WRS Webinars Offered in August

Additional Contributions

Adding money to your WRS account, via additional contributions, can enhance your eventual WRS retirement benefit. Learn how contributions grow with effective rate interest crediting, how to deposit (payroll deduction or direct pay), and much more.

Thu, Aug 6, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Thu, Aug 20, 2020 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mon, Aug 31, 2020 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

To register, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/3523075356874234379

Annuity Options

When you get your retirement estimate, you’ll see that there are many options for receiving your retirement benefit. You can choose to receive the payment for your life or extend it beyond your life to your loved ones. The choice is yours. We’ll discuss how each option impacts the size of your payment and affects your loved ones.

Fri, Aug 7, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thu, Aug 27, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

To register, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/4268226481646071051

WRS Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods

Have you requested a retirement estimate? Thinking about it? In this webinar, we’ll discuss how we calculate your retirement benefit.

Wed, Aug 5, 2020 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thu, Aug 20, 2020 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Fri, Aug 28, 2020 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

To register, go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3619511322725445392

Preparing for Your Retirement

Planning to retire in the next 1-10 years? Then this webinar is for you.

We’ll discuss:

  • The money you and your employer have put towards your retirement account.
  • How your retirement account grows through investments.
  • When you can retire.
  • Options for receiving your retirement benefit.
  • Rules you must follow if you return to work after retiring.
  • What happens to your account after you die.
  • Changes to your health and life insurance in retirement.

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.
Thu, Oct 8, 2020 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Mon, Nov 2, 2020 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Wed, Nov 18, 2020 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Thu, Dec 3, 2020 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Mon, Dec 14, 2020 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

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

Register for a webinar

More Ways to Earn Your $150 Wellness Incentive

We have two pieces of good news to share with you today:

  1. You still have time to complete your Well Wisconsin activities to earn $150*.
  2. You now have more options for completing the health check portion of the program.

NOT SURE WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT?
This is the Well Wisconsin program. We offer you tools and resources to help you achieve better well-being.

And you can earn $150 by completing three activities by October 9, 2020:

  • Take the 10-minute StayWell health assessment.
  • Complete a well-being activity through StayWell.
  • (UPDATED!) Complete a health check.

ALREADY EARNED YOUR $150?
Nice! Feel free to give yourself a high-five, and go about your day.

ABOUT THAT UPDATED HEALTH CHECK ACTIVITY …
If you haven’t already earned your incentive, you now have multiple options for completing the health check portion of the program. Just complete one of the following:

  • Biometric screening: Click “SCHEDULE NOW” on the Quest Diagnostics slider on the wellwisconsin.staywell.com homepage to get started. You’ll have two options:
    1. At-home test kit: Request a kit by registering and clicking “Order Materials.” To meet the October 9 deadline, please request your kit by September 25.
    2. Onsite screening event: Find an event near you by registering and clicking “Make an Appointment.”  There will be an onsite health screening event at the UWGB Sheboygan campus on Friday, September 18th, and at the Green Bay campus on Thursday, September 24th.  The August 12th event on the Green Bay campus has been cancelled.
  • Health Care Provider Form: Download the fillable form here.
  • Dental cleaning: Complete a routine dental cleaning visit between January 1 and October 9. Report your completion on the My Incentives tab of the portal.
  • One coaching call: Call 800-821-6591 to schedule a call, or schedule a video meeting on wellwisconsin.staywell.com or on the My StayWell app.

REMEMBER: YOU HAVE UNTIL OCTOBER 9 TO EARN YOUR $150!
Go to wellwisconsin.staywell.com to get moving.

There, you’ll find a full list of well-being activities, plus a trove of information to help you improve your overall wellness!

QUESTIONS? Contact the StayWell HelpLine at 800-821-6591 or wellwisconsin@staywell.com.

*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.

Source: The StayWell Company, LLC

WRS Contribution Rates for 2021 to Remain Stable

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) recently announced the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee and employer contribution rates effective January 1, 2021. WRS rates are evaluated and adjusted annually.

Positive investment returns in 2019 were offset by the effect of salary and demographic experience resulting in no change in rates for the general, executive, and elected category. There will be a small increase in rates for the protective categories.

Contribution increase and decrease fluctuations are considered normal for retirement systems like the WRS that pre-fund retirement benefits.

UW System employee contribution rates are determined by employment category. Most UW System employees are in the General/Teacher/Executive category. Employees with law enforcement or public protection duties (police officers, fire fighters) are in the Protective category.

WRS Contribution Rates
Employee Category General, Teacher and Executive Protectives with Social Security
Year 2020 2021 2020 2021
Employer Contribution 6.75% 6.75% 11.75% 11.65%
Employee Contribution 6.75% 6.75% 6.75% 6.75%
Total Contribution 13.5% 13.5% 18.5% 18.4%

The 2021 rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2021; beginning January 4, 2021 for Faculty/Academic Staff and Limited Appointees paid monthly, and January 14, 2021 for University Staff paid bi-weekly. As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.

For more information visit the WRS webpage on the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

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

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

Workforce-Wide Intermittent Furlough Time Entry Approval for Supervisors

As determined by Chancellor Alexander, commencing July 1, 2020 and continuing through December 31, 2020, UWGB will implement workforce-wide furloughs for all ongoing employees for the purpose of reducing overall institutional expenses in anticipation of reduced program revenue and loss of state funding.

On Friday, June 19th, employees received an email from Human Resources with designation of their individual number of furlough days. As indicated within the notice, employees will be required to record their intermittent furlough dates via their My UW Portal.

Additional instructions for furlough entry based on employee classification:

For supervisors of University Staff and Academic Staff Hourly (Employees paid on a Bi-weekly basis):

      • Instructions: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/covid19/Furlough_timesheet%20entry_biweekly.pdf
      • Items to note:
        • Employee will enter designated date of intermittent furlough on their timesheet utilizing the FURLH code.
        • Employee will report any hours worked or leave taken on timesheet as normal on days not designated as intermittent furlough.
        • The process to approve employees submitted furlough timesheet entry is the same as the current process for approving all submitted hours.

For supervisors of Non-Instructional Academic Staff and Limited (Employees paid on a Monthly basis):

      • Instructions: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/publications/mss-payable-time-approvals.pdf
      • Items to note:
        • Employees will need to complete a bi-weekly timesheet for the week they are on intermittent furlough
        • The biweekly timesheet entry has different deadlines than monthly leave reporting (biweekly timesheet entry deadlines: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/covid19/timesheet_entry_deadline_2020.pdf), so employees may need to enter their intermittent furlough day before the end of the month. Supervisors should also be approving these hours in accordance with this schedule.
        • If the employee missed the deadline for entering hours on their timesheet, you can enter and submit the hours on their timesheet for them (instructions: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/publications/mss-access_ee_timesheet.pdf).
        • Employees will still need to enter their monthly leave report as usual for the month. A “no leave taken report” should still be entered if only furlough days were taken within the month.
        • Employees will only need to enter hours on the timesheet for the week that they have the furlough day – not both weeks (example below).
        • If the employee’s appointment is less than full-time, the hours entered per day on the timesheet should match the FTE.  For example, if the FTE is 75%, 6 hours would be entered for each day that week in the quantity field.

For supervisors of Instructional Academic Staff and Faculty (Employees paid on month basis, 9-Month):

As a reminder, employees will be furloughed November 27, 2020 (Day after Thanksgiving) and all campus locations will be closed for business on that date. Furlough time entry will still need to be completed for this day following the procedures above.

Information for how to complete time entry for employees on intermittent furlough can be found by clicking here.

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

Workforce-Wide Intermittent Furlough Time Entry

As determined by Chancellor Alexander, commencing July 1, 2020 and continuing through December 31, 2020, UWGB will implement workforce-wide furloughs for all ongoing employees for the purpose of reducing overall institutional expenses in anticipation of reduced program revenue and loss of state funding.

On Friday, June 19th, employees received an email from Human Resources with designation of their individual number of furlough days. As indicated within the notice, employees will be required to record their intermittent furlough dates via their My UW Portal.

Additional instructions for furlough entry based on employee classification:

University Staff and Academic Staff Hourly (Employees paid on a Bi-weekly basis):

Non-Instructional Academic Staff and Limited (Employees paid on a Monthly basis):

      • Instructions: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/covid19/Furlough_timesheet_entry_monthly.pdf
      • Items to note for employees paid on a monthly basis:
        • You will need to complete a bi-weekly timesheet for the week you are on intermittent furlough
        • The biweekly timesheet entry has different deadlines than monthly leave reporting (biweekly timesheet entry deadlines: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/covid19/timesheet_entry_deadline_2020.pdf, so you may need to enter your intermittent furlough day before the end of the month
        • You will still need to enter your monthly leave report as usual for the month. A “no leave taken report” should still be entered if only furlough days were taken within the month.
        • You will only need to enter hours on the timesheet for the week that you have the furlough day – not both weeks (example below).
        • If your appointment is less than full-time, please enter the hours per day on the timesheet according to your FTE.  For example, if your FTE is 75%, you can enter 6 hours in the quantity field.

Instructional Academic Staff and Faculty (Employees paid on month basis, 9-Month):

As a reminder, employees will be furloughed November 27, 2020 (Day after Thanksgiving) and all campus locations will be closed for business on that date. Furlough time entry will still need to be completed for this day following the procedures above.

Information for Supervisors on how to approve time entry for employees on intermittent furlough can be found by clicking here.

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

HRS System Maintenance on June 27 – 28 Weekend

Employees will not have access to their online timesheet, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage that will occur on Saturday, June 27th at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, June 29th at 8:00 a.m.  This outage is due to system maintenance.  The following self-service features that employees access through the My UW System portal will be unavailable during this outage:

  • Online timesheet and web clock
  • Absence reporting
  • Updates to personal information
  • Access to electronic earnings statements, tax statements (W-2, 1042-S, etc.), leave statements and other HR, Payroll and Benefits documents
  • Access to TAM job application service (applicants will not be able to apply for positions during this time)

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