FSA and Dependent Day Care Account Change

Mid-Year Changes

Typically, outside of Annual Benefits Enrollment, the IRS requires a qualifying life event (e.g. marriage, birth of a child, etc.) to make a change to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Dependent Day Care Accounts.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group Insurance Board has approved the flexibility granted by the IRS to allow a mid-year change to either of these accounts without a qualifying life event.

From July 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020, if you are currently enrolled in a FSA and/or Dependent Day Care Account, you have a one-time opportunity to increase or decrease your annual contribution.

    • IncreasesAllowed up to the maximum of $2,700 for health care FSA and $5,000 for dependent day care. The increased amount may be used for any eligible expense(s) incurred in 2020, even those that occurred prior to your new election.
    • DecreasesYou may only decrease your annual contribution amount to no less than what you have already contributed or spent year-to-date, whichever is greater.

Any change made is effective the first of the month following receipt of your change request form.

Increased Healthcare FSA Carryover

Additionally, the Group Insurance Board approved a $50 increase to the amount you may carryover for healthcare FSA effective January 1, 2021. You may carryover up to $550 from the 2020 plan year to the 2021 plan year. No action is necessary on your part to take advantage of the increased healthcare FSA carryover amount.

How to Make a Mid-Year Change

To make a change to your FSA and/or Dependent Day Care Account, complete an Election Change Request Form. On the form, in step 3, check “COVID-19” as the reason for your change. Then, submit the form by September 1, 2020 to UW-Shared Services, Service Operations:

Emailserviceoperations@uwss.wisconsin.edu
Fax: (608) 890-2327
Mail: 660 W. Washington Ave, Ste 201, Madison, WI 53703

Additional Information

There were items discussed during the June 29, 2020 Group Insurance Board meeting that allowed additional flexibility for benefit plans offered through the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Some of these items are:

    • health plan enrollment changes,
    • an extended timeframe to submit 2019 FSA claims and
    • extended timeframes for COBRA continuation administration.

ETF did not recommend proceeding with these additional items due to low interest and the administrative challenges and complexities with the vendor change from TASC to ConnectYourCare.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Phoenix Rise Virtual Run/Walk held June 26-28

Congratulations to those who participated in the Phoenix Rise Virtual Run/Walk last weekend!  It was a hot one.  There were 36 people who walked or ran, including 7 UWGB alumni, 14 students, and 15 employees!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to those who shared pictures from the event!  The little phoenix flyer pictured is Kaitlyn O’Claire’s two-year old daughter who walked with her mom during the virtual Phoenix Rise Run/Walk!  Great job everyone!

Are you ready for some BINGO?

Here is your wellness challenge for July!  Complete at least 20 of the 24 activities on the bingo card from July 1st to July 31st to qualify for a chance to win a prize!

  1. Click here and print out your bingo card
  2. Mark off each square and write the date you complete that item during the month of July
  3. Scan or take a photo of your bingo card and email it to wellness@uwgb.edu by August 10th

Stay healthy this summer! 

What will it be like when I return to work on campus?

Yes, it will be different when you return to working on campus.  This will be a transition that we will work through together, and things will change as we go.  Some of us have been working on campus, and some of us haven’t been on campus since March.  Some of us are excited to get back to campus and some of us are hesitant, so the transition will be different for each person.  Here are some things you may be wondering about.

Will everyone be wearing face masks?

Yes – employees, students, and visitors will be wearing face masks.  The Employee Workplace Expectations states that face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence of others and in any setting in which it is difficult or impossible to maintain a six-foot physical distance from others.  If you are working alone at your work station, you probably wouldn’t need a face covering, but if you go to a common area (ex. copier), bring something to another office, or leave the building at the end of your work day, for example, you would put your face mask on.

Will everyone be back to campus on July 1st?

No – a lot of employees will continue working remotely, so there will be a lot less people on campus than before.  Some offices/areas may not be open or will be open limited hours.  Some offices will have limited staff and may require appointments to be made ahead of time, instead of allowing drop-ins.  You will see less people in the hallways, as remote communication (ex. Microsoft Teams, emails, etc.) will be encouraged as opposed to face-to-face interaction.

How will my work area look different?

If there is a waiting area, there may be less chairs available to allow for social distancing.  There may be plexiglass at the front desk.  The conference room may have less chairs, and markings showing where a limited number of people could sit for necessary in-person meetings.  There will be cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer available.  There may be less chairs in the lunch room.

What else will look different on campus?

Common areas, such as group study areas in the library or seating areas in the tunnels may be inaccessible or closed off.  Dining options may be limited, so you may want to pack a lunch.  You will see hand sanitizing stations around campus.  The Kress Events Center and Weidner Center will not be open to the public.  Signs are posted around campus reminding people to wash their hands, etc.  Some restrooms and entry/exit points to campus will be closed or inaccessible.  There will be signs by the elevators recommending only one or two people at a time.

Will I be expected to clean my work area?

Yes – it is important for you and your co-workers that our work areas are clean, so we will all work together to keep campus clean.  Before and after using the copier or microwave, you would use the cleaning supplies to wipe it down.  Common touch points should be cleaned daily, such as doorknobs, light switches, shared equipment, etc.  Reception or front desk areas should be cleaned throughout the day.

Will we still have department and in-person meetings in the conference room?

Probably not – even if some staff members are working on campus, most meetings will still be conducted remotely using Microsoft Teams, etc. with each person attending from their individual work station, whether it’s on campus or at home.  Instead of walking through campus to ask a question in-person, we will send an email or call.

Do I really stay home if I have cough or sore throat?

Yes – each morning you would go through the self assessment (Attachment A in the Employee Workplace Expectations), and if you have any of the symptoms, you should not come to campus.  Contact your supervisor and work from home, or if working from home is not possible, use sick leave.

 

This will be a change, and it will take time to get used to the new environment and expectations.  Please continue to be understanding, and help each other out.  One of the things that isn’t going to be different, is that we care about each other, and have a common goal of doing the best we can for our co-workers, students and our University.  Here are some additional resources:

  • Employee Assistance Program – (Username: SOWI) They have free and confidential in-person and virtual counseling services available for you and your household members, as well as great resources online such as monthly articles and recorded webinars.  There are eight recorded webinars specifically about COVID, such as Kids and COVID-19 – Tips to Help Parents, Navigating the Anxiety and Stress of COVID-19, and Towards a New Workplace Normal in the Age of COVID-19.
  • StayWell – After logging in, click on Resources at the top left, and there are a ton of short articles and videos specifically about COVID, such as How to Talk to Y0ur Child, Simple Ways to Avoid COVID-19, Caring for Someone Who Has COVID-19, Financial Well-Being During a Time of Crisis, and Dealing with the Stress of Self-Isolation.
  • Employee Workplace Expectations
  • UW-Green Bay Coronavirus Information and Questions and Answers
  • HR Connect blog

Each situation and work environment is different, so please talk with your supervisor if you have a question about your job duties, work environment, etc.  If you have a question related to a medical issue, please contact Human Resources at hr@uwgb.edu.

WRS Webinars Offered in July

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. Visit our webinar page to learn more about any of the following sessions. Here is what others have said about our webinars:

“My participation in the webinar was a first for me, and I just want to compliment you on how easy it was to connect, follow along, and provide questions or requests. Excellent job!”

“Thanks for having these valuable webinars. The professional but conversational style helped me to understand the presentation as easily as an “in office” meeting. Really appreciate that the presenter fully understands the subject. Wonderful job.”

5 Basic Steps to Your Retirement

Consider this webinar your quick reference guide to starting the retirement process within the next 12 months. We’ll review: choosing a termination date, how to request a retirement estimate – and how to read and understand it. We’ll also cover how to schedule a retirement appointment and – drum roll here – how to submit the retirement application.

  • Fri, July 10, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Wed, July 15, 2020 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, July 23, 2020 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Wed, July 29, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

To register, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/4847994564325705999

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’d 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’ll also review the process of 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.

  • Tue, July 7, 2020 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Tue, July 14, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, July 20, 2020 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Thu, July 30, 2020 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

To register, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/8545692850466537999

Overview of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

This webinar will cover participation in the WRS, vesting requirements, how the WRS is funded and benefits available under the WRS. Also included is a brief overview of the Core and Variable Trust Funds and how the WRS is structured.

  • Thu, July 2, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thu, July 9, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Fri, July 24, 2020 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Tue, July 28, 2020 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

To register, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/2337923867322464783

Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits

Your annual Statement of Benefits provides a summary of your Wisconsin Retirement System account information. Join us to learn more about the important topics addressed on your statement including:

  • 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

*** It is helpful to have your Statement of Benefits with you while participating in the webinar.

  • Wed, July 8, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

To register, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/4088832361488024588

Preparing for Your Retirement

Who should attend? Employees who are planning to retire in the next 1 – 10 years. Learn about your steps to retire with the WRS. Attend this event by live webinar! You will learn about the impact of contributions and investment returns on your account, when you can retire, your WRS annuity options, returning to work after you retire, what happens to your account when you die, health and life insurance, and more.  Questions are welcome during and after the event!

  • Thu, July 9, 2020 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, July 23, 2020 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Aug 6, 2020 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Mon, Aug 17, 2020 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Sep 1, 2020 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Sep 17, 2020 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

To register, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/2062561071726664450

Register for a webinar

Health Savings Account: Contributions and Investment Options

Your Contributions
If you are enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) through the UW System, your annual maximum contribution amount* to your Health Savings Account (HSA) differs based on your level of coverage (single vs. family), your age (younger or older than age 55) and how many months of the year you are eligible for the HSA.

Reminder: You may change your per paycheck contributions at any time throughout the year!

*If you are unsure what your annual maximum contribution amount is, contact your tax advisor. Penalties may apply if you contribute more than the calendar year maximum to your HSA.

Your Investment Options
Once you have a minimum balance of $1,000 in your HSA, you can invest contributions above that minimum balance. There are several investment options available. Take advantage of the investment options to use your HSA as another vehicle to save for retirement and earn a higher rate of return. The minimum balance of $1,000 ensures that you always have access to a cash balance to pay for qualifying medical, dental and/or vision out-of-pocket expenses.

To get started, log into your myCYC mobile app or online portal and indicate how much you would like to transfer to the available investment options.

Note: You may set-up your account so that money greater than the minimum balance requirement will automatically transfer into your investment account. You determine the amount that you would like to invest vs the amount that you have access to with your HSA debit card.

Reminder: Review the HSA frequently asked questions to help you get the most out of your account!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees May Bank Unused Vacation for Future Use

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.

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. The option to bank unused vacation is a way to save vacation for future use.

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 30th, any remaining vacation or vacation carryover is eligible to convert to banked leave. HRS will convert the vacation carryover first then convert the remaining vacation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to COVID-19, an interim policy allows leave eligible FAASLI to extend the carryover of unused vacation from fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) for one additional year. Unused Personal Holiday from fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) may also be carried forward. All Vacation and Personal Holiday hours carried over under this temporary extension must be used by June 30, 2021. Read More.

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 current wage rate.

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

  • Log in to the MyUW portal
  • Launch the Time and Absence app and click on the Leave Balances tab.

To Bank Leave Hours

To Review the Vacation Policy

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

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

Join us for a real Snooze Fest

Take a moment to dream a little.

Of a life that lets you be the best possible you. You wake up energized each morning. You are using your many talents. You are accomplishing new things. You feel good about yourself, your health and your future.

Our program is designed to help make that dream a reality, and we are throwing a snooze fest to get you on your way! After all, while hard work is important in meeting your future goals—so is the time you spend snuggled under a blanket. Quality sleep is a must for recharging your mind and body. Virtually all of us could benefit from more of it.

Introducing the Sleep Challenge

  • Get seven hours of sleep on 21 nights during the month of July.
  • Learn how to make sleep a priority so you can get more of it.
  • Fulfill the well-being activity portion of your Well Wisconsin incentive*.

Is the Sleep Challenge for you?

Do any of these statements sound like you?

  • I sleep a lot, but I always feel tired anyway.
  • I’m a total insomniac. I’ve tried to sleep better but I can’t.
  • I may not sleep as much as I’d like, but I’m doing OK most days.
  • I sleep pretty well already. I’m not sure I need more.
  • I’m so busy keeping up with my family that I barely have time to sleep.

If you said Yes, then this competition is for you!

» Access the Sleep Challenge

*The Well Wisconsin incentive program is a voluntary program available to employees, retirees and spouses enrolled in the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, excluding Medicare Advantage participants who have incentives available through their health plan. The Well Wisconsin incentive will automatically be issued to eligible participants upon completing the applicable activities. All wellness incentives paid to participants are considered taxable income to the group health plan subscriber and are reported to their employer, who will issue a W2. In some cases, the Wisconsin Retirement System acts as the employer. Retirees, continuants and their spouses will have some taxes withheld from the incentive amount earned.

465245      Copyright © 2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. StayWell is a registered trademark of The StayWell Company, LLC.

Managing Anxiety When Returning to Work

COVID-19 has challenged many people’s security and sense of control. Returning to work represents a return to normal, but it may not be without its own causes for anxiety. Finding a balance between your personal wellbeing and work environment and responsibilities is important. So, before and after your return to work, you should address any reservations related to COVID-19 that may affect your work duties.

Continue to follow the recommended measures to prevent spreading the virus. Take care of yourself and others by taking the necessary actions at work (washing your hands often, staying home if you’re sick, and maintaining social distancing), as well as in your daily interactions. If the kind of work you do needs additional precautions, discuss necessary changes, and follow the instructions from your manager.

Don’t be afraid to propose additional suggestions. If you find yourself coming up with more ideas outside of the recommended safety measures, bring those up to your manager. This is a time where everyone must adapt to a new way of doing things—at work and home. By becoming more involved, this can provide a refocus of your thoughts and put you in a more optimistic place during this transition. So, go ahead and suggest your ideas. These could be beneficial to your workplace and create an easier transition for the rest of your team.

Keep communication open with your manager. Do you have children or an elderly family member at home? Or, do you have health conditions that put you at greater risk for COVID-19 infection, disrupted childcare arrangements, or other concerns? Be honest with your manager if you need certain arrangements (working from home for longer or working in a solitary space away from other staff members). Even if your manager cannot accommodate your needs exactly, most will do what they can. When you create an open line of communication, you can keep your supervisor informed on your day-to-day, as well as alleviate any apprehensions you may have about your work situation.

Be patient with yourself and your coworkers. In the aftermath of a stressful or disruptive event, it is natural to move at a slower pace while you recover and adjust to new circumstances. If you have concerns that are keeping you from focusing on your work (anxiety about working in a shared space with other staff or fear over the spread of the virus), share these thoughts with your manager. They may be able to offer guidance or options for you. Keep in mind that returning to work from COVID-19 puts everyone in circumstances that are new and different. Give yourself some time to return to your former focus and full productivity. Be patient and trust that your team will find its old rhythm.

Take care of your mental health. Anxiety and fear are normal when you come back to work after a stressful event. If you realize that you are not able to manage these feelings, ask for help. There are various resources you can locate, including your employee assistance program (EAP) or additional professional support.

The above article is from our Employee Assistance Program, FEI.

Here are some other helpful resources from FEI: