2014 Insurance Premium and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period and premiums for 2014 coverage will be reflected on your check dated December 26 for classified employees (paid bi-weekly) and January 2 for unclassified employees (paid monthly). Premiums will increase for health insurance and VSP Vision insurance. There will be no change to Dental Wisconsin or EPIC Benefits+ Insurance premiums. 2014 insurance premiums are available online at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/.

How to Check your 2014 Benefit Enrollments

Your benefit summary is available online. Log in to My UW and click on the 'Work Record' tab. Go to the 'Benefit Information' module and click on the 'View Benefits Summary Detail' link to see your benefit summary. Enter "01/01/2014" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2014 elections.

Note - if you enrolled in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program for 2014, you will not see your 2014 election amount in the benefit summary until late December. Your 2013 ERA election will be displayed in the benefit summary until the 2014 ERA elections are loaded to the payroll system.

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

Premiums for Individual and Family Life Insurance and UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance are based on your age as of January 1 of the year. If you move into a new premium age category as of January 1, 2014, your premium will increase on the check payable December 26 for classified employees and January 2 for unclassified employees. Any premium change due to coverage level increases made during the Individual and Family Annual Increase Option period will also begin on these checks.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2014 will increase from 6.65% to 7% for all employees (except those covered by the Executive WRS category, for whom the contribution rate is 7.75%). This change will occur on the first check payable in 2014 - January 2 for unclassified employees and January 9 for classified employees.

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA)

If you enrolled in the ERA program for 2014, your first deduction for your 2014 election will be on the first check payable in 2014 - January 2 for unclassified employees and January 9 for classified employees.

Source: UW System Administration

2014 Insurance Premium and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period and premiums for 2014 coverage will be reflected on your check dated December 26 for classified employees (paid bi-weekly) and January 2 for unclassified employees (paid monthly). Premiums will increase for health insurance and VSP Vision insurance. There will be no change to Dental Wisconsin or EPIC Benefits+ Insurance premiums. 2014 insurance premiums are available online at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/.

How to Check your 2014 Benefit Enrollments

Your benefit summary is available online. Log in to My UW System and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information box to see your benefit summary. Once you see your benefit summary, enter "01/01/2014" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2014 elections.

Note - if you enrolled in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program for 2014, you will not see your 2014 election amount in the benefit summary until late December. Your 2013 ERA election will be displayed in the benefit summary until the 2014 ERA elections are loaded to the payroll system.

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

Premiums for Individual and Family Life Insurance and UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance are based on your age as of January 1 of the year. If you move into a new premium age category as of January 1, 2014, your premium will increase on the check payable December 26 for classified employees and January 2 for unclassified employees. Any premium change due to coverage level increases made during the Individual and Family Annual Increase Option period will also begin on these checks.

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

If you enrolled in the ERA program for 2014, your first deduction for your 2014 election will be on the first check payable in 2014 - January 2 for unclassified employees and January 9 for classified employees.

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2014 will increase from 6.65% to 7% for all employees (except those covered by the Executive WRS category, for whom the contribution rate is 7.75%). This change will also occur on the first check payable in 2014.

Source: UW System Administration

Review Your Address Information by January 16, 2014 for the Annual W-2 Tax Form Mailing

December 11, 2013 | Source: UW Service Center

In late January 2014, your W-2 tax form will be mailed to you, and an electronic copy will be available in My UW. Your W-2 Form will be mailed to one of the following addresses:

  • 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 do not have a home or mailing address, then your W-2 will be sent to your office location.

Please take a few moments to review your address information. You must update your address by January 16, 2014 to ensure that your W-2 Form is delivered to your preferred address.

To Review Your Home Address:

  1. Log in to My UW and choose the 'Work Record' tab.
  2. Your home address will be in the 'Personal Information' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer, click the 'Update my Personal Information' link. Your home address will appear in the 'Addresses' module. To change your address, choose the "Change addresses" tab. Then choose the 'edit' tab next to your home address.

To Review Your Mailing Address:

  1. Log in to My UW and choose the 'Work Record' tab.
  2. To view your mailing address, click the 'Update my Personal Information' link. Your mailing address will be in the 'Addresses' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer, change it by choosing the 'Change addresses' tab. Then choose the 'edit' tab next to your mailing address.

Questions?

If you have questions, review the address update instructions.

If you have other questions, contact your Payroll/Staff Benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

Review Your Address Information by January 16, 2014 for the Annual W-2 Tax Form Mailing

In late January 2014, your W-2 tax form will be mailed to you, and an electronic copy will be available in My UW System. Your W-2 Form will be mailed to one of the following addresses:

  • 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 do not have a home or mailing address, then your W-2 will be sent to your office location.

Please take a few moments to review your address information. You must update your address by January 16, 2014 to ensure that your W-2 Form is delivered to your preferred address.

To Review Your Home Address:

  1. Log in to My UW System.
  2. Your home address will be in the 'Personal Information' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer, click the 'Update my Personal Information' link. Your home address will appear in the 'Addresses' module. To change your address, choose the "Change addresses" tab. Then choose the 'edit' tab next to your home address.

To Review Your Mailing Address:

  1. Log in to My UW System.
  2. To view your mailing address, click the 'Update my Personal Information' link. Your mailing address will be in the 'Addresses' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer, change it by choosing the 'Change addresses' tab. Then choose the 'edit' tab next to your mailing address.

Questions?

If you have questions, review the address update instructions.

If you have other questions, contact your Payroll/Staff Benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

Unclassified Monthly Pay Date for December Earnings is January 2, 2014

If you are an unclassified employee paid on the 1st of each month, this is a reminder that the unclassified monthly pay date for December earnings is Thursday, January 2, 2014. January 2 is the pay date since January 1 (New Year's Day) is a Federal Reserve Holiday.

When a pay date falls on a Federal Reserve holiday or a weekend, the pay date is usually the previous business day. An exception to this is the unclassified monthly pay date that falls on New Year's Day, January 1.

To avoid tax-related issues, the January 1 pay date for December earnings is paid in the new calendar year and must be the first "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

2014 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Limits Announced

The IRS announced that because inflation has been very low there are not cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to the dollar limitations for 2014 contributions to the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program (WDC). (The same limits as 2013.)

In 2014, employees may contribute a maximum of $17,500 to the TSA Program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $5,500 for a total of $23,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $35,000 (under age 50) or $46,000 (age 50 or older).

If you have 15 years or more of service with the UW, you may have an additional "catch-up" opportunity with the TSA Program. Check with your human resources/benefits office to see if you are eligible. For more information, see the web page on TSA limits.

Both pre-tax and Roth after-tax 403(b) contributions count towards the annual limit. For example, if you are under 50, you could contribute $8,500 pre-tax and $9,000 Roth after-tax to each program. Please note Roth IRAs are an investment completely separate from the UW 403(b) Program.

Employees currently enrolled in the TSA Program can easily change TSA contributions for 2014 by submitting a Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to their human resources/benefits office. See the TSA website for more information about enrolling in the program.

If you want to change your deduction for 2014, you should submit your TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your human resources/benefits office in early December. Clearly mark the form as calendar year 2014.

To change your WDC contribution or enroll in the WDC Program, call the WDC office at 1-877-457-9327 or enroll online.

WDC changes must be made with Great-West Retirement Services in early December 2013, so that they have adequate time to electronically remit the information to the payroll office.

If you want to maximize your TSA and/or WDC contributions for 2014, see the chart below to determine how much to contribute per paycheck. Please note: your contribution will automatically stop once the 2014 limit is reached.

Number of Paychecks Annually 2014 Annual Maximum 2014 Amount per Paycheck
9 paychecks (under age 50) $17,500.00 $1,944.45
9 paychecks (age 50 and over) $23,000.00 $2,555.56
12 paychecks (under age 50) $17,500.00 $1,458.34
12 paychecks (age 50 and over) $23,000.00 $1,916.67
26 paychecks (under age 50) $17,500.00 $673.08
26 paychecks (age 50 and over) $23,000.00 $884.62

Note: No deductions are taken during the summer for employees paid on an academic year basis (9 paychecks annually).

Source: UW System Administration

2013 ERA Special Election Period for Employees with Same-Sex Spouses - October 14 - November 13, 2013

Due to recent tax law changes, if you have a legally recognized same-sex spouse, you may now claim medical and dependent care expenses for your spouse and spouse's children through the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program. This applies to 2013 ERA contributions to the Health Care and the Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) programs.

You may enroll in the ERA program or increase your election for 2013 by submitting a Change in Status form directly to WageWorks by November 13, 2013. We recommend that you submit the form as soon as possible to allow for processing before the end of the calendar year.

If you are already enrolled in the ERA program for 2013, and you do not plan to increase your election, you may still submit claims incurred by your spouse or spouse's children for the entire 2013 plan year (January 1, 2013 - March 15, 2014).

Forms must be submitted to WageWorks via fax at 1-866-672-4780 or U.S. Mail to: P.O. Box 1840, Tallahassee, FL 32302-1840.

Please note that if you want to enroll in the ERA program for 2014, you must enroll online or via paper application by November 1, 2013. See the Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) website for more information.

Source: UW Service Center

2013 ERA Special Election Period for Employees with Same-Sex Spouses - October 14 - November 13, 2013

Due to recent tax law changes, if you have a legally recognized same-sex spouse, you may now claim medical and dependent care expenses for your spouse and spouse's children through the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program. This applies to 2013 ERA contributions to the Health Care and the Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) programs.

You may enroll in the ERA program or increase your election for 2013 by submitting a Change in Status form directly to WageWorks by November 13, 2013. We recommend that you submit the form as soon as possible to allow for processing before the end of the calendar year.

If you are already enrolled in the ERA program for 2013, and you do not plan to increase your election, you may still submit claims incurred by your spouse or spouse's children for the entire 2013 plan year (January 1, 2013 - March 15, 2014).

Forms must be submitted to WageWorks via fax at 1-866-672-4780 or U.S. Mail to: P.O. Box 1840, Tallahassee, FL 32302-1840.

Please note that if you want to enroll in the ERA program for 2014, you must enroll online or via paper application by November 1, 2013. See the Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) website for more information.

Source: UW System Administration

Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) Period October 7 - November 1, 2013

The Time is Now. Enroll, Make Changes...the Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period is October 7 - November 1, 2013.

This is the time of the year to evaluate your benefits, review upcoming program changes and determine your benefit needs for 2014. All changes made during this period will be effective January 1, 2014.

UW System Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) Website

Detailed information, brochures and applications are available on the UW System Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) website.

Benefit Changes Allowed During ABE

This chart outlines the benefit election/changes allowed during this year's Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period:

Plan Open Enrollment Change Plan Cancel Coverage Add Dependents Remove Dependents
State Group Health Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dental Wisconsin No No Yes No Yes
VSP Vision Yes NA Yes Yes Yes
EPIC Benefits+ Yes - Special Enrollment Add/remove vision insurance only Yes Yes Yes
Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) Yes Must re-enroll every year
Individual & Family Life Insurance (new maximum coverage levels for 2014) No Increase coverage only if currently enrolled Yes - can cancel at any time No Yes - at any time

New Uniform Dental Benefits in 2014

All health plans, except the Standard Plan and State Maintenance Plan (SMP), will offer the same level of dental benefits in 2014. Previously health plans were able to offer different levels of dental coverage. You should review your new coverage levels under Uniform Dental benefits to ensure they fit your needs. The dental provider networks will continue to vary among health plans.

How do I know if I need to do anything during the ABE period?

You must re-enroll in ERA every year. With the exception of ERA, if you do nothing, your other benefits will continue in 2014.

Health plans may make changes to their provider network so you should confirm that the doctors, clinics and hospitals you use will still be available in 2014. You will receive a mailing from your current health plan with 2014 provider information.

How to enroll

See the How to Enroll page on the ABE website for more information.

Deadline

Don't miss your chance to enroll in or make changes to your benefits for 2014! Remember, this period is typically 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. All benefit elections must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., Friday, November 1, 2013.

Source: UW System Administration

Annual Benefit Enrollment Period October 7 - November 1, 2013

The Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period is October 7 - November 1, 2013 for all participating plans.

Detailed benefit information about the ABE period will be provided at https://uwservice.wisc.edu/2014 as it becomes available. You will receive an email from "UW HR Administration" just prior to the beginning of the enrollment period. You will also receive benefits-related emails throughout the enrollment period.

Attend the UW-Madison Benefits Fair

You are invited to attend the annual Employee Benefits and Resource fair Tuesday, October 8, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Union South. This is your opportunity to meet with staff from the health plans and other benefit vendors.

Benefit Changes Allowed During the Annual Benefit Enrollment Period

You will be eligible to enroll in, make changes to or cancel the following benefit plans during the ABE period:

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • VSP Vision Insurance
  • EPIC Benefits+
  • Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) Program (Flexible Spending Accounts) - must re-enroll every year

The following plans allow you to make changes to your current coverage during the ABE period:

  • Dental Wisconsin - remove dependents or cancel coverage
  • Individual and Family Life Insurance - increase coverage level (maximum coverage levels are increasing for 2014)

Source: UW-Madison Office of Human Resources

Notice of Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act

As part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), the University of Wisconsin (UW) is required by October 1, 2013 to provide all employees with a notice regarding the availability of the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange). The Marketplace Notice also includes required information on health insurance coverage available through your employment at the University of Wisconsin (UW). You will receive a Notice from the UW in late September through email or a paper notice if you do not have a work email account.

Beginning in 2014, the ACA requires most everyone to obtain health insurance for themselves and their dependents or pay a penalty when filing their tax returns. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new option for people to obtain health insurance. You are not required to take action if you currently have health insurance.

The Marketplace has no impact on your coverage under the State Group Health Insurance plan offered at the UW. However, if you feel that your health insurance is unaffordable to you, you may want to compare your current coverage to what is offered through the Marketplace. Those who are not eligible for health insurance through their employment at the UW may also want to consider coverage offered though the Marketplace.

The Marketplace will open on October 1, 2013 for coverage effective on January 1, 2014.

If you have questions about your eligibility for health insurance through your employment, contact Madison Benefits Services by email: benefits@ohr.wisc.edu or by phone: 608-262-5650.

For More Information

Source: UW System Administration

Notice of Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act

As part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), the University of Wisconsin (UW) is required by October 1, 2013 to provide all employees with a notice regarding the availability of the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange). The Marketplace Notice also includes required information on health insurance coverage available through your employment at the University of Wisconsin (UW). You will receive a Notice from the UW in late September through email or a paper notice if you do not have a work email account.

Beginning in 2014, the ACA requires most everyone to obtain health insurance for themselves and their dependents or pay a penalty when filing their tax returns. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new option for people to obtain health insurance. You are not required to take action if you currently have health insurance.

The Marketplace has no impact on your coverage under the State Group Health Insurance plan offered at the UW. However, if you feel that your health insurance is unaffordable to you, you may want to compare your current coverage to what is offered through the Marketplace. Those who are not eligible for health insurance through their employment at the UW may also want to consider coverage offered though the Marketplace.

The Marketplace will open on October 1, 2013 for coverage effective on January 1, 2014.

For More Information

Source: UW System Administration

The Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period is coming October 7 - November 1, 2013

Don't miss your once-a-year opportunity to enroll or make changes to your benefits.

The Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period begins October 7 and ends November 1 for all participating plans. If you do nothing, your current insurance coverage will continue in 2014, except that you must re-enroll in Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA ) Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program every year. All changes made during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period take effect on January 1, 2014.

During this year's ABE period, you may enroll in or make changes to the following plans:

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • EPIC Benefits+
  • VSP vision insurance
  • Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) - Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program requires that you re-enroll every year during the ABE period.

Individual and Family Group Life Insurance coverage maximums are increasing for 2014. If enrolled, you may increase your existing employee, spouse/domestic partner and/or child coverage through the Annual Increase Option.

An Annual Benefits Enrollment website will be available in October where you can find specific information about the plans and how to enroll or make changes.

Source: UW System Administration

Annual Benefit Enrollment Period Announced

The dates for the Annual Benefit Enrollment Period are October 7 - November 1, 2013.

During the enrollment period, eligible employees have the chance to enroll in the State Group Health Insurance program, change health plans, enroll in any benefit plans offering an open enrollment, and/or enroll in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program for the following calendar year.

There will be an Employee Benefits and Resource fair on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Union South (1308 West Dayton Street). The fair will include more than 50 benefits vendors and campus resources. There will be presentations throughout the day and on-the-spot health screenings. There is no registration required.

Detailed benefit information will be available online in late September. Please watch My UW and your email for details.

Source: UW-Madison Office of Human Resources

New Features Coming to My UW System

As My UW System marks its third anniversary of providing employees with online access to payroll, leave and benefits information, we are pleased to announce the addition of new features. On August 13 the portal expanded to include a new Employee Resources tab (with the web conferencing tool, Blackboard Collaborate, to launch August 15) and a UW System News Feed.

Employees logging in to the portal will continue to see their default Work Record tab. The Employee Resources tab will include the new features and some content moved from the Work Record tab.

The Work Record tab will continue to include the following modules:

  • HR, Benefit and Payroll News
  • Manager Time and Approval
  • Time and Absence
  • Payroll Information
  • Benefit Information
  • Personal Information
  • Benefit and Payroll Resources (formerly Employee Resources)
  • UW System Career Opportunities

The new Employee Resources tab will include the following modules:

  • UW System News and Clipsheet (new)
  • Web Conferencing (new, to launch August 15)
  • University Personnel Systems Development
  • Help with My UW
  • My Bookmarks

To provide your feedback or suggestions, visit https://my.wisconsin.edu/portal/p/feedback.

Source: UW Service Center

2013-2015 Compensation Plan Increases Employee Pay

On June 26, 2013, the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) approved the 2013-15 compensation plan for UW classified and unclassified staff. The compensation plan calls for a 1% pay increase in the 2013-14 fiscal year and another 1% pay increase in the 2014-15 fiscal year for all eligible employees. In the 2013-14 pay plan, eligible employees (both classified and unclassified staff) who earn less than $15/hour may also receive up to an additional $0.25/hour pay increase.

Classified Employees

The first 1% raise will be effective on the pay period that starts June 30, 2013, and the second 1% raise will be effective on the pay period that starts on June 29, 2014. Eligible employees will see the increase on their paycheck paid July 25, 2013.

Unclassified Employees (Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees)

The 2013-14 salary increase will first appear on the September 1, 2013 paycheck for 12-month staff, and on the October 1, 2013 paycheck for 9-month staff. The Board of Regents pay plan guidelines outline general operating guidelines, and the eligibility requirements are determined by each institution's salary distribution guidelines.

For Additional Information

The full text of the 2013-15 compensation plan is available on the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) website.

You should contact your divisional human resources representative if you have any questions about how the compensation plan affects you.

Source: UW System Administration

2013-2015 Compensation Plan Increases Employee Pay

On June 26, 2013, the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) approved the 2013-15 compensation plan for UW classified and unclassified staff. The compensation plan calls for a 1% pay increase in the 2013-14 fiscal year and another 1% pay increase in the 2014-15 fiscal year for all eligible employees. In the 2013-14 pay plan, eligible employees (both classified and unclassified staff) who earn less than $15/hour may also receive up to an additional $0.25/hour pay increase.

Classified employees

The first 1% raise will be effective on the pay period that starts June 30, 2013 and the second 1% raise will be effective on the pay period that starts on June 29, 2014. Eligible employees will see the increase on their paycheck paid July 25, 2013.

Unclassified employees (faculty, academic staff, limited appointees)

The 2013-14 salary increase will first appear on the September 1, 2013 paycheck for 12-month staff and on the October 1, 2013 paycheck for 9-month staff. The Board of Regents pay plan guidelines outline general operating guidelines and the eligibility requirements are determined by each institution's salary distribution guidelines.

For additional information

The full text of the 2013-15 compensation plan is available on the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) website.

You should contact your institution's human resources office if you have any questions about how the compensation plan affects you.

Source: UW System Administration

Save for Your Future with the TSA 403(b) Program

Think of the things you plan for - vacation, a new vehicle, your home. Have you planned for your future retirement? Take advantage of an opportunity to supplement your retirement savings by participating in the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program. It is easy with an automatic payroll deduction - and it feels good to save!

Benefits

There are many benefits of participating in the UW TSA Program, including:

  1. It's an easy way to accumulate additional savings you will need to supplement your retirement income.
  2. You can make either pre-tax or Roth after-tax contributions or a combination of both options.
  3. It is a flexible, low-cost program with a wide array of investment options.
  4. It's portable. You may rollover your contributions to another qualified plan if you leave UW employment.

Enrollment

If eligible, you may enroll in this voluntary program at any time. All permanent, project and limited term employees (LTEs) of the University of Wisconsin as well as rehired annuitants, student hourly employees, and graduate assistants - with the exception of some employees-in-training, fellows, and interns - are eligible to participate. You make the entire contribution; there is no employer match. Investment options include a wide array of mutual funds and fixed and variable annuities managed by six authorized investment companies. For a description of our investment companies and how to enroll, see the Quick Guide to the TSA Program.

To find out more about the program, take a look at the TSA Q&A, which provides answers to some frequently asked questions.

Source: UW System Administration

2014 WRS Contribution Rates Announced

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates for 2014. Your contribution rate is determined by your WRS employment category. Most UW employees are covered by either the general or teacher WRS category. High level administrators (chancellors, president, vice presidents, provosts...) are covered by the executive category, and those whose main duties are related to law enforcement or the protection of the public (police officers, fire fighters...) are covered by the protective category.

2013 and 2014 WRS Contribution Rates:

General/Teacher Executives Protectives w/ Social Security
2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2014
Employee Contribution 6.65% 7.00% 7.00% 7.75% 6.65% 7.00%
Employer Contribution 6.65% 7.00% 7.00% 7.75% 9.75% 10.10%
Total 13.30% 14.00% 14.00% 15.50% 16.40% 17.10%

WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis. The 2014 contribution rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2014 beginning on January 2, 2014 for unclassified employees paid monthly and January 9, 2014 for classified employees paid bi-weekly. As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

See the ETF press release for additional information about how contribution rates are set.

Source: UW Service Center

2013 Graduate Assistant Benefits Seminars and Drop-in Sessions

A variety of events are available to graduate assistants to assist them in learning about the UW benefits package and completing their applications.

In addition to the regular seminars and drop-in sessions, graduate assistants will have the chance to attend the New Graduate Student Resource Fair on August 28 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Union South.

Sessions begin in mid-July and run through early September. Check Graduate Assistants Benefits Seminars and Drop-In Sessions for a complete schedule.

New graduate assistants are strongly encouraged to attend at least one of these events. Any questions regarding these events can be directed to: benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Source: UW-Madison Office of Human Resources

2012 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2012, your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Annual Statement of Benefits is now available online in My UW System (UW-Madison users should access My UW, then click on the Work Record tab). Log in to the portal and go to the "Benefit Information" module and click on the "Statements" tab. Click on "ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2013" to view and print your statement.

The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your Wisconsin Retirement System account as of January 1, 2013. Information on the statement includes 2012 WRS earnings and creditable service, total years of WRS creditable service, and separation and death benefit calculations. You should review this statement closely for accuracy.

You may also review the Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits (ET-7333) to help understand the information presented on your individual statement of benefits.

Statement Section 2 - After Act 10 Service

The name of your retirement category is in both Sections 1 and 2 of the Statement. If you are in a General, Teacher or Protective retirement category, all of your creditable service will be listed in the "Before 2000" and/or "After 1999" columns in Section 2 of the Statement. Only employees in an Elected or Executive retirement category will have creditable service in the "After Act 10" column. 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 changed the way retirement benefits are calculated for Elected/Executive category employees so service earned after Act 10 must be tracked separately for this group of employees.

Statement Section 3 - 2012 Employee Required Contributions

You may see an amount listed under Section 3 in the Employer Paid Employee Contributions field. The amount loaded to the field Employee Paid Contributions is the amount deducted from paychecks dated in 2012. If the amount deducted from payroll checks dated in 2012 did not equal 5.9% of your annual WRS earnings, the slight difference is shown in the Employer Paid Employee Contributions field.

If your WRS contribution amount was less than 5.9%, it may have been due to:

  • Rounding differences: As a result of rounding on each WRS payroll deduction, the amount deducted from your paycheck may have been slightly less than 5.9% of your total 2012 WRS earnings.
  • Refund of 2011 WRS contributions: Prior to January 1, 2012, the WRS contribution amount was 5.8%. All classified employees inadvertently had the new 5.9% amount (instead of 5.8%) deducted on their December 29, 2011 payroll check. This 0.1% difference was refunded on the June 14, 2012 paycheck.

Information to Help You Understand Your WRS Statement

Please note that if you have recently been upgraded to Firefox 19 (with a new built-in PDF viewer) you may find your statement unreadable in My UW/My UW System. For workaround instructions visit: https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=28831. Please contact your institution's IT helpdesk if further assistance is needed.

Please contact your institution HR office with any questions on the ETF Annual Statement of Benefits.

Source: UW System Administration

Unclassified Employees: Use of Vacation and Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA)

Unclassified employees (academic staff, faculty and limited) with a 12-month appointment are eligible to bank unused vacation in an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) at the beginning of their 11th fiscal year of employment. Unclassified vacation is allocated on a fiscal year basis. Unused vacation can be carried over into the following fiscal year, but must be used by the end of that fiscal year or it will be lost.

Your July Leave Report will indicate how many hours of unused vacation you are eligible to bank into ALRA. You are allowed to bank any unused vacation as of June 30, 2013.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for ALRA:

  • You may transfer unused vacation hours into an ALRA account to use at a future date (banked hours do not expire).
  • You may accumulate hours in your ALRA from year to year without limit.
  • With your supervisor's approval, you may use ALRA hours at any time. These hours can be used in any circumstance where you are allowed to use paid leave.
  • Any unused ALRA at the termination of employment will be paid to you at your current wage rate as a lump sum payment.
  • You will be offered the option to bank hours in ALRA in July following the fiscal year in which you qualify.
  • Banking Schedule (the amount of leave that can be banked is prorated if part-time):
    • You are allowed to bank up to 40 hours of vacation into ALRA per year at the beginning of your 11th fiscal year of employment.
    • You are allowed to bank up to 80 hours of vacation into ALRA per year at the beginning of your 26th fiscal year of employment.

If you elect to bank hours to ALRA, the vacation hours used will first come from any remaining Vacation Carryover you had as of June 30, 2013. If you allocated more unused vacation to ALRA than you currently have as Vacation Carryover, the additional hours to be banked will come from your new Vacation Carryover balance as of July 1, 2013 (vacation earned in the current fiscal year).

If you have questions, please contact the Payroll Coordinator for your work unit.

Source: UW Service Center

2012 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Delayed

The posting of the 2012 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits to My UW has been delayed. Additional information regarding statement distribution will be communicated when available.

Source: UW Service Center

Missing Unclassified Leave Reports Now Identified in My UW

Enhancements to the My UW Time and Absence module will make it easier for faculty, academic staff and limited appointees to identify missing leave reports. A new link, Outstanding Missing Leave Reports, is now included under the Leave Reports tab in the Time and Absence module. This link will only appear if there is a missing leave report. Clicking on the link will display a list of an employee's missing Leave Reports.

For current leave information, employees are reminded to regularly review their Earnings Statements.

Questions about the changes to the Time and Absence module should be directed to your Benefits office.

Source: UW System Administration

Missing Unclassified Leave Reports Now Identified in My UW System

Enhancements to the My UW System Time and Absence module will make it easier for faculty, academic staff and limited appointees to identify missing leave reports. A new link, Outstanding Missing Leave Reports, is now included under the Leave Reports tab in the Time and Absence module. This link will only appear if there is a missing leave report. Clicking on the link will display a list of an employee's missing Leave Reports.

For current leave information, employees are reminded to regularly review their Earnings Statements.

Questions about the changes to the Time and Absence module should be directed to your HR/Benefits office.

Source: UW System Administration

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) 04/15/2013 Deadline for 2012 Claims

The deadline for submitting 2012 medical and dependent care claims incurred on or before March 15th, 2013, is April 15, 2013. All claims must be received by WageWorks or postmarked by April 15, 2013 to be reimbursed from 2012 funds. Remember, claims are paid on a "first-in, first-out" basis. This means that if you have 2012 expenses that you intend to have paid from your 2012 contributions, they must be submitted and processed before you submit any 2013 claims. If you do not submit your claims by the deadline, any money remaining in your account for 2012 will be forfeited.

You may submit claims by any of the following methods:

  • Electronically at http://www.wageworks.com
  • WageWorks EZ Receipts® app on your Smartphone.
  • Mail to: P.O. Box 14326, Lexington, KY 40512
  • Toll-Free Fax to: 1-855-428-0446

For questions contact http://www.wageworks.com or WageWorks Customer Service at 1-855-428-0446 (Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST).

Source: UW System Administration

Duplicate Tax Statement Requests

Duplicate tax statements for 2012 W-2, 1042-S, and Fellowship/Scholarship informational letters are available in My UW System (UW-Madison users should visit My UW, under the Work Record tab). To view and print your tax statements, go to the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module.

Duplicate tax statements are also available by completing a Duplicate Tax Statement Request.

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

Requests for 2012 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 for the total amount due to: University of Wisconsin. Duplicates will not be processed or issued without payment. Mail your request and check to: UW Service Center, 21 N Park Street, Suite 5101, Madison, WI 53715

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 Wage and Tax Statements Available Online

The 2012 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available in My UW System (UW-Madison users should visit My UW, under the Work Record tab). Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. Paper copies of the W-2 were postmarked and mailed by January 31, 2013.

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

Some employees also received additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099). The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letter are posted in the portal. The 1099 will not be available in the portal.

New Information on your W-2: The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. On your W-2 in Box 12, Code DD, you will see the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage including the employee and employer share of State Group Health premiums and the employee premium for EPIC Benefits+ (reflected as 'EPIC' on the employee earnings statement). These amounts are not taxable.

Employees are reminded that they should not use their final 2012 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2012 taxable earnings since the last 2012 payroll was paid. These employees will have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the Form W-2 that the employee receives.

Related Link: Explanation of the W-2 Wage and Tax Statement

Source: UW Service Center

Distribution of 1042-S Forms for Foreign Nationals

The 1042-S Forms (Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) are available electronically via https://www.online-tax.net/ to employees who elected electronic distribution of their 1042-S Form through GLACIER (the online system used to handle data collection for UW foreign nationals). 1042-S Forms were mailed via U.S. mail the week of February 25 to employees who elected hard copy distribution.

All 1042-S Forms (distributed electronically via Glacier or via U.S. mail) have been posted to My UW System portal (UW-Madison users should visit My UW, under the Work Record tab). Forms are located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module.

As a reminder, the deadline for filing state and federal income tax returns is April 15, 2013.

Source: UW Service Center

Benefits: Summer Prepay Deductions

If you are an academic year (9 month), or other employee* who does not work during one or more of the summer months and are expected to return for the fall semester, you are required to have multiple benefit deductions taken from your earnings paid during the spring semester to cover insurance premiums for the summer months. These deductions are referred to as "Summer Prepay" deductions. Summer Prepay deductions will be taken along with your regular monthly insurance deductions on your April 1, May 1 and May 31 paychecks.

*Annual basis (12 month) Faculty, Academic Staff or paid bi-weekly and are not working during one or more of the summer months.

If you are an academic year employee, insurance premiums cannot be deducted from summer earnings. If you are expected to return in the fall, your benefits must be continuous. You may not opt out of summer coverage.

What You Need To Do

Your division/department benefits office will determine your eligibility for Summer Prepay deductions. You need to let them know if you plan on returning in the fall semester to either your current or different department/institution.

If you are an annual basis (12 month) Faculty, Academic Staff or paid bi-weekly, and are not working during one or more of the summer months, you must contact your institution's payroll and benefits office to set up summer prepay deductions. The number of benefit deductions and how these deductions appear on your earnings statement will be based on your individual situation.

Summer Prepay Deduction Schedule

You will have 2 deductions for each benefit plan taken from your last 3 checks of the semester, with the exception of Income Continuation Insurance (ICI). If enrolled in ICI, you will have 2 additional deductions on your May 1 check and 1 additional deduction on your May 31 check.

Multiple deductions are not taken for the following plans: Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) plan, Wisconsin Deferred Compensation, Employee Reimbursement Account (Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts). Deductions for these plans are only taken during the academic year.

How Summer Prepay Deductions Appear on Your Earnings Statement

Summer prepay deductions will appear as a lump sum amount on your earnings statement. All deductions taken pre-tax (most medical-related premiums and a portion of State Group Life premiums) will be added together under the name "Prebtx" and all deductions taken post-tax (most life insurance premiums) will be added together under the name "Preatx." Your regular benefit deductions for the month will continue to be listed under the plan name. For example, if you carry family Dean Health Insurance and Single VSP Insurance, you will see a $211 deduction under Dean Health Plan and a $5.24 deduction under Vision Service Plan (VSP). These deductions are typically taken on a pre-tax basis. If you have one extra deduction for each plan, there will be a total of $216.24 ($211.00 + $5.24) listed under Prebtx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions.

Refunds if You Don't Return in the Fall

If Summer Prepay deductions are taken and it is later determined that you are not returning to employment for the fall semester, you will be refunded overpaid premiums. If your department/division determines that you are eligible for Summer Prepay deductions, it is not a guarantee of a summer or fall employment contract.

Questions

If you have questions, please contact your institution's payroll and benefits office.

Source: UW System Administration

2013 State Group Life Insurance Annual Update

State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium are based on a participant's highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings (typically the prior year's earnings) and age as of April 1. A participant's coverage level and premium will be updated effective April 1. The new premium will first appear on the April 4 paycheck (for those paid bi-weekly) or the April 1 paycheck (for those paid monthly).

The 2013 premiums are available at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/index.php#sgl.

For questions, please contact your institution's payroll and benefits office.

Source: UW System Administration

My UW System Statements (PDFs) Unreadable For Firefox 19 Users

UW employees who upgraded to Firefox 19 (with a new built-in PDF viewer) have reported issues when opening Earnings Statements and other PDFs in the My UW System portal. The Firefox 19 PDF viewer will render some PDFs unreadable.

Firefox 19 users have three alternative PDF viewing options:

Source: UW Service Center

My UW Statements (PDFs) Unreadable For Firefox 19 Users

UW employees who upgraded to Firefox 19 (with a new built-in PDF viewer) have reported issues when opening Earnings Statements and other PDFs in the My UW portal. The Firefox 19 PDF viewer will render some PDFs unreadable.

Firefox 19 users have three alternative PDF viewing options:

Source: UW Service Center

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

ERA participants may incur medical and/or dependent care expenses through March 15, 2013 and can be reimbursed from 2012 contributions. Services received and reimbursable items purchased in 2012 and during the grace period between January 1 and March 15, 2013, may be reimbursed from remaining 2012 ERA plan year funds. Remember, claims are paid on a "first-in, first-out" basis. This means that if you have 2012 expenses that you intend to have paid from your 2012 contributions, they must be submitted and processed before you submit any 2013 claims.

The deadline for submitting 2012 medical and dependent care claims to WageWorks is April 15, 2013. All claims must be received by WageWorks or postmarked by April 15, 2013 to be reimbursed from 2012 funds. If you do not submit your claims by the deadline, any money remaining in your account for 2012 will be forfeited.

You can submit claims by any of the following methods:

  • Electronically at http://www.wageworks.com
  • WageWorks EZ Receipts® app on your Smartphone
  • Mail to: P.O. Box 14326, Lexington, KY 40512
  • Toll-Free Fax to: 1-855-428-0446

For questions contact http://www.wageworks.com or WageWorks Customer Service at 1-855-428-0446 (Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. CST).

Source: WageWorks

Annual Health Insurance Satisfaction Survey

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has contracted with Morplace, a consumer research firm, to conduct an annual satisfaction survey using a random sample of insured participants covered under the State Group Health Insurance program. This study is important because the results will be reported in a health plan report card in the 2014 It's Your Choice Decision Guide and will also be considered during health plan premium negotiations for the 2014 plan year.

If you are selected to participate, an invitation to complete the online survey will be sent to your business e-mail/mail address by the week of February 11, 2013.

The University of Wisconsin System has approved the use of work time for employees to complete the survey during scheduled work hours without loss of pay. The survey should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. You should complete the survey during a time that does not interfere with your work duties. If you choose to participate in the survey outside of scheduled work hours, the time spent will be unpaid.

Source: UW System Administration

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) Deferred Enrollment and Annual Update January 2013

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) is an insurance plan which provides up to 75% of your previous calendar year salary as replacement income when you are unable to work due to a short or long term disability. Standard ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $4,000/month. If your prior year's salary is $64,000 or more, you may elect the Supplemental ICI which pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $7,500/month.

Deferred Enrollment

If you are currently not enrolled in ICI, you may have an enrollment opportunity. If you're eligible, you will be given individual notice of any deferred enrollment options for ICI in late January. You must complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) and return it to your payroll/personnel office on or before January 30th, 2013. ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1, 2013.

Deferred enrollment is offered in the following situations:

  • You're a classified employee and your prior year-end sick leave balance exceeds 520 or 728 hours for the first time.
  • You're a classified employee and accumulated at least 80 hours of sick leave (prorated for part-time employment) for the first time in the prior calendar year.*
  • You're either a Classified or Unclassified employees and your prior year end sick leave balance exceeds 1040 hours.
  • If you're already enrolled in ICI and your 2012 WRS earnings were at least $64,000, you are eligible to enroll in Supplemental ICI coverage.

*The calendar year period is from the 2011 December 'C' payroll through the 2012 December 'C' payroll.

Annual Update

Each year there is review of all classified employees' earnings and leave usage to determine your Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premium for the year.

For classified employees (paid bi-weekly), the ICI premium is based on last year's earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and the employee's sick leave balance and usage as of the end of the 12C 2012 payroll (pay period ended 12/29/2012). For unclassified employees (paid monthly), the ICI premium is based on last year's WRS-reported earnings and the selected elimination period.

For more information about the ICI program, see the recently updated ICI plan brochure. Please check with your payroll representative if you have any questions.

Source: UW System Administration

Partial Leave Earnings Displayed on Classified Earnings Statement for 1/24/13

The "Earned" and "Used/Adjusted" Columns of the 1/24/2013 Earnings Statement reflect a partial period for leave earned and used for 1/1/2013 - 1/12/2013.

Leave is earned and used based on the Calendar Year. The 1A pay period spans two calendar years, but only the 2013 earnings period can be displayed on the Earnings Statement. The earned and used amounts do not align with the pay period and may be confusing. For example, Sick Leave earned will appear as 4.5 hours (for a full-time employee) but the full 5.0 hours earned for the pay period are included in the ending balance.

The earnings and usage for 12/30-12/31 were added to 2012 ending balances for Sick Leave, Legal Holiday, and Vacation, but are not reflected in the "Earned" and "Used/Adj" Columns on this Earnings Statement.

  • Sick leave ending balances include all earnings less usage through 1/12/13
  • Any remaining Vacation from 2012 is now reflected in Vacation Carryover
  • Legal Holiday is lost at the end of 2012

In summary:

  • The ending balances are correct
  • The earned and used amounts shown on the earnings statement are from 01/01/2013 - 01/12/2013

Source: UW Service Center

2013 Social Security and Medicare Tax ("Payroll Tax Holiday" Expires December 31, 2012)

The Social Security wage base (the amount of an employee's taxable earnings that can be taxed for Social Security purposes) has risen from $110,100 in 2012 to $113,700 in 2013. This means that the first $113,700 of an employee's taxable earnings is taxable for Social Security purposes.

The employee Social Security tax rate for 2013 is 6.2% of covered earnings up to $113,700. In 2011 and 2012, federal legislation temporarily lowered the Social Security tax rate for an employee from 6.2% to 4.2% (employers continued to pay 6.2% of earnings).

The lower 4.2% employee Social Security tax rate referred to as a "Payroll Tax Holiday" expired on December 31, 2012. As a result, employees will be taxed at the full 6.2% tax rate beginning with paychecks paid in 2013. Unclassified employees (paid monthly) will see the tax rate increase starting with the January 2, 2013 paycheck. Classified employees (paid bi-weekly) will see the increase starting with the check paid January 10, 2013. The employee Social Security tax deduction is reflected on earnings statements as Fed OASDI/EE.

The employee Medicare tax rate employers are required to withhold for 2013 is 1.45% of an employee's taxable earnings up to $200,000 and 2.35% (a 0.9% increase from the 2012 1.45% tax rate) of taxable earnings in excess of $200,000. The additional 0.9% begins when taxable wages reach $200,000. The employer will continue to contribute 1.45% of total covered earnings to Medicare. Employees whose combined household earnings for tax reporting purposes is between $200,000 and $250,000 may receive a credit of the 0.9% increase upon filing their 2013 tax return.

Source: UW System Administration

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