Payroll & Benefits

Travel Assistance with Securian

Traveling this summer? Don’t forget to take Securian’s Lifestyle Benefits with you – you already have them. All State employees and their dependents automatically have these Lifestyle Benefits at no cost.

Securian offers a travel assistance program that includes pre-trip planning and emergency services. If you’re traveling abroad, receive important passport and visa information, and immunization requirements. With Securian, you don’t even have to notify them that you’re traveling.

Other Securian Lifestyle Benefits include:

  • Legal, financial and grief resources
  • Legacy planning resources
  • Beneficiary financial counseling

Learn more about Securian’s Lifestyle Benefit program by viewing this brochure.

Source: ETF

Wellness Webinar: Understanding Diabetes


In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled. Diabetes concerns every family and simple prevention can lower your risk. Could you spot the warning signs of diabetes?

**NEW** Registration is now open to everyone even if you don’t currently have a StayWell portal account! CLICK HERE to register now.

Join us to learn about:

  • What is diabetes?
  • What are the signs and symptoms?
  • What can I do to prevent diabetes?
  • What can I do if I already have it?

Date: Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Time: 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

After registering, you will get an email with information about how to access the presentation.  Please contact or (920) 465-2203 with any questions.

All webinars are recorded and available to Well Wisconsin Program participants on the StayWell wellness portal after the event date. To access the StayWell wellness portal, you must be an employee, retiree, or spouse enrolled in the State of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Public Employers Group Health Insurance Programs.

WRS Contribution Rates to Increase in 2020

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) recently announced that the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee and employer contribution rates will increase slightly effective January 1, 2020. WRS rates are evaluated and adjusted annually.

The slight increase is due to lower than expected Core Trust Fund investment performance and economic assumption changes that were approved by the ETF Board in December, 2018.

Contribution increase and decrease fluctuations are considered normal for retirement systems like the WRS that pre-fund retirement benefits. For example, WRS contribution rates in 2019 were lowered due to favorable investment performance.

UW System employee contribution rates are determined by employment category. Most UW 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.


The 2020 contribution rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2020; beginning with the January 2, 2020 paycheck for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees paid monthly, and the January 2, 2020 paycheck 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

Submit Fiscal Year 2018-19 Leave Reports by September 2019

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees who have an active leave-eligible appointment are required to submit a leave report each month, whether or not leave is used. This is a reminder that all Leave Reports for fiscal year July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 must be submitted by September 2019.

Failure to submit all leave reports for the 2018-19 fiscal year by September 2019 will result in a reduction of employee sick leave hours. Even one unsubmitted leave report may reduce an employee’s sick leave balance. To review this policy:

Leave reports may be submitted electronically via the MyUW portal. Paper leave reports may also be submitted. Visit the Time and Absence Help Pages for assistance with reporting leave.

If you have questions, please contact or (920) 465-2390.

Source: UW Service Center

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

Did you know you can enroll, change or cancel coverage in the Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance plan at any time?

The AD&D insurance plan offers affordable coverage in case of accidental death or dismemberment to UW employees and dependents who meet eligibility requirements. You can elect single or family (spouse/domestic partner and eligible children) coverage ranging from $25,000 to $500,000.

Benefits may be payable if you have an accident that results in loss of life, sight, speech, hearing, loss or use of certain limbs and/or permanent and total disability. The plan also includes travel assistance coverage through Zurich Travel Assist and identity theft coverage through CyberScout LifeStages Identity Management.

More Information on the AD&D plan is available on the UW System Employee Benefits website: Accidental Death & Dismemberment. To enroll, change, or cancel coverage, complete an Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance application. Return the completed application to your human resources office. Enrollments and changes in coverage are effective the first of the month on or following receipt of your application.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program Webinars

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), administered by FEI, provides UW employees and members of their household with confidential resources to address personal and/or work-related concerns. EAP services are offered at no cost to employees.

The 2019 Monthly Webinar Series is open for registration. Click here for webinar information and registration.


August 2019 Webinar: Put Your Compensation to Work

Date and Time: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 – 11:00am to 12:00pm Central Daylight Time

Description: During benefits enrollment, it’s easy to make the same benefit choices as last year – but the easy way might not be the best way. Take full advantage of the employee benefits available to you by uncovering “hidden” compensation opportunities you may not know about.


September 2019 Webinar: The Effects of Loneliness and Social Isolation

Date and Time: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – 11:00am to 12:00pm Central Daylight Time

Description: Did you know that most lonely individuals are married, live with others and are not clinically depressed? Join us to learn how loneliness and social isolation can impact our health and longevity. Using a brain science perspective, we’ll discuss the connection between loneliness and increased health risks including suicide.


Webinar Registration: Registration is required. Click here to register. Follow the individual links on each webinar for registration.  Note: Employees must attend a webinar on their own time or consult with their supervisor for approval to attend.


Source: UW System Human Resources

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 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 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 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