Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account Changes

Pre-Tax Savings Accounts – HSA and Health Care FSA Eligible Expense Changes

Eligible expenses for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) were permanently changed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to allow the following items to be reimbursed pre-tax:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines not prescribed by a doctor (aspirin, cough medicine, decongestants, etc.)
  • Menstrual care products (pads, liners, tampons, etc.)

These eligible expense changes are retroactive effective January 1, 2020. ConnectYourCare is working to update their resources and debit card settings to reflect these changes.

  • If you purchase OTC medications and menstrual care products in the near future, you will likely need to submit a reimbursement request. It may take several weeks for ConnectYourCare’s debit card system to be completely updated.
  • Retroactive reimbursement requests must be submitted manually via the member portal or mobile app.

Dependent Day Care Account Elections

The IRS released new guidelines regarding Dependent Day Care Account election changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. You may be eligible to increase or decrease your 2020 election if you experience one of the following election change events:

  • Change of daycare provider
  • Cost of care changes (unless care provider is a relative)
  • Need for care changes due to a job change or change of work hours
  • Qualifying life event

You have 30 days from the date of the election change event to submit an Election Change Request Form. Please contact your employer payroll and benefits office for more information on how to request an election change.

Questions?  Please email

Source: Department of Employee Trust Funds

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Available

UW employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2019 can now view their January 1, 2020 WRS Annual Statement of Benefits on the MyUW portal.

To access your statement, Log into your UW System portal. Launch the Benefit Information module (click Launch full app) and click on the Statements tab. Choose “ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2020”.

Understanding Your Statement

Your statement includes your:

    • 2019 earnings and service
    • Years of creditable service as of January 1, 2020
    • Retirement benefit projections, separation benefit, death benefit
    • Primary beneficiary designation(s) for your WRS account

The UW System contributes to your WRS. For the 2019 plan year, the UW System contributed 6.55% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributes 10.55%). Your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits shows your contributions as well as the UW System contributions to the plan. For the 2020 plan year the UW System contributes 6.75% of your eligible earnings (for Protectives w/ Social Security the UW System contributes 11.65%).


The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has resources available to assist you in understanding your Statement of Benefits. Review and verify each section of your statement using these resources as a guide.

    • An Introductory Letter which highlights important information on the statement.
    • The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits.
    • The ETF Statement of Benefits web page which includes many resources including a sample statement.
    • Live Webinar: Topics include WRS contributions, vesting status, years of service, and what happens to your account if you die before taking a benefit. Registration is required for the webinar dates below:
        • April 22, 2020, 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.
        • April 30, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
        • May 7, 2020, 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.
        • May 13, 2020, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

Review Your Beneficiaries

It is important to 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 a significant life event occurs, 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 directly to ETF at the address listed at the top of the form.


If you have questions about your statement, please contact Human Resources at

General information on the WRS can be found on the UW System Employee Benefits WRS web page.

Source: UW-Shared Services, Service Operations

Coping with Kids and COVID-19 Webinar

Our Employee Assistance Program provider, FEI, is offering a free webinar on Coping with Kids and COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19, parents and kids have been put into a position of continual family time. While not all bad, it can increase stress for the whole family. This webinar is designed to provide insight into what the stress is doing to our brains, behavior, and communication. We’ll discuss ideas to help everyone feel safe and offer strategies for parental self-care.

Two webinar dates available – pick which works best for you:

Please check out the UW System Employee Well-Being webpage (, which has a list of upcoming webinars, including FEI’s pre-recorded webinar on the topic of How to handle change during COVID-19.

FEI is our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider.  You can visit the FEI website at (username: SOWI). 

WRS Webinars Offered in April

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 their webinar page to learn more about any of the following sessions.

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.

  • Fri, Apr 3, 2020 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
  • Wed, Apr 8, 2020 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Thu, Apr 23, 2020 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
  • Mon, Apr 27, 2020 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

WRS Effective Rates and Annuity Adjustments

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, we hope you may have a better understanding of how the State of Wisconsin Investment Board investment returns affect your WRS pension.

  • Fri, Apr 3, 2020 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
  • Thu, Apr 9, 2020 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
  • Thu, Apr 23, 2020 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Wed, Apr 29, 2020 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

How to Use ETF’s Online Retirement 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. There will be time at the end of the webinar to ask specific questions on this topic.

  • Wed, Apr 1, 2020 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Mon, Apr 6, 2020 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
  • Thu, Apr 16, 2020 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

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, Apr 2, 2020 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Tue, Apr 14, 2020 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
  • Wed, Apr 29, 2020 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Tue, May 12, 2020 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Thu, May 28, 2020 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Fri, Jun 12, 2020 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Thu, Jun 25, 2020 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

FITNESS-120 Faculty/Staff Fitness Challenge


At-home fitness program for UWGB faculty/staff
April 6th through May 3rd

How it works:
Complete 120 minutes of physical activity a week for 4 weeks.
Submit weekly minutes online.
Receive a prize!

Types of physical activity:

Contact your co-workers and encourage them to complete this challenge too!  Please click here to sign up:  Registration

Live Fitness Classes

Alex Wandersee, UREC Fitness Coordinator, is offering live fitness classes!  Just follow UREC on Instagram or Facebook (information below) so you can check what day and time each class will be.  All classes will require no equipment, and a couple examples of classes are yoga and bodyweight strength.

  • Instagram: @urec_uwgb
  • Facebook: @URECuwgb

Quite a few people joined the live yoga class on Wednesday, and it worked really well!  The next class is Body Weight Strength today – Friday, March 27th at 2:00 pm.  Hope you can join!

One-on-one Meetings with a TIAA Financial Consultant Available on April 1st

One-on-one meetings with a TIAA Financial Consultant are available via phone on Wednesday, April 1st, but you do need to register ahead of time!

You can register for a meeting with a TIAA financial consultant via phone.  No matter where you are in life—just getting started or planning for retirement—a session with a TIAA financial consultant can help you create a plan for your goals. And, it’s at no additional cost as a part of your retirement plan. You’ll get answers to these questions and more:

  • Am I invested in the right mix of investments to help meet my goals?
  • Am I saving enough to create the retirement income I need?
  • How do I take income from my retirement account once I stop working?

You can register by visiting  or calling 800-732-8353, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).  We look forward to working with you.

This material is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice under ERISA. This material does not take into account any specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s own objectives and circumstances. Investment, insurance, and annuity products are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed, are not bank deposits, are not insured by any federal government agency, are not a condition to any banking service or activity, and may lose value. The TIAA group of companies does not offer tax advice. See your tax advisor regarding your particular situation. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., and Nuveen Securities, LLC, Members FINRA and SIPC, distribute securities products. ©2018 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund, 730 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017