Reminder: 2021 Summer Leave Reports

As a reminder, all leave-eligible, 9-month Faculty and Instructional Academic Staff employees who have either a Summer Session or Summer Service appointment are required to complete a Summer Leave Report, even if no leave is taken during the summer period.

Summer Leave Reports are submitted online through the My UW Portal. Launch the Time and Absence app and click on the tab: Summer Appt. Leave Reporting.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to enter leave for the summer.

Summer Leave Reports need to be submitted online by Friday, September 3rd. As a reminder, failure to complete the summer leave report will result in sick leave reduction per the UW System Sick Leave Policy.

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

Annual Bank Vacation Period for Academic Staff & Limited Appointees

The deadline to bank unused vacation is soon. Twelve-month Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees (FAASLI) are eligible to bank unused vacation after they have completed 10 fiscal years (July 1 through June 30) of employment. The option to bank unused vacation is a way to save vacation for future use.  Banked leave eligibility is viewable effective July 1, with entry required by September 30.

Twelve-month FAASLI are allocated vacation on a fiscal year basis. While they can carry unused vacation into the following fiscal year, the vacation must be used by the end of that fiscal year, or it will be lost. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is currently an Interim Policy which allows an exception to the carryover rule.

UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 08 Extended Vacation Carryover allows leave eligible employees to extend the deadline of unused vacation carryover from June 30, 2021 to October 9, 2021. This extension applies to vacation hours granted July 1, 2018 and carried over an additional year under the one-time exception. It also applies to vacation hours granted on July 1, 2019.

How Much Vacation Can I Bank?
Twelve-month FAASLI are eligible to bank up to 40 hours of vacation per fiscal year after completing 10 fiscal years of employment, and up to 80 hours of vacation per fiscal year after completing 25 years of employment. The amount of vacation that can be banked is prorated for part-time employees. There is no limit to the total number of hours (balance) that can be retained in Banked Leave and the hours do not expire.

As of June 30, 2021, any remaining vacation or vacation carryover up to the allowable amount is eligible to convert to banked leave. HRS will convert the vacation carryover first then convert the remaining vacation.

When Can I Use my Banked Leave?
With your supervisor’s approval, you may use the Banked Leave Balance at any time, and it can be used in any circumstance in which you are allowed to use paid leave.

What If I Terminate Employment?
If you terminate employment any unused banked leave will be paid to you at your wage rate at termination.

To View Eligible Banked Leave Hours
If you have a Banked Leave balance, you may view your balance:

    • Log in to the My UW Portal.
    • Launch the Time and Absence app and click on the Leave Balances tab.

To Bank Leave Hours

To Review the Vacation Policies
UW System Administrative Policy 1210 (formerly BN1) Vacation

Interim Policy
UW System Administrative Policy 1200-Interim 08 Extended Vacation Carryover

If you have questions, please contact payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu.

Source: UW System Human Resources and UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Biweekly Payroll Transition Reminders & Resources

The Single Payroll project is a system-wide initiative to standardize UW System payroll by eliminating the monthly payroll cycle and move all employees to a biweekly payroll cycle.  This change will be effective July 18, 2021.  In addition, most benefit deductions will be divided evenly between the biweekly paychecks.

Reminders

    • The final monthly (partial) paycheck will be issued on July 30, 2021 for days worked between July 1-July 17
    • 12-month employees will receive their first biweekly paycheck on Thursday, August 12, 2021
    • 9-month employees will receive their first (partial) biweekly paycheck for the 2021-2022 academic year on Thursday, September 9, 2021
    • Pay date will be every other Thursday (except when Legal Holidays occur)
    • Most deductions for benefits such as health, dental, vision and life insurances will be split evenly over the first two biweekly pay periods of each month starting with your August 26, 2021 paycheck
    • In months when there are three pay periods, benefit deductions will not be taken from the third pay period with the exception of Wisconsin Retirement System, Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation contributions

 Action Items

As part of the transition to the biweekly payroll schedule, per paycheck contributions and/or withholding amounts will remain the same unless modifications are made in advance of the biweekly implementation.  For those with flat dollar amounts (for example, contributing $200/month to a 403(b)), the same amount will continue for each biweekly paycheck unless updates are made to adjust the contributions/withholding amounts.  Likewise, those with multiple direct deposit bank accounts may need to review and adjust to ensure the correct amount will be deposited into each account once the biweekly payroll occurs.

To ensure changes are made to the correct pay period, please review the Timeline for Changing Direct Deposit, Contribution or Withholding of Flat Dollar Amounts section on the Single Payroll website.

Resources

The Single Payroll website includes recorded town halls and workshop presentations, frequently asked questions, budget planning information, as well as the following tools:

    • Paycheck Estimator:  this tool is designed to provide financial planning assistance associated with the schedule change from a monthly to a biweekly paycheck.
    • Pay Date Models: allows you to enter your annual salary to calculate the gross earnings by pay date.

Review the 2021-2022 Biweekly Payroll Schedule for a breakdown of pay periods and corresponding pay dates.

Salary Advance

The shift of the pay schedule will result in a change to the timing that employees receive their pay, and the UW System recognizes that this may create challenges for employees who have scheduled their bills around the monthly pay schedule.  To mitigate these challenges during this transition period, the UW System is allowing transitioning employees to request a salary advance during the immediate transition period as outlined under UW System Administrative Policy 1200 – Interim 09.

    • The advance is intended as transitional relief only.  For this reason, the salary advance will only be granted on one of the first two paychecks following the transition date of 7/18/21.
      • For 12-month employees, the salary advance will be issued on the 7/30 or the 8/12 paycheck
      • For 9-month employees, the salary advance will be issued on the 9/9 or 9/23 paycheck
    • Employees are able to request a salary advance equal to the amount of one biweekly paycheck.
    • To request a salary advance, employees will need to complete a Transitional Salary Advance Request and Payroll Deduction Form and return it to Human Resources for processing.
    • The amount of the advance will be repaid in equal payments, via automatic payroll deductions over the next six (6) biweekly pay periods.  The full amount of the advance must be repaid in calendar year 2021.

Please review the Salary Advance Guidance & FAQ’s for more information.

One-on-One Sessions

If you need assistance reviewing/modifying your current contributions and/or withholdings, completing the salary advance request, or have questions related to the biweekly payroll transition that you would like to talk through, please click here to schedule a one-on-one meeting.

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

What are Target Retirement Date Funds?

If you’re looking for a simple way to invest for retirement, a Target Retirement Date Fund may be a good option for you!

A Target Retirement Date Fund – also called a Target Date, Lifecycle, or Age-Based Fund – is a low-maintenance, pre-diversified investment option designed to grow more conservative as you approach your “target” date – the date you plan to retire and begin using the money, often age 65. You can learn more about Target Retirement Date Funds by watching this video.

In the UW TSA 403(b) Program, Target Date Funds are set up in five-year increments. If you are using Target Date Funds, when you are farther away from retirement the underlying investments in your fund – also called your “asset mix” – are more growth-oriented, with a higher percentage of stocks. As your target retirement date gets nearer, the asset mix gradually gets more conservative by reducing the percentage of stocks and increasing the percentage of bonds and other more conservative investments.

Target Date Funds have many benefits. This one-fund option:

    • contains a diversified mix of investments in a single fund that is regularly managed based on your personal retirement timeline,
    • provides automatic rebalancing and automatic adjustment of your asset allocation as your investment time horizon grows shorter, and
    • is especially suited for those who are not as investment-savvy or those who may not want to take the time to rebalance their investments themselves.

As with any investment, make sure to review your account as needed to assess your investment mix, making sure it matches your risk tolerance and provides returns that meet your needs. Bear in mind that like any mutual fund, a Target Date fund is subject to risk. The value of your principal (or starting investment) is not guaranteed at any time – not even in the target year.

Where can I learn more? To learn more about the target retirement date funds and the UW System Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program, please visit the UW TSA Program web page. For a basic introduction to the program, attend the Save Smart, Save Early webinar on Monday, May 24. Registration details are provided in the Education section of the TSA web page. If you’re unable to attend on that date, there may be other times available – check back regularly! If you’re interested in other financial wellness opportunities, visit the Employee Well-being Webinars page.

Source: UW System Office of Trust Funds

Mid-Year Changes: Healthcare FSA & Dependent Day Care Accounts

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group Insurance Board recently approved the following flexibility granted by the IRS for Healthcare FSAs and Dependent Day Care Accounts.

Healthcare FSAs

    • Increase annual carryover limit to $1,000 (from $550) from plan year 2020 to plan year 2021
    • Add personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes as eligible expenses retroactive to January 1, 2021

Dependent Day Care Accounts

    • Increase age limit for qualifying dependent child(ren) to under age 14 (for 2021)
    • Add an annual carryover limit of up to $2,500 from plan year 2020 to plan year 2021
    • Increase annual contribution limit to up to $10,500 for individuals or married couples filing jointly and $5,250 for married couples filing separately (for 2021)
    • Allow a one-time opportunity from June 1- June 30 for current participants to increase their annual contribution, without a qualifying life event.

One-time Opportunity to Increase Dependent Day Care Account Contributions: Submit a completed Election Change Request Form. Your change will be effective the first of the month following receipt of your form.

      • Submit your completed form on or before June 1 to be effective June 1
      • Submit your completed form June 2 – June 30 to be effective July 1
      • Submit your completed form after June 30 and your change will be denied. Your next opportunity to make a change without a qualifying life event will be during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period in the fall.

Note: The increased dependent day care account amount may be used for eligible expense(s) incurred on/after January 1, 2021, even those that occurred prior to your new election.

Healthcare and Dependent Day Care Account Carryover from 2020 to 2021: No action is necessary on your part to receive the additional healthcare carryover and/or the dependent day care account carryover. If you have funds that are eligible to be carried over, the funds will automatically be applied to your account mid-June.

Questions: For questions about your flexible spending account, contact Optum Financial/ConnectYourCare at 833-881-8158.

For questions on submitting a dependent care change form or your flexible spending account payroll deductions, contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Office of Human Resources & Workforce Diversity wants your Feedback!

The Office of Human Resources & Workforce Diversity is excited to announce employees will now have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience and the service(s) they received through two new initiatives. Starting with the 2021 Spring Semester, employees will be asked to participate in a voluntary 5-7 minute customer satisfaction survey. This survey will occur semiannually, to be communicated at the end of the Fall Semester and Spring Semester respectively each year. Employees will be asked to rate their experience through a “Great, Average, Poor” rating model on the primary six (6) HR functions;

      • Benefits Administration
      • Employee Relations
      • General HR Questions
      • Learning & Development
      • Payroll
      • Recruitment & Onboarding

Employees may complete the survey by clicking here. The 2021 Spring Semester Semiannual Survey will remain open for employees to provide feedback until May 3, 2021.

Don’t want to wait to provide feedback? You don’t have to! The Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity has also created a 1-2 minute survey that can be accessed 365 days of the year! Employees now also have the opportunity to provide feedback in real time on their experience utilizing a link that can be found on our website or at the bottom of each of our staff members signature lines.

These surveys are designed to help the Office of Human Resources & Workforce Diversity analyze services to our employees and identify possible areas for improvement. Your responses are confidential and anonymous.

Thank you for your time and effort in helping us to continue to develop in order to best serve the needs our most valuable asset – our employees!

WRS Statement of Benefits Available

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Statement of Benefits as of January 1, 2021, is now available on the MyUW portal for employees covered by the WRS in 2020.

To view your statement, log in to the My UW Portal. Launch the Benefit Information app and click on the ETF WRS Statements of Benefits tab.

Your Statement Includes:

  • 2020 earnings and service
  • Updated creditable service
  • Retirement benefit projections (if vested), separation benefit, death benefit
  • Primary beneficiary designation(s)
  • Employee and Employer WRS contributions:
  • For the 2020 plan year, UW System contributed 6.75% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributed 11.65%)
  • For the 2021 plan year, UW System contributes 6.75% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributes 11.75%)

Resources

Review Your Beneficiaries

Review the primary beneficiary(ies) listed on your WRS statement. If there are no beneficiaries listed, you either don’t have a beneficiary designation on file, or your designation was made before 1998 (beneficiaries added before 1998 are not listed on your statement). It is recommended that you complete a Beneficiary Designation Form if a beneficiary is not listed on your statement.

Death benefits are paid according to the most recent valid beneficiary designation form on file with ETF prior to your death. If no beneficiary designation is on file, death benefits will be paid according to the statutory standard sequence in effect on the date of death. Your beneficiary information does not automatically change when you have a significant life event occur, such as a divorce or a marriage. To add, change or remove beneficiaries complete a Beneficiary Designation form (ET-2320) or Beneficiary Designation-Alternate form (ET-2321). Mail your completed beneficiary designation to ETF at the address listed at the top of the form.

Questions

Information on the WRS can be found on the UW System Employee Benefits WRS web page. If you have questions about your statement after reviewing available resources, contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Payroll Change: Employees Paid Biweekly will have Benefit Deduction Change on April 22nd Paycheck

UW System employees who are paid biweekly will have their benefits deductions split evenly between their biweekly paychecks beginning on the April 22, 2021 paycheck.

Most benefits deductions will be split evenly between biweekly paychecks and included health, dental, vision, and life insurance deductions. In months when there are three paychecks, benefits deductions will not be taken from the third paycheck with the exception of contributions for the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) 457.

If you are paid biweekly, take the following action:

If you have automatic payments set up (for example, mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc.), review and adjust your payments to align with your biweekly paycheck amounts.

How you can learn more

Visit the Split Benefits Deductions resources web page where you will find frequently asked questions, budget planning information and the 2021 payroll schedules. Resources are updated periodically to include new information.

Town Hall Meeting for split benefits deductions

A virtual Split Benefits Deductions Town Hall Meeting was held February 16. View the presentation slides and video to learn how your paycheck will be affected and how to prepare for the change.

Presentation Slides
Presentation Video

Savings and Spending Plan Workshops

UW System is partnering with UW Credit Union to help you plan for your paycheck changes. The Savings and Spending Plan (Budget) Workshops will help you create a plan that works for you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 12:00 PM
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 8:00 AM
Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 5:00 PM

Source: UW System Human Resources