2015 Insurance Premium and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period and premiums for 2015 coverage will be reflected on your check dated December 23 for classified employees (paid bi-weekly) and January 2 for unclassified employees (paid monthly).

  • Premiums will increase for health insurance (regular HMO and PPO plans) and VSP Vision insurance.
  • Premium will decrease for health insurance if you enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan.
  • Premium will decrease for the Dental Wisconsin PPO plan.
  • There will be no change to the Dental Wisconsin Select Plan Insurance premiums.
  • If you only cover children on your EPIC Benefits+ plan, you will see a decrease in your premium. Otherwise, there will be no change to your premiums.

2015 insurance premiums are available online at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/.

How to Check Your 2015 Benefit Enrollments and Deductions

Your earning statement with benefit deductions is available online. Log in to My UW and click on the Work Record tab, then go to Payroll Information.  Click on the pay period statement you would like to view.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you enrolled with TASC in either the FSA or HSA programs for 2015, your first deduction for your 2015 election will be on the first check payable in 2015 - January 2 for unclassified employees and January 8 for classified employees.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2015 will decrease from 7% to 6.80% for all employees (except those covered by the Executive WRS category--contribution rate is 7.70%). This change will also occur on the first check payable in 2015.

Any questions on your benefit elections or deductions should be directed to UW Madison Benefits Services at benefits@ohr.wisc.edu or 608-262-5650.  If you are not seeing your elections or the correct elections please notify us immediately.

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI)

The ICI premium for classified employees is based on the employee’s monthly salary and sick leave balance remaining at the end of the prior calendar year. Employees often want to swap sick leave used for other leave when they see their ICI category change and premium increase.

The deadline to swap sick leave used for other leave is January 30, 2015. Any leave swaps that occur after January 30, 2015 will NOT change the 2015 ICI premium category.

Please contact your Department Payroll Office prior to January 30, 2015 to initiate leave swaps.

Source: UW Service Center

2015 Insurance Premium and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period and premiums for 2015 coverage will be reflected on your check dated December 23 for classified employees (paid bi-weekly) and January 2 for unclassified employees (paid monthly).

  • Premiums will increase for health insurance (regular HMO and PPO plans) and VSP Vision insurance.
  • Premium will decrease for health insurance if you enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan.
  • Premium will decrease for the Dental Wisconsin PPO plan.
  • There will be no change to the Dental Wisconsin Select Plan Insurance premiums.
  • If you only cover children on your EPIC Benefits+ plan, you will see a decrease in your premium. Otherwise, there will be no change to your premiums.

2015 insurance premiums are available online at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/.

How to Check Your 2015 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 "01/01/2015" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2015 elections.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you enrolled in either the FSA or HSA programs for 2015, your first deduction for your 2015 election will be on the first check payable in 2015 - January 2 for unclassified employees and January 8 for classified employees.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2015 will decrease from 7% to 6.80% for all employees (except those covered by the Executive WRS category, for whom the contribution rate is 7.70%). This change will also occur on the first check payable in 2015.

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI)

The ICI premium for Classified employees is based on the employee’s monthly salary and sick leave balance remaining at the end of the prior calendar year. Employees often want to swap sick leave used for other leave when they see their ICI category change and premium increase.

The deadline to swap sick leave used for other leave is January 30, 2015. Any leave swaps that occur after January 30, 2015 will NOT change the 2015 ICI premium category.

Please contact your Payroll Office to initiate leave swaps.

Source: UW Service Center

Unclassified Monthly Pay Date for December Earnings is January 2, 2015

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 Friday, January 2, 2015. 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

Important Information for Flexible Spending Account Enrollees

There is a new administrator for the Flexible Spending Account program for 2015 (formerly known as the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program).  The new administrator of the plan is Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC).

What you need to know if you have a 2014 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

  • Your WageWorks debit card will be active until 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2014.
  • You should submit all your 2014 claims to WageWorks immediately, but no later than December 31, 2014.
  • Starting January 1, 2015, all claims for 2014 expenses must be submitted to TASC.
  • If you have 2014 funds in your account as of January 1, 2015, those funds will roll over into your account with TASC but will not be immediately available for use.
    • There will be a blackout period while WageWorks finishes processing outstanding claims and the funds are moved to TASC.
    • It is anticipated that any remaining 2014 funds will be available for use by the end of January.
    • You may submit claims against these 2014 funds with TASC starting on January 1, but they will not be processed until the 2014 balances are uploaded to TASC’s system.
    • If you did not enroll in the plan for 2015, but have remaining 2014 funds as of January 1, those funds will be available after the blackout period.  You will also receive a TASC debit card in mid to late January.

For more information about the transition, please see the e-learning module on the Department of Employee Trust Funds website.

Information for 2015 Flexible Spending Account Enrollees

  • You should receive your TASC debit card by the end of the December.
  • Your 2015 funds will be available on your TASC card as of January 1 (any remaining 2014 funds will be loaded to your card by late January).
  • For more information about your TASC card and how to submit a claim, see the Participant Reference Guide.

Source: UW System Administration

Important Information for Flexible Spending Account Enrollees

There is a new administrator for the Flexible Spending Account program for 2015 (formerly known as the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) program).  The new administrator of the plan is Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC).

What you need to know if you have a 2014 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

  • Your WageWorks debit card will be active until 11:59pm on December 31, 2014.
  • You should submit all your 2014 claims to WageWorks immediately, but no later than December 31, 2014.
  • Starting January 1, 2015, all claims for 2014 expenses must be submitted to TASC.
  • If you have 2014 funds in your account as of January 1, 2015, those funds will roll over into your account with TASC but will not be immediately available for use.
    • There will be a blackout period while WageWorks finishes processing outstanding claims and the funds are moved to TASC.
    • It is anticipated that any remaining 2014 funds will be available for use by the end of January.
    • You may submit claims against these 2014 funds with TASC starting on January 1, but they will not be processed until the 2014 balances are uploaded to TASC’s system.
    • If you did not enroll in the plan for 2015 but have remaining 2014 funds as of January 1, those funds will be available after the blackout period.  You will also receive a TASC debit card in mid to late January.

For more information about the transition, please see the e-learning module on the Department of Employee Trust Funds website.

Information for 2015 Flexible Spending Account Enrollees

  • You should receive your TASC debit card by the end of the December.
  • Your 2015 funds will be available on your TASC card as of January 1 (any remaining 2014 funds will be loaded to your card by late January).
  • For more information about your TASC card and how to submit a claim, see the Participant Reference Guide.

Source: UW System Administration

2015 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Limits Announced

The IRS announced the 2015 contribution limits for the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program (WDC).

In 2015, employees may contribute a maximum of $18,000 to the TSA Program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total of $24,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $36,000 (under age 50) or $48,000 (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 $10,000 pre-tax and $8,000 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 2015 by submitting a Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) to their department HR/Payroll and Benefits contact.

If you want to change your TSA deduction for 2015 or enroll in the program, you should submit your TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your human resources/benefits office in early December. Clearly mark the form as calendar year 2015.

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 2014, 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 2015, see the chart below to determine how much to contribute per paycheck. Please note: your contribution will automatically stop once the 2015 limit is reached.

Number of Paychecks Annually

2015 Annual Maximum

2015 Amount per Paycheck

9 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$2,000.00

9 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$2,666.67

12 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$1,500.00

12 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$2,000.00

26 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$692.31

26 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$923.08

Source: UW System Administration

2015 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Limits Announced

The IRS announced the 2015 contribution limits for the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program (WDC).

In 2015, employees may contribute a maximum of $18,000 to the TSA Program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total of $24,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $36,000 (under age 50) or $48,000 (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 $10,000 pre-tax and $8,000 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 2015 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 TSA deduction for 2015 or enroll in the program, you should submit your TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your human resources/benefits office in early December. Clearly mark the form as calendar year 2015.

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 2014, 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 2015, see the chart below to determine how much to contribute per paycheck. Please note: your contribution will automatically stop once the 2015 limit is reached.

Number of Paychecks Annually

2015 Annual Maximum

2015 Amount per Paycheck

9 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$2,000.00

9 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$2,666.67

12 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$1,500.00

12 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$2,000.00

26 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$692.31

26 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$923.08

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

Source: UW System Administration

How the UW System is Serving Veterans

As of 2013, there were more than 400,000 veterans living in Wisconsin, ‘veteran’ being defined as a former member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard who served on active duty and was discharged other than dishonorably. The UW System has a particular mission to provide services to these men and women who so ably served their country; the UW System campuses are approved for the education of reservists, veterans, disabled or deceased veterans' dependents, and war orphans under programs provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the state Department of Veterans Affairs. 

The Wisconsin GI Bill is the most comprehensive state higher education benefit for veterans in the nation - veterans are not charged tuition and fees for up to 128 credits.  Assuming a standard course load, the Wisconsin GI Bill provides 4 years of 100% tuition and fee remission.   The Wisconsin GI Bill can be used for undergraduate or graduate education and is available to full-time students and part-time students, as well as students enrolled in the Flexible Option.   In addition, veterans are given priority registration at all UW institutions so they can more effectively use their benefits.   Critically, the UW also provides the vast majority of funding to support the benefit. 

Last year nearly 5,000 veterans (self-reported) attended UW System institutions; that total has doubled since 2005.  Of those, nearly 4,000 eligible veterans took advantage of the Wisconsin GI Bill and related federal GI Bill benefits.   In addition to veterans, children and spouses of veterans disabled 30% or more receive Wisconsin GI Bill benefits.  Last year nearly 1,400 children and spouses accessed this benefit.

UW institutions across the state have opened student veteran centers to help veterans better access increasingly complicated benefits as well provide the academic and social support that many non-traditional students find useful as they transition to college life after time away from school.

The UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System have also joined forces to create the Veterans Wisconsin Education Portal, a one-stop online location which provides information to help veterans and their dependents understand and utilize the services and resources available to them.  Sections of this web portal include:

  • Understanding Higher Education: What types of public higher education institutions are available, and the locations of Wisconsin public higher education institutions.
  • Getting Started: How to get started on your college education.
  •  Applying for College: How to apply to a University of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Technical College campus.
  • Education Benefits: Who to talk with about both Wisconsin and Federal veterans’ education benefits.
  • Personal Support: Contact and resource information for Veterans Affairs facilities, local veteran centers, medical and counseling services, child care resources, and much more.
  • Campus Resources: Contact information for the Campus Veterans Coordinator at each UW campus, who can offer details on benefits and services specifically for veterans.
  •  UW Veterans Contacts and WTCS Veterans Certifying Officials: At UW-Madison, contact VA Certifying Official, Joe Rasmussen, (608) 265-4628 or John Bechtol, Assistant Dean of Students, (608) 890-2701, for assistance with questions and paperwork.  Certifying Officials are responsible for certifying each student's attendance and credit load to the Veterans Administration.  Visit the UW-Madison Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center website: http://veterans.wisc.edu.
  • County Veterans Service Officers:  A listing of your County Veterans Service Offices (CVSO), which provide information and assistance in obtaining state and federal veterans benefits, programs and services.

Source: UW Service Center

How the UW System is Serving Veterans

As of 2013, there were more than 400,000 veterans living in Wisconsin, ‘veteran’ being defined as a former member of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard who served on active duty and was discharged other than dishonorably. The UW System has a particular mission to provide services to these men and women who so ably served their country; the UW System campuses are approved for the education of reservists, veterans, disabled or deceased veterans' dependents, and war orphans under programs provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the state Department of Veterans Affairs. 

The Wisconsin GI Bill is the most comprehensive state higher education benefit for veterans in the nation - veterans are not charged tuition and fees for up to 128 credits.  Assuming a standard course load, the Wisconsin GI Bill provides 4 years of 100% tuition and fee remission.   The Wisconsin GI Bill can be used for undergraduate or graduate education and is available to full-time students and part-time students, as well as students enrolled in the Flexible Option.   In addition, veterans are given priority registration at all UW institutions so they can more effectively use their benefits.   Critically, the UW also provides the vast majority of funding to support the benefit. 

Last year nearly 5,000 veterans (self-reported) attended UW System institutions; that total has doubled since 2005.  Of those, nearly 4,000 eligible veterans took advantage of the Wisconsin GI Bill and related federal GI Bill benefits.   In addition to veterans, children and spouses of veterans disabled 30% or more receive Wisconsin GI Bill benefits.  Last year nearly 1,400 children and spouses accessed this benefit.

UW institutions across the state have opened student veteran centers to help veterans better access increasingly complicated benefits as well provide the academic and social support that many non-traditional students find useful as they transition to college life after time away from school.

The UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System have also joined forces to create the Veterans Wisconsin Education Portal, a one-stop online location which provides information to help veterans and their dependents understand and utilize the services and resources available to them.  Sections of this web portal include:

  • Understanding Higher Education: What types of public higher education institutions are available, and the locations of Wisconsin public higher education institutions.
  • Getting Started: How to get started on your college education.
  •  Applying for College: How to apply to a University of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Technical College campus.
  • Education Benefits: Who to talk with about both Wisconsin and Federal veterans’ education benefits.
  • Personal Support: Contact and resource information for Veterans Affairs facilities, local veteran centers, medical and counseling services, child care resources, and much more.
  • Campus Resources: Contact information for the Campus Veterans Coordinator at each UW campus, who can offer details on benefits and services specifically for veterans.
  •  UW Veterans Contacts and WTCS Veterans Certifying Officials: Contact information for the Veterans Contacts/Certifying Officials at each campus, the individuals who are responsible for certifying each student's attendance and credit load to the Veterans Administration.

County Veterans Service Officers:  A listing of your County Veterans Service Offices (CVSO), which provide information and assistance in obtaining state and federal veterans benefits, programs and services.

Source: UW Service Center

Open Enrollment for Same-Sex Spouse through November 14

As of October 6, 2014, same-sex marriage is legal and recognized in Wisconsin. This includes a legal same-sex marriage that occurred in another state or country prior to October 6, 2014, as well as the same-sex marriage licenses issued June 6 - 13, 2014 in Wisconsin.

As a result, employees who have a same-sex spouse as of October 15, 2014, have a 30-day window ending on November 14, 2014, to enroll their same-sex spouse and that spouse’s dependents in the following benefit plans:

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • VSP Vision Insurance
  • Individual and Family Life Insurance
  • State Group Life Insurance
    • Add Spouse/Dependent coverage if you have a dependent to insure for the first time
    • Enroll in or add one level of coverage (note – changing the relationship with the same person from domestic partnership to marriage does not allow you to make changes to State Group Life Insurance coverage)

Two benefit plans have extended the same-sex spouse enrollment period to December 30, 2014:

  • Dental Wisconsin Dental Insurance
  • EPIC Benefits+

For a full list of actions that can be taken due to marriage, see: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/famchng/marriage/Note: if you marry a same-sex spouse after October 15, 2014, you have 30 days from your date of marriage to make any benefit changes.

Health, VSP, Individual & Family and State Group Life applications must be signed and dated by your department payroll and benefits office by 4:30 p.m. on November 14, 2014. Dental Wisconsin and EPIC Benefits+ applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on December 30, 2014. Health insurance will be effective October 6 (the date that Wisconsin recognized same-sex marriage) and all other benefits will be effective the 1st of the month on or following receipt of the application.

All benefit applications are available at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/forms-publications.aspx. You must submit a paper application to add your spouse and spouse’s dependents to your coverage.

Employees with a same-sex spouse may also want to consider updating their tax withholding.

For additional information, see the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin FAQ on the Department of Employee Trust Funds website: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht-2014-same-sex-marriage2.htm.

For Employees Who Currently Cover Same-Sex Spouse as a Domestic Partner on Benefit Plans

If you already cover your same-sex spouse as a domestic partner on your benefit plans, you must submit new paper applications to change the relationship from domestic partner to spouse. You should have received an email from your benefits office with specific instructions. You can also see more information at: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/famchng/dp-marriage/.

Source: UW Service Center

Open Enrollment for Same-Sex Spouse through November 14

As of October 6, 2014, same-sex marriage is legal and recognized in Wisconsin. This includes a legal same-sex marriage that occurred in another state or country prior to October 6, 2014, as well as the same-sex marriage licenses issued June 6 - 13, 2014 in Wisconsin.

As a result, employees who have a same-sex spouse as of October 15, 2014, have a 30-day window ending on November 14, 2014, to enroll their same-sex spouse and that spouse’s dependents in the following benefit plans:

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • VSP Vision Insurance
  • Individual and Family Life Insurance
  • State Group Life Insurance
    • Add Spouse/Dependent coverage if you have a dependent to insure for the first time
    • Enroll in or add one level of coverage (note – changing the relationship with the same person from domestic partnership to marriage does not allow you to make changes to State Group Life Insurance coverage)

Two benefit plans have extended the same-sex spouse enrollment period to December 30, 2014:

  • Dental Wisconsin Dental Insurance
  • EPIC Benefits+

For a full list of actions that can be taken due to marriage, see: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/famchng/marriage/Note: if you marry a same-sex spouse after October 15, 2014, you have 30 days from your date of marriage to make any benefit changes.

Health, VSP, Individual & Family and State Group Life applications must be submitted to your institution’s benefits office by 4:30 p.m. on November 14, 2014. Dental Wisconsin and EPIC Benefits+ applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on December 30, 2014. Health insurance will be effective October 6 (the date that Wisconsin recognized same-sex marriage) and all other benefits will be effective the 1st of the month on or following receipt of the application.

All benefit applications are available at: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/formspubs/. You must submit a paper application to add your spouse and spouse’s dependents to your coverage.

Employees with a same-sex spouse may also want to consider updating their tax withholding.

For additional information, see the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin FAQ on the Department of Employee Trust Funds website: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht-2014-same-sex-marriage2.htm.

For Employees Who Currently Cover Same-Sex Spouse as a Domestic Partner on Benefit Plans

If you already cover your same-sex spouse as a domestic partner on your benefit plans, you must submit new paper applications to change the relationship from domestic partner to spouse. You should have received an email from your benefits office with specific instructions. You can also see more information at: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/famchng/dp-marriage/.

Source: UW System Administration

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Enrollment Deadline Extended to November 7, 2014

The deadline to enroll in or make changes to all other benefit plans remains October 31, 2014 at 4:30p.m. The deadline to enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program and Commuter Benefits for 2015 has been extended through November 7, 2014.

Additionally, we just received notification that the annual contribution limit for the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account and Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account has increased from $2,500 to $2,550. There is no change to the Dependent Care limit.

Employees that have already enrolled online and received confirmation, or submitted a paper application do not need to take any actions unless they would like to change their election amounts.

Below are the steps for individuals that have originally enrolled and would like to make changes:

  • Enrolled online:  employee may complete a paper application or call TASC 1-800-745-9202 to adjust their election
  • Submitted paper enrollment:  employee may complete another paper application to change their amounts

Employees, who have yet to enroll in the Flexible Spending Account and/or Commuter Benefits* for 2015 and are interested, may enroll online with TASC or complete a paper application.  All enrollments or changes are due no later than 4:30 p.m. on November 7, 2014 to your department HR/Payroll & Benefits Coordinator or online with TASC.

*Commuter Benefits:  this benefit is for employees not already taking advantage of pre-tax benefits through payroll deductions and the UW Transportation office.  An example is someone who is parking off campus in a private lot and not already getting a pre-tax benefit.

Any questions on benefits please contact 608-262-5650 or email benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Source: UW Service Center

Flexible Spending and Health Savings Account Enrollment Deadline Extended to November 7

The deadline to enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program, the Health Savings Account (HSA) and Transportation/Parking for 2015 has been extended through November 7. In addition, we just received notification that the annual contribution limit for the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account and Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account has increased from $2,500 to $2,550.

The deadline to enroll in or make changes to all other benefit plans remains October 31, 2014 at 4:30pmSee the Annual Benefit Enrollment website for details.

Do you want to participate in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for Healthcare or Dependent Day Care or the Parking and Transit program in 2015?

You must re-enroll in the program every year! Make your Healthcare FSA, Dependent Day Care FSA and/or Parking and Transit election on the TASC website. You must enter the UW’s Employer ID number when you enroll: 4607-6190-4348.

Did you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) for 2015? If so, you are required to enroll in the Health Savings Account (HSA).

If enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) for 2015, you must also enroll in a Health Savings Account (HSA). You are only eligible to enroll in the HSA if enrolling in the HDHP. You will enroll in the HSA at the TASC website.  You must enter the UW’s Employer ID number when you enroll: TAS-WI1368.

You are not eligible to enroll in an HDHP/HSA if you are eligible for the Graduate Assistant/Short-Term Academic Staff benefits program.

Did you already enroll in one or more of the Flexible Spending Account programs or the Health Savings Account but want to change your election?

You may log in to your account to change your election amount but you must re-enter all 2015 elections (Healthcare, Dependent Care, Parking/Transit). If you do not want to change your election online, you may contact your benefits office with your new election amount no later than November 7 at 4:30pm.

Are you currently participating in the Flexible Spending Account program or use the Parking/Transit program?

WageWorks is the current administrator of the plan and TASC will be the administrator of the plan effective January 1, 2015. To ensure a smooth transition of your current account, please see the educational material on the Department of Employee Trust Funds website.

Source: UW System Administration

$24 UIA Life Insurance Deduction on October 31, 2014 Check

The annual $24.00 University Insurance Association (UIA) mandatory deduction will be taken from October monthly earnings, paid October 31, 2014. In 2014-2015 the minimum monthly salary required for initial eligibility is $2,789.00. 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 for the full plan year of 10/01/2014 through 09/30/2015. Employees must re-qualify for eligibility each year. For more information about the plan, see the UIA Fact Sheet: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/life/uia/fact.pdf.

Source: University of Wisconsin

Annual Benefit Enrollment Period October 6 - 31, 2014

This is the time of the year to evaluate your benefits, review upcoming program changes and determine your benefit needs for 2015. All changes made during this period will be effective January 1, 2015.

UW-Madison Annual Benefit Enrollment Website

Detailed information, brochures and applications are available on the UW-Madison Benefit Enrollment website: benefits.wisc.edu/2015.

Benefit Changes Allowed During the Annual Benefit Enrollment Period

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

PlanOpen EnrollmentChange PlanAdd DependentsRemove DependentsCancel Coverage
State Group Health Yes Any Health Plan Yes Yes Yes
EPIC Benefits+ Yes Add/remove vision Yes Yes Yes
Dental Wisconsin Yes PPO <--> Select Yes Yes Yes
VSP Vision Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes
Individual & Family Life Insurance No Increase current coverage No Any time Any time

New High Deductible Health Plans Available for 2015

Each health plan will now offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in addition to the Coinsurance Uniform Benefits plans (current health plans). The HDHP will begin to pay for covered medical, dental and prescription drugs once the annual deductible has been met. In exchange for the higher out-of-pocket costs, the monthly premiums for the HDHPs are lower. If you enroll in the State-offered HDHP, you will also be required to enroll in the State-offered Health Savings Account (HSA).

Only employees eligible for the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) are eligible to enroll in the High Deductible Health Plans. See the enrollment website, benefits.wisc.edu/2015, for all HDHP eligibility requirements.

How do I know if I need to do anything during the Annual Benefit Enrollment Period?

You must re-enroll in Flexible Spending every year. With the exception of your FSA, if you do nothing, your existing benefits will continue in 2015. Exception: If you are currently enrolled in WPS Metro Choice, you must select a new health plan because WPS Metro Choice Northwest and Southeast will not be offered in 2015.

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 2015. You will receive a mailing from your current health plan with 2015 provider information.

How to enroll

See the website, benefits.wisc.edu/2015, for more information.

Deadline

Don't miss your chance to enroll in or make changes to your benefits for 2015! 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, October 31, 2014.

Source: UW System Administration

Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) Period October 6 - 31, 2014

The Time is Now. Evaluate, Enroll, Make Changes...the Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period is October 6 - 31, 2014.

This is the time of the year to evaluate your benefits, review upcoming program changes and determine your benefit needs for 2015. All changes made during this period will be effective January 1, 2015.

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:

PlanOpen EnrollmentChange PlanAdd DependentsRemove DependentsCancel Coverage
State Group Health Yes Any Health Plan Yes Yes Yes
EPIC Benefits+ Yes Add/remove vision Yes Yes Yes
Dental Wisconsin Yes PPO <--> Select Yes Yes Yes
VSP Vision Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes
Individual & Family Life Insurance No Increase current coverage No Any time Any time

New High Deductible Health Plans Available for 2015

Each health plan will now offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in addition to the Coinsurance Uniform Benefits plans (current health plans). The HDHP will begin to pay for covered medical, dental and prescription drugs once the annual deductible has been met. In exchange for the higher out-of-pocket costs, the monthly premiums for the HDHPs are lower. If you enroll in the State-offered HDHP, you will also be required to enroll in the State-offered Health Savings Account (HSA).

Only employees eligible for the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) are eligible to enroll in the High Deductible Health Plans. See the ABE website for all HDHP eligibility requirements.

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

You must re-enroll in Flexible Spending every year. With the exception of your FSA, if you do nothing, your existing benefits will continue in 2015. Exception: If you are currently enrolled in WPS Metro Choice, you must select a new health plan because WPS Metro Choice Northwest and Southeast will not be offered in 2015.

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 2015. You will receive a mailing from your current health plan with 2015 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 2015! 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, October 31, 2014.

Source: UW System Administration

It's Easy to Invest in the TSA 403(b) Program

$8 biweekly or $20 per month - that is all it takes to start your UW TSA 403(b) account and save for your future retirement! Saving early is the easiest way to accumulate money, because time is on your side. By investing little by little over time, you benefit from the power of compound interest.

Once you set aside some money, you may find – as many others have reported – that you don’t even miss it. And remember – you have a wide array of funds to choose from, low-cost investments, no administrative fees and free counseling in person or on the phone if you need help.

Keep your long-term goals in mind and decide what’s truly important to you. If money is tight, perhaps you can make a small cut to your entertainment or shopping budget to free up some funds. Again, it only takes $8 biweekly or $20 per month. Start the healthy habit of saving for your future. Saving with an automatic payroll deduction is easy – and it feels good to save!

To find out more and how to enroll in the UW TSA 403(b) Program go to http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/ret/tsa/#enrollment. It’s easy!

Source: UW System Administration

UW Employees, Inc. Coverage Increases

Effective on October 1, 2014 all coverage levels of the UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance program are increasing by $3,000 with no additional cost to participants.

Age (01-01-20xx)New Benefits AmountMonthly Cost
Under 35 $33,000 $1.00
35 - 39 $28,000 $1.25
40 - 44 $25,000 $1.60
45 - 49 $18,000 $2.00
50 - 54 $15,000 $2.40
55 - 59 $13,000 $3.80
60 - 64 $12,000 $4.35
65 and over $7,000 $3.00

The UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance program provides affordable decreasing term life insurance coverage based on age. In addition to benefits payable at the time of death, the plan offers an Accelerated Death benefit if an employee is diagnosed as terminally ill with a life expectancy of 12 months or less, and an opportunity to convert coverage at the end of employment.

If you did not enroll in the plan when initially eligible, you may apply for coverage through Evidence of Insurability (acceptance not guaranteed). 

See the Plan Brochure or Plan Certificate for more information and always remember to keep your Beneficiary Designation up-to-date. 

If you have questions, please contact your institution’s Benefit Office.

Source: UW System Administration

UW Employees, Inc. Coverage Increases

Effective on October 1, 2014 all coverage levels of the UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance program are increasing by $3,000 with no additional cost to participants.

Age (01-01-20xx)New Benefits AmountMonthly Cost
Under 35 $33,000 $1.00
35 - 39 $28,000 $1.25
40 - 44 $25,000 $1.60
45 - 49 $18,000 $2.00
50 - 54 $15,000 $2.40
55 - 59 $13,000 $3.80
60 - 64 $12,000 $4.35
65 and over $7,000 $3.00

The UW Employees, Inc. Life Insurance program provides affordable decreasing term life insurance coverage based on age. In addition to benefits payable at the time of death, the plan offers an Accelerated Death benefit if an employee is diagnosed as terminally ill with a life expectancy of 12 months or less, and an opportunity to convert coverage at the end of employment.

If you did not enroll in the plan when initially eligible, you may apply for coverage through Evidence of Insurability (acceptance not guaranteed). 

See the Plan Brochure or Plan Certificate for more information and always remember to keep your Beneficiary Designation up-to-date. 

If you have questions, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Source: UW System Administration

UW-Madison Benefits Fair on October 7

The annual Benefits and Resource Fair will be held at Union South on Tuesday, October 7 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Employees will have an opportunity to learn about benefit options for 2015 and meet with plan vendors to include; health, vision, dental, and retirement.  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-Madison Office of Human Resources

The Annual Benefit Enrollment (It's Your Choice) period is coming October 6-31, 2014

The open enrollment period begins October 6 and ends on October 31 for all participating plans. If you do nothing, your current insurance coverage will continue in 2015, except that you must re-enroll in Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA ) Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program every year. All changes made during the open enrollment period take effect on January 1, 2015.

The big news for 2015 is that a new type of health insurance plan will be available to most employees who participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).  The new plan is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). 

The HDHP/HSA will be offered in addition to the current health plans and you will still choose a health plan for the HDHP (such as Physicians Plus HDHP or Humana HDHP).  If you choose to enroll in an HDHP, you will pay a lower monthly premium but will need to satisfy a deductible before benefits are payable.  The deductible for single coverage will be $1,500 per year and $3,000 per year for family coverage. 

The HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that you will establish to help you pay for expenses that fall under the deductible and may also provide a an important tool for saving for future medical expenses.  The HSA belongs to you, even if you leave employment with the UW.  You must enroll in the HDHP to have an HSA and vice versa.

In addition, during this year's open enrollment period, you may enroll in or make changes to the following plans:

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • EPIC Benefits+
  • Dental Wisconsin PPO or Select Plans
  • VSP vision insurance
  • Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) - Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program requires that you re-enroll every year during the open enrollment period.  There will also be a Limited Purpose FSA for medical, dental and vision services for employees enrolling in the HDHP.

Employees who are enrolled in the Individual and Family Group Life Insurance may increase their existing employee, spouse/domestic partner and/or child coverage through the Annual Increase Option.

There are multiple benefit changes to learn about this year.  Please join us at the 2014 UW-Madison Employee Benefits & Resources Fair on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Additional information about the fair is available at: http://go.wisc.edu/lmoq7h.

Source: UW Service Center

HDHP/HSA: New Type of Health Insurance Offered for 2015

The open enrollment period will be October 6 - 31 for all participating plans.  The big news for 2015 is that a new type of health insurance plan will be available as an option to most employees who participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).  The new plan is in addition to the health insurance plans currently offered.

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Basics

  • The new plan is a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA). 
  • If you choose to enroll in an HDHP, you will pay a lower monthly premium but will need to satisfy an annual deductible before benefits are payable. 
  • The deductible for single coverage will be $1,500 per year and $3,000 per year for family coverage. 
  • Eligible medical, prescription and dental expenses will apply to the deductible.
  • Some preventive services are covered in full whether or not you have met the annual deductible.

Health Savings Account (HSA) Basics

  • Along with enrolling in the HDHP, you will set up a State of WI HSA. 
  • The HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that you will establish to help you pay for medical expenses you incur before you meet the annual deductible.
  • The UW will make an annual contribution to your HSA account. 
  • The HSA account is only available if you enroll in an HDHP. 

The open enrollment period website will be available in early October where you will find more information about the HDHP/HSA option, such as eligibility to participate, the employee premium cost of the HDHP, how much the employer will contribute to the HSA and how to determine if the new plan is a good option for you and your family. 

Source: UW Service Center

Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period is October 6-31, 2014

The Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period begins October 6 and ends on October 31 for all participating plans. If you do nothing, your current insurance coverage will continue in 2015, 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, 2015.

The big news for 2015 is that a new type of health insurance plan will be available to most employees who participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).  The new plan is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). 

The HDHP/HSA will be offered in addition to the current health plans and you will still choose a health plan for the HDHP (such as Physicians Plus HDHP or Humana HDHP).  If you choose to enroll in an HDHP, you will pay a lower monthly premium but will need to satisfy a deductible before benefits are payable.  The deductible for single coverage will be $1,500 per year and $3,000 per year for family coverage. 

The HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that you will establish to help you pay for expenses that fall under the deductible and may also provide a an important tool for saving for future medical expenses.  The HSA belongs to you, even if you leave employment with the UW.  You must enroll in the HDHP to have an HSA and vice versa.

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

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • EPIC Benefits+
  • Dental Wisconsin PPO or Select Plans
  • VSP vision insurance
  • Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) - Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program requires that you re-enroll every year during the ABE period.  There will also be a Limited Purpose FSA for medical, dental and vision services for employees enrolling in the HDHP.

Employees who are enrolled in the Individual and Family Group Life Insurance may increase their 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

HDHP/HSA: New Type of Health Insurance Offered for 2015

The Annual Benefit Enrollment (ABE) period begins October 6 and ends on October 31, 2014 for participating plans.  

The big news for 2015 is that a new type of health insurance plan will be available as an option for most employees who participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). The new plan is a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA). The HDHP/HSA will be offered in addition to the current type of health plans. 

You are NOT required to enroll in a HDHP/HSA – it will just be an option available to you. 

Eligibility Basics

The new HDHP/HSA option is available to employees who:

  • Participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS); and
  • Are not enrolled in Medicare or Tricare; and
  • Are not covered under another health insurance plan.

Employees who are eligible for the graduate assistant/short term academic staff benefits package are not in the WRS and are not eligible to enroll in the HDHP/HSA option.

High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Basics

  • If you decide to enroll in the HDHP for 2015, you will choose a health plan  just as you do now (for example,  Physicians Plus HDHP or Humana HDHP). 
  • If you choose to enroll in an HDHP, you will pay a lower monthly premium but will need to pay an annual deductible before benefits are payable.  An annual deductible is the amount that you will pay out-of-pocket before benefits are payable by the health plan.
  • The annual deductible will be $1,500 for single coverage and $3,000 for family coverage.  The deductible applies to eligible medical, prescription and dental expenses.
  • Once the deductible is met, benefits are payable like they are under the current health plans.  See a summary of out-of-pocket costs for the current health plans.
  • There are some preventive services that are covered in full whether or not you have the HDHP.

Health Savings Account (HSA) Basics

  • If you enroll in a HDHP, you are also enrolledin the state-sponsored HSA.  The HDHP and HSA are mutually required.
  • An HSA allows you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for eligible medical, dental and prescription drug expenses, including those expenses that apply to your deductible under the HDHP.
  • Monies in your HSA do not expire and roll over from year to year.  Can be used as a tool for saving for future medical expenses.
  • The UW will make an annual contribution to your HSA account (the amount is determined by the Office of State Employment Relations). 
  • The HSA is an account that belongs to you, even if you leave employment with the UW. 

The ABE website (www.uwsa.edu/abe) will be available in early October where you will find more information about the HDHP/HSA option, such as the employee premium cost of the HDHP, how much the employer will contribute to the HSA and how to determine if an HDHP/HSA is a good option for you and your family.

Source: UW System Administration

Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up-to-Date!

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or persons you designate to receive any benefits payable upon your death.  Naming beneficiaries offers one of the simplest and most direct ways to efficiently transfer your assets after your death.  You may want to consult with your legal and/or financial advisors about your individual circumstances.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

To protect your beneficiary (ies), review and update all your beneficiary designations regularly.  You may change your beneficiary designations at any time, but should review your designations for possible changes especially when you experience a life event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc.  By keeping your beneficiary designations up-to-date, you protect your survivors.

How do I know what benefits I have?

Go to the Benefit Information module in the My UW, click the “View Benefits Summary Detail” link to see your current benefit enrollments.  Contact your benefits office to confirm your coverage and coverage levels.

Completing/updating your beneficiary designations

Contact the benefit plan administrators directly for information regarding your current beneficiary designations, or simply complete a new beneficiary designation to ensure that your designations are current.

Beneficiary designation forms and instructions can be found at: https://uwservice.wisc.edu/benefit-plans/beneficiary-designation/. Select the “view by type” box and expand the “beneficiary designations” section.  Follow the instructions to submit the beneficiary form for each plan.  Make sure you keep a copy of each completed beneficiary form for your records.  Return completed forms to the address on the form, not to your campus Benefits office.  You will receive an acknowledgement from the plan.

The following plans have a beneficiary designation form:

Source: UW System Administration

Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up-to-Date!

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or persons you designate to receive any benefits payable upon your death.  Naming beneficiaries offers one of the simplest and most direct ways to efficiently transfer your assets after your death.  You may want to consult with your legal and/or financial advisors about your individual circumstances.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

To protect your beneficiary (ies), review and update all your beneficiary designations regularly.  You may change your beneficiary designations at any time, but should review your designations for possible changes especially when you experience a life event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc.  By keeping your beneficiary designations up-to-date, you protect your survivors.

How do I know what benefits I have?

Go to the Benefit Information module in UW System, click the “View Benefits Summary Detail” link to see your current benefit enrollments.  Contact your benefits office to confirm your coverage and coverage levels.

Completing/updating your beneficiary designations

Contact the benefit plan administrators directly for information regarding your current beneficiary designations, or simply complete a new beneficiary designation to ensure that your designations are current.

Beneficiary designation forms and instructions can be found at: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/formspubs/.  Select the “view by type” box and expand the “beneficiary designations” section.  Follow the instructions to submit the beneficiary form for each plan.  Make sure you keep a copy of each completed beneficiary form for your records.  Return completed forms to the address on the form, not to your campus Benefits office.  You will receive an acknowledgement from the plan.

The following plans have a beneficiary designation form:

If you have a Tax-Sheltered Annuity or Deferred Compensation account, make sure you review and update your beneficiary designations as needed.  Contact the plan directly to update your beneficiary designations.

Source: UW System Administration

Benefits - Summer Prepay Deductions: What Happens Next?

Academic (9-month) or Annual (12-month) employees, paid monthly, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months will have additional benefit deductions taken from their earnings during the spring to allow for payment/continued insurance coverage through the summer. Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have benefits coverage continue during the summer contract break.  These extra deductions are referred to as “Summer Prepay” deductions.  Summer Prepay deductions are taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions on the April 1, May 1 and June 1 paychecks.  If you did not have prepayments taken and are returning in the fall, contact your benefits office immediately.

What Happens During the Summer?

Whether you are working Summer Session or volunteering at your local swimming pool you want to be assured that your benefit coverage still continues.  If you had Summer Prepay deductions taken in the spring then in the summer the payroll system draws on the ‘reserve’ or prepaid money that was deducted in the spring months to pay insurance premiums for each month. In the fall, your regular insurance premium deductions resume as payroll deductions starting with the payment received on October 1.   You can check these deductions by reviewing your monthly earnings statement in the portal.

What Happens if You Have a ‘Status Change’ During the Summer?

Are you getting married? Having a baby? You decided to leave the UW?  Regardless of the situation, contact your benefits office as soon as possible so you can be informed about the impacts to your insurance benefits. For example, if you get married on July 12 and need to change from single to family health insurance coverage, contact your benefits office and complete a new health insurance application making the change within 30 days of the date of your marriage.  Your new spouse (and family) will be covered as of the date of the marriage.  The new rate will be deducted from your prepayments according to the new level of coverage, and you may have to pay an additional portion of the premium if the coverage increases.  If you decide to leave your position, your insurance will also terminate meaning that coverage will end the end of the month in which you end employment.

Questions

 If you have questions, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Source: UW Service Center

2015 WRS Contribution Rates Announced

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates for 2015.  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.

2014 and 2015 WRS Contribution Rates:

 

General/Teacher

Executives

Protectives w/ Social Security

 

2014

2015

2014

2015

2014

2015

Employee Contribution

7.00%

6.80%

7.75%

7.70%

7.00%

6.80%

Employer Contribution

7.00%

6.80%

7.75%

7.70%

10.10%

9.50%

Total

14.00%

13.60%

15.50%

15.40%

17.10%

16.30%

WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis.  The 2015 contribution rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2015 beginning on January 2, 2015 for unclassified employees paid monthly and January 8, 2015 for classified employees paid bi-weekly.  As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

Source: UW Service Center

Benefits - Summer Prepay Deductions: What Happens Next?

Academic (9-month) or Annual (12-month) employees, paid monthly, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months will have additional benefit deductions taken from their earnings during the spring to allow for payment/continued insurance coverage through the summer. Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have benefits coverage continue during the summer contract break.  These extra deductions are referred to as “Summer Prepay” deductions.  Summer Prepay deductions are taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions on the April 1, May 1 and June 1 paychecks.  If you did not have prepayments taken and are returning in the fall, contact your benefits office immediately.

What Happens During the Summer?

Whether you are working Summer Session or volunteering at your local swimming pool you want to be assured that your benefit coverage still continues.  If you had Summer Prepay deductions taken in the spring then in the summer the payroll system draws on the ‘reserve’ or prepaid money that was deducted in the spring months to pay insurance premiums for each month. In the fall, your regular insurance premium deductions resume as payroll deductions starting with the payment received on October 1.   You can check these deductions by reviewing your monthly earnings statement in the portal.

What Happens if You Have a ‘Status Change’ During the Summer?

Are you getting married? Having a baby? You decided to leave the UW?  Regardless of the situation, contact your benefits office as soon as possible so you can be informed about the impacts to your insurance benefits. For example, if you get married on July 12 and need to change from single to family health insurance coverage, contact your benefits office and complete a new health insurance application making the change within 30 days of the date of your marriage.  Your new spouse (and family) will be covered as of the date of the marriage.  The new rate will be deducted from your prepayments according to the new level of coverage, and you may have to pay an additional portion of the premium if the coverage increases.  If you decide to leave your position, your insurance will also terminate meaning that coverage will end the end of the month in which you end employment.

Questions

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

Source: UW Service Center

2015 WRS Contribution Rates Announced

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates for 2015.  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.

2014 and 2015 WRS Contribution Rates

 

General/Teacher

Executives

Protectives w/ Social Security

 

2014

2015

2014

2015

2014

2015

Employee Contribution

7.00%

6.80%

7.75%

7.70%

7.00%

6.80%

Employer Contribution

7.00%

6.80%

7.75%

7.70%

10.10%

9.50%

Total

14.00%

13.60%

15.50%

15.40%

17.10%

16.30%

WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis.  The 2015 contribution rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2015 beginning on January 2, 2015 for unclassified employees paid monthly and January 8, 2015 for classified employees paid bi-weekly.  As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

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 (TSA) 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 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. Employees eligible to participate include all permanent, project and limited term employees (LTEs), rehired annuitants, student hourly employees and graduate assistants - with the exception of some employees-in-training, fellows, and interns.

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 the investment companies and how to enroll, see the Quick Guide to the UW 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

Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin

On June 13 2014, the federal district court issued a stay of its June 6, 2014 ruling, when U.S. District Judge, Barbara Crabb, ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin is unconstitutional. That stay will remain in effect pending further appeals. If you’re currently covering your same-sex spouse for State Group Health insurance and are subject to imputed income, there will be no changes made until guidance is provided by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).

We ask for your patience as we await guidance from ETF.  Until that guidance is received,, if you are recently married and/or want to enroll your same-sex spouse for State Group Health insurance, you must still create a domestic partnership.   See Domestic Partnership for details.

See ETF’s statement on the Impact of Recent Federal Court Ruling on WRS for more information.

Source: UW System Administration

Court Rulings on Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin

On June 13 2014, the federal district court issued a stay of its June 6, 2014 ruling, when U.S. District Judge, Barbara Crabb, ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin is unconstitutional. That stay will remain in effect pending further appeals. If you’re currently covering your same-sex spouse for State Group Health insurance and are subject to imputed income, there will be no changes made until guidance is provided by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).

We ask for your patience as we await guidance from ETF.  Until that guidance is received, if you are recently married and/or want to enroll your same-sex spouse for State Group Health insurance, you must still create a domestic partnership.  See Domestic Partnership for details.

See ETF’s statement on the Impact of Recent Federal Court Ruling on WRS for more information.

Source: UW System Administration

1% Pay Plan Increase for UW Employees in Fiscal Year 2014-2015

Eligible UW classified and unclassified (faculty, academic staff, limited appointees) staff will receive a 1% pay plan increase in the 2014-2015 fiscal year as a result of the 2013-2015 compensation plan for UW employees. The plan was approved in June 2013 by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER).

Classified Employees

The 1% pay plan increase will be effective on the pay period that begins on June 29, 2014. Eligible employees will see the increase on their paycheck paid July 24, 2014.

Unclassified Employees

For eligible employees, the 1% pay plan increase will be effective July 1, 2014 for those on 12-month appointments and August 25, 2014 for those on 9-month appointments. The increase will first appear on the August 1, 2014 paycheck for 12-month staff and on the October 1, 2014 paycheck for 9-month staff. The UW-Madison Budget Instructions outline the guidelines and eligibility requirements for the 2014-15 pay plan.

For Additional Information

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

Contact your human resources office if you have any questions about the 2014-15 pay plan increases.

Source: UW System Administration

1% Pay Plan Increase for UW Employees in Fiscal Year 2014-2015

Eligible UW classified and unclassified (faculty, academic staff, limited appointees) staff will receive a 1% pay plan increase in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  The pay plans were approved in June 2013 by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER).

Classified Employees

The 2014-15 1% pay plan increase will be effective on the pay period that begins on June 29, 2014.  Eligible employees will see the pay plan increase on the paychecks paid July 24, 2014.

Unclassified Employees

The 2014-15 1% pay plan increase is effective July 1, 2014 for eligible 12-month staff and the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year for eligible 9-month staff.  The pay plan increases will first appear on the August 1, 2014 paycheck for 12-month staff and on the October 1, 2014 paycheck for 9-month staff.  The Board of Regents Pay Plan Distribution 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 classified staff 2013-15 compensation plan is available on the Office of State Employment Relations (OSER) website.  

Contact your institution's human resources office if you have any questions about the 2014-15 pay plan increases.

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, 2014.

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.
    • The ALRA benefit is made available during the 11th or 26th fiscal year of employment.  However, the hours may be placed in reserve at the end of the fiscal year (designate hours for ALRA on the July Leave report).

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, 2014. 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, 2014 (vacation earned in the current fiscal year).

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

Source: UW Service Center

Your Uniform Dental Benefits

In 2014, all health plans except the Standard Plan and SMP offer a uniform dental benefit. The dental provider networks vary by health plan but the benefits are the same.  For some employees this means a reduction in the dental benefits you had in the past.  For others, this means an increase to your dental benefits and for some, there is no change from past coverage. A summary of the Uniform Dental Benefit is below.   

Uniform Dental is part of the health insurance contract and is included as part of your health insurance plan.  Uniform Dental is not the sameas the supplemental dental plans that are also offered (Dental Wisconsin PPO or Select or EPIC Benefits+).

Summary of Uniform Dental Benefits

  In-Network ProviderDesignated Out-of-Network Provider*Covered Services (Examples)
Deductible $0 $0
Annual Benefit Maximum (per person) $1,000 $1,000
Diagnostic/Preventive 100% 50%
  • Routine Evaluations
  • X-rays
  • Fluoride Treatments
Restorative 100% 50%
  • Fillings
Periodontal 80% 50%
  • Periodontal Maintenance Only
Adjunctive Services 80% 50%
  • Local Anesthesia

Orthodontia (under 19) 50% 50%  
Orthodontia Lifetime Maximum (per child) $1,500 $1,500  

*A health plan may designate and authorize out-of-network providers so that at least one dentist is available in each county or major city, if applicable.

For a complete list of benefits, see the Certificate of Coverage.

Tips for Maximizing Your Uniform Dental Benefits

Tip #1: Maximize your coverage by going to an “in-network” provider

Before making an appointment always check your health insurance provider’s website to make sure that your dentist is included as either an “In-Network” or “Designated Out-of-Network” dentist.  This information will not only assist you in finding a dentist, but help to determine if the services you receive will have additional charges.  Remember that dentists come in and drop out of dental networks on a regular basis. Even if your dentist used to be in your network, there are no guarantees that your dentist will remain in the network.

Tip #2: Know the Benefits under Uniform Dental and Supplemental Dental Plans

Review the chart above and the certificate of coverage to confirm what services are covered.   If you carry Dental Wisconsin or EPIC Benefits+, you should review your coverage under these plans and confirm that your dental office is aware of all of your dental plans.  Services not covered by any dental plan are the member’s responsibility.  If you enrolled in the Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) for 2014, these expenses may be eligible for reimbursement through this program.  

Tip #3: Know Where to Find More Information

Source: UW System Administration

2013 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2013, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available online in My UW System. 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 2014” 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, 2014. Information on the statement includes 2013 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.

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.

Information to Help You Understand Your WRS Statement

ETF Online Webinars - Understanding Your Statement of Benefits

Webinar: Understanding Your Statement of Benefits

Information Regarding Interest Rates and Annuity Adjustments

Webinars and Video: Interest Rates and Annuity Adjustments

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 System. For workaround instructions visit: https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=29006. Please contact your institution's IT helpdesk if further assistance is needed.

If you have questions about your statement, please contact your institution HR office.

Source: UW System Administration

2013 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2013, your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Annual Statement of Benefits is now available online in the My UW. Log in to the portal and choose the Work Record tab. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Click on “ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2014” 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, 2014. Information on the statement includes 2013 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.

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.

Information to Help You Understand Your WRS Statement

ETF Online Webinars - Understanding Your Statement of Benefits

Webinar: Understanding Your Statement of Benefits

Information Regarding Interest Rates and Annuity Adjustments

Webinars and Video: Interest Rates and Annuity Adjustments

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. For workaround instructions visit: https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=28831. Please contact the DoIT Help Desk if further assistance is needed.

If you have questions about your statement, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Source: UW System Administration

One Day Outage for Employee Time Entry on Saturday, April 26

The employee time entry application will experience a one-day outage on Saturday, April 26; employees will not be able to enter time in the system on this day.

The outage is due to a PeopleTools application upgrade. Aside from the outage period, the upgrade will have no impact on time entry/approval, payroll processing, etc. The upgrade will apply several new cosmetic enhancements to existing functionality. Detailed information on these changes can be found in KB 22409.

Employees who use time clocks should use their time clocks as usual on April 26. Your punches will be stored on this day in the TimeLink server for later processing. However, if you would rather use paper time sheets to record your entry on April 26, the link can be found here: https://uwservice.wisc.edu/docs/forms/time-timesheet.pdf.

If you work on April 26, please make sure to verify your time after this date.

If you have questions, contact your payroll office.

Source: UW Service Center

Duplicate Tax Statement Requests

Duplicate tax statements for 2013 W-2, 1042-S, and Fellowship/Scholarship informational letters are available in My UW under the Work Record tab. To view and print your tax statements, go to the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab.

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 2013 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

Duplicate Tax Statement Requests

Duplicate tax statements for 2013 W-2, 1042-S, and Fellowship/Scholarship informational letters are available in My UW System. To view and print your tax statements, go to the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab.

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 2013 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

2014 Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Effective April 1, 2014

Employees who enrolled in Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) or added supplemental coverage during the deferred enrollment period in January, 2014, had newly elected ICI coverage effective April 1. Employees paid monthly will see the premium reflected on the May 1 paycheck, and those paid bi-weekly on the April 17 paycheck.

For more information about the ICI program, see the recently updated ICI plan brochure. Please contact your benefits office with any questions.

Source: UW Service Center

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) 04/15/2014 Deadline for 2013 Claims

The deadline for submitting 2013 medical and dependent care claims incurred on or before March 15, 2014, is April 15, 2014. All claims must be received by WageWorks or postmarked by April 15, 2014 to be reimbursed from 2013 funds. Remember, claims are paid on a “first-in, first-out” basis. This means that if you have 2013 expenses that you intend to have paid from your 2013 contributions, they must be submitted and processed before you submit any 2014 claims. If you do not submit your claims by the deadline, any money remaining in your account for 2013 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

New Wisconsin Tax Withholding Rates Effective April 1, 2014

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue released revised withholding tables effective with the first payrolls after April 1, 2014. This may cause employees to see a decrease in their Wisconsin tax withholding starting with the April 1 paycheck for unclassified employees (paid monthly) and the April 3 paycheck for classified employees (paid biweekly). The new withholding tables are found in the Wisconsin Employer's Withholding Tax Guide (Publication W-166).

The withholding table changes reflect the individual income tax rate cuts effective in tax year 2013, an additional proposed rate cut which would be effective in tax year 2014, as well as adjustments due to inflation. The last revision to Wisconsin's withholding tables took place in October 2009.

Source: UW Service Center

2014 State Group Life Insurance Annual Update

Your State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium is based on your highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings (typically the prior year's earnings) and your age as of April 1. Your coverage level and premium will be updated for coverage effective April 1 and will first appear on your April 3 check (if paid bi-weekly) or your April 1 check (if paid monthly).

More information on State Group Life Insurance is available online at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/life/sgl.aspx.

If you have any questions, please contact your Payroll/Benefits coordinator or benefits.wisc.edu.

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 24 to employees who elected hard copy distribution.

All 1042-S Forms (distributed electronically via Glacier or via U.S. mail) are posted in My UW under the Work Record tab. Forms are located in the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab.

As a reminder, the deadline for filing state and federal income tax returns is April 15, 2014.

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 24 to employees who elected hard copy distribution.

All 1042-S Forms (distributed electronically via Glacier or via U.S. mail) are posted in My UW System. Forms are located in the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab.

As a reminder, the deadline for filing state and federal income tax returns is April 15, 2014.

Source: UW Service Center

2013 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Interest Rates and Annuity Adjustments

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) interest rates and annuity adjustments based on 2013 investment returns. Both the interest rates and annuity adjustments are based on the investment performance earned by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB).

Interest Rates

The 2013 Core effective rate of interest is 10.9% and the Variable effective rate of interest is 31%. Interest rates are applied to the balance of employees' WRS accounts as of January 1, 2013. See the full ETF article at: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht_20140213.htm.

Annuity Adjustments

The 2013 Core annuity adjustment is 4.7% and the Variable annuity adjustment is 25%. The annuity adjustments apply to retired members of the Wisconsin Retirement System and will be effective on the May 1, 2014 annuity payment. See the full ETF article at: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht-2014-aa.htm.

Source: UW System Administration

Benefits - Summer Prepay Deductions

Academic (9 month) or Annual (12 month) employees, paid monthly, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months will have multiple benefit deductions taken from their earnings during the Spring Semester to continue insurance coverage through the summer months. Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have benefits coverage continue during the summer contract break. These extra deductions are referred to as “Summer Prepay” deductions. Summer Prepay deductions are taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions on the April 1, May 1 and May 30 paychecks.

Insurance premiums cannot be taken from summer service or summer session appointment earnings. If an employee is working Summer Session(s) or Summer Service the insurance premium deductions will have to be taken prior to this appointment through the Summer Prepay program or must be paid through direct payment by the employee.

What You Need To Do

Each division/department will determine employee's eligibility for Summer Prepay deductions. As an Academic year employee, you need to let them know if you have a summer service/summer session appointment and/or plan on returning in the fall semester to either your current or different department/institution. If you are an annual basis (12 month) employee, and have a contractual break in your primary job during one or more summer months, contact your institution's payroll and benefits office ASAP 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.

How Summer Prepay Deductions Appear on Your Earnings Statement

Summer prepay deductions will appear as a lump sum amount on earnings statements. 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”. 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 $219 deduction under Dean Health Plan and a $6.35 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 $225.35 ($219.00 + $6.35) listed under Prebtx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions.

Questions

If you have questions, please contact UW-Madison Benefits Services (benefits@ohr.wisc.edu or 262-5650).

Source: UW Service Center

Benefits - Summer Prepay Deductions

Academic (9 month) or Annual (12 month) employees, paid monthly, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months will have multiple benefit deductions taken from their earnings during the Spring Semester to continue insurance coverage through the summer months. Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have benefits coverage continue during the summer contract break. These extra deductions are referred to as “Summer Prepay” deductions. Summer Prepay deductions are taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions on the April 1, May 1 and May 30 paychecks.

Insurance premiums cannot be taken from summer service or summer session appointment earnings. If an employee is working Summer Session(s) or Summer Service the insurance premium deductions will have to be taken prior to this appointment through the Summer Prepay program or must be paid through direct payment by the employee.

What You Need To Do

Each division/department benefits office at each institution will determine employee's eligibility for Summer Prepay deductions. As an Academic year employee, you need to let them know if you have a summer service/summer session appointment and/or plan on returning in the fall semester to either your current or different department/institution. If you are an annual basis (12 month) employee, and have a contractual break in your primary job during one or more summer months, contact your institution's payroll and benefits office ASAP 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.

How Summer Prepay Deductions Appear on Your Earnings Statement

Summer prepay deductions will appear as a lump sum amount on earnings statements. 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”. 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 $219 deduction under Dean Health Plan and a $6.35 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 $225.35 ($219.00 + $6.35) listed under Prebtx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions.

Questions

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

Source: UW Service Center

2014 State Group Life Insurance Annual Update

Your State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium is based on your highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings (typically the prior year's earnings) and your age as of April 1. Your coverage level and premium will be updated for coverage effective April 1 and will first appear on your April 3 check (if paid bi-weekly) or your April 1 check (if paid monthly).

More information on State Group Life Insurance is available online at: http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/life/sgl/.

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

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Available Online

The 2013 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are available in My UW under the Work Record tab. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. If you are receiving a W-2C for 2013 (a corrected W-2) this statement will also be in the portal. Paper copies of the W-2 were sent to employees in January.

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 will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc). These forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letter will be posted on the portal. The 1099-Misc forms will not be available on the portal.

Reminder: 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+. These amounts are not taxable.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2013 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2013 taxable earnings since the last 2013 payroll was paid. These employees will have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

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

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Available Online

The 2013 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are available in My UW System under the Work Record tab. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. If you are receiving a W-2C for 2013 (a corrected W-2) this statement will also be in the portal. Paper copies of the W-2 were sent to employees in January.

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 will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc). These forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letter will be posted on the portal. The 1099-Misc forms will not be available on the portal.

Reminder: 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+. These amounts are not taxable.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2013 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2013 taxable earnings since the last 2013 payroll was paid. These employees will have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

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

Source: UW Service Center

2013 Effective Rates for Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced the final Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) interest rates for 2013. The Core Fund effective rate of interest is 10.9% and the Variable Fund effective rate of interest is 31%. Interest rates are applied to the balance of employees' WRS accounts as of January 1, 2013. The rates are based on investment performance earned by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB).

ETF expects to announce the Core and Variable annuity adjustments in March. These adjustments will first be reflected on retirees' May 1, 2014 payments.

See the full article here: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht_20140213.htm.

Source: UW System Administration

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

ERA participants may be reimbursed from remaining 2013 contributions for eligible Medical and/or Dependent Care expenses incurred through March 15, 2014. Services received and reimbursable items purchased in 2013 and during the grace period between January 1 and March 15, 2014, may be reimbursed from remaining 2013 ERA plan year funds. Claims are paid on a "first-in, first-out" basis. This means that if you have 2013 expenses that you intend to have paid from your 2013 contributions, they must be submitted and processed before you submit any 2014 claims.

The deadline for submitting 2013 medical and dependent care claims to WageWorks is April 15, 2014. All claims must be received by WageWorks or postmarked by April 15, 2014 to be reimbursed from 2013 funds. If you do not submit your claims by the deadline, any money remaining in your account for 2013 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

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) Deferred Enrollment and Annual Update January 2014

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) is a disability insurance plan which provides up to 75% of your previous calendar year's WRS earnings as replacement income when you are unable to work due to a short or long term disability. Standard ICI pays 75% of your earnings up to a maximum of $4,000/month. If your prior year's WRS earnings were $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 Period Through January 30, 2014

If you are currently not enrolled in ICI, you may be able to enroll through January 30, 2014. If you're eligible, you will be given a notice by your payroll/personnel office 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 30, 2014 to enroll during the deferred enrollment period. ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1.

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.
  • Your prior year end sick leave balance exceeds 1040 hours.
  • If enrolled in ICI and your 2013 WRS earnings were at least $64,000, you are eligible to enroll in Supplemental ICI coverage (if not already enrolled).

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 your last year's earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and sick leave balance/usage as of 12/28/2013. 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 contact your benefits office with any questions.

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; To be Mailed by January 31, 2014

The 2013 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available in 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 will be postmarked by January 31, 2014.

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 will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc). These forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letter will be posted on the portal. The 1099-Misc forms will not be available on the portal.

Reminder: 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+. These amounts are not taxable.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2013 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2013 taxable earnings since the last 2013 payroll was paid. These employees will have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

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

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; To be Mailed by January 31, 2014

The 2013 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available in My UW System. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. Paper copies of the W-2 will be postmarked by January 31, 2014.

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 will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc). These forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letter will be posted on the portal. The 1099-Misc forms will not be available on the portal.

Reminder: 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+. These amounts are not taxable.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2013 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2013 taxable earnings since the last 2013 payroll was paid. These employees will have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

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

Source: UW Service Center

Social Security Wage Base Increase for 2014

The Social Security wage base, the amount of an employee's salary (after applicable pre-tax deductions) that can be taxed for Social Security purposes, has risen from $113,700 in 2013 to $117,000 in 2014. This means that the first $117,000 of an employee's taxable wages is subject to Social Security deductions.

An employee's entire taxable salary is subject to Medicare deductions.

The employer and employee tax rates will remain the same in 2014.

  • Social Security: You and the UW each pay 6.2% on taxable compensation up to $117,000.
  • Medicare: You pay 1.45% on taxable compensation up to $200,000 and 2.35% on taxable compensation beyond $200,000. The UW pays 1.45% on all taxable compensation.

Source: UW System Administration

Partial Leave Earnings Displayed on 1A Classified Earnings Statement for 1/23/2014

The "Earned" and "Used/Adjusted" columns of the 1/23/2014 Earnings Statement reflect a partial period for leave earned and used for 1/1/2014 - 1/11/2014.

Leave is earned and used based on the Calendar Year. The 1/23/14 earnings statement is for the pay period that started on 12/29/13 and ended on 1/11/14, but only the 2014 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 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 12/29-12/31 were added to 2013 ending balances for Sick Leave, Legal Holiday, and Vacation, but are not reflected in the "Earned" and "Used/Adj" columns on this Earnings Statement.

Other things to note regarding the leave balances on the 1A Earnings Statement:

  • Sick leave ending balances include all leave earned less any sick leave usage through 1/11/14;
  • Any remaining Vacation from 2013 is now reflected in Vacation Carryover;
  • Vacation Carryover from 2012 is lost at the end of 2013;
  • Any Remaining Legal Holiday from 2013 is lost at the end of 2013.

In summary:

  • The ending leave balances are correct;
  • The earned and used amounts shown on the earnings statement are from 01/01/2014 - 01/11/2014.

Source: UW Service Center

No Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) Participant Fee in 2014!

Great news! There is no annual Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) fee for 2014. All UW TSA participants may save for their retirement without paying any UW administrative fees in 2014. In 2013 the TSA annual fee was $12.

The UW TSA 403(b) Program is a low-cost program with great investment options. With as little as $20/month for monthly employees or $8/pay period for biweekly employees, you can start a TSA deduction. All funds are no-load: there are no sales commissions or broker fees. In 2014, employees under 50 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 the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) program. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $35,000 (under age 50) or $46,000 (age 50 or older). More information on 2014 TSA and WDC limits can be found at: https://uwservice.wisc.edu/news/newsarchive-2013.php#tsa-wdc-20131120.

If you already participate in the UW TSA 403(b) Program, consider increasing your deferral. If you are not participating in the program, go to http://www.uwsa.edu/ohrwd/benefits/ret/tsa to find out how to save for your future. Don't delay!

Source: UW System Administration

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