2017 Insurance Premiums and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period and premiums for 2017 coverage will be reflected on the pay check dated December 22, 2016 for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) and January 3, 2017 for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI) (paid monthly).

HOW TO CHECK YOUR 2017 BENEFIT ENROLLMENTS

Your Benefits Summary is available online. Log in to the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information module to see your Benefits Summary. On the Benefits Summary page, enter "01/01/2017" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2017 elections.

2017 PLAN CARDS

  • Health insurance plan cards are typically sent by health plan providers to participants by the end of December. The 2017 plan cards are effective January 1, 2017, and you will need to present your card at appointments that occur after January 1, 2017.
  • Navitus pharmacy cards (prescription drug coverage) for 2017 will only be sent to newly enrolled employees. If participants were covered in 2016, they will not be receiving a new card. 

Employee reimbursement account (ERA) AND HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT (HSA)

If you enrolled in either the ERA or HSA programs for 2017, the first deduction for 2017 elections will be on the January 3, 2017 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 5, 2017 pay check for University Staff.  New TASC cards will be sent to all new participants. This card should be used for all expenses in 2017. 

Current ERA participants (those who participated in 2016 and have elected to continue participation in 2017) will not receive a new TASC card.  Current participants should continue to use the TASC card that they have which will be loaded with their 2017 elected amount. 

WISCONSIN RETIREMENT SYSTEM (WRS) CONTRIBUTIONS

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2017 will increase from 6.6% to 6.80% for all employees. This increase will occur on the January 3, 2017 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 5, 2017 pay check for University Staff.

Source: UW Service Center

Social Security and Medicare Taxes for 2017

The Social Security wage base has risen to $127,200 in 2017 from $118,500 in 2016. This means that the first $127,200 of an employee's taxable wages are subject to Social Security taxes. You and the UW will each pay 6.2% on taxable wages up to $127,200. 

An employee\'s entire taxable salary is subject to Medicare tax. Both the UW and the employee pay 1.45% on all taxable compensation.  Further, any taxable wages that exceed $200,000 are subject to an additional 0.9% tax.  There is no employer match for additional Medicare tax. 

Source: UW Service Center

Monthly Pay Date for December Earnings is January 3, 2017

For UW employees who are paid on the 1st of each month, the monthly pay date for December, 2016 earnings is Tuesday, January 3, 2017. January 3 is the pay date because January 1 (New Year's Day) is on a Sunday and Monday, January 2 is a Federal Reserve holiday.

When a pay date falls on a weekend or Federal Reserve holiday, the pay date is usually the previous business day. An exception to this is the 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

Update Your Address by January 6, 2017, for W-2 Tax Form Distribution

Make sure your current address is up-to-date for the 2016 W-2 Tax Form distribution. In late January 2017 your W-2 Form will be sent via U.S. mail to your mailing address in the MyUW portal. If you do not have a mailing address, your W-2 will be mailed to your home address.  If neither address is in the MyUW portal, your W-2 will be mailed to your office address.

 To ensure your W-2 Form is sent to your preferred address, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison.
  2. Review your current mailing and/or home address in the ‘Personal Information’ module.  If this is not your preferred address for W-2 Form distribution, update your mailing and/or home address.
  3. To update your address, click on the ‘Update my Personal Information’ link in the ‘Personal Information’ module. For additional instructions on updating your address, visit: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/help/personal-information.php
  4. Update your address by the January 6, 2017 deadline.
  5. While in the ‘Personal Information’ module, you are encouraged to self-identify your veteran, disability status or ethnicity using the provided links.  Self-identifying is optional and used only for federal reporting purposes. It will not be shared in any other way.

In addition to the hard copy W-2 Form that you will receive, an online copy of your W-2 Form will be available in the MyUW portal in the ‘Payroll Information’ module, ‘Tax Statements’ tab in late January.

Changing your address in the portal for W-2 distribution may not change your address for all of the benefit plans in which you are currently enrolled. For instructions on how to change your address for all of your benefits, visit: Change Your Name or Address.      

If you have questions, contact your contact your institution HR office benefit contact.

Source: UW Service Center

2017 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Limits Announced

The IRS announced that because inflation has been very low, there are no cost-of-living adjustments to the dollar limitations for contributions to the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program (TSA) or the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program (WDC) in 2017.

In 2017 – as in 2016 – employees may contribute a basic 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 and have contributed less than an average of $5,000 per year over your UW employment, 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) or 457 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) and WDC Programs.

Employees currently enrolled in the TSA Program can easily change TSA contributions for 2017 by submitting a Salary Reduction Agreement 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 2017 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 2017.

To change your WDC contribution call the WDC office at 1-877-457-9327 or access your account at the WDC website. See the WDC website for information about enrolling in the program.  

WDC changes must be made with Empower, the third-party WDC plan administrator, in early December 2016, so that they have adequate time to electronically send the information to the UW Service Center.

If you want to maximize your TSA and/or WDC contributions for 2017, see the chart below to determine how much to contribute per paycheck. Please note: your contribution will automatically stop once the 2017 limit is reached.

Number of Paychecks Annually

2017 Annual Maximum

2017 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

Annual Benefits Enrollment period ends November 11, 2016

The Annual Benefits Enrollment period, October 17- November 11, is the only annual opportunity you have to make changes to most of your benefits unless you have an eligible family status or employment change during the year.  You still have time to make changes before the enrollment period ends on November 11, 2016. Changes made during the enrollment period are effective January 1, 2017.

Prepare:

  • Review your current benefits and the 2017 benefit plan changes.
  • Some plans require that you enroll each year to continue your participation.  If you are participating in one of these plans, you must enroll each year:
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) including Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, Dependent Day Care FSA
    • Health Savings Account (HSA) requires that you enroll every year you are enrolled in a  High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
    • State Group Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive
  • Visit the Annual Benefits Enrollment website. The website has details on what you need to know, including a list of State Group Health Insurance plans that will no longer be available in 2017.

Decide:

Do you want to enroll or make changes to your medical, dental or vision coverage? Do you want to contribute pre-tax dollars to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses?  Review the chart below for a summary of changes and opportunities during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period. 

Changes Allowed During Annual Benefits Enrollment

Plan

Open Enrollment

Change Plan

Add / Remove Dependents*

Cancel Coverage

State Group Health

Yes

 

Any health plan

Add or remove

Uniform Dental

Yes

Yes; may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 if opting out of coverage.

(opt-out requires application)

Health Savings

Account (HSA)

 

You are required to actively enroll in the HSA each

year if you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

 

Dental

Wisconsin

Yes

 

PPO ←→ Select

Yes

 

Yes

EPIC Benefits+

Yes, but will have graduated dental benefits

Add or remove vision insurance

Yes

 

Yes

VSP Vision

Yes

 

N/A

Yes

 

Yes

Individual & Family Life Insurance

Annual Increase Option

Increase current coverage

N/A

Any time

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA)

This program includes the Health Care, Limited Purpose, and Dependent Day Care

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Transit/Parking Accounts.
If you choose to participate in the FSAs, you must enroll each year. (University Staff Temporary Employees, Fellows, Scholars, Graduate Interns/Trainees, or Post-Doctoral.
Fellows/Trainees are not eligible to participate in Health Care, Limited Purpose and Dependent Day Care FSAs.)

 *See the Overview of Eligible Dependents to see who you can cover on your plans: www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/download/med/uws25.pdf

Act:

Use Self Service (eBenefits) to make your elections online. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Go to the ‘Benefit Information’ module and click on the ‘Open Enrollment’ link.  You will receive a Benefit Enrollment Confirmation via email after you have submitted your elections.

Parking/Transit Accounts and the State Group Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentiverequire paper applications.  Complete, print, sign and submit these applications to your benefits office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2016.  Mailed applications must be postmarked by November 10, 2016.

If you have questions, contact yourinstitution HR office benefit contact

Source: UW Service Center

Individual and Family Life Insurance Enrollees can Increase Coverage, October 17 – November 11, 2016

If you are a currently enrolled in the Individual and Family Life Insurance plan as of October 1, 2016, you have an annual option to increase your coverage during the Annual Increase Option (AIO) period from October 17 – November 11, 2016. Coverage increases will be effective January 1, 2017(with new premium(s) deducted from December earnings).

Making the Decision to Increase Your Coverage

Use the personalized Individual and Family Annual Increase calculator:  https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/indfam-increase-calculator/ to see your current coverage level and the amount of your 2017 premiums if you decide to increase your coverage.

You may increase your current coverage during the AIO period by the following amounts:

  • Employee coverage:  $5,000; $10,000; $15,000 or $20,000
  • Spouse/domestic partner coverage:  $5,000 or $10,000
  • Child(ren) coverage:  $2,500

As you consider increasing your coverage, please note the 2017 maximum coverage levels:

  • Employee coverage: $300,000
  • Spouse/domestic partner coverage:  $150,000
  • Child(ren) coverage: $25,000

Important Reminder: Spouse/domestic partner or child life insurance coverage may not exceed your total (employee amount) coverage.

Application Information and Deadline

To increase your coverage during the AIO period, submit your election via Self Service (eBenefits). Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Go to the ‘Benefit Information’ module and click on the ‘Open Enrollment’ link.  You will receive a Benefit Enrollment Confirmation via email after you have submitted your election.

All elections to increase coverage must be submitted online or received by your benefits office by 4:30 p.m. on November 11, 2016. If you mail your application, it must be postmarked by November 10, 2016.

Decreasing or Canceling Coverage

If you decide to decrease or cancel your coverage, this action cannot be completed through Self Service (eBenefits), you must complete the Individual and Family Group Term Life Insurance application. The application is also available on the UW System Forms and Publications web page.  Applications to decrease or cancel coverage may be submitted at any time during the year.  Coverage decreases or cancellations are effective the first of the month following the receipt of the application.

Questions?

Visit the Annual Benefits Enrollment website for more information about the Individual and Family Life Insurance plan and other benefits enrollment opportunities available this year. If you have questions, please contact your institution HR office benefit contact.

Source: UW Service Center

UIA Life Insurance Annual $24 Premium Deduction

The annual $24.00 University Insurance Association (UIA) Life Insurance premium will be deducted from October monthly earnings, paid November 1, 2016.

For 2016-2017 the minimum monthly salary required for initial UIA Life Insurance eligibility is $2,592.00. Participation in the UIA Life Insurance plan is a condition of employment for UW System Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointment (FA/AS/LI) whose rate of compensation, when eligibility is initially met, is not less than 45% 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 October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. Employees must re-qualify for eligibility each year.

For more information about the plan, see the UW System website

Source: UW Service Center

Annual Benefits Enrollment period: October 17 - November 11, 2016

What is the Annual Benefits Enrollment Period?

The Annual Benefits Enrollment period, October 17- November 11, is the only annual opportunity you have to make changes to most of your benefits unless you have an eligible family status or employment change during the year.  Changes made during the enrollment period are effective January 1, 2017. Start planning now so you are ready for the enrollment period.

Prepare:

Do I Need to Do Anything During the Annual Benefits Enrollment Period?

  • Review your current benefits and the 2017 benefit plan changes.
  • Some plans require that you enroll each year to continue your participation.  If you are participating in one of these plans, you must enroll each year:
    • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) including Health Care FSA, Limited Purpose FSA, Dependent Day Care FSA
    • Health Savings Account (HSA) requires that you enroll every year you are enrolled in a  High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
    • State Group Health Insurance Opt-Out Incentive
  • Attend your Benefits Fair. This is an opportunity to meet with staff from health plans and other benefit vendors.
  • Visit the Annual Benefits Enrollment website wisconsin.edu/abe where information will be posted as it becomes available.  The website will have details on what you need to know, including a list of State Group Health Insurance plans that will no longer be available in 2017.

Decide:

Do you want to enroll or make changes to your medical, dental or vision coverage? Do you want to contribute pre-tax dollars to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses?  Review the chart below for a summary of changes and opportunities during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period. 

Changes Allowed During Annual Benefits Enrollment

Plan

Open Enrollment

Change Plan

Add / Remove Dependents*

Cancel Coverage

State Group Health

Yes

 

Any health plan

Add or remove

Uniform Dental

Yes

Yes; may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 if opting out of coverage.

(opt-out requires application)

Health Savings

Account (HSA)

 

You are required to actively enroll in the HSA each

year if you enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

 

Dental

Wisconsin

Yes

 

PPO ←→ Select

Yes

 

Yes

EPIC Benefits+

Yes, but will have graduated dental benefits

Add or remove vision insurance

Yes

 

Yes

VSP Vision

Yes

 

N/A

Yes

 

Yes

Individual & Family Life Insurance

Annual Increase Option

Increase current coverage

N/A

Any time

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA)

This program includes the Health Care, Limited Purpose, and Dependent Day Care

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Transit/Parking Accounts.
If you choose to participate in the FSAs, you must enroll each year. (University Staff Temporary Employees, Fellows, Scholars, Graduate Interns/Trainees, or Post-Doctoral.
Fellows/Trainees are not eligible to participate in Health Care, Limited Purpose and Dependent Day Care FSAs.)

 *See the Overview of Eligible Dependents to see who you can cover on your plans: www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/download/med/uws25.pdf

 Act:

Complete your 2017 benefits elections using Self Service (eBenefits) via the MyUW portal.  All enrollments and changes must be completed by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2016. 

 For more information on benefit plans, premiums and how to enroll:wisconsin.edu/abe

Source: UW Service Center

WRS Contribution Rates to Increase in 2017

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced an increase for 2017 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates effective January 1, 2017. According to ETF, the 2017 contribution rates are increasing primarily due to higher life expectancies and lower-than-expected trust fund investment performance. WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis.  

Your contribution rate is determined by your WRS employment category. Most UW employees are covered by the General/Teacher WRS category. High level administrators (chancellors, president, vice presidents, provosts) are covered by the Executive category.  Employees whose main duties are related to law enforcement or the protection of the public (police officers, fire fighters) are covered by the Protective category.

WRS Contribution Rates

 

General/Teacher

Executives

Protectives w/ Social Security

 

2016

2017

2016

2017

2016

2017

Employee Contribution

6.60%

6.80%

6.60%

6.80%

6.60%

6.80%

Employer Contribution

6.60%

6.80%

6.60%

6.80%

9.40%

10.60%

Total

13.20%

13.60%

13.20%

13.60%

16.00%

17.40%

 The 2017 rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2017 beginning on January 3, 2017 for Faculty/Academic Staff and Limited Appointees paid monthly, and January 5, 2017 for University Staff paid bi-weekly.  As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

 For More Information:

Source: UW Service Center

Summer Prepay Deductions: Continuing Your Insurance Coverage During the Summer Months

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?                                                                            

If you are a 9-month employee who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2016, or a 12-month employee who has a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months, then you had additional insurance premiums deducted from your April 1, April 29 and/or June 1 paychecks to continue your insurance coverage through the summer months.  These additional insurance premiums, taken along with your regular monthly insurance deductions, are referred to as ‘summer prepay deductions.’

You 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. If you did not have prepayments taken and are returning in the fall, contact your benefits office immediately. If insurance premiums are not collected through the summer prepay deductions process, you will be billed for premiums. In this case, you must remit timely premium payments to continue insurance coverage.

Verifying Your Summer Prepay Deductions

Check your spring earnings statements to verify if you had summer prepay deductions taken from your paychecks.  Summer prepay deductions appear as a lump sum with all pre-tax deductions added together and identified as  ‘Prebtx’ and all post-tax deductions added together under ‘Preatx.’  Prebtx stands for before tax or pre-tax and ‘Preatx’ stands for after tax or post-tax.

In the fall, your regular insurance premium deductions will resume as payroll deductions starting with your October 1 paycheck.

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

Are you getting married this summer? Adopting a baby? Terminating UW employment? Employees who anticipate any status change during the summer should contact their Benefits office immediately about the impact to their insurance benefits.

For example, if you are getting married and need to change from single to family health insurance coverage, you should complete a new health insurance application 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 your anticipated fall 2016 employment status changes after summer prepay deductions have already been taken, refunds may be issued for these additional deductions. Employees who will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, should contact their Benefits office immediately for assistance in determining employment termination date and the date insurance coverage will end.

Questions

If you have questions, please contact your campus Benefits Office.

Source: UW Service Center

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 ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

To protect your beneficiary(ies), review and update your beneficiary designations regularly. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time.  Review of your designations for possible changes is especially important when you have experienced a life event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc. Your assets are distributed according to the beneficiary designations that you have on file, so it is important to review and make any needed changes whenever your personal circumstances change.

How do I know what benefits I have?

Go to the Benefit Information module in the My UW-Madison portal, and 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

Beneficiary designation forms can be found at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/forms-publications.aspx

Click on each individual plan for the beneficiary designation form for that plan.  Follow the instructions to submit the form.

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 Benefits office.

If you are unsure of your current beneficiary designations, please complete a new beneficiary designation to ensure that your designations are current.

The following plans have a beneficiary designation form:

 If you have a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) or Deferred Compensation account, make sure you review and update your beneficiary designations as needed. Contact the plan directly to update your beneficiary designations or, if you are enrolled in the TSA program, update your beneficiary online.

Source: UW Service Center

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 ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

To protect your beneficiary(ies), review and update your beneficiary designations regularly. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time.  Review of your designations for possible changes is especially important when you have experienced a life event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc. Your assets are distributed according to the beneficiary designations that you have on file, so it is important to review and make any needed changes whenever your personal circumstances change.

How do I know what benefits I have?

Go to the Benefit Information module in My UW System, and 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

Beneficiary designation forms can be found at: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/formspubs/.  Click on each individual plan for the beneficiary designation form for that plan.  Follow the instructions to submit the form.

 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 Benefits office.

 If you are unsure of your current beneficiary designations, please complete a new beneficiary designation to ensure that your designations are current.

The following plans have a beneficiary designation form:

 If you have a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) or Deferred Compensation account, make sure you review and update your beneficiary designations as needed. Contact the plan directly to update your beneficiary designations or, if you are enrolled in the TSA program, update your beneficiary online. 

Source: UW Service Center

Use of Vacation and Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointee (FA/AS/LI) with a 12-month appointment are eligible to bank leave into an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) after they have completed 10 fiscal years of employment.  Beginning with the 11th fiscal year, an employee is eligible to bank up to 40 hours.  The option to bank vacation is offered immediately following the fiscal year in which an employee is eligible. FA/AS/LI 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 or vacation carryover as of June 30, 2016 (up to the maximum allowed).  If your institution uses Employee Self-Service (ESS), you may be able to convert hours into your ALRA account via ESS with your July leave reporting.  Check with your Payroll Coordinator to see if you may use the ESS option.

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 became eligible.  Example:  If you completed 10 years in May 2015, you are eligible effective July 1, 2016.  You will not be offered election to bank until July of 2017.
  • Banking Schedule (the amount of leave that can be banked is prorated if part-time):
    • You are eligible to bank up to 40 hours of vacation into ALRA per year at the beginning of your 11th fiscal year of employment.  Option to bank is the fiscal year following eligibility.
    • You are eligible to bank up to 80 hours of vacation into ALRA per year at the beginning of your 26th fiscal year of employment.  Option to bank is the fiscal year following eligibility.

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, 2016. If you allocated more unused vacation to ALRA than you had as vacation carryover, the additional hours to be banked will come from your vacation balance as of June 30.

If you have questions, please contact the Payroll Coordinator.

Source: UW Service Center

Use of Vacation and Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointee (FA/AS/LI) with a 12-month appointment are eligible to bank leave into an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) after they have completed 10 fiscal years of employment.  Beginning with the 11th fiscal year, an employee is eligible to bank up to 40 hours.  The option to bank vacation is offered immediately following the fiscal year in which an employee is eligible. FA/AS/LI 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 or vacation carryover as of June 30, 2016 (up to the maximum allowed).

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 became eligible.  Example:  If you completed 10 years in May 2016, you are eligible effective July 1, 2016.  You will not be offered election to bank until July of 2017.
  • Banking Schedule (the amount of leave that can be banked is prorated if part-time):
    • You are eligible to bank up to 40 hours of vacation into ALRA per year at the beginning of your 11th fiscal year of employment.  Option to bank is the fiscal year following eligibility.
    • You are eligible to bank up to 80 hours of vacation into ALRA per year at the beginning of your 26th fiscal year of employment.  Option to bank is the fiscal year following eligibility.

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, 2016. If you allocated more unused vacation to ALRA than you had as vacation carryover, the additional hours to be banked will come from your vacation balance as of June 30.

If you have questions, please contact the Payroll Coordinator.

Source: UW Service Center

Annual Benefit Enrollment: October 17 - November 11, 2016

Dates for the 2016 Annual Benefit Enrollment period have been announced: October 17 – November 11, 2016.  The Annual Benefit Enrollment period is the only opportunity each year for eligible UW employees to make changes to many of their benefits unless they have an eligible family status or employment change during the year.

More information about the Annual Benefit Enrollment period will be posted as it becomes available. All changes made during the enrollment period are effective January 1, 2017.

Source: UW Service Center

Free Well Wisconsin Webinars Available to UW Employees

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is offering lunch hour webinars on the third Wednesday of each month as part of the Well Wisconsin Program.

A variety of health and wellness topics will be covered. For a full list of 2016 topics visit the Well Wisconsin website and click on 2016 Well Wisconsin Wednesday Webinars. Pre-registration is required by clicking the specific webinar link.  The registration form will ask for your employer group; enter your UW institution.


Well Wisconsin Program

Active UW employees and retirees enrolled in the State Group Health (SGH) Insurance program are eligible to participate in the Well Wisconsin program. Well Wisconsin is a program of financial incentives offered by SGH insurance providers. The program is designed to make employees more aware of current and future health risks while also saving them money.

If you are eligible for the Well Wisconsin program, you can earn a $150 incentive from your SGH insurance provider for participating in the program. Your enrolled spouse/domestic partner may also complete the program and earn their own reward. All wellness incentives are taxable as wages.

Some insurance providers also offer additional rewards and resources to improve your health and quality of life. Visit the Well Wisconsin website: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home and select your insurance provider in the left hand column to learn more about the specific incentives that your plan offers.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for the Well Wisconsin program, contact your institution benefits office or your insurance provider.

Once you confirm your eligibility, there are two steps to completing enrollment in the Well Wisconsin program; taking a wellness assessment (including height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol) and completing an online health survey. Both steps must be completed in 2016 to qualify for the 2016 incentive.

 

For a complete list of SGH insurance providers participating in Well Wisconsin as well as instructions for completing Well Wisconsin enrollment, visit the Well Wisconsin: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home.

Source: UW Service Center

Review/Update Your Personal Information Before You Leave the UW

As the academic year winds down, many UW employees tie up loose ends before they leave for the summer break, permanently leave UW employment, or shift into summer session or summer service duties.

As you finish the academic year, we encourage you to review your personal information in the Personal Information module of the My UW System portal, and update your information if necessary.

Why is This Important?

Even if you’re leaving the UW, or you’re not going to be working at a UW institution for a few months, there may be a need for your employer to contact you. Please take a few moments to review your address information, and make sure it is up-to-date. This is especially true if you are moving over the summer; it’s easy to overlook this simple step, but it could help ensure that you receive important information concerning your benefits, your paychecks, or your employment at the UW.

Also, while you are in the ‘Personal Information’ module reviewing your address information, you are also encouraged to update your Emergency Contact information.

Questions?

If you have questions, review the instructions on how to update your personal information:https://uwservice.wisc.edu/help/personal-information/.

 If you have other questions, contact your Benefits Office.

Source: UW Service Center

Review/Update Your Personal Information Before You Leave the UW

As the academic year winds down, many UW employees tie up loose ends before they leave for the summer break, permanently leave UW employment, or shift into summer session or summer service duties.

As you finish the academic year, we encourage you to review your personal information in the Personal Information module of the My UW-Madison portal, and update your information if necessary.

Why is This Important?

Even if you’re leaving the UW, or you’re not going to be working at a UW institution for a few months, there may be a need for your employer to contact you. Please take a few moments to review your address information, and make sure it is up-to-date. This is especially true if you are moving over the summer; it’s easy to overlook this simple step, but it could help ensure that you receive important information concerning your benefits, your paychecks, or your employment at the UW.

Also, while you are in the ‘Personal Information’ module reviewing your address information, you are also encouraged to update your Emergency Contact information.

Questions?

If you have questions, review the instructions on how to update your personal information:https://uwservice.wisc.edu/help/personal-information/.

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

Source: UW Service Center

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available in the Portal

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2015, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available in My UW System. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Click on “2015 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2016” to view or print your statement.

The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your WRS account as of January 1, 2016. The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information to help you understand your statement. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has also published an Introductory Letter for the statement.

It is recommended that you review each section of your statement using the explanation as a guide:

  • 2015 Earnings and Service
  • Years of Creditable Service as of January 1, 2016
  • 2015 Employee Required Contributions (Note: In section 3, the small amounts shown in Employer Paid Employee contributions occur due to rounding in calculations used to produce this statement or from the payroll system.  This does not apply to all employees.)
  • Additional Contribution
  • Primary Beneficiary Designation(s) for WRS Required Account
  • Separation Benefit
  • Death Benefit
  • Formula Benefit Data
  • Money Purchase Balance (Total required employee and matching employer contributions, including interest.)
  • Retirement Benefit Projections

NOTE: New WRS participants who enrolled in late December 2015, and whose first wages were paid in January 2016, will not receive a statement because no WRS contributions were paid in 2015.

Additional Resources

In addition to the Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits and the ETF Introductory Letter, a schedule of the Live Webinar: Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits is available on the WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Help Page along with other resources.

If you have questions, please contact your Benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available in the Portal

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2015, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available in the MyUW portal. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Click on “2015 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2016” to view or print your statement.

The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your WRS account as of January 1, 2016. The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information to help you understand your statement. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has also published an Introductory Letter for the statement.

It is recommended that you review each section of your statement using the explanation as a guide:

  • 2015 Earnings and Service
  • Years of Creditable Service as of January 1, 2016
  • 2015 Employee Required Contributions (Note: In section 3, the small amounts shown in Employer Paid Employee contributions occur due to rounding in calculations used to produce this statement or from the payroll system.  This does not apply to all employees.)
  • Additional Contribution
  • Primary Beneficiary Designation(s) for WRS Required Account
  • Separation Benefit
  • Death Benefit
  • Formula Benefit Data
  • Money Purchase Balance (Total required employee and matching employer contributions, including interest.)
  • Retirement Benefit Projections

NOTE: New WRS participants who enrolled in late December 2015, and whose first wages were paid in January 2016, will not receive a statement because no WRS contributions were paid in 2015.

Additional Resources

In addition to the Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits and the ETF Introductory Letter, a schedule of the Live Webinar: Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits is available on the WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Help Page along with other resources.

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

Source: UW Service Center

2016 Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Effective April 1, 2016

Employees who enrolled in Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) or added supplemental coverage during the ICI Deferred enrollment period, January – March 1, 2016, had newly elected ICI coverage effective April 1, 2016.

Employees paid monthly will have the premium reflected on the April 29 paycheck, and those paid bi-weekly on the April 14 paycheck.

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

Source: UW Service Center

Summer Prepay Deductions: Insurance Premium Deduction Schedule

Academic (9-month) employees, who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2016, and academic (12-month) employees, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months, will have additional insurance premiums deducted from April 1, April 29 and/or June 1 paychecks to continue their insurance coverage through the summer months.  These additional insurance premiums, taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions, are referred to as ‘summer prepay deductions.’

Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester, or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have insurance coverage continue during the summer contract break.  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 via summer prepay deductions, or must be paid through direct payment by the employee.

If an employee’s anticipated fall 2016 employment status changes after additional insurance premiums have already been deducted, refunds may be issued for these additional deductions.  Employees who will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, should contact their Benefits office immediately for assistance in determining employment termination date and the date insurance coverage will end.

Employees who anticipate other status changes; marriage, adoption, divorce, etc., should contact their Benefits office immediately about the impact to insurance benefits.

IMPORTANT: The chart below illustrates insurance premiums deducted for an employee scheduled to return to UW employment in the fall of 2016, who or has a summer appointment and is then terminating.  Most employees will have deductions taken according to the chart below. Benefits offices can assist employees whose deduction schedule may vary from the schedule below based on appointment, summer employment, fall return date, or end date.

2016 Summer Prepay Deduction Schedule

Insurance 

Premiums to be Taken

Paychecks on which Premiums will be Taken

Health and other insurance deductions.*

Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

April 1, April 29, June 1

Income Continuation Insurance

Regular premium deduction PLUS two summer premium deductions.

April 29

Income Continuation Insurance

Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

June 1

*Does not include Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA) Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC). There are no additional premiums taken for these programs.

How Summer Prepay Deductions Appear on the 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.  These deductions are typically taken on a pre-tax basis.  For employees who have one extra deduction for each plan, there will be a total listed under Prebtx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions.  NOTE: ‘Prebtx’ stands for before tax or pre-tax and ‘Preatx’ stands for after tax or post-tax.

IMPORTANT: To verify accuracy, employees should review their earnings statements to ensure that insurance deductions are accurate for their situation.  If insurance premiums are not collected through the summer prepay deductions process, employees will be billed for premiums.  In this case, employees must remit timely premium payments to continue insurance coverage.

Employees should contact their campus Benefits Office with questions.

Source: UW Service Center

March 30, 2016 is the deadline for filing 2015 health care and dependent care FSA claims

If you were enrolled in the Flexible Spending Accounts (Health Care and/or Dependent Day Care FSA) in 2015, you have until the end of the run-out period to submit claims and documentation for eligible expenses incurred during the period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. The run-out period ends on March 30, 2016.

The IRS allows up to $500 Health Care FSA funds to be carried over to the following year. If you have a Health Care FSA balance remaining in your 2015 account in excess of $500, the IRS requires that the excess be forfeited if not filed by 3/30/16. There is no carryover feature for Dependent Day Care FSA—these funds must be used for services incurred by December 31, 2015.

Please remember that the IRS requires appropriate documentation when submitting a claim. All medical, dental and vision claims must include the following:

  • A completed and signed claim form.
  • Either an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement from your insurance company OR an itemized statement from the provider showing provider’s name, address, patient name, date and description of service and amount paid.

There are multiple ways in which you can submit your 2015 claims to TASC. Please note that the instructions below are specific for submitting 2015 claims during the run-out period, NOT 2016 claims.

1)      File a claim online

  • Go to www.tasconline.com/, enter your username and password, then click Login.
  • Select “I want to: Request a Reimbursement” from your home screen.
    • Enter your claim information; type of expense, date of expense, service provider and amount of expense. To add additional claims, select Continue.
    • You will have to upload supporting documentation. Accepted files are PDF, PNG, JPG or TIF.
    • Press Submit Requests.

2)      File a claim via fax or mail

  • Print FSA Reimbursement Claim Form.
  • Complete all fields, making sure to sign and date the form.
  • Submit completed claim form and itemized receipts to TASC via:
    • FAX: 1-877-231-1287; or MAIL: TASC

P.O. Box 7511

Madison, WI 53707-7511

3)      File a claim using the Mobile App

  • Download the MyTASC Mobile App
  • Enter your username and password, then click Login.
  • Select Reimbursement.
  • Enter your claim information; type of expense, date of expense, service provider and amount of expense.
  • You will have to attach supporting documentation (may take a picture of receipt, or select an existing picture from your phone)
  • Press Submit Reimbursement. If you successfully submit a claim via mobile app, your phone will display a reference number.

If you have unsubstantiated claims for the 2015 plan year, you must submit additional documentation to validate the ‘unsubstantiated’ claims. Review your account activity and other claims to confirm that all expenses were approved by TASC and no additional documentation is needed to validate an expense. You may do this by logging on to your account at www.tasconline.com, and clicking on “View Needed Documentation.” If unsubstantiated claims are unresolved by March 30, 2016, wages may be garnished.

Do not wait until last minute to send. All claims and documentation must be received by TASC by 3/30/16.

For questions contact 1customercare@tasconline.comor TASC Customer Service at 1-844-786-3947 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST).

Source: UW System Administration

2016 State Group Life Insurance Annual Update

Employees participating in the State Group Life insurance program will have their coverage level and premium updated effective April 1, 2016.

For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the April 1, 2016 paycheck. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the April 1, 2016 paycheck.
State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium are based on a participant's highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings (typically the prior year's earnings) and age as of April 14. The 2016 premiums are available at: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/life/sgl/.

For questions, please contact your benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

LifeSuite Program Available to UW Employees

A free program of valuable services is available to all active, WRS-eligible, UW employees. The LifeSuite program offers travel assistance, legal services, beneficiary financial counseling and legacy planning services. Please note that Beneficiary financial counseling is only available if you are enrolled in the State Group Life Insurance program. You do not have to enroll in the Lifesuite program, it is offered free of charge.


Travel Assistance is available to all active UW employees and their eligible family members. Travel Assistance provides 24/7/365 travel assistance services when traveling 100 or more miles away from home. Services include, but are not limited to, medical professional locator services, interpretation services, assistance in cases of lost luggage and arranging transportation or a traveling companion. For more information, visit the LifeSuite Travel website or call 1-855-516-5433 in the U.S. or Canada. From other locations, you can call collect to +1 (415) 484-4677.


Legal Services are available to all UW employees (active or retired), as well as their eligible family members. The program provides access to over 22,000 attorneys nationwide for consultation on simple wills, estate planning and other legal issues. If an attorney in the network is retained, there is a 25% discount on services. Contact Ceridian at 1-877-849-6034 or visit the LifeWorks website (username: lfg password: resources).


Beneficiary Financial Counseling is available to beneficiaries who receive at least $25,000 in State Group Life claim benefits. Counseling resources are provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and are designed to help families make sound financial decisions at a difficult time. Beneficiaries will receive notification of this service upon payment of a State Group Life claim.


Legacy Planning Services are available to all UW employees (active or retired), as well as their eligible family members. The program provides access to online information designed to help individuals and families work through end-of-life issues when dealing with the loss of a loved one or planning for their own passing. These resources are available at the Legacy Planning Services website.


If you are unsure if you are eligible for these services, please contact your benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

America Saves Week - February 22 – 27, 2016

Saving is possible!

We all agree that saving is a good idea. That’s the easy part. Figuring out how to manage your expenses so you can save, or save more? That may not be so easy. America Saves Week is your opportunity to commit—or recommit—to saving for today and for later in retirement. Saving is more than just a good idea. It’s possible!

America Saves is a national campaign that encourages individuals and families to save money and build personal wealth. This is a great opportunity to expand your financial knowledge and set some new savings goals.

Your UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program can help you save and invest for your long-term goals. If you already participate in the program, consider increasing your contributions. If you are not a TSA Program participant, consider signing up. Through the TSA Program you can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both. The UW TSA Program has no participant fees, no loads or trading fees, and access to low-cost funds, including index funds and many funds with institutional share classes.

UW TSA 403(b) Program investment options include a wide array of mutual funds and fixed and variable annuities managed by five investment companies: TIAA-CREF, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, Ameriprise/RiverSource Life Insurance, Lincoln National Life Insurance. For more information see www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/ret/tsa/ or contact your benefits office.

To celebrate America Saves Week, take a look at materials and resources at www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/americasaves. Read through some great tips on budgeting, watch a video on the difference between saving and investing, or take part in a webinar on the difference between the pre-tax and Roth options. These are just a few of the many resources available for you.

Pursuing your financial goals, that’s what saving—and America Saves Week—is about.

Source: UW System Office of Human Resources & Workforce Diversity

Income Continuation Insurance Annual Premium Update

Each year Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are updated on February 1. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the February 18, 2016 paycheck. For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 1, 2016 paycheck.

For 2016, ICI premium rates are increasing 20% as approved by the State of Wisconsin Group Insurance Board (GIB). Not all employees will have a 20% increase. Current participants’ 2016 premium update will depend on many factors including:

  • University Staff: the ICI premium is based on 2015 earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and sick leave balance/usage as of 12/26/2015 and current category.
  • Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: the ICI premium is based on 2015 WRS-reported earnings and the selected elimination period.

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, you may see your updated 2016 ICI premium, here: ICI Premium Notice. Current enrollees were also sent an email directing them to this customized web page.

Please note:  The February 1 effective ICI annual update does not reflect any enrollments made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 1, 2016.  Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity in late January.

For a full list of ICI premiums and more information about the plan, visit the ICI plan page. If you have questions, contact your institution’s benefits office.

Source: UW Service Center

Income Continuation Insurance Annual Premium Update

Each year Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are updated on February 1. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the February 18, 2016 paycheck. For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 1, 2016 paycheck.

For 2016, ICI premium rates are increasing 20% as approved by the State of Wisconsin Group Insurance Board (GIB). Not all employees will have a 20% increase. Current participants’ 2016 premium update will depend on many factors including:

  • University Staff: the ICI premium is based on 2015 earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and sick leave balance/usage as of 12/26/2015 and current category.
  • Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: the ICI premium is based on 2015 WRS-reported earnings and the selected elimination period.

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, you may see your updated 2016 ICI premium, here: ICI Premium Notice. Current enrollees were also sent an email directing them to this customized web page.

Please note:  The February 1 effective ICI annual update does not reflect any enrollments made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 1, 2016.  Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity in late January.

For a full list of ICI premiums and more information about the plan, visit the ICI Plan page. If you have questions, contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

Source: UW Service Center

Wellness Benefits for UW Employees

Active UW employees and retirees enrolled in the State Group Health (SGH) Insurance program are eligible to participate in the Well Wisconsin program. Well Wisconsin is a program of financial incentives offered by SGH insurance providers. The program is designed to make employees more aware of current and future health risks while also saving them money.

If you are eligible for the Well Wisconsin program, you can earn a $150 incentive from your SGH insurance provider for participating in the program. Your enrolled spouse/domestic partner may also complete the program and earn their own reward. All wellness incentives are taxable as wages.

Some insurance providers also offer additional rewards and resources to improve your health and quality of life. Visit the Well Wisconsin website: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home and select your insurance provider in the left hand column to learn more about the specific incentives that your plan offers.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for the Well Wisconsin program, contact your institution benefits office or your insurance provider.

Once you confirm your eligibility, there are two steps to completing enrollment in the Well Wisconsin program; taking a wellness assessment (including height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol) and completing an online health survey. Both steps must be completed in 2016 to qualify for the 2016 incentive.

For a complete list of SGH insurance providers participating in Well Wisconsin as well as instructions for completing Well Wisconsin enrollment, visit the Well Wisconsin: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home.

Source: UW Service Center

Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Period Through March 1, 2016

The Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) program is an “income replacement” benefit plan that replaces up to 75% of your gross salary if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability.

Standard ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $4,000/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $64,000 per year of 2015 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings). Supplemental ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $7,500/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $120,000 per year of 2015 WRS earnings).

ICI Deferred Enrollment Opportunity Currently Available for Eligible Employees

If you are not currently enrolled in ICI, you may be able to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment Period through March 1, 2016. Eligible employees were sent an email on January 22. Employees who receive a hard copy earnings statement received a letter the week of January 25 mailed to their home address. You must complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) and return it to your payroll/personnel office on or before March 1, 2016 to enroll during the deferred enrollment period. ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1, 2016.

Deferred enrollment is offered in the following situations:

  • You are University Staff, and your prior year-end sick leave balance exceeds 520 or 728 hours for the first time.
  • You are University Staff and have accumulated and retained 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 2015 WRS earnings were at least $64,000, you are eligible to enroll in Supplemental ICI coverage (if not already enrolled).

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 29, 2016

The 2015 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available online in the MyUW portal. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. Paper copies of the W-2 will be mailed via U.S. mail and postmarked by January 29, 2016.

A printed Form W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, if you are filing a paper tax statement, 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 (1095-C, 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc Form). The 1095-C (new this year) will be mailed via U.S. mail and available on the portal in early February.

The 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter and 1099-Misc Forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letters will be posted on the portal when available. The 1099-Misc Forms will not be available on the portal.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2015 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2015 taxable earnings since the last 2015 payroll was paid. These employees may have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began accepting returns on January 19, 2016 for the 2015 tax filing season. To minimize your chance of a fraudulent return being processed using your Social Security number (SSN), or Individual Tax Payer Identification number (ITIN), you may want to consider filing a return as early as you are able. More information is available on the IRS website.

Additional Resources: W-2 Explanation

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 29, 2016

The 2015 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available online in the My UW System portal. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. Paper copies of the W-2 will be mailed via U.S. mail and postmarked by January 29, 2016.

A printed Form W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, if you are filing a paper tax statement, 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 (1095-C, 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc Form). The 1095-C (new this year) will be mailed via U.S. mail and available on the portal in early February.

The 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter and 1099-Misc Forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letters will be posted on the portal when available. The 1099-Misc Forms will not be available on the portal.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2015 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2015 taxable earnings since the last 2015 payroll was paid. These employees may have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began accepting returns on January 19, 2016 for the 2015 tax filing season. To minimize your chance of a fraudulent return being processed using your Social Security number (SSN), or Individual Tax Payer Identification number (ITIN), you may want to consider filing a return as early as you are able. More information is available on the IRS website.

Additional Resources: W-2 Explanation

Source: UW Service Center

2016 Insurance Premiums and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period and premiums for 2016 coverage were reflected on the pay check dated December 23, 2015 for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) and January 4, 2016 for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI) (paid monthly).

How to Check Your 2016 Benefit Enrollments

Your Benefits Summary is available online. Log in to the My UW System portal and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information module to see your Benefits Summary. On the Benefits Summary page, enter "01/01/2016" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2016 elections.

2016 Health, Dental and Pharmacy Plan Cards

  • Delta Dental cards for the Uniform Dental benefit have been sent out to participants who enrolled in a health plan with dental insurance.
  • Health insurance plan cards are typically sent by health plan providers to participants by the end of December. If you did not receive your health plan card by the end of December, you should be receiving it soon. The 2016 plan cards are effective January 1, 2016, and you will need to present your card at any appointments that you have after January 1, 2016.
  • Navitus pharmacy cards (prescription drug coverage) for 2016 will only be sent out to newly enrolled employees. If participants were covered in 2015, they will not be receiving a new card.

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

If you enrolled in either the FSA or HSA programs for 2016, the first deduction for 2016 elections was taken on the January 4, 2016 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 7, 2016 pay check for University Staff. For important 2016 information regarding FSA and HSA read Important Flexible Spending (FSA) & Health Savings Accounts (HSA) News for 2016.

New TASC cards were sent to all participants. This card should be used for all expenses in 2016. New cards will have the TASC and ETF logos.

Old TASC cards have been deactivated. If there is MyCash remaining on your 2015 FSA card, the MyCash portion of the card will still work. In 2016, the MyCash feature will no longer be available. Reimbursements will be provided based on the reimbursement method you have selected. You may update this method in your MyTASC account online.

If participants have any 2015 FSA unsubstantiated claims, their 2016 card may be temporarily suspended. Cards will become active once claims are substantiated.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2016 will decrease from 6.8% to 6.60% for all employees (except Protectives with Social Security, for whom the contribution will remain at 7.70%). This decrease occurred on the January 4, 2016 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 7, 2016 pay check for University Staff.

Source: UW Service Center

2016 Insurance Premiums and WRS Contribution Rates

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period and premiums for 2016 coverage were reflected on the pay check dated December 23, 2015 for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) and January 4, 2016 for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI) (paid monthly).

How to Check Your 2016 Benefit Enrollments

Your Benefits Summary is available online. Log in to the MyUW portal and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information module to see your Benefits Summary. On the Benefits Summary page, enter "01/01/2016" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2016 elections.

2016 Health, Dental and Pharmacy Plan Cards

  • Delta Dental cards for the Uniform Dental benefit have been sent out to participants who enrolled in a health plan with dental insurance.
  • Health insurance plan cards are typically sent by health plan providers to participants by the end of December. If you did not receive your health plan card by the end of December, you should be receiving it soon. The 2016 plan cards are effective January 1, 2016, and you will need to present your card at any appointments that you have after January 1, 2016.
  • Navitus pharmacy cards (prescription drug coverage) for 2016 will only be sent out to newly enrolled employees. If participants were covered in 2015, they will not be receiving a new card.

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

If you enrolled in either the FSA or HSA programs for 2016, the first deduction for 2016 elections was taken on the January 4, 2016 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 7, 2016 pay check for University Staff. For important 2016 information regarding FSA and HSA read Important Flexible Spending (FSA) & Health Savings Accounts (HSA) News for 2016.

New TASC cards were sent to all participants. This card should be used for all expenses in 2016. New cards will have the TASC and ETF logos.

Old TASC cards have been deactivated. If there is MyCash remaining on your 2015 FSA card, the MyCash portion of the card will still work. In 2016, the MyCash feature will no longer be available. Reimbursements will be provided based on the reimbursement method you have selected. You may update this method in your MyTASC account online.

If participants have any 2015 FSA unsubstantiated claims, their 2016 card may be temporarily suspended. Cards will become active once claims are substantiated.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2016 will decrease from 6.8% to 6.60% for all employees (except Protectives with Social Security, for whom the contribution will remain at 7.70%). This decrease occurred on the January 4, 2016 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 7, 2016 pay check for University Staff.

Source: UW Service Center

WRS News Online
for Non-Retired Members

WRS News thumbnail

WRS News for Retirees

WRS News thumbnail
Current issue:
May 2015
Follow @WI_ETF on Twitter!

Administrator Newsletters

ETF Employer Bulletin

ETF Employer Bulletin