Payroll & Benefits

End of Fiscal Year Leave Usage

This is a reminder to all Non-Instructional Academic Staff & Limited Employees:  As we are nearing the end of the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, you should be reviewing your vacation and personal holiday leave balances.  You can locate your balances on your last earnings statement or the My UW System Portal.  Please read the information below to avoid losing leave hours not used by 6/30/2017.

Personal Holiday:

  • Personal Holiday hours not used by 6/30/17 will be dropped as of 7/1/17.  They do not carry over to the next fiscal year.

Vacation:

  • Vacation Carryover hours from the 2015-2016 fiscal year that have not been used by 6/30/17 will be dropped as of 7/1/17.
  • If you are eligible for Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA), you may bank vacation (up to your eligible maximum hours) first from the 2015-2016 Vacation Carryover as of 6/30/17 and then from your 2016-2017 Vacation Allocation.
  • A communication regarding ALRA will be sent to employees in July.
  • All remaining 2016-2017 Vacation Allocation hours as of 6/30/17 will automatically be carried over into the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year on 7/1/17 as Vacation Carryover.

Legal Holiday:

  • Memorial Day is the last legal holiday in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  Your balance on your most recent earnings statement should be 8 hours.
  • Floating legal holiday hours not used by 6/30/17 will be dropped as of 7/1/17.

Please contact Payroll at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu if you have any questions.

Student Hours Reminder

As a reminder, UW-Green Bay student employees can work up to 40 hours per week starting May 14, 2017.  The hours limit changes to 20 hours per week from June 25th to July 8th, and then goes back to 40 hours per week from July 9th until August 19th, 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/UWGBCMS/media/hr/files/StudentBiWeeklyPayrollSchedule2017.pdf

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

Inflation Options and Cash Benefit Long-Term Care Insurance Available to UW Employees, Annuitants and Family Members

Each year, long term insurance plans authorized by the Department of Employee Trust Funds may send out one piece of advertisement to employees and annuitants. The HealthChoice notice is shown below.

In addition to offering long term care insurance, HealthChoice also provides CareOptions services to all State, University of Wisconsin and UW Hospitals & Clinics Employees, Annuitants and their family members at no charge and with no insurance purchase required. To use this service, simply click on the button in the email to request an information packet.  HealthChoice will then send you a confirmation email that will contain a CareOptions access code. The CareOptions Program can assist you and your family members with issues related to wellness, illness, disability or aging. The CareOptions service can help you create Living Wills (advance directives for health care), conduct health care provider searches, medical information research and long-term care planning.

HealthChoice Notification about Long Term Care Insurance Plans

The MutualCare Custom Solution®, underwritten by Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, is a long-term care insurance policy available to UW employees, annuitants and their family members (spouse, domestic partner, parents and in-laws are all eligible to apply). In 2015, the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) authorized the release of lower-cost inflation protection options for the MutualCare Custom Solution ®.

Each year, many Americans lose income, savings and assets because of long-term care expenses. Long-term care insurance is designed to help protect against the high costs of long-term care services if you or a family member can no longer perform activities of daily living without the need for assistance. For many, long-term care insurance is an important part of planning for long-term financial security.

The MutualCare Custom Solution® policy offers additional built-in benefits that include:

  • Cash benefit can be used to pay for services to support your plan of care. You simply receive the full monthly cash benefit you select to pay for anything at all including family travel expenses, lost income, housekeeping services or other out-of-pocket expenses. There’s no need to collect or submit bills.
  • Cash benefits paid on the first day of need with no waiting period allowing you to receive care in the environment you’re most comfortable in with the choice of who can be your caregiver, including spouse/partner, family members or friends. The immediate cash benefit also gives you total control of how you’re spending your benefit dollars.
  • Lower cost inflation options that give you more flexibility in policy benefit choices.

To receive an information packet regarding your long-term care Insurance options simply click here. You may also call HealthChoice toll-free at 1-800-833-5823 or in the Madison area at 833-5823. Email at info@healthchoice.com. Direct information link; click or paste in your web browser’s address line: http://www.healthchoice.com/request.php

Long-term care insurance is underwritten by Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, 3300 Mutual of Omaha Plaza, Omaha, NE, 68175 1-800-775-6000. Policy form: ICC13-LTC13. This policy has exclusions, limitations and reductions and terms under which the policy may be continued in force or discontinued. Benefits may be provided by a combination of the policy and riders and are subject to underwriting. Premiums will vary depending on the benefits selected. Premium rates may be subject to change. A medical exam may be required for coverage. Not endorsed by or connected with Medicare, Social Security or any other governmental agency. The individual coverage provided contains options only available for State of Wisconsin employees and annuitants. An insurance agent/producer may contact you. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company is solely responsible for all insurance and business decisions.

HealthChoice provides CareOptions services at no charge to UW employees, annuitants and their family members:

HealthChoicealso provides CareOptions services to UW employees, annuitants and their family members at no charge and with no insurance purchase required. To use this service, simply click here to request an information packet– the information and confirmation email you receive will contain your CareOptions access code.

The CareOptions program can assist you or family members with issues related to wellness, illness, disability or aging. As an additional convenience, the CareOptions service can help you and your family members create Living Wills (advance directives for health care) as well as allow you to conduct health care provider searches, medical information research and long-term care planning, 24 hours a day.

To contact HealthChoice, email at info@healthchoice.com.  Visit the website at www.healthchoice.com. Call (800) 833-5823 or Fax (608) 833-7540.

This insurance plan has been authorized by the Group Insurance Board for the purpose of offering long-term care insurance to eligible State of Wisconsin employees and retirees under authority granted by Wis. Stats. § 40.55. The criteria the Board uses includes, but is not limited to: documentation of financial stability, demonstration of a reasonable ratio of claims paid to the premium level, authority to conduct business in the State of Wisconsin, agreeing to conditions for the rate-making process and other administrative conditions. ETF staff and the Board’s actuary review proposals for participation prior to Board approval. However, the Board does not require competitive bids nor a benefit comparison with similar products from other vendors. This insurance has exceptions, limitations and reductions. 

Source: UW Service Center

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Webinars Offered in May

ETF

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 sessions.

Additional Contributions: Find out how making additional contributions to your WRS account can potentially increase your retirement. This webinar also provides examples of how contributions grow over time with interest, how to pay additional contributions (payroll deduction or direct pay), etc.

  • Wed, May 3, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Mon, May 15, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Wed, May 24, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Wed, May 31, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Returing to Work After Retirement: Whether retired or planning to retire, do you need information about what happens if you decide to work again? This webinar is for you. 2013 Act 20, which was effective July 2, 2013, made some important changes to laws that affect retired WRS members planning to return to work. This webinar covers the old law as well as the changes provided by Act 20.

  • Wed, May 10, 2017 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Thu, May 18, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tue, May 23, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, May 25, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits: Join ETF as they 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.

  • Tue, May 2, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tue, May 16, 2017 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, May 18, 2017 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Mon, May 22, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.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, May 9, 2017 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tue, May 16, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, May 25, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Register for a Webinar

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

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.