetings were held throughout the spring and provided details on the Payroll Schedule changes. Visit the Single Payroll resources web page to review slides and recordings of the Town Hall Meetings.

    Don’t Wait!
    The time is now to review your personal situation regarding the July 2021 payroll schedule change. Review the available resources, ask questions, and be prepared for the upcoming change.

    Questions?

    UW System Support
    Email support
    (888) 298-0141 or (608) 262-0600
           UW-Madison Support
           Email support
           (608) 265-2257

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Review Your Beneficiary Designations

    When was the last time you reviewed your beneficiary designations?

    Naming a beneficiary allows you to pass a financial interest on after you have passed away. If you do not recall who you have listed as your beneficiary, or you have experienced a life event such as a marriage, divorce or birth of a child, review your designations and submit updated beneficiary designations. The most recently dated beneficiary designation on file at the time of your death is binding for the payment of any proceeds. If a beneficiary is not designated, benefits will be paid according to plan provisions.

    Here is a list of the plans that have benefits payable to beneficiaries:

    • State Group Life Insurance
    • Individual & Family Life Insurance
    • UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance
    • University Insurance Association Life Insurance
    • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
    • Accident Insurance (accidental death and dismemberment component of the plan)
    • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    • Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
    • UW Tax-Sheltered (TSA) Annuity 403(b)
    • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457

    To see which benefit plans you are enrolled in, log into the portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison and follow these steps:

    1. Go to the Benefit Information module and click Launch full app.

    2. On the Summary page, review the Coverage column to see which plans you're enrolled in (Waive indicates you are not enrolled).

    3. Click Next to see additional plans.

    4. Review the plans you are enrolled in that have benefits payable to beneficiaries.

    Some plans allow you to update your beneficiary designations online while others require a signed paper designation beneficiary form. The UW System Beneficiary Information page provides information on how to designate a beneficiary for each benefit plan. If a plan you are enrolled in requires a paper form, you may print the applicable beneficiary form(s) from the Beneficiary Information page.

    Once you have completed the appropriate forms, mail them directly to the address listed on the form (not to your human resources office).

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Well WI Radio: Bonus Episode! COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A

    WebMD/Staywell and Dr. James Conway from UW Health have joined forces to help you get answers to your vaccine questions. Listen in to this special edition interview on Well Wisconsin Radio. You can access it anytime at www.gotostage.com/channel/wellwisconsinradio.

    Host Morgan Meinen talks with Dr. Conway, Medical Director for UW Health Immunization Programs. Dr. Conway is currently providing oversight for UW Health COVID-19 vaccine logistics and serving in the Emergency Operations Committee for the UW System. He is involved in multiple COVID-19 vaccine development programs as well as serving on the WI State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 vaccines.

    Well WI Radio is a podcast style program offered through the Well Wisconsin Program Administrator, WebMD/Staywell where topics of health and well-being are discussed with experts from all around the state of Wisconsin.

    The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is working with state health officials and the Group Health Insurance Program partners to ensure you receive the care you and your family need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn about vaccine coverage, testing, treatment, medications and more at etf.wi.gov/health/your-health-benefits-and-covid-19.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge

    Financial stress can affect your health in many ways; it spills over into your home life, job, relationships with family and your friendships. That’s why UW System supports Wisconsin Strong, a unique financial wellness education program provided by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).

    Wisconsin Strong is designed to help you improve financial wellness and maximize your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) benefits – at all career stages. Plus, it’s absolutely free to you and your family.

    We encourage you to take advantage of the following Wisconsin Strong financial wellness education, resources, and tools:

    • College Savings Made Simple - When you open a new Edvest account between May 24 and May 31, you’ll receive a $50 match! Find out how you can take advantage of this limited time offer from Edvest, Wisconsin’s College Savings Plan.
    • Financial Fitness Challenge - Get a baseline on your financial stress and interests by taking the 5-minute Financial Fitness Checkup, a confidential self-assessment. Then gain access to a personalized playlist of relevant financial courses. This is a value of $1,000 and it’s free to you and your family. Take the Challenge now.
    • Well Wisconsin Program Incentive - After you complete your Financial Fitness Challenge, you’ll receive a reward code that can be applied as a well-being activity towards earning your $150 Well Wisconsin gift card.
    • Your WRS Benefits - Learn how to maximize your WRS pension, health, deferred compensation, and other benefits. Attend an ETF webinar or find quick and easy-to-access online resources for individuals who are new hires, mid-career, nearing retirement, and post-retirement.

    Financial wellness is a journey, not a one-time event, and your financial wellness is important to us. We encourage you to share these valuable resources with your family. Over the next several months watch for monthly financial wellness webinars offered by Summit Credit Union and resources from other Wisconsin Strong partners to help you with debt management, budgeting, investments, estate planning, retirement planning, and more.

    On Twitter, follow along at #WIStrongSecurity!

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Mid-Year Changes: Healthcare FSA and Dependent Day Care Accounts

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group Insurance Board recently approved the following flexibility granted by the IRS for Healthcare FSAs and Dependent Day Care Accounts.

    Healthcare FSAs

      • Increase annual carryover limit to $1,000 (from $550) from plan year 2020 to plan year 2021
      • Add personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes as eligible expenses retroactive to January 1, 2021

    Dependent Day Care Accounts

      • Increase age limit for qualifying dependent child(ren) to under age 14 (for 2021)
      • Add an annual carryover limit of up to $2,500 from plan year 2020 to plan year 2021
      • Increase annual contribution limit to up to $10,500 for individuals or married couples filing jointly and $5,250 for married couples filing separately (for 2021)
      • Allow a one-time opportunity from June 1- June 30, 2021 for current participants to increase their annual contribution, without a qualifying life event.

    Healthcare and Dependent Day Care Account Carryover from 2020 to 2021: No action is necessary on your part to receive the additional healthcare carryover and/or the dependent day care account carryover. If you have funds that are eligible to be carried over, the funds will automatically be applied to your account mid-June.

    Questions: For questions about your flexible spending account, contact Optum Financial/ConnectYourCare at 833-881-8158.

    For questions on submitting a dependent care change form or your flexible spending account payroll deductions, contact your institution’s benefits office.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Consider Opening An Edvest Account on 529 Day

    Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan. It is a convenient way for families to save for higher education costs. On May 29, celebrate 529 Day by enrolling!

    Benefits to opening an Edvest account include:

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

    For accounts opened with a $50 contribution between May 24 and May 31, 2021, and recurring contributions of $25 or more for at least 6 months are set up, Edvest will match $50 on or before January 31, 2022. Visit Edvest.com/529Day for official Terms and Conditions.

    For more information and to get started visit the Edvest website.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Corrected 2020 Form 1095-C Available

    Due to an incorrect monthly premium amount reported on most 1095-C Forms for the lowest-cost self-only health insurance plan option, corrected 2020 Form 1095-C were issued to employees and are now available online in the MyUW portal. $30 was included on most forms; $31 is the correct amount.

    A paper copy will be sent via U.S. Mail in late March to employees that have not authorized electronic receipt of their Form 1095-C.

    Form 1095-C is provided to employees who were full-time, as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for all or some months of 2020. Employees should retain Form 1095-C with their tax records.

    For more information regarding Form 1095-C and the ACA: Affordable Care Act. If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your Payroll office.

    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

    Employee Well-Being Webinars

    To live well, it is important to take care of yours physical, mental and emotional well-being. One way to do so is by increasing your knowledge about the 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: Community Supported Agriculture
    Vendor: WebMD/StayWell (Well Wisconsin Program Administrator)
    Date and Time: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 – 12:00 pm
    Description: Monthly expert interviews on various health topics with professionals around the state! Join host, Morgan Meinen, as she talks with Scott Laeser, an organic produce farmer in Southwest Wisconsin and a member of the board of directors for FairShareCSA. Scott and Morgan will discuss community supported agriculture and the concept of regenerative farming and the impact it can have on our food system, soil health, and carbon footprint.

    UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program – Select, Sign Up and Save
    Vendor: Fidelity (One of the TSA Program Providers)
    Date and Time: Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 1:00 pm
    Description: Learn how the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program works, benefits of the TSA Program, reasons you should save for retirement, guidelines on how much to save and how to get started with the TSA Program.

    Managing Your Time While Working Remotely
    Vendor: Kepro (Employee Assistant Program (EAP) Administrator)
    Date and Time: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 – 12:30 pm
    Description: Remote work is becoming the new normal and projections are that it may continue long after COVID-19. This may present some unique time management challenges. Join this webinar to explore the unique challenges that may come with working remotely.

    Savings & Spending Plan (Budget) Workshop
    Vendor: UW Credit Union
    Date and Time: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 – 12:00 pm
    Description: A change in payroll frequency and timing may bring up questions and extra financial stress. UW Credit Union Financial Mentors will help you to answer those questions and to 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.

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

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

    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

    Maximize Your Retirement Savings with Catch-Up Opportunities

    Saving for retirement may have been a challenge in 2020. If you are able to save in 2021, consider maxing out your UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program contributions. The current IRS limit is $19,500 for everyone. But did you know that there are two additional catch-up opportunities? You may be eligible for one or both of these catch-ups.

    Age 50 and Older Catch-Up
    If you are age 50 and older at any time during 2021, you are eligible to contribute an additional $6,500. You do not need to take any specific action to be eligible for this catch-up.

    15-Year Service Catch-Up
    If you have at least 15 years of service with UW System in 2021, you may be eligible to contribute an additional $3,000. There are specific eligibility requirements, and you will need to have your situation reviewed. Please contact your human resources office for more information.

    In order to adjust your current contribution amount, visit MyUW Portal, click on the Benefits Information tile, and choose Launch full app. At the bottom of the screen select Update TSA Deductions.

    Not Enrolled Yet?
    If you are not currently enrolled in the TSA Program, it’s never too late! Sign up by completing the EZ Enrollment and turning it into your human resources office.

    Visit the TSA Program website for more information.

    Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

    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

    America Saves Week Starts February 22: Set a Goal. Make a Plan.

    The UW System is promoting America Saves Week, February 22 - 26, to support your financial goals for 2021. Visit the UW System America Saves Week website to register for events, including over a dozen live webinars on topics like retirement, savings, and budgeting. All events are free with registration.

    Are you motivated to start saving for your retirement now? An easy and effective way to save is automatically—set it and forget it—through the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program.

    The TSA program can help you invest for your long-term retirement goals. If you already participate in the program, consider increasing your contributions. If you are not a TSA program participant, sign up today. You can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both.

    Start Small, Think Big. Remember, when you are getting started, no contribution is too small. Even if you set aside one percent of your salary in the UW TSA 403(b) program, that's an important start. Over time, your contributions will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Form 1095-C Now Available Online

    Electronic copies of the 2020 Form 1095-C are now available online in the MyUW portal. Employees will receive a paper copy of Form 1095-C via U.S. mail by March 2, 2021. Paper copies are mailed to all employees except those who elected to receive an electronic only 1095-C by January 18, 2021.

    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 2020. Employees should retain Form 1095-C with their tax records.

    For more information regarding Form 1095-C and the ACA: Affordable Care Act.

    If you have questions, contact your Payroll office.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    America Saves Week, Feb. 22-26: Register for Free Live Webinars!

    America Saves Week is February 22 – 26, 2021. There are free live webinars scheduled on topics including budgeting, saving, retirement, and more. To participate in these webinars, register on the UW System America Saves Week website.

    The America Saves Week website includes interactive webinars, videos, planning and budgeting resources, and handy tips and information on saving and financial wellness. Take control of your financial future now!

    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

    America Saves Week, February 22 - 26, 2021

    Register now for America Saves Week events!

    This year, you may have experienced challenges adjusting to a new normal. America Saves Week, a national campaign encouraging savings and financial planning, is happening Monday, February 22 - Friday, February 26, 2021.

    UW System is offering free webinars and financial resources during this time to support your financial goals for 2021. Register for over a dozen webinars on budgeting, saving, retirement and much more on the UW System America Saves Week website.

    Webinars are presented by the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) providers (Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and TIAA), Wisconsin’s 529 plan provider (Edvest), UW Credit Union, and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) Program provider (Empower). All events are offered at no cost to you – but you must register!

    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.

    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

    Updated Income Continuation Insurance Premiums Effective February 1, 2021

    Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are reviewed annually and any updates are effective February 1, 2021. Any premium change for University Staff will be reflected on the February 25, 2021 paycheck and for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees will be reflected on the March 1, 2021 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 23 directing them to this customized web page.

    Several factors determine your premium amount:

      • For University Staff: the ICI premium* is based on your 2020 eligible earnings and unused sick leave balance as of December 19, 2020.
      • For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: the ICI premium* is based on your 2020 eligible earnings earnings and the elimination period your elected.

    *If you were placed on an intermittent furlough, temporary work reduction, consecutive day furlough or were on an unpaid leave of absence during 2020, review ICI Premium Notice web page for information on how your premium may be affected.

    Premium Rate

    For 2021 the ICI premium rates will remain at current levels.

    Note: 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, 2021. Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity via an email sent January 16, 2021.

    For ICI plan information visit the UW System Employee Benefits ICI plan web page. If after reviewing the web page you have additional questions, contact your human resources office.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Through March 1, 2021

    You may be eligible to participate in the annual Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) Deferred Enrollment opportunity now through March 1, 2021. ICI is an ‘income replacement’ benefit that replaces up to 75% of your gross salary if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability. Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment opportunity were notified by email on January 16.

    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 opportunity.
      • If you are not currently enrolled in the ICI plan, you may be eligible to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment opportunity. This is the only time during the year you may enroll in the ICI plan without evidence of insurability.

    How are ICI Coverage and Premiums Determined?

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

    *If you were placed on an intermittent furlough, temporary work reduction, consecutive day furlough or were on an unpaid leave of absence during 2020, review your ICI employee web page for information on how your premium may be affected.

    ICI Benefits

      • Standard ICI pays up to 75% of your salary to a maximum benefit of $4,000/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $64,000 per year).
      • Supplemental ICI pays up to 75% of your salary to a maximum benefit of $7,500/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $120,000 per year).

    For More Information or to Enroll in ICI during the Deferred Enrollment Period

    Review the UW System Employee Benefits ICI web page or visit ALEX.

    To enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment Period, submit an application to your human resources office by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 1, 2021.

    If you have questions after reviewing the available information, contact your human resources office.

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    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

    Save the Date! America Saves Week is February 22-26, 2021

    This year, you may have had to do more with less. UW System is promoting financial well-being through the America Saves Week campaign. This campaign encourages individuals and families to set a goal and make a plan to achieve better financial stability through free webinars and other resources. Visit the UW System America Saves Week website for more information. Registration opens Monday, February 1 for these free events!

    Source: UW System Human Resources

    Electronic-only Distribution of W-2 and 1095-C Forms Available

    Active UW employees can receive W-2 and1095-C forms via electronic-only distribution. The W-2 form includes compensation and tax withholding for the previous calendar year. The 1095-C form documents that an employee who worked full-time for all or some months in the previous year was offered health insurance.

    Electronic forms are available earlier than mailed paper forms. Electronic delivery is environmentally friendly and secure with less risk of lost or stolen forms.

    Choose Electronic-only Distribution by January 18, 2021

    1. Log into the MyUW portal for UW-Madison or for all other UW System institutions.
    2. On the Payroll Information tile select Tax Statements.
    3. On the Tax Statements page, choose Consent to receive W-2 electronically and/or Consent to receive 1095-C electronically. Complete two separate consent forms by JANUARY 18, 2021 to choose electronic distribution of the W-2 and 1095-C form.
    4. Check the I Consent checkbox.
    5. Choose the Submit button.
    6. You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. An email will be sent to you by January 31 alerting you to the electronic availability of your forms.
    7. You may withdraw consent at any time using the directions above and choosing the Check here to withdraw your consent checkbox. You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours.
    8. Consent will cease if you terminate employment.

    If you do not complete the consent forms, your W-2 and 1095-C forms will be sent to your mailing address in the MyUW portal.

    Note: These consent options do not apply to the 1042-S form. 1042-S forms are available electronically in the Glacier Online Tax Compliance System for employees who choose electronic delivery through that system.

    If you have any questions regarding choosing electronic-only distribution of your W-2 and 1095-C forms, contact your Payroll office.

    Source: UW-Shared Services