Review Your Address Information by January 9, 2012 for the Annual W-2 Tax Form Mailing

In late January 2012, your W-2 tax form will be mailed to you. An electronic copy of the W-2 form will also be available in the My UW portal.

Your W-2 will be mailed to your HOME address unless you already have, or are adding, a MAILING address. If you have a MAILING address, your W-2 will be sent to this address and not your HOME address. If you have neither address listed, then your W-2 will be sent to your OFFICE LOCATION.

Please take a few moments to review your address information to make sure your W-2 is sent to the correct address.

Reviewing Your MAILING Address

You may review your MAILING address online in the My UW System portal.

Once you've logged into the portal, look for the "Personal Information" box. To review your MAILING address, click on the "Update my Personal Information" link in the "Personal Information" box. After clicking this link, you will need to log in again.

Your current MAILING address will be displayed in the "Addresses" box. If this is not the address where you want your W-2 form sent, you may change your address by choosing the "Change addresses" tab below the "Addresses" box. Then choose the "edit" tab next to your MAILING address. Review the following instructions on how to update your MAILING address: https://uwservice.wisc.edu/help/personal-information.php.

Reviewing Your HOME Address

You may review your HOME address online in the My UW System portal.

Once you've logged into the portal, look for the "Personal Information" box. Your HOME address will appear in this box. To change your HOME address, click on the "Update my Personal Information" link in the "Personal Information" box. After clicking this link, you will need to login again. Review the following instructions on how to update your HOME address: https://uwservice.wisc.edu/help/personal-information.php.

If you have trouble accessing the portal, or have other issues related to reviewing/updating your address, please contact the UW Service Center Support Team: Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. via phone (855-4UW-SUPP or 608-890-1501), email (servicecenter@sc.wisc.edu), web form (https://uwservice.wisc.edu/help/webform.php), and Live Chat.

Source: UW Service Center

2012 Insurance Premium and WRS Contribution Rates

Changes made during the fall enrollment period and premiums for 2012 coverage will be effective on your December earnings. There is a small decrease in health insurance premiums for 2012.

This is a reminder that if you made any benefit changes during the fall enrollment period (enrolled in a benefit plan, changed your coverage level or cancelled coverage), the premium associated with the change will begin on your December earnings (payable December 15th for classified employees paid bi-weekly and payable January 3rd for unclassified employees paid monthly). Insurance premiums deducted from December earnings are for January coverage (excluding Income Continuation Insurance which is for the current month - the ICI premium taken from December earnings is for the coverage month of December).

2012 insurance premiums are available online at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/

Individual and Family Life Insurance and UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance Premiums

Premiums for the Individual and Family (I&F) and UW Employees, Inc. (UWE) Life Insurance plans are based on your age as of January 1st of the year. If you move into a new age category as of January 1, 2012, your premium will increase on your December earnings. Any premium increases due to age should have occurred on the check payable December 15th for classified employees, but there was a delay in the premium update. There will be an adjustment on the December 29th paycheck to collect any additional I&F and/or UWE premiums owed due to an age category change. Any premium changes due to a new age category for unclassified employees will be reflected correctly on the January 3rd paycheck.

Any premium change associated with increasing coverage during the Individual and Family Annual Increase Option period will also begin on the December 15th classified and the January 3rd unclassified checks.

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) and Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

If you enrolled in the ERA program for 2012, your first deduction associated with your 2012 election will occur on the first check payable in 2012 - January 3rd for unclassified employees and January 12th for classified employees.

The WRS employee contribution rate for 2012 will increase from 5.8% to 5.9% for all employees except those covered by the Executive WRS category. This change will also occur on the first check payable in 2012.

Upcoming Changes - Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) and State Group Life Insurance

Each year there is review of your earnings and leave usage (classified employees only) to determine your ICI premium. If there are any changes to your ICI coverage level, it will be reflected on your February earnings payable February 23rd for classified employees and March 1st for unclassified employees. ICI premiums are also increasing for 2012.

There is also an annual review your State Group Life Insurance coverage level and age category. Your coverage level is based on the higher of your previous calendar year's WRS earnings or your highest calendar year of WRS earnings. Any increase to your coverage will be effective April 1st and the new premium will first be deducted from your March earnings payable April 1st for unclassified employees and April 5th for classified employees. State Group Life Insurance premiums for some age categories will decrease effective April 1st as well.

Source: UW System Administration

Social Security and Medicare Wage Bases and Tax Rates for 2012

The Social Security wage base, the amount of an employee's salary that can be taxed for Social Security purposes, has risen from $106,800 in 2011 to $110,100 for 2012. This means that the first $110,100 of an employee's wages are taxable for Social Security purposes. An employee's entire salary is taxable for Medicare purposes.

The 2012 employee and employer tax rates for Social Security (full FICA) will be 7.65% (6.20% Social Security plus 1.45% Medicare) for wages up to $110,100. All wages over $110,100 are subject only to the 1.45% Medicare rate. The rate remains at 1.45% for those who are subject only to Medicare.

Please note that federal legislation reduced by 2% the portion of Social Security payroll tax paid by the employee for wages and salaries paid in calendar year 2011. The 2% tax reduction is set to expire on December 31, 2011 resulting in an increase for 2012 back to the 6.2% tax rate. There are several pending pieces of federal legislation that may decrease the Social Security tax rate in 2012. An updated news item will be posted on the portal if legislation is passed in regard to the Social Security tax rate.

Source: UW System Administration

End of Imputed Income for Adult Non-Tax Dependent Children on Health Insurance; Special Health Insurance Enrollment for Employees with Adult Children Under 26

Employees Who Cover an Adult Non-Tax Dependent Child on Health Insurance No Longer Subject to Imputed Income

Prior to a recent state law change, if an employee carried an adult child on family health insurance who was not a tax dependent for health insurance purposes, the fair market value of coverage for that child(ren) was included in the employee's taxable state income and state taxes were owed on this additional income. This taxable benefit is considered "imputed income." 2011 Wisconsin Act 49, signed into law on November 4, 2011, eliminated this requirement. The payroll system has been updated with this change.

The effective date of Act 49 is January 1, 2011. If you paid additional taxes to cover your adult child on your health insurance in 2011, your 2011 W-2 will not include any imputed income but any additional taxes withheld due to imputed income will be included in Box 17 (state income tax) of the 2011 W-2.

Please see the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website for additional information.

Note: Act 49 does not change the existing imputed income laws related to health insurance coverage for a non-tax-dependent domestic partner and/or the domestic partner's children, nor does it make them eligible for ERA participation.

In 2012, adult children, whether or not a tax dependent, are eligible for State Group Health Insurance coverage until the end of the month in which they turn 26. The adult child's spouse and/or dependents are not eligible.

No Change to Your Paycheck: Due to a programming error in the new payroll system, employees who carried a non-tax dependent adult child(ren) on their health insurance did NOT pay any additional taxes on the fair market value of the coverage since late April. The fair market value of coverage was added to your taxable earnings but you did not pay any additional taxes on this amount. The last time additional taxes were taken from paychecks due to imputed income associated with an adult child was on the March unclassified check (payable April 1st) and the April A classified check (payable April 21st). There will be no change to your paycheck due to the implementation of Act 49.

All impacted employees will receive an email within the next week with additional information.

Special State Group Health Insurance Enrollment for Employees with Adult Children Under 26

Since Act 49 was signed after the annual It's Your Choice health insurance enrollment period, the Department of Employee Trust Funds is offering an extended It's Your Choice enrollment period to enroll these eligible adult children only through December 30, 2011. However, in order to ensure timely receipt of ID cards for your child, it is recommended that you add your dependent(s) as soon as possible. Any adult child eligible for benefits who was not previously listed on an application for coverage will be provided coverage effective January 1, 2012. If you would like to add an eligible adult child to coverage, you must submit an application to your UW institution's payroll office no later than December 30, 2011. When completing the application, check the box for "Adult Children, Annual It's Your Choice Period" in section 2. H.

Amend 2012 ERA Election through End of Year

You may now include medical expenses incurred by your adult child under age 26 under the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program. Employees who enrolled in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program for 2012 may amend their ERA election though the end of the year.

If you wish to amend your ERA election, submit a new ERA enrollment form and mark the enrollment form as "supersede." Send the amended form to Roger Severson, Fringe Benefits Management Company/Wageworks, 113 S. Main Street, Suite 200, Lodi, WI 53555; FAX: 608-592-2030; e-mail: roger.severson@wageworks.com; phone: 608-592-2020.

You should send your amended enrollment form to Roger Severson by November 30, 2011 to allow adequate time for processing. The forms will be accepted through the end of the year but if they are received after November 30th, the amended election amount may not be reflected on your first check payable in 2012.

If you did not enroll in the ERA program during the regular enrollment period but would like to enroll now, you must file an appeal with Fringe Benefits Management Company. Please see page 10 of the ERA brochure for details.

Since the law change is retroactive to January 1, 2011, if you have eligible medical expenses that were incurred by your eligible adult child in 2011, you may submit claims in order to receive reimbursement from your 2011 medical expense account. You may not change your 2011 ERA election amounts.

Source: UW System Administration

Amend ERA Election through End of Year

Employees who enrolled in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program for 2012 may amend their ERA election though the end of the year.

If you wish to amend your ERA election, submit a new ERA enrollment form and mark the enrollment form as "supersede." Send the amended form to Roger Severson, Fringe Benefits Management Company/Wageworks, 113 S. Main Street, Suite 200, Lodi, WI 53555; FAX: 608-592-2030; e-mail: roger.severson@wageworks.com; phone: 608-592-2020.

You should send your amended enrollment form to Roger Severson by November 30, 2011 to allow adequate time for processing. The forms will be accepted through the end of the year but if they are received after November 30th, the amended election amount may not be reflected on your first check payable in 2012.

If you did not enroll in the ERA program during the regular enrollment period but would like to enroll now, you must file an appeal with Fringe Benefits Management Company. Please see page 10 of the ERA brochure for details.

Source: UW System Administration

Annual Employee Benefit Enrollment Survey Available Until December 2nd

Each October, you have the opportunity to enroll in or change many of your employee benefits for the following year. This year's benefit enrollment period was from October 3 - 28th. UW System continually works to improve the resources available to employees during this period. Please respond to the online fall enrollment survey so we can better understand your experience during this past October's enrollment period.

Link to Survey: http://uwsystemadmin.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6ydg8PXd51nVKbW

The survey will be available until December 2nd.

Reminder: If you want to cancel your health insurance, EPIC Benefits+, VSP Vision Insurance, Anthem DentalBlue or Dental Wisconsin coverage for 2012, you must submit an application to your benefits office no later than December 1, 2011. All forms are available at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/forms.php.

Source: UW System Administration

Unclassified Monthly Pay Date for December Earnings is January 3, 2012

If you are an Unclassifed employee paid on the 1st of each month, this is a reminder that the Unclassified monthly pay date for December earnings is Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

January 3, 2012 is the pay date since January 1 (New Year's Day) is a Sunday, and Monday, January 2 is the Federal Reserve Holiday observing the Sunday, New Year's Day holiday.

When a pay date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal Reserve holiday the pay date is usually the previous business day or non-Federal Reserve holiday. An exception to this normal pay date provision is the Unclassified monthly pay date that falls on New Year's Day, January 1.

To avoid tax-related issues, the January pay date for December earnings must be the "official banking business day" following the New Year's holiday. The "official banking business day" is defined as a calendar day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a Federal Reserve Holiday.

Source: UW Service Center

Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

If a legal holiday falls on a Saturday, employees are granted floating holiday time. For classified employees (those paid bi-weekly), this time must be used in the same calendar year in which it is granted. In 2011, New Year's Day (1-1-11), Christmas Eve (12-24-11) and New Year's Eve (12-31-11) are all on Saturdays so you will earn floating legal holiday for these three days.

If you are required to work on a holiday, those hours are banked as additional floating holidays and should be taken by December 31, 2011 as well.

If a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, employees will have the following Monday off. Christmas Day (12-25-11) is on a Sunday this year so you will be off on Monday (12-26-11), and New Year's Day (1-1-12) is on a Sunday so you will be off on Monday (1-2-12).

Your legal holiday balance is available in the Time and Absence module (Leave Balance tab) in the My UW portal, then choose the Work Record tab. The amount of legal holiday that classified employees must use by December 31, 2011, is listed under "Classified Leg.Hol. Allocated."

This balance is also on the Earnings Statement in the Legal Holiday Available Balance column.

Classified employees (those paid bi-weekly) have until December 31, 2011 to use all floating legal holiday hours earned in 2011, or they will be lost. There are two remaining legal holidays in 2011, Thanksgiving (11-24-11) and Christmas Day (12-25-11) so you need to make sure that you have enough hours in your Legal Holiday Available Balance to account for these two days (if you work full-time, you will need to have 16 hours available for these two holidays). Example: If you are a full- time employee with 24 hours of Legal Holiday Available Balance, 16 of those hours are needed for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, the other eight are available for your use.

Unclassified employees (those paid monthly) have until June 30, 2012 to use all floating legal holidays for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Source: UW Service Center

$24 UIA Life Insurance Deduction on November 1st Unclassified Check

The annual $24.00 University Insurance Association (UIA) mandatory deduction will be taken from the November 1st unclassified check. In 2011-2012 the minimum monthly salary required for initial eligibility is $2,484.00. Participation in the UIA Life Insurance plan is a condition of employment for UW System unclassified employees who have a faculty, academic staff or limited appointment whose rate of compensation, when eligibility is initially met, is not less than 50% of the average instructor's salary for the previous year. Once an employee becomes eligible for coverage, eligibility will continue even if the employee no longer meets the minimum salary requirements. For more information about the plan, see the UIA Fact Sheet: http://www.wisconsin.edu/hr/benefits/ins/uws1205.pdf.

Source: University of Wisconsin

UW-Madison Benefits Fair on October 11

The annual Benefits and Resource Fair will be held at the Memorial Union on Tuesday, October 11 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Employees will have an opportunity to meet with health insurance plan vendors, tax-sheltered annuity representatives and other benefits plan vendors. Informational presentations will be held throughout the day. Many campus resource organizations will also be represented at the fair giving employees an opportunity to learn about many of the services offered on campus.

See the Employee Benefits and Resource Fair website for more details.

Source: UW Service Center

Unclassified September Earnings Will Have Pay Date of September 30, 2011

Unclassified employees who are paid on the 1st of the month are reminded that September, 2011 earnings will be payable September 30, 2011 instead of October 1, 2011. The pay date was changed because October 1 is a Saturday. When the 1st of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, the pay check is payable on the last business day prior to the 1st of the month.

Source: UW Service Center

Benefit Enrollment and Change Period Begins October 3

There are important changes to your benefits for 2012 that may require you to take action during the Benefit Enrollment & Change Period that begins on October 3, 2011 and ends on October 28, 2011 for all participating plans. This is the only time during the year when you are eligible to make benefit plan changes unless you have a life event (marriage, birth, divorce...) that allows you to add or change benefits.

Detailed benefit information will be available in late September online at the 2012 Benefit Enrollment and Change Period website. Please also watch your email for details.

You may take the following actions during the benefit enrollment and change period:

  • Change health insurance plans
  • Change from single to family health insurance or add additional family members to family health insurance
  • NEW: Enroll for health insurance if you are not currently enrolled
  • Enroll in plans that have an open or special enrollment (VSP, Dental Wisconsin, EPIC Benefits+, UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance)
  • Add or remove eligible dependent children age 19-25 or a domestic partner to or from health insurance, VSP, Dental Wisconsin and EPIC Benefits+
  • Add or remove the optional vision insurance offered under EPIC Benefits+ (this option will be limited in the future)
  • Enroll in UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance (if not currently enrolled)
  • NEW: Increase your Individual and Family Life Insurance coverage level (if already enrolled)
  • Enroll in Employee Reimbursement Account (medical expense and dependent care)
  • Cancel coverage under any plan for the 2012 plan year - must submit application on or before December 1, 2011.

All benefit enrollments and changes made during this period will be effective January 1, 2012.

Watch for benefit plan changes effective January 1, 2012:

  • If covered by an HMO or are covered by and receive in-network benefits from one of the Preferred Provider Plans (WEA Trust or WPS Metro Choice), you will pay 10% coinsurance for non-preventive medical services, up to an annual maximum of $500 per person or $1,000 per family.
  • If covered by the Standard Plan, you will pay 10% coinsurance for non-preventive in-network medical services, up to an annual maximum of $800 per person or $1,600 and per family after a $200 deductible per person or $400 per family. A number of benefits have been modernized and modified.
  • EPIC Benefits+ removed the excess medical portion of its plan and added a benefit that will pay $100 for each day of hospitalization in excess of three days or following a surgical procedure at a hospital or ambulatory surgical center.
  • Adult children, whether dependent upon you or married, will be eligible for coverage under State Group Health Insurance, VSP, Anthem DentalBlue, Dental Wisconsin and EPIC Benefits+ until the end of the month in which they turn age 26 (they were previously eligible until the end of the month in which they turned 27).
  • Coverage under all benefit plans, except State Group Life Insurance, will end at the end of the month in which you terminate employment or retire.
  • Benefits will increase under UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance and any beneficiary designation on file with the plan prior to October 1, 2011 will be invalid and you will be required to submit a new beneficiary designation. All employees who have coverage in effect prior to the open enrollment will receive a mailing in early October that includes information about how to designate your beneficiary(ies) online (will include your login and password).

Prior to the Benefit Enrollment & Change Period, you should review the benefit plans in which you are currently enrolled by visiting My UW and viewing both the Benefit Information module and your earnings statement on the Work Record tab.

Source: UW System Administration

Impact of Recent Legislation on Employee Benefits

Changes to the Wisconsin Retirement System contributions, the State Group Health insurance premiums, and union-related deductions will take effect between July 2011 and January 2012 due to the implementation of Wisconsin Act 10 (2011 Budget Repair Bill) and Wisconsin Act 32 (Biennial Budget for 2011-2013).

Please review the following documents for specific details on how you may be affected: Frequently Asked Questions and Summary of Benefits Changes.

  • Increase to State Group Health Insurance Premiums —Jul 1 [Broken link removed.]
  • Increase to Employee Retirement Contributions —Jul 1 [Broken link removed.]

Source: UW Service Center

Unclassified June Earnings Will Have Pay Date of June 30, 2011

Unclassified employees who are paid on the 1st of the month are reminded that Unclassified June, 2011 earnings will be payable June 30, 2011 instead of July 1, 2011. The pay date was changed to ensure that earnings are paid within the same fiscal year that they are earned. The fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.

Going forward, June earnings will always be paid on the last business day of June instead of July 1. All other pay checks will be payable on the 1st of the month with the exception of December earnings (payable on the first business day of January), or if the 1st of the month falls on a weekend or holiday (pay check will be payable on the last business day prior to the 1st of the month).

Source: UW Service Center

Multiple (Summer) Deductions for Unclassified Nine-Month Appointees

UW Unclassified appointees (Academic Staff, Faculty, Graduate Assistants, and Employees-in-Training) who have nine-month academic year appointments and certain other Unclassified employees who are expected to return to UW employment in the Fall will have multiple insurance deductions taken from May earnings (payable June 1) so that insurance coverage continues through the summer months.

Since most insurance premiums are paid in advance of the coverage month, the additional three deductions from May earnings (for July, August and September coverage) will maintain coverage until deductions resume with September earnings (for October coverage).

This year, May multiples will be reflected in a new format on the employee earnings statement. The three additional May multiple deductions will be shown as a lump sum for all insurance deductions. For most employees, the lump sum will be shown on the earnings statement as "Prepaid Before-Tax." For employees who have after-tax deductions, there will also be a lump sum shown as "Prepaid After-Tax."

This is a change from the previous format for May multiple deductions where a separate deduction line by plan for the additional May multiple amounts was shown on the earnings statement. On the June 1 earnings statement, the employee's "regular" monthly deductions (from May earnings for June coverage) will continue to be listed as one deduction for each insurance plan in which the employee is enrolled.

Multiple deductions are not taken for Tax-Sheltered Annuities, Deferred Compensation or the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program. Deductions for these programs will automatically resume on the October 1 pay check.

Please contact your benefits office if you have questions about the multiple (summer) deductions.

Source: UW Service Center

REMINDER - Furlough Must be Used in June, 2011

Classified Staff: All required furlough must be taken by June 18th, 2011.

Unclassified Staff: All required furlough must be taken and reported by June 30, 2011. If your paycheck is reduced when you take a furlough day, please be reminded that a furlough day taken in May or a furlough day taken in June will be deducted from your June 30, 2011 paycheck.

For additional information, please contact your Payroll Office or visit the furlough website at: http://www.uwsa.edu/furloughs/index.htm [Broken link removed.]

Source: UW System Administration

2011 Staff Benefits Statements Now Available

UW employees now have access to their Staff Benefits Statements in My UW under the Work Record tab. To view your statement, choose the Benefits Information module and then the Statements tab. In the module you will also find a link, "Explanation of Staff Benefits Statement" which explains the content on your statement. Statements are not produced for employees on unpaid leave of absence and Graduate Appointees.

The benefits statement provides employees with an overview of their benefit and insurance plans, coverage level and the projected annual costs paid by the employee and the University. The estimated premium, Social Security and retirement projections for the calendar year are based on salary information and benefit enrollments in effect on April 1, 2011. Employees should review their statement for benefit enrollments and coverage levels.

Please contact your benefits office if you have questions about your statement.

This is the last year that the UW Staff Benefits Statement will be produced. Currently and going forward, you may review your detailed benefit information in My UW under the Work Record tab. To view your information, choose the Benefits Information module and then the Summary tab. This tab includes the benefits available to you, and whether you have waived or elected participation. For additional information, you may choose the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link which provides benefit type and coverage or participation level.

Source: UW Service Center

Wisconsin Retirement System Annual Statement of Benefits

UW employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2010 now have access to their annual WRS statement in My UW under the Work Record tab. To view your statement, choose the Benefits Information module and then the Statements tab. In the module you will also find a link, "WRS Explanation of Statement of Benefits" which explains the content on your statement.

You are encouraged to review your statement. The statement provides you with information about your individual WRS account as of January 1, 2011. The statement includes:

  • 2010 WRS earnings and creditable service.
  • Total years of WRS creditable service.
  • The 2010 effective rate of interest and contributions applied to your account.
  • Additional contribution information (if applicable).
  • Primary beneficiary, if you have filed a beneficiary designation since 1982.
  • Separation benefit and death benefit calculations.
  • Formula benefit data and money purchase balance information showing the data used to calculate your retirement benefit. If you participate in the Variable Fund, it will also list your Variable account excess / deficiency as of January 1, 2011.

In addition, employees can view the Employee Trust Funds "Your Annual Statement of Benefits" video for detailed information on how to interpret their statement.

If you have questions, please contact your campus benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

New LifeSuite Services Available

You and your eligible dependents may access the following benefits now being offered by Minnesota Life under a program called LifeSuite.

To be eligible for these programs, you must be eligible for coverage under the State of Wisconsin Group Life Insurance plan [i.e., you must have completed at least six months of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employment] ; however, you don't need to be enrolled in the plan to use the Travel Assistance or Legal Services programs. The LifeSuite services include:

  • Travel Assistance if you or an eligible dependent is traveling 100 miles or more from home.
  • Will Preparation and Legal Services. This is also available to annuitants.
  • Beneficiary Financial Counseling. Beneficiaries receiving at least $25,000 in policy benefits may opt to use independent beneficiary counseling services.

There is no need to enroll for these services and there is no premium cost. To access services, simply call or go on-line and identify yourself as a state of Wisconsin employee or dependent.

Source: UW System Administration

Status of the Budget Repair Bill

Michael L. Morgan, UWSA Senior Vice President for Administration & Fiscal Affairs released the following memo on April 11, 2011 regarding the status of the increased pension and health insurance premium contribution under 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 (Budget Repair Bill).

"This is to advise that the increase in pension and health insurance premium deductions called for in the 2009-11 budget repair bill, which was to begin in April, 2011, has been put on hold.

The 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 (a portion of the original 2009-11 state budget repair bill) was signed by Governor Walker on March 11, 2011 and was published by the Legislative Reference Bureau on March 25, 2011. The Secretary of State initially planned to publish the law on March 25, 2011, but a temporary restraining order was issued on March 18, 2011, that prevented the publication of the law pending further legal proceedings. An amended temporary restraining order was issued on March 31, 2011. Also on March 31, Department of Administration Secretary, Mike Huebsch, issued a statement saying, in part, that implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 will be suspended at this time. On April 7, 2011 Secretary Huebsch petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to dismiss the order asking that the temporary restraining order be vacated, allowing for the budget repair bill to become law.

Until the matter is resolved, it is not clear whether or when the increased contributions will be implemented. In the event the increased contributions take effect, we will continue our consultation with the Department of Administration regarding their implementation, including the applicable period for the increase."

What does this mean for you?

At this time:

  • There will be no change in health insurance premiums
  • There will be no change to your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution
  • If you are currently paying union dues, you will continue to do so

Refer to the following resources for the most up-to-date information.

Resources

UWSA 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 FAQ
UWSA 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 Website
Estimator to Determine Impact of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 on Your WRS Contribution and Health Insurance Premium

Source: UW System Administration

Duplicate Tax Statement Requests

Duplicate tax statement requests are processed and statements are mailed to employees within 10 days of the request receipt.

Requests for 2010 duplicates are processed at no charge. Processing fees for other years are:

  • Requests for duplicates from the previous 2 - 5 years are $5.00 per statement.
  • Requests for duplicates from the previous 6 or more years are $10.00 per statement.

Submit a check payable to the University of Wisconsin for the correct dollar amount. Duplicates will not be processed or issued without payment. Mail the check to: UW Service Center, 21 N Park Street, Suite 5101, Madison, WI 53715.

Source: University of Wisconsin Service Center

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) Grace Period for Medical and Dependent Care Expense Claims

Services received and reimbursable items purchased in 2010 and during the grace period between January 1 and March 15, 2011, may be reimbursed from remaining 2010 ERA plan year funds.

Please note that effective January 1, 2011, due to the Affordable Care Act, over-the-counter medicines or drugs are eligible for reimbursement only if they are purchased with a prescription. This new rule does not apply to reimbursements for the cost of insulin, which will continue to be permitted, even if purchased without a prescription. This change does not affect over-the-counter medicines and drugs purchased in 2010, even if they are reimbursed after December, 31, 2010.

The deadline for submitting 2010 claims to FBMC is April 15, 2011. All claims must be received by the Fringe Benefit Management Company or postmarked by April 15, 2011 to be reimbursed from 2010 funds. If you do not submit your claims by the deadline, any money remaining in your account for 2010 will be forfeited.

You can submit claims by any of the following methods:

  • Mail to: FBMC, PO Box 1800, Tallahassee, FL 32302-1800
  • Toll-Free Fax to: 1-888-326-2658
  • Online Claims Submission at: www.myFBMC.com

For questions contact www.myFBMC.com or FBMC Customer Service at 1-800-342-8017 (Mon-Fri, 6:00am to 9:00pm CST).

Related Link: myFBMC General FAQs

Source: Fringe Benefits Management Company (FBMC)

ETF Announces Effective Rates for WRS Funds

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) announced the interest rates credited to the retirement accounts of active Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) members and eligible inactive members. For 2010 the Core Fund effective rate is +4.8% and the Variable Fund effective rate is +16%.

These rates affect the account balances of more than 265,000 state and local government workers, including law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and University of Wisconsin employees. Calculated by ETF, the rates are based on investment performance earned by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB). SWIB recently announced 2010 investment returns of 12.3% for the Core Fund and 15.6% for the Variable Fund.

Effective rates are the starting point for calculating annual adjustments to WRS annuitants' monthly benefit payments. Significant factors in these adjustment rates include assumed interest, annuitant mortality rates and other actuarial factors. ETF expects to announce this year's Core and Variable annuity adjustments in March.

Source: Department of Employee Trust Funds

2010 Annual Tax Forms Mailed

2010 annual tax forms [W-2, 1042S and/or Fellowship Informational Letter] were mailed via U.S. mail to the employee's home address beginning January 21, 2011. Employees may also access copies of these tax forms via the My UWMadison portal under the Work Record tab.

Source: University of Wisconsin Service Center

My UW-Madison Leave Statement Module Improves Access to Statements and Reports

The My UW-Madison portal now features a new unclassified Leave Statement and Report module. The Leave module is used by faculty, academic staff and limited appointees to view and print statements and reports that are used to display and record their leave and furlough time records. The redesigned module makes it easier for employees to locate specific statements and reports. Web links within the module allow the user to open individual statements or report sets. The new module also includes links to any missing leave reports that require user attention.

This enhancement to the Leave module is the first in a series of My UW-Madison module upgrades that will improve employee access to leave statements, earnings statements, and benefit information. Future upgrades will provide new data views and greater access to employee information held within the Human Resource System (HRS) that will be implemented in 2011.

Employees can login to My UWMadison to view the new Leave module under the Work Record tab.

Related Link: Payroll Self Service: Having it All at Your Fingertips [Note: broken link removed.]

Source: UW Service Center

Employee Tax Rate for Social Security Reduced to 4.2% for 2011; Other Tax Law Changes Will Impact Employee Take-Home Pay

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on December 17, 2010 enacted a two percentage point payroll tax cut for employees, reducing their Social Security tax withholding rate from 6.2% to 4.2% of wages paid. The University has implemented the adjustment and employees will see the change reflected on their 2011 Earnings Statements. This reduced Social Security withholding will have no effect on the employee's future Social Security benefits.

The new law does not change other Social Security provisions for 2011:

  • The Social Security wage base is $106,800; the first $106,800 of an employee's wages is taxable for Social Security purposes.
  • The University (employer) tax rate for Social Security remains unchanged at 6.2%.
  • The Medicare wage base will not have a dollar limit in 2011; an employee's entire wage is subject to a 1.45% tax rate for Medicare purposes.
  • The University matching tax rate for Medicare remains unchanged at 1.45%.

The amount listed on employee Earnings Statements as SOC SEC is the total of the Social Security and Medicare tax withholding, which is sometimes referred to as Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax.

Federal Tax Withholding Tables Change For 2011

IRS Notice 1036 provides a summary of the recent tax law changes and includes the 2011 percentage method income tax withholding tables. The Making Work Pay credit expired on December 31, 2010; therefore the 2011 income tax withholding tables do not reflect this credit. As a result, employees in a lower income tax bracket may see an increase in their tax withholding amount, while employees in a higher tax bracket may see a decrease.

Other changes include the December 31, 2010 expiration of the option of receiving advance payroll payments of the Earned Income Credit. The gross-up withholding amount for most nonresident alien employees will decrease.

Several federal tax provisions are unchanged in 2011. The new law maintains the income-tax rates that have been in effect in recent years. The monthly limit on the value of qualified transportation benefits (parking, transit passes, etc.) provided by an employer to its employees, remains at $230.

State of Wisconsin income tax rates also remain the same for 2011.

Employees are encouraged to review their federal income tax withholding every year; individuals and couples with multiple jobs, people who are having children, getting married, getting divorced or buying a home, and those who typically wind up with a balance due or large refund at the end of the year may want to consider submitting a new W-4 Form. Publication 919, How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding?, provides information on making changes to federal income tax withholding.

Related Links: IRS News (IRS-2010-124), IRS Notice 1036, IRS News (IRS-2010-127)

Source: IRS and UW Service Center

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