Payroll & Benefits

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available in the Portal

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2016, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available in the MyUW Portal.

Log in to the portal. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Choose “2016 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2017” 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.

Understanding Your Statement

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has published an introductory letter which highlights important information on the statement that you need to know.

The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits provides detailed information about each section of the statement. It is recommended that you review and verify each section of your statement using the explanation as a guide. The ETF Statement of Benefits web page provides additional resources including a Benefits Statement FAQ.

Sections of the statement include 2016 earnings and service, years of creditable service as of January 1, 2017, retirement benefit projections, separation benefit, death benefit and primary Beneficiary Designation(s) for your WRS account.

It is very important that you review your WRS account primary beneficiary(ies) on your statement.  Beneficiaries added before 1998 are not listed on your statement. Death benefits are always paid according to the most recent valid beneficiary designation form on file with ETF prior to an individual’s death. Your beneficiary information does not automatically change when a significant life event occurs, such as a divorce or a remarriage. You may add, change or remove beneficiaries by completing a Beneficiary Designation form(ET-2320) or Beneficiary Designation-Alternate form(ET-2321).  Mail your completed Beneficiary Designation directly to EFT at the address listed at the top of the form.

Questions?

If you have questions about your statement, contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu.  The following webinar may also be helpful in understanding your statement and answering any questions you may have.

ETF 2017 Live Webinar: Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits

Featured topics include WRS contributions, vesting status, years of service, and what happens to your account if you die before taking a benefit.  You should have your statement in hand while attending this webinar. The webinar is offered on the dates below. Register here.

  • April 21, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • April 25, 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • April 26, 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

2017-2019 State Budget Proposal- Domestic Partnership Program

On February 8, 2017, Governor Walker presented his 2017-2019 State Budget to the Legislature. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has completed an initial review of the budget bill. The following provisions (proposals) relate to the Domestic Partnership Benefits Program that ETF administers:

Eliminates the Chapter 40 Domestic Partnership Program on the effective date of the bill; however, grandfathers existing domestic partnerships for purposes of Wisconsin Retirement System benefits. Additionally, group health insurance coverage under a group health plan offered by the Group Insurance Board (GIB) would no longer be extended to an employee’s domestic partner, effective January 1, 2018. It also provides that a surviving domestic partner is not a default beneficiary for purposes of a deferred compensation plan and is not eligible to receive duty disability survivorship benefits for deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2018.

There is no indication at this point in time what the final outcome will be once this proposal goes through the legislative process.  ETF will continue reviewing the budget bill to identify all implications for the Wisconsin Retirement System and ETF-administered benefit programs. In late June, the Legislature will deliver an amended budget bill to Governor Walker for review, approval and/or partial veto of the budget to be effective July 1, 2017.

Below is a link to the entire budget bill:

Please see ETF’s website for additional information and contact Tarna Hunter, ETF’s Government Relations Director, or the Human Resources Office at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu if you have any questions.

 

 

ETF Discontinues WRS Walk-in Appointments

ETF

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) recently discontinued its walk-in appointment service. Most members are choosing the many different convenient and easy ways to access information about their Wisconsin Retirement System benefits, instead of traveling to the agency’s office in Madison.

The change means members must schedule an appointment in order to meet with a WRS benefits specialist. This allows the benefits specialist to complete a detailed review of the member’s account in advance. Members receive personalized, confidential assistance. There is also decreased wait time for scheduled appointments.

Members can still drop off and pick up forms at the ETF office, 801 W. Badger Road in Madison.

Three Types of Appointments
There are three types of face-to-face appointments where members can learn about their WRS benefits, receive an explanation of their retirement estimate, WRS annuity options, the application process, and more:

  • Virtual retirement appointment. This is a convenient and secure, online appointment with a benefits specialist. All you need is a computer, a telephone and an internet connection.
  • Individual retirement appointment. Schedule an individual appointment to be held at ETF’s Madison office.
  • Group retirement appointment. The group appointment is limited to members who have retirement estimates and are within a year of retirement. Use ETF’s interactive state map to find a group appointment in your area.

To schedule an appointment, contact ETF at 1-877-533-5020, Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CST), or email.

Second Onsite Health Screening Event Scheduled for September 14th

Due to the great interest in the onsite health screening event on Wednesday, April 26th, a second onsite health screening event has been scheduled for Thursday, September 14th.

2017 On-Site Health Screenings at UWGB:

  • Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Both screenings will be held in the University Union Phoenix Rooms.  There are still a few appointment times available on April 26th, or you can sign up for the September 14th screening.  (You would only attend one event to complete your health screening.)

To register online for an on-site health screening appointment:

  1. Log in to wellwisconsin.staywell.com
  2. Click on Programs tab
  3. Click on “Learn More” in Screenings box
  4. Click on Register Now
  5. Select the date you prefer using the calendar (4/26/17 or 9/14/17)
  6. Select the time for your appointment

Please see this blog post (https://blog.uwgb.edu/hr/2017/02/annual-on-site-health-screening-registration-open/) for details, or contact wellness@uwgb.edu or (920) 465-2203 with questions.

WRS Employee Benefits Seminar in Green Bay

ETF

Whether you are just beginning your career under the Wisconsin Retirement System or close to retirement, join us for an ETF-hosted presentation on WRS employee benefits. ETF will thoroughly review benefit basics, the Core and Variable Trust Funds and things to know and do to maximize your benefits as you move through your career. Those within five years or so of retirement will appreciate hearing about WRS annuity options, return-to-work rules, post-retirement annuity adjustments and much more.  No registration is needed to attend this event.

WRS Employee Benefits Seminar

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

6:30 p.m.

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Student Center Lecture Hall SC132

2740 West Mason Street, Green Bay

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Webinars Offered in April

ETFETF is offering a series of 30-minute, live, interactive webinars designed to increase your understanding of Wisconsin Retirement System benefits.  Individuals can also ask questions at the end of sessions.

5 Basic Steps to Your Retirement:  Consider this webinar your quick reference guide to starting the retirement process within the next 12 months. ETF will review: choosing a termination date, how to request a retirement estimate – and how to read and understand it. ETF will also cover how to schedule a retirement appointment and – drum roll here — how to submit the retirement application.

  • Thu, Apr 6, 2017 11:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
  • Mon, Apr 10, 2017 6:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Apr 11, 2017 12:00 p.m.- 12:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Apr 24, 2017 11:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
  • Thu, Apr 27, 2017 12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Beneficiary Designations- What Happens to My Account When I Die:  Do you have a beneficiary designation on file with ETF and does it reflect how you would want your WRS death benefits paid? This webinar reviews the importance of having a beneficiary designation on file and keeping it updated as life events occur. We will also review how to correctly complete a designation form, what it means if you do not have one on file with ETF, and how to request a copy of your current form.

  • Thu, Apr 6, 2017 6:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Apr 10, 2017 11:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Apr 18, 2017 12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Apr 27, 2017 11:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

How to Use ETF’s Online Calculator to Estimate a Retirement Benefit:  ETF’s online retirement calculator, one of the most-used tools on our website, allows you to calculate an unofficial projection of your WRS retirement benefit at any point in the future. This webinar will cover where to find and how to use the calculator, specific information required for data entry (e.g., desired retirement date, spouse or partner’s birthdate, etc.) and how to interpret the results.

  • Wed, Apr 5, 2017 12:00 p.m.- 12:30 p.m.
  • Wed, Apr 19, 2017 6:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Apr 20, 2017 11:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
  • Fri, Apr 28, 2017 11:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m

Newly Retired?  What to Expect:  The Newly Retired Webinar provides basic information for Wisconsin Retirement System members who have recently entered or are soon to enter retirement status. Topics include initial (“estimated”) retirement annuity payments, “finalized” payments and adjustments, post-retirement life and health insurance, and return to work rules under the WRS.

  • Tue, Mar 21, 2017 11:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Apr 6, 2017 12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Apr 18, 2017 11:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
  • Mon, Apr 24, 2017 12:00 p.m.- 12:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Apr 25, 2017 6:00 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits:  Join us as we review key things you can find out about your WRS benefits, simply just by reading and understanding your WRS annual Statement of Benefits. Some topics we will review include:

  • How much you and your employer have contributed to your WRS pension
  • Your vesting status and years of service
  • Your beneficiary designation – what happens to your account if you die before taking a benefit

Tip: Have your statement in hand while attending this webinar.

  • Fri, Apr 21, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Apr 25, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Wed, Apr 26, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

WRS Employee Benefits Seminars:  Whether you are just beginning your career under the Wisconsin Retirement System or close to retirement, join us for an ETF-hosted presentation on WRS employee benefits. In this two-hour, evening seminar we thoroughly review benefit basics, the Core and Variable Trust Funds and things to know and do to maximize your benefits as you move through your career. Those within five years or so of retirement will appreciate hearing about WRS annuity options, return-to-work rules, post-retirement annuity adjustments and much more.

  • Tue, Apr 4, 2017 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
  • Wed, Apr 26, 2017 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

 

Register for a Webinar

Please contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu with any questions.

2017 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, 2017.

For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 31, 2017 paycheck. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 30, 2017 paycheck.

State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium are based on a participant’s age as of April 1 each year, and their highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings. The 2017 premiums are available at: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/life/sgl/.

Please contact Human Resources at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu or (920) 465-2390 if you have any questions.

 

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Webinars Offered in March

ETF is offering a series of 30-minute, live, interactive webinars designed to increase your understanding of Wisconsin Retirement System benefits. Individuals can also ask questions at the end of these sessions.

Annuity Options: This webinar will help to increase your understanding of the WRS annuity options available to you at retirement. We will also explain the difference between a beneficiary and a named survivor.

  • Wed, Mar 15, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Mon, Mar 20, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Mar 30, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Newly Retired? What to Expect: The Newly Retired Webinar provides basic information for Wisconsin Retirement System members who have recently entered or are soon to enter retirement status. Topics include initial (“estimated”) retirement annuity payments, “finalized” payments and adjustments, post-retirement life and health insurance, and return to work rules under the WRS.

  • Mon, Mar 13, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Mar 16, 2017 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Mar 21, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WRS Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods: This webinar will explain the methods used for benefit calculations and the components of each method. Anyone who has requested or is planning to request an estimate will have a better understanding of how that amount was calculated.

  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Mar 23, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Mar 28, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

WRS Benefits: For New and Mid-Career Employees: This one-hour webinar is for employees who are five years – or more – from retirement. The information presented will help you make sound, strategic decisions over the course of your career. Topics include vesting, ways to enhance a WRS retirement benefit, purchasing service, military service credit, the Core and Variable Trust Funds, contribution rates, the importance of a beneficiary form and how to complete one, and how “life event” changes affect retirement benefits.

  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Mar 22, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Mar 22, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

WRS Annuity Adjustments and Effective Rates: Do WRS accounts receive an investment return? Do investment returns affect how much a retiree will initially receive when they begin their pension? Do those retired in the WRS receive adjustments to their monthly pension amount over the years? This webinar will cover the process of how account effective rates and annuity adjustments are calculated, starting with the investment return reported by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Also covered during the webinar will be explanations of both the Core and Variable Trust Funds and the calculations specific to each fund for effective rates and annual adjustments. At the end of this webinar, it is hoped that you will have a better grasp on how State of Wisconsin Investment Board investment returns affect your WRS pension.

  • Tue, Mar 14, 2017 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Mar 16, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Wed, Mar 29, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Register for a Webinar

Please contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu with any quesitons.

Summer Prepay Deductions

If you are an academic (9-month) employee and will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2017, or you are an academic (9-month) employee with a summer appointment, you will have additional insurance premiums deducted from your March 31, May 1 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 you 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 your anticipated fall 2017 employment status changes after you have already had additional insurance premiums deducted, you may receive refunds for these additional deductions.  If you will be terminating employment, and you will not be returning in the fall, contact the Benefits Office immediately. They will assist you in determining your employment termination date and the date your insurance coverage will end.

If you anticipate that you will experience any other status change; marriage, adoption, divorce, etc., please contact your Benefits office immediately so you are informed about the impacts to your insurance benefits.

IMPORTANT: The chart below illustrates insurance premiums deducted for an employee scheduled to return to UW employment in the fall of 2017, or who has a summer appointment and is then terminating. Most employees will have deductions taken according to the chart below.  Your Benefits office will determine your specific appointment, any summer employment, your fall return date, or your end date, and if your deduction schedule will vary from the schedule below.

2017 Summer Prepay Deduction Schedule

Summer2017prepay

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. These deductions are typically taken on a pre-tax basis. If you 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, please review your earnings statements to ensure that your insurance deductions are accurate for your situation. 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 your insurance coverage.

If you have questions, please contact the Benefits Office at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu.

Student Hours Reminder

As a reminder, UW-Green Bay student employees can work up to 40 hours per week between March 12 and March 18, 2017, and then must reduce their working schedules down to 25 hours per week starting March 19, 2017 to make sure we are in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Please review the 2017 Student Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule at: http://www.uwgb.edu/hr/documents/StudentBiWeeklyPayrollSchedule2017.pdf

If you have any questions about this, please contact Human Resources at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu or ext. 2390.