Payroll & Benefits

WRS Webinars Offered in July & August

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 ETF’s webinar page to learn more about any of the following sessions.

July 2019 Webinars

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, Jul 2, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Jul 18, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Jul 23, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Jul 29, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Overview of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
This webinar will cover participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), how the WRS is funded and what benefits are available under the WRS. Also included is a brief overview of the Core and Variable Trust Funds and how the WRS is structured.

  • Fri, Jul 12, 2019 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Wed, Jul 17, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Jul 25, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Jul 30, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


August 2019 Webinars

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.

  • Thu, Aug 1, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Aug 7, 2019 6:00 p.m.  – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Aug 13, 2019 11:00 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m.
  • Wed, Aug 28, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Retirement Annuity Options
Choosing a WRS annuity option is one of the most important decisions you will face. This webinar will cover all of the WRS annuity options and help you understand them so that you can make an informed decision. We will also explain the important differences between a beneficiary and a named survivor.

  • Wed, Aug 7, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Aug 15, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2019 11:00 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WRS Employer and Employee Contribution Rates
This webinar will review how employer and employee contributions help keep the WRS fully funded. We will discuss how the contribution rates are calculated, why they change annually, where those dollars go and contribution rate changes for 2019.

  • Thu, Aug 8, 2019 11:00 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tue, Aug 13, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Aug 21, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Aug 27, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WRS Retirement Benefit Calculation Methods
This webinar will explain the methods used for benefit calculations and the components of each method. Anyone who has requested or is planning to request an estimate will have a better understanding of how that amount was calculated. Individuals will have the opportunity to ask questions on this topic at the end of the session.

  • Tue, Aug 6, 2019 11:30 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Aug 14, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Aug 28, 2019 11:00 a.m.  – 11:30 a.m.

Register for a webinar

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

 

Earn Your $150 Well Wisconsin Incentive

Employees and spouses currently enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance program are eligible for the $150 Well Wisconsin incentive. The incentive program is administered by StayWell.

Complete the following three activities to reach your health and well-being goals and earn the $150 incentive:

  • StayWell health assessment
  • Health screening and submit the results to StayWell
  • StayWell Well-Being activity

In order to receive the incentive for 2019, activities must be completed by October 11, 2019.

Visit the StayWell portal at https://wellwisconsin.staywell.com to complete the health assessment, to get a list of Well-Being activities, and to schedule a health screening.

Once you complete all three activities, be sure to claim your incentive by October 25, 2019 by visiting the StayWell portal. You may elect to have the incentive instantly sent to you via email, or have a gift card mailed to your home address. The incentive is considered taxable income.

StayWell will send emails and home mailers throughout the year with information about the program. For additional details visit https://wellwisconsin.staywell.com or contact the StayWell HelpLine at (800) 821-6591.

Health information, including responses to the health assessment, are protected by federal law and will never be shared with The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), the State Group Health Insurancep Program or your employer.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Summer Prepay Deductions: Continuing Insurance Coverage While on Summer Break

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?
If you are a 9-month employee returning to UW employment in the fall of 2019, or a 12-month employee with a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months, then additional insurance premiums should have been deducted from your April 1, May 1 and/or May 31 paychecks to continue your insurance coverage through the summer months. These additional insurance premiums are referred to as summer prepay deductions and are taken along with your regular monthly insurance deductions.

You must be expected to either return for the fall 2019 semester or continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to continue benefits coverage during the summer contract break.

Note: Employees in the United States working on a Visa, MUST maintain health insurance coverage during the summer months, or risk losing Visa eligibility. If you have questions about this requirement, contact Human Resources.

Confirming Your Summer Prepay Deductions
Check your spring 2019 earnings statements to verify if you had summer prepay deductions taken from your paychecks. Summer prepay deductions appear as a lump sum on earnings statements.

Deductions taken pre-tax (most medical-related premiums and a portion of State Group Life Insurance premiums) will be added together under ‘Prebtx’ and deductions taken post-tax (most life insurance premiums) will be added together under ‘Preatx.’ Regular benefit deductions for the month will continue to be listed under the plan name.

In the fall, 9-month employees’ regular insurance premium deductions will resume on the October 1, 2019 paycheck. Regular insurance premium deductions for 12-month employees will resume upon return from their summer work break.

What if I Did Not Have Summer Prepay Deductions Taken?
If you did not have summer prepay deductions taken and are returning in fall 2019, contact Human Resources immediately. If your insurance premiums are not collected through summer prepay deductions, you must be set up in benefits billing by Human Resources so a bill is generated for you.

Once your bill is generated, you must remit timely premium payments to continue your insurance coverage. If you do not take the steps to set up benefits billing, a bill will not be generated. If you do not pay for your insurance, it will be cancelled due to non-payment.

What Happens if You Have a ‘Status Change’ During the Summer?
Are you getting married this summer, adopting a baby, terminating employment? If you anticipate a status change during the summer, contact Human Resources immediately about the impact to your insurance benefits.

For example, if you are getting married and need to change from single to family health insurance coverage, you must submit a new health insurance application to your human resources office within 30 days of the date of your marriage. Your new spouse (and family) will be covered as of the date of the marriage. The new rate will be deducted from your prepayments according to the new level of coverage, and you may have to pay an additional portion of the premium if the coverage increases.

If your anticipated fall 2019 employment status changes, refunds may be issued for premiums paid beyond your coverage end date. Your coverage will end at the end of the month in which your employment terminates.

If you will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, contact Human Resources immediately to determine when your insurance coverage will end.

Source: UW Service Center

Invest for College with Edvest

Saving for post-high school education may seem daunting, but with Edvest, Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan, you can start making small contributions today for the future. Anyone – parents, grandparents, extended family members and friends – can set up an account for anyone else. An account can also be used to save for one’s own continuing education.

Edvest makes saving easy by offering low fees, a low minimum contribution of $15 per pay period, and tax deductions for Wisconsin residents (limitations apply). Distributions from Edvest funds are exempt from federal income tax when used for qualified expenses. You may have contributions to Edvest allocated from your paycheck as a direct deposit. Payroll deduction is not available.

Any individual can use these funds at universities, colleges, professional schools, technical colleges, and graduate programs across the country and even at some institutions abroad. Funds can cover tuition, books, room and board, computers, tablets, and many other expenses.

For more information and to open an account, visit the Edvest website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Mid-Year Benefits Check-Up

Are family responsibilities, extra-curricular activities or work-related projects keeping you busy? With so much going on, it can be difficult to keep track of your preventive care or remember what resources are available to help manage your benefits. With that in mind, this article lists several reminders and tips to help you manage your benefits.

Health Insurance

  • Preventive health services are provided at no cost under the State Group Health Insurance plans. Review the services and schedule your preventive visit with your doctor.
  • If you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance, you and your spouse (if covered) are eligible for the Well Wisconsin Incentive of $150 by completing three requirements by October 11, 2019. Get started today!

Pharmacy Benefits

  • Did you know that you can obtain up to a 90-day supply of some medications for just two copays through the mail order service? Visit the Pharmacy Benefits webpage for additional information regarding the various cost savings pharmacy benefits programs.
  • Create an online account with Navitus to view your medication history, locate participating pharmacies and/or compare costs of prescriptions at different pharmacies.

Dental Insurance
Did you know that oral diseases have been linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke?

  • Diagnostic and preventive services are covered by the Uniform Dental Benefits at 100% if you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance with dental. Find an in-network dentist and schedule a preventive visit for you and your covered dependents.

Vision Insurance
Eye exams can detect common vision problems and eye diseases that often have no early warning signs.

  • If you are enrolled in State Group Health Insurance, you and your covered dependents are eligible for an annual eye exam. Locate an in-network provider and schedule your appointment. Note: Out-of-pocket expenses will apply depending on your health insurance plan selection.
  • If you are covered by the vision insurance plan, you are eligible for additional vision benefits such as glasses and/or contact lenses. Locate an in-network provider and schedule your vision appointment today!

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

  • View your FSA balance and file claims timely with TASC (the plan administrator). The last day to incur expenses is December 31, 2019.
  • Up to $500 will carry over to the next plan year (Health Care and Limited Purpose FSA’s only).
  • Login to your TASC account to determine if you have outstanding health care or limited purpose FSA claims that require documentation (substantiation). If so, substantiate them timely.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

  • If you are enrolled in the high deductible health plan, view your HSA balance online through your TASC account.
  • Furthermore, if you have outstanding balances with your health, dental and/or vision providers for qualifying health, dental and/or vision expenses, you may use your HSA debit card to pay those out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Since the HSA allows for a triple tax advantage (contributions, distributions and investment earnings), increase your HSA contribution anytime by submitting an HSA Contribution Change Form.

Retirement Savings Programs
Are you on track saving for your future? Below are the retirement savings programs available to you through the UW System.

  • Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)
  • Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program
  • Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) Program

Review the information and enroll or make changes to your retirement savings contributions today!

Remember, ALEX can help you understand the benefit plans offered to you through the UW System or visit the Employee Benefits webpage to learn more!  Contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu with any questions.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Student employee hours limit decreases to 20 hours June 23 through July 6

Just a reminder that the student employee hours limit will decrease to 20 hours per week for two weeks, June 23rd to July 6th.  The hours limit will increase back to 40 hours per week starting July 7th.  The hours limit is in place to make sure we are in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Please review the 2019 Student Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule at https://www.uwgb.edu/UWGBCMS/media/hr/Wellness%20Items/2019-Student-BiWeekly-Payroll-Schedule.pdf

If you have any questions, please contact us at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu or ext. 2390.

New Summer Leave Reporting Process Implemented June 2, 2019

A new, simplified summer leave reporting process was implemented June 2 for 9-month Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees (FAASLI) who have a Summer Session or Summer Service position.

Nine-month FAASLI who are employed over the summer months are required to complete monthly summer leave reports even if no leave was taken during this time period. Failure to report leave during the summer will result in a sick leave reduction.

To access the new leave reporting process, Log into the MyUW System portal. Launch the Time and Absence app and click on the new tab: Summer Appointment Leave Reporting. Note: All monthly employees will see the new tab even if they do not have a Summer Session or Summer Service position. If an employee without a summer appointment clicks on the new tab, it will simply indicate that no Summer Session/Service found. Twelve month FASCLI should continue to report all of their leave via the Request Absence tab.

Highlights of the simplified summer leave reporting process include:

  • One screen to record either sick leave taken or no leave was taken
  • Elimination of the need to select a specific job for entry purposes
  • Ability to enter summer leave beyond the summer period

Reference the tipsheet, Enter Summer Leave, for instructions on how to enter leave for the summer. If you have questions, contact Human Resources at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu or (920) 465-2390.

Source: UW Service Center

WRS Webinars Offered in June

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 ETF’s webinar page to learn more about any of the following sessions.

Buying Service
If you are eligible to purchase service, doing so would increase your retirement or disability benefit. Find out how by viewing this webinar. We’ll cover the types of service you may be able to buy, how and when you can buy service, and much more. Eligible types of service include service earned during prior WRS covered employment and forfeited through a separation benefit and some types of service earned with other government employers.

  • Tue, Jun 4, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Jun 10, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Jun 20, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Fri, Jun 28, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.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 Retirementretirement 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.

This is a 20-minute webinar with approximately 10 minutes available for questions and answers at the end of the webinar.

  • Mon, Jun 3, 2019 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thu, Jun 13, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thu, Jun 20, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Jun 24, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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!

  • Wed, Jun 5, 2019 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Tue, Jun 18, 2019 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Retirement Annuity Options
Choosing a WRS annuity option is one of the most important decisions you will face. This webinar will cover all of the WRS annuity options and help you understand them so that you can make an informed decision. We will also explain the important differences between a beneficiary and a named survivor.

  • Tue, Jun 4, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Jun 12, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Fri, Jun 21, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Thu, Jun 27, 2019 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Variable Fund
In this webinar we will discuss the Variable Fund – what it is, how it differs from the Core Fund, and the effect participation in this fund may have on your retirement benefit calculations. We will also discuss how to elect to participate in the Variable Fund, how to cancel Variable participation, and the impact the timing of these decisions may have on your Wisconsin Retirement System benefits.

  • Thu, Jun 6, 2019 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Tue, Jun 11, 2019 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Jun 19, 2019 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Jun 24, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

WRS Benefits: For New and Mid-Career Employees
This one-hour webinar is designed for WRS members who are more than five years from retirement. ETF provides accurate information about WRS benefits early in a member’s career so that they can make sound, strategic decisions over the course of their careers.

Topics covered at each presentation include vesting requirements, various ways to enhance a WRS retirement benefit, purchasing service, military service credit, the Core and Variable Trust Funds, contribution rates, the importance of a beneficiary form and how to complete one, and how “life event” changes affect retirement benefits.

  • Thu, Jun 6, 2019 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Wed, Jun 12, 2019 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Tue, Jun 18, 2019 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Wed, Jun 26, 2019 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Register for a webinar

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

Life Events and your Benefits

This article explains what qualifying life events are and the timeframe to make changes to your benefit plans if/when a qualifying life event occurs.

Will you experience a marriage, birth/adoption of a child or another qualifying life event in 2019?

A qualifying life event is a change in your personal situation. This could be a family change like a marriage, birth/adoption of a child, divorce, loss of other coverage or an employment change like a leave of absence or retirement.

Events like these may allow you to make changes to your benefit plans mid-year such as adding a dependent, enrolling in a plan you do not currently have, or cancelling coverage in a plan. If you are not sure if your event is considered a qualifying life event, review the Life Event webpage or visit ALEX, your personalized benefits counselor to help make this determination.

If you have a qualifying life event, when should you make changes to your benefit plans?Babyfeet

Mid-year life event changes are time-sensitive and typically need to be made within 30 days from the date of the qualifying life event. It is important to complete and submit the necessary paperwork to your human resources office in a timely manner.

What if you miss the 30-day window to make changes to your benefits mid-year?

If you miss the opportunity to make changes to your benefit plans mid-year, your next opportunity to make a change will be during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period. This period is held each Fall for coverage effective January 1 of the next calendar year.

You may also have another opportunity to make changes to your benefit plans mid-year if you experience a second or subsequent life event mid–year. For example, an employee gets married in January and does not make any benefits changes, then has an August employment change. The employee would have another 30-day window to make changes due to the August employment change.

Are you able to update your beneficiaries if you experience a qualifying life event?

Yes! Updating your beneficiary information does not require a qualifying life event. You may update your beneficiaries at any time throughout the year. Some of the plans that have beneficiaries are the life insurance plans, the health savings account and the retirement plans. Review the Beneficiary webpage for additional beneficiary information.

Reminder: You typically have just 30 days from the date of the qualifying life event to make changes to your benefit plans. Complete your research now so you know what to expect once your qualifying live event occurs.

Source: UW System Human Resources