News Archive

Human Resources System Outage July 29, 2018 Will Affect Employee Access

Employees will not have access to online timesheets, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage Sunday, July 29 from 6:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. The outage is due to HRS System maintenance.

The following self-service features that employees access through the MyUW portals, UW System institutions and UW-Madison, will be unavailable during this outage:

  • Online timesheet
  • Absence reporting
  • Benefits Self Service (eBenefits)
  • 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


The rest of the MyUW portal, with the exception of the HRS System related features and documents, will be available during the HRS outage.

Source: UW Service Center

Timesheet to Offer New and Improved Features

The timesheet for University Staff-Non-Exempt, University Staff-Temporary, Monthly paid employees who report Affordable Care Act (ACA) hours, and Student Hourly is changing to offer new and improved features effective 7/29/18. Employees who record their time via web clock will continue to do so, and when they view their completed timesheets, they will see the new format.

Though this change is happening in the middle of a pay period, employees can rest assured that all data entered on a timesheet during the first week of the pay period will appear seamlessly in the new timesheet format.

User friendly and more efficient features will create a better experience for employees who complete and view the timesheet. Some features/changes will include:

  • New alert icons -- view status of submitted time/absence requests right on the timesheet.
  • Columns reordered, renamed, and condensed -- Users will see clearer labels for shift in and out and break in and out. The add/remove (plus/minus) buttons and the comp time column will be moved. These and other changes will make the most used components of the timesheet visible without scrolling.
  • New 'copy from previous period' button -- will allow users to copy hours from the previous pay period.
  • Ability to delete multiple rows at once
  • Request, edit and cancel absences on the new timesheet

Review resources for completing the new timesheet.

Source: UW Service Center

UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Provider Online Workshops

Fidelity, one of the UW TSA 403(b) providers, will be presenting two online workshops in July -- Invest Confidently for Your Future on July 24 and Be in the Financial Front Seat on July 25. See below for workshop details. Both workshops are approximately one hour, and there will be time for questions at the end of each. All you need to do is log in from your desktop and listen to the audio portion from your phone. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Invest Confidently for Your Future
Tuesday, July 24, 11:00 a.m. Central Time*
The skills you’ll gain from this workshop will help you to:

  • Define your savings goals
  • Build an investment plan to help you optimize your savings
  • Understand the importance of continually managing your plan

Register here.

Be in the Financial Front Seat -- making financial health a priority for women
Wednesday, July 25, 11:00 a.m. Central Time*
Presented at this workshop is:

  • Why it's particularly important for women to make financial wellness a priority
  • What it means to be in the financial front seat, including:
    • Knowing what you own, and what you owe
    • Having a clear idea of your financial goals
    • The importance of an annual financial review

Register here.

*Please note that online registration provides the workshop times in Eastern Time. The times listed above are Central Time.

Source: UW System Human Resources

College Savings Made Simple

Saving for your child’s post-high school education may seem daunting, but with Edvest, Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan, you can start making small contributions today that will benefit them in 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). You may have contributions to Edvest allocated from your paycheck. Payroll deduction is not available.

The best part is the benefit to your child(ren), who 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 Service Center

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees: Option to Bank Vacation in an Annual Leave Reserve Account

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI) with a 12-month appointment are eligible to bank vacation into an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) after they have completed 10 fiscal years of employment. The ALRA account may also be referred to as Banked Leave account.

Example:

  • Employee completes 10 fiscal years in May, 2018.
  • July 1, 2018 (beginning of 11th fiscal year) employee is eligible to accrue vacation to be banked.
  • July 1, 2019 (beginning of 12th fiscal year) employee is offered the option of banking up to 40 hours of vacation or vacation carryover as of 6/30/18.

Note: Employee is eligible to bank up to 80 hours per year of vacation in ALRA after completing 25 years of employment.

How is Vacation Allocated?

FA/AS/LI vacation is allocated on a fiscal year basis. Unused vacation can be carried over into the following fiscal year, but must be used by the end of that fiscal year or it will be lost.

Your July 2018 Leave Report

Your July Leave Report will indicate how many hours of unused vacation you are eligible to bank into ALRA. You are allowed to bank any unused vacation or vacation carryover as of June 30, 2018 (up to the allowable hours). If your institution uses Self-Service, you may be able to convert hours into your ALRA account via Self-Service with your July leave reporting. Check with your Payroll Coordinator to see if you may use the Self-Service option.

If you meet the Eligibility Requirements for ALRA:

  • You may bank vacation in an ALRA account to use at a future date (banked hours do not expire). You may accumulate up to 40 hours per fiscal year in your ALRA account after completing 10 fiscal years of employment and up to 80 hours after completing 25 fiscal years of employment. There is no limit to the total number of hours (balance) in your ALRA account.
  • With your supervisor\'s approval, you may use ALRA at any time. ALRA can be used in any circumstance in which you are allowed to use paid leave.
  • If you terminate employment, any unused ALRA will be paid to you at your current wage rate as a lump sum payment.
  • Banking Schedule (the amount of leave that can be banked is prorated if your appointment is part-time)
    • You are eligible to bank up to 40 hours of vacation into ALRA per year after completing 10 fiscal years of employment. Option to bank is the fiscal year following eligibility. (See example above)
    • You are eligible to bank up to 80 hours of vacation into ALRA per year after completing 25 fiscal years of employment. Option to bank is the fiscal year following eligibility. (See example above)
    • If you elect to bank hours to ALRA, the vacation hours you want to bank will first come from any remaining vacation carryover you had as of June 30, 2018. If you allocated more unused vacation to ALRA than you had as vacation carryover, the additional hours to be banked will come from your vacation balance as of June 30.

If you have questions, please contact your Payroll Coordinator.

Source: UW Service Center

ALEX: Your Personalized Benefits Counselor

Are you aware that you have access to ALEX, your personalized benefits counselor all year round?

ALEX is an interactive benefits decision support tool that will help you understand the benefit plans and options that are offered to you and your family. Whether you’re a new or long term employee, ALEX is available to you at anytime to learn more about the benefits that are offered or that you have selected. Even if you don’t have a current enrollment opportunity, ALEX can be a helpful tool.

ALEX has been enhanced since the initial implementation to include all benefit plans (other than just the plans that the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period focuses on). These additional plans include: life insurance, Income Continuation Insurance (ICI), the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC).

ALEX currently reflects the 2018 benefit plans and premium amounts; however, will be updated at the end of September 2018 to reflect the benefit plan changes (if applicable) for 2019.

The 2019 Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period will be held October 1, 2018 – October 26, 2018.

We hope that you will make it a habit to visit ALEX with your basic benefit questions!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Saving 1% More

It is recommended Americans save 15% of their annual income for retirement – are you?

If you are, great!

If you’re not, 15% probably seems a little intimidating, but don’t worry, there are easy ways you can begin increasing how much you save for retirement without breaking the bank. Consider increasing your UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) contribution by 1%. With this increase you may hardly notice a change in your take-home pay, BUT it could translate to tens of thousands of dollars to use in retirement (depending on future market values).

Your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) benefit is a great tool in saving for retirement, but a UW TSA account can also help.

If you already have a UW TSA account and want to see how you are doing in saving for retirement, sign up for an individual counseling session with your provider. You can do so by visiting Counseling Sessions under the Education section of the UW TSA website.

If you do not have an account, there is no time like the present to sign up! Visit the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) website for information on how to enroll.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Summer Prepay Deductions: Continuing Your Insurance Coverage During the Summer Months

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?

If you are a 9-month employee who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2018, or a 12-month employee who has a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months, then you had additional insurance premiums deducted from your March 30, May 1 and/or June 1 paychecks to continue your insurance coverage through the summer months. These additional insurance premiums, taken along with your regular monthly insurance deductions, are referred to as ‘summer prepay deductions.’

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

If you did not have prepayments taken and are returning in the fall, contact your human resources office immediately. If your insurance premiums are not collected through the summer prepay deduction process, you must be set up in benefit billing by your human resource office (benefit administrator) in order for a bill to be 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 benefit billing, a bill will not be generated. If you do not pay for your insurance, it will be cancelled due to non-payment.

Verifying Your Summer Prepay Deductions

Check your spring earnings statements to verify if you had summer prepay deductions taken from your paychecks. Summer prepay deductions appear as a lump sum with all pre-tax deductions added together and identified as ‘PREBTX’ and all post-tax deductions added together under ‘PREATX.’ PREBTX stands for before tax or pre-tax and ‘PREATX’ stands for after tax or post-tax.

In the fall, your regular insurance premium deductions will resume as payroll deductions starting with your October 1 paycheck.

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 your human resources office 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 should complete a new health insurance application 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 2018 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 your human resources office immediately to determine when your insurance coverage will end.

Questions

If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

Tax Law Changes for Parking Fees, Vanpool, and Bus Passes

Due to tax liability implications of the Tax Cuts and Job Act passed by the Federal Government effective January 1, 2018, the UW System will need to change pre-tax payroll deductions for parking, vanpool, and bus passes. Starting with payrolls dated on or after June 1, 2018, these fees will be deducted on a post-tax basis for UW System employees.

  • Employees paid monthly, will see the post-tax deductions made on the June 1 paycheck (for the pay period of May 1 – May 31)
  • Employees paid biweekly, will see the post-tax deductions on the June 7 paycheck (for the pay period of May 13 – May 26).

Because of the federal tax law changes, UW employees will not be able to create Parking and Transit accounts, as administered by TASC. If you have an existing Parking and Transit account, funds cannot be added for payrolls dated on or after June 1, 2018. Any funds withheld prior to June 1 are still available to be used for parking and transit purposes until exhausted, or until you become ineligible for the plan(s).

The changes to the Parking & Transit accounts administered by TASC do not affect any other plans administered by TASC (i.e. Flexible Spending accounts and Health Savings accounts).

If you have additional questions, please contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

Now Available: Time and Absence Manager Self Service Dashboard

Starting on May 6, UW Managers and Supervisors have a new tool to help manage their Time and Absence approvals in the Human Resource System HRS. Called the ‘Time and Absence MSS (Manager Self Service) Dashboard,’ this tool will:

  • Provide a one-stop shop for Managers to process pending time and absence approval transactions for their employees.
  • Reduce the number of clicks required to access each page and to complete time and absence approval transactions.

Managers will now see a new icon on the ‘Manager Time and Approval’ tile in the MyUW portal, labeled ‘Time/Absence Dashboard.’ To access the dashboard, just click on the icon.

Managers and supervisors can watch a short video that provides an overview of the Time and Absence MSS Dashboard here: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/docs/pd/mss-dashboard/index.html. Dashboard support resources are available on the Time and Absence Help Page.

Source: UW Service Center

Understanding the Income Continuation Insurance Plan

What is Income Continuation Insurance?
The Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) plan is an "income replacement" benefit payable if you become disabled.

ICI provides up to 75% of average monthly earnings, based on previous calendar year eligible earnings.

  • Standard Coverage - Covers up to $64,000 of annual earnings with a maximum monthly benefit of $4,000.
  • Supplemental Coverage - Available to employees whose earnings exceed $64,000 and covers between $64,000 and $120,000 of annual earnings. The maximum benefit is $7,500 per month. You must have standard coverage to apply for supplemental coverage.

Who is Eligible for ICI?
ICI is available to employees who participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). Employees are eligible to enroll during their initial benefits enrollment period upon hire, or during the Annual ICI Deferred Enrollment period typically the end of January until March 1. Employees who become eligible for Deferred Enrollment will be notified by their human resources office regarding their enrollment opportunity.

Employees must be enrolled in the ICI plan to file a claim for benefits.

How are ICI Benefits Paid?
Before a benefit begins, you must serve an elimination period (also known as a waiting period) of at least 30 calendar days, or you must use all your sick leave up to a maximum of 130 working days, whichever is longer. You must be completely off work due to disability during this time.

Since 2016, overall ICI premiums have increased approximately 20% a year, increases are expected to continue through 2020. The annual premium increases are in place to eliminate program deficits.

Employees can voluntarily cancel coverage at any time. However, re-enrollment is not guaranteed. You would need to meet one of the deferred enrollment opportunities described based on your employment category below or provide satisfactory evidence of insurability.

University Staff
ICI premiums for insured University Staff (bi-weekly) employees are updated annually based on your previous calendar year salary rounded to the next higher thousand and divided by 12 and the amount of your accumulated sick leave. The amount of sick leave accrued as of the final pay period of each calendar year is used to determine your premium in February of the following calendar year.

ICI premium category 3 is a special rate category which permits University Staff employees to qualify for employer contribution by increasing their accumulated sick leave balance by at least 80 hours in the previous calendar year. Important note: this means you increase your sick leave by at least 80 hours in the calendar year, not just have a sick leave balance of 80 hours. Premium category 3 is the only premium category that is pro-rated for part-time employees.

Insured University Staff employees who accumulate at least 520 hours of sick leave by the end of the last complete pay period of the calendar year have reached a “permanent plateau” and are placed in premium category 4. Once you reach a permanent plateau, future premiums will be determined using nothing lower than premium category 4, even though later use of sick leave may cause the total number of sick leave accumulated to drop below the plateau. Additional plateaus are reached at 728 hours (premium category 5) and 1040 hours (premium category 6). The permanent premium category plateau hours are not pro-rated for part-time employees.

If you did not elect ICI coverage when you were originally eligible, you have the option of enrolling under the following deferred enrollment opportunities:

  • the first time you become eligible for special ICI category 3
  • the first time you become eligible for an increase in the employer contribution towards your premium by reaching permanent plateaus, category 4 and 5
  • any deferred coverage enrollment in which you are eligible for permanent plateau category 6

If you do not enroll when first eligible or when eligible for a deferred enrollment opportunity you may enroll if you are medically insurable. You complete an ICI Evidence of Insurability Application. The form asks you and your physician to answer question concerning your past and present health and coverage is not guaranteed.

Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI)
FA/AS/LI employees select a waiting period of 30, 90, 125 or 180 days. Benefits will not begin until the longer of you exhausting up to 1040 hours of accumulated sick leave or your selected waiting period.

Insured FA/AS/LI employees can elect at anytime to go to a longer elimination period by completing a new ICI Application.

If you did not enroll when originally eligible or would like to change to a shorter elimination period, you can apply by providing satisfactory medical evidence of insurability. Complete an ICI Evidence of Insurability Application, the form asks you and your physician to answer question concerning your past and present health and coverage is not guaranteed.

Resources
For more information about the ICI plan:

Source: UW Service Center

Human Resources System Outage May 5-6, 2018 Will Affect Employee Access

Employees will not have access to online timesheets, earnings statements and other related documents and services during a UW Human Resources System (HRS) outage from 7:00 a.m., Saturday, May 5 through 10:00 a.m., Sunday, May 6. The outage is due to HRS System maintenance.

The following self-service features that employees access through the MyUW portals, UW System institutions and UW-Madison, will be unavailable during this outage:

  • Online timesheet
  • Absence reporting
  • Benefits Self Service (eBenefits)
  • 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

The rest of the MyUW portal, with the exception of the HRS System related features and documents, will be available during the HRS outage.

Source: UW Service Center

Review/Update Your Personal Information Before the Semester Ends

As the academic year winds down, many UW employees will leave for summer break, permanently leave UW employment, or begin summer session/summer service duties. As you finish the year, you are encouraged to review your Personal Information in the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or UW-Madison and make changes as needed.

Your personal information includes your home and office addresses, phone numbers, legal and preferred name, and other information such as disability and veteran status. It is especially important to update your address information if you will be moving over the summer. All employees are also strongly encouraged to update their emergency contact information if needed.

Why is This Important?

It is important to have your current personal information on file for many reasons:

  • Your employer may need to contact you.
  • Your home address will be used at the end of the calendar year for Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement distribution.
  • Having current information on file ensures that you will receive important information concerning your benefits, paychecks, or UW employment.
  • Employees currently enrolled in benefits plans should note that changes to your name and/or address may need to be reported directly to the benefit plan company. More information regarding these reporting requirements is available here: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/life-events/famchng/name-address/

Questions?

If you have questions, review the instructions on how to update your personal information: https://uwservice.wisc.edu/help/personal-information/, or contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available in the MyUW Portal

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2017, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available in the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison.

Log in to the portal. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Choose “2017 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2018” to view or print your statement. The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your WRS account as of January 1, 2018.

Understanding Your Statement

Your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits includes your 2017 earnings and service, years of creditable service as of January 1, 2018, retirement benefit projections, separation benefit, death benefit, and primary beneficiary designation(s) for your WRS account.

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has many 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.

May 3, 2018, 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
May 7, 2018, 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
May 18, 2018, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
May 22, 2018, 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Reviewing Your Beneficiaries

It is important to review your WRS account primary beneficiary(ies) on your statement. If you do not have beneficiaries listed on your statement, it may be that you do not 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 suggested that if you do not have a beneficiary designation listed on your statement that you complete a Beneficiary Designation Form.

Death benefits are always paid according to the most recent valid beneficiary designation form on file with ETF prior to an individual’s death. Your beneficiary information does not automatically change when a significant life event occurs, such as a divorce or a marriage. You may add, change or remove beneficiaries by completing 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.

Questions?

If you have questions about your statement, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

Long-Term Care Insurance Available to UW Employees

Long-Term Care Insurance covers services that are typically not covered by health insurance, but are vital for a patient, such as assistance with activities of daily living (walking, eating, bathing, etc.). This type of insurance provides financial protection from the rising costs of long-term care. Coverage for care in non-institutional settings such as assisted living, adult day care, and in-home care is also available.

Review Long-Term Care Insurance for plan eligibility and enrollment information.

Each year, the Long-Term Care Insurance plan, authorized by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), may distribute one piece of advertisement to employees. The notice from HealthChoice, the Long-Term Care Insurance vendor, can be accessed by clicking here.

For questions contact HealthChoice at 1-800-833-5823 or info@healthchoice.com. Visit www.healthchoice.com/request.php to request an information packet.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Duplicate Tax Statements

Duplicate tax statements (Form W-2, 1095-C, 1042-S, etc.) are available on the MyUW portal. Log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Payroll Information module and choose the Tax Statements tab. Statements for 2014 through 2017 are available.

The tax statements available on the portal do not include social security numbers. If you require a tax statement that displays your social security number, or you need a statement from a year prior to 2014, you may request a duplicate tax statement by completing a Duplicate Tax Statement Request.

The 2017 statements are processed at no charge. Processing fees for years prior to 2017 are:

  • Requests for duplicates from the previous 2 - 5 years are $5.00 per statement.
  • Requests for duplicates from the previous 6 or more years are $10.00 per statement.

Submit a check, cashier’s check or money order payable to the University of Wisconsin for the correct dollar amount. Duplicates will not be processed or issued without payment. Mail your request and check to: UW Service Center, 660 W. Washington, Suite 201, Madison WI 53703. Please allow 10 days for processing.

Source: UW Service Center

Reminder: March 31 Deadline for Filing 2017 Flexible Spending Account Claims

Employees enrolled in the Health Care and/or Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for the 2017 plan year must submit eligible claims for the 2017 plan year to the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Administrator (TASC) for reimbursement by Saturday, March 31, 2018. Eligible claims must be received by TASC or postmarked by March 31. Claims for 2017 must have been incurred January 1 through December 31, 2017 to be eligible to submit for reimbursement from your 2017 account.

You may submit a claim using any of the following methods:

Important: The IRS requires you to include appropriate supporting documentation when submitting a claim. Make sure that your documentation contains the required information before submitting your claim.

As a reminder, the IRS allows up to $500 of unused funds in a 2017 Health Care FSA to be carried over into a 2018 Health Care FSA account. Funds remaining above the $500 carryover after March 31 will be forfeited. The $500 that is carried over does not offset a 2018 election amount. If you did not sign up for a 2018 Health Care FSA during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period last fall, a 2018 account will be created for you if you have carryover. You will not receive a new TASC debit card. Note: There is no carryover provision for the Dependent Day Care FSA.

For questions, contact TASC at 1-844-786-3947 or 1customercare@tasconline.com.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Distribution of 1042-S Forms for Foreign Nationals

The 1042-S Forms (Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) are available electronically via https://www.online-tax.net/ to employees who elected electronic distribution of their 1042-S Form through GLACIER (the online system used to handle data collection for UW foreign nationals). 1042-S Forms were mailed in early March via U.S mail to employees who elected hard copy distribution.

All 1042-S Forms (distributed electronically via Glacier or via U.S. mail) are also available on the MyUW portal. To view your statement, log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Payroll Information module and choose the Tax Statements tab.

The deadline for filing state and federal income tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Source: UW Service Center

State Group Life Insurance Annual Premium Update

Each year, State Group Life Insurance premiums are updated on April 1. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 29, 2018 paycheck. For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 30, 2018 paycheck.

Current enrollees in the State Group Life insurance program can review their updated premiums at this link: State Group Life Premium Notice. Additionally, current enrollees in the program were sent an email with a link to this customized web page.

State Group Life insurance coverage level and premiums are based on a participant\'s age as of April 1 each year, and their highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings.

For a full list of premiums and more information about the plan, visit the State Group Insurance plan page. If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

Form 1095-C Available Online

IRS Tax Form 1095-C is available online in the MyUW portal. Log into the portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. The statement is located in the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab. Paper copies of the 1095-C were mailed to employees via U.S. mail in February 2018 using the same address as the W-2 Form distribution.

The UW System is providing Form 1095-C to all employees who were full-time, as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), for all or some months of 2017. The information on this form will be used by the IRS to determine whether individuals and/or employers are subject to penalties under the ACA’s individual and employer mandates. Employees should retain Form 1095-C with their tax records.

In addition to Form 1095-C, some employees will receive a Form 1095-B from their insurance carrier. Form 1095-B reflects health insurance coverage provided to an employee or their family member(s) during the previous calendar year. Form 1095-B also documents employee compliance with the ACA Individual Mandate. Employees should retain Form 1095-B with their tax records.

For more information regarding Form 1095-C, Form 1095-B and the ACA, visit the UW System Human Resources website: Affordable Care Act (ACA). If you have questions regarding your Form 1095-C, contact the UW System Service Center at servicecenter@uwsa.edu or (855) 489-7877 or (608) 262-0600.

If you have any questions regarding Form 1095-B, contact your health insurance carrier that provided the form.

Source: UW Service Center

Summer Prepay Insurance Premium Deduction Schedule for 2018

Summer prepay insurance premiums will be deducted from March 30, May 1, and/or June 1 paychecks for the following employee groups:

  • Academic (9-month) employee who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2018.
  • Academic (9-month) employee with a summer service/summer session appointment.

Why are Summer Prepay Insurance Premiums Deducted in the Spring?

The additional summer prepay insurance premium deductions are taken to continue an employee’s insurance coverage through the summer (contract break) months. These additional premium deductions must be taken in the spring, along with regular monthly premium deductions, since insurance premiums cannot be deducted from summer service/summer session earnings.

What if an Employee’s Employment Status Changes?

If an employee’s summer 2018 or fall 2018 employment status changes after they have already had summer prepay deductions, they may receive refunds for the summer prepay deductions. If an employee will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, they should contact their human resources office immediately for assistance in determining their employment termination date and the date their insurance coverage will end.

Employees who anticipate that they will experience any other status change; marriage, adoption, divorce, etc., should contact their human resources office immediately so they understand the impacts to their insurance benefits.

What if an Employee does not Have Summer Prepay Insurance Premiums Deducted?

If an employee does not have summer prepay deductions taken in the spring, and then has a summer session/summer service appointment, they will be billed directly for payment of the additional premiums due to provide them with insurance coverage during the summer months. Payment must be made by the billing invoice due date to insure that insurance benefits are not canceled due to non-payment.

2018 Summer Prepay Deduction Schedule

Important: This schedule outlines premium deductions for an employee scheduled to return to fall 2018 UW employment, or who has a summer appointment and is then terminating. Most employees will have deductions taken according to this schedule. Human resources offices can assist employees whose deduction schedule may vary from the schedule below based on appointment, summer employment, fall return date, or termination date.

Paychecks on Which Premiums will be Taken Insurance Premiums to be Taken
March 30, May 1, June 1 Health and other insurance deductions for programs in which you are enrolled.* Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.
May 1  Income Continuation Insurance Regular premium deduction PLUS two summer premium deductions.
June 1  Income Continuation Insurance Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

*Does not include Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) deductions. These deductions are calculated based on a 9-month schedule for academic (9-month) employees so no additional premiums are taken for these programs.

*Does not include Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC) deductions. These deductions are based on an employee’s earnings. Since the employee will not have earnings during the summer months, there are no additional premiums taken for these programs.

*Opt-Out Incentive and Health Savings Account (HSA) employer contribution will continue to be processed during the summer months for these programs.

How Will Summer Prepay Appear on Earnings Statements?

Summer prepay will appear as a lump sum amount on earnings statements. All deductions taken pre-tax (most medical-related premiums and a portion of State Group Life Insurance premiums) will be added together under the name ‘Prebtx’ and all deductions taken post-tax (most life insurance premiums) will be added together under the name ‘Preatx.’ Note: ‘Prebtx’ stands for before tax or pre-tax and ‘Preatx’ stands for after tax or post-tax.

Regular benefit deductions for the month will continue to be listed under the plan name. These deductions are typically taken on a pre-tax basis. If an employee has one extra deduction for each plan, there will be a total listed under Prebtx or Preatx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions.

Important: To verify accuracy, employees should review their earnings statements to ensure that their insurance deductions are accurate for their situation. If insurance premiums are not collected through the summer prepay deductions process, employees will be billed for premiums. In this case, employees must remit timely premium payments to continue their insurance coverage.

For questions, please contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity Program Offers Savings Options to Employees

The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program can help you invest for your long-term goals. If you already participate in the program, consider increasing your contributions. If you are not a TSA Program participant, sign up today. Through the TSA Program you can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both.

UW TSA 403(b) Program investment options include a wide array of mutual funds and fixed and variable annuities managed by five providers: Ameriprise, Fidelity, Lincoln, TIAA, T. Rowe Price. For more information, visit the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program or contact your institution’s human resources office.

Saving early is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you set aside enough to fund a comfortable retirement. Read Save Smart–Save Early! to learn about the advantages of putting time on your side to accomplish your savings goals.

Don’t let the prospect of having to decide how to invest your retirement money scare you off. Just participating is more important than selecting the perfect investments. If you need help understanding the investment options available in the program contact the provider(s) you choose to contribute to.

Start Small, Think Big. Remember, when you are getting started, no contribution is too small. Even if you only set aside one percent of your salary in the UW TSA 403(b) Plan, that’s an important start. You can start with only $8 per pay period if you’re paid bi-weekly or $20 per month if you are paid monthly. Over time, your contributions will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future. Save automatically in the UW TSA 403(b) Program.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Employee Assistance Program Vendor Change Effective March 1, 2018

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) vendor for many of the UW System institutions will change effective March 1, 2018 from Empathia (LifeMatters) to FEI.

Employees affected by this transition will not see a change in the Employee Assistance Program services offered to them. Employees who are currently participating in a treatment plan through LifeMatters will be contacted directly by LifeMatters regarding a transition plan for their care.

UW System institutions that currently offer Employee Assistance Program services through LifeMatters that will change to FEI March 1, 2018 include: UW-Colleges and Extension, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW- River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout and UW System Administration. Beginning March 1, 2018, if you are an employee of one of these institutions, you, or a member of your household, may contact FEI for services by calling (866) 274-4723 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Additional access to FEI is available through their website. Visit https://www.feieap.com (username: SOWI) to obtain educational information, useful links, help locating child and elder care providers, and self-assessment tests.

UW Institutions that currently use an in-house administrator or vendor other than LifeMatters are not affected by the March 1 vendor change. These institutions include: UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater.

The Employee Assistance Program provides UW employees and members of their household with free and confidential resources to address personal and work-related issues.

Some of the concerns that can be addressed by the program include emotional issues, interpersonal relationships, substance abuse, grief and loss, elder and dependent care, adoption, legal and financial issues, separation or divorce, and managing expenses and debt.

Visit the UW System Employee Benefits website for more information about the Employee Assistance Program. If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

America Saves Week February 26 - March 3, 2018: Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.

America Saves Week, February 26–March 3, 2018, is here! The University of Wisconsin System is promoting the national America Saves Week campaign and is dedicated to helping you set a savings goal and make a plan to reach that goal.

See the events and resources on the UW System America Saves Week website. The website includes links to interactive webinars, videos, planning and budgeting resources, and handy tips on saving and financial wellness. During America Saves Week there are in-person workshops at all UW institutions on a range of topics from protecting your credit score to managing cash flow. All events are at no cost to you!

There is still time to sign up! Take advantage of this great opportunity!

Source: UW System Human Resources

UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity Program Offers Savings Options to Employees

The America Saves Week campaign, February 2 - March 3, 2018, is a great opportunity to commit—or recommit—to saving for today and for your retirement.

The University of Wisconsin System is promoting America Saves Week by encouraging individuals and families to assess their savings and take financial action. Visit the UW System’s America Saves Week website for information on in-person workshops and interactive webinars, videos, handy tips and information on saving and financial wellness.

One easy and effective way to save is automatically. The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program can help you do this and invest for your long-term goals. If you already participate in the program, consider increasing your contributions. If you are not a TSA Program participant, sign up today. Through the TSA Program you can invest a portion of your income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both.

UW TSA 403(b) Program investment options include a wide array of mutual funds and fixed and variable annuities managed by five providers: Ameriprise, Fidelity, Lincoln, TIAA, T. Rowe Price. For more information, visit the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program or contact your institution’s human resources office.

Saving early is one of the best things you can do to ensure that you set aside enough to fund a comfortable retirement. Read Save Smart–Save Early! to learn about the advantages of putting time on your side to accomplish your savings goals.

Don’t let the prospect of having to decide how to invest your retirement money scare you off. Just participating is more important than selecting the perfect investments. If you need help understanding the investment options available in the program contact the provider(s) you choose to contribute to.

Start Small, Think Big. Remember, when you are getting started, no contribution is too small. Even if you only set aside one percent of your salary in the UW TSA 403(b) Plan, that’s an important start. You can start with only $8 per pay period if you’re paid bi-weekly or $20 per month if you are paid monthly. Over time, your contributions will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future. Save automatically in the UW TSA 403(b) Program.

Source: UW System Human Resources

2017 Tax Reform Bill Affects Employee Federal Tax Withholding

As a result of the 2017 Federal Tax Reform bill passed in late December 2017, most employees will see a change in their federal income tax withholding on their paychecks beginning in early 2018.

The change was implemented for both University staff (paid bi-weekly) and for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly) on the February 1, 2018 paycheck.

To see your federal withholding amount, log into the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Payroll Information module and click on the Earnings Statements tab. Find the Taxes section of your earnings statement where Fed Withholding will be listed. You may choose to review several recent earnings statements to compare your federal withholding, and see how your amount has changed.

If you would like more information, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has prepared an IRS Withholding Tables Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to help employees understand how the new federal tax withholding may affect their paychecks.
If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

Employee Assistance Program Vendor Change Effective March 1, 2018

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) vendor for many of the UW System institutions will change effective March 1, 2018 from Empathia (LifeMatters) to FEI.

Employees affected by this transition will not see a change in the Employee Assistance Program services offered to them. Employees who are currently participating in a treatment plan through LifeMatters will be contacted directly regarding a transition plan for their care.

UW System institutions that currently offer Employee Assistance Program services through LifeMatters that will change to FEI March 1, 2018 include: UW-Colleges and Extension, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW- River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout and UW System Administration.

UW Institutions that currently use an in-house administrator or vendor other than LifeMatters are not affected by the March 1 vendor change. These institutions include: UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Superior and UW-Whitewater.

The Employee Assistance Program provides UW employees and members of their household with free and confidential resources to address personal and work-related issues.

Some of the concerns that can be addressed by the program include emotional issues, interpersonal relationships, substance abuse, grief and loss, elder and dependent care, adoption, legal and financial issues, separation or divorce, and managing expenses and debt.

Visit the UW System Employee Benefits website for more information about the Employee Assistance Program. If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW System Human Resources

America Saves Week, February 26 - March 3, 2018: Resources and Events for UW Employees

America Saves Week, a national campaign encouraging savings and financial planning, is February 26 – March 3, 2018. The University of Wisconsin System is promoting the national America Saves Week campaign and has many resources and events planned to help UW employees expand their financial knowledge and set new savings goals.

Visit the UW System’s America Saves Week website which lists all of the events planned at UW institutions. Find dates and times for events at your institution or an institution near you.

Events include in-person workshops on financial wellness topics presented by the Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) providers – Ameriprise, Fidelity, Lincoln, TIAA and T. Rowe Price. The TSA providers will also have individual counseling sessions available. Additionally, UW Credit Union and Summit Credit Union will be presenting workshops and will have credit report consultations available. All events are at no cost to you!

The UW System America Saves Week website also has interactive webinars, videos, handy tips and information on savings and financial wellness. Visit the website often in the coming weeks as more information and events may be added.

America Saves Week will keep you motivated to reach your savings goals. The campaign is an opportunity to commit—or recommit—to saving for today and for the future. Saving is more than just a good idea. It’s possible!

Source: UW System Human Resources

Updated Income Continuation Insurance Premiums Effective February 1, 2018

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are updated annually on February 1. Updated premiums for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) will be reflected on the February 15, 2018 paycheck. Updated ICI premiums for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly) will be reflected on the March 1, 2018 paycheck.

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, visit the ICI Premium Notice web page for your personalized updated premium amount. Current enrollees were sent an email February 1 directing them to this customized web page.

Several factors determine your premium amount:

  • For University Staff: the ICI premium is based on 2017 earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), sick leave balance/usage as of December 23, 2017 and current ICI category.
  • For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees: the ICI premium is based on 2017 WRS-reported earnings and the selected ICI elimination period.

Please note: The ICI annual premium update effective February 1 is based on 2017 earnings and does not reflect any enrollments made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 1, 2018. Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity via an email sent January 19.

A complete list of ICI premiums and plan information is available on the ICI plan page. If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up-to-Date

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is someone you designate to receive insurance benefits that are payable upon your death. Naming beneficiaries ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

You may change your beneficiary designations at any time. It is important to review your beneficiary designations regularly, especially when you have experienced a life event; birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc.

Your assets are distributed according to the beneficiary designations that you have on file at the time of your death. If you are unsure of your current beneficiary designation for any of your current insurance plans, complete a new beneficiary designation form to ensure that your designations are current.

How do I know what benefits I have?

To make sure that you review and update the beneficiaries for all of your insurance plans, confirm your current plan enrollments. Log in to the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Go to the Benefit Information module, choose the View Benefits Summary Detail tab at the bottom of the page to see your current benefit enrollments. Contact your human resources office to confirm your coverage.

Beneficiary designation forms

To change a beneficiary designation, complete a beneficiary form for each plan in which you are enrolled. Keep a copy of each completed beneficiary form for your records. Return completed forms to the address on the form, not to your human resources office.

The plans that have a beneficiary designation form are listed below. Beneficiary Designation forms are also available on the UW System Employee Benefits website.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Save the Date! America Saves Week February 26 - March 3, 2018

Saving is possible!

We all agree that saving is a good idea. That's the easy part. Figuring out how to manage your expenses so you can save, or save more? That may not be so easy. America Saves Week is your opportunity to commit—or recommit—to saving for today and for later in retirement. Saving is more than just a good idea. It’s possible!

America Saves is a national campaign that encourages individuals and families to assess their savings and take financial action. This is a great opportunity to expand your financial knowledge and set some new savings goals.

The University of Wisconsin is promoting the America Saves Week campaign. In the upcoming weeks be on the lookout for in-person workshops, interactive webinars, videos, handy tips and information on saving and financial wellness. Look forward to more information as we encourage savers – or potential savers – just like you to set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically.

Pursuing your financial goals, that’s what saving—and America Saves Week—is about.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Well Wisconsin Program Incentive Updates

Employees and spouses currently enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance plan are eligible for an annual $150 wellness incentive (administered by StayWell). Below are updates to the 2018 Well Wisconsin program as well as an update on previously communicated changes to the 2019 program.

2018: In addition to completing the health screening and health assessment, a Well Wisconsin Well-Being activity will also be required in 2018 to earn the $150 wellness incentive. A few examples of well-being activities are: Million Steps Challenge, 21 Day Meditation Experience and Self-Directed Coaching. More information about the Well Wisconsin Well-Being activities is available on the StayWell website. To earn the 2018 incentive, one Well Wisconsin Well-Being activity, the health screening and health assessment must be completed and submitted to StayWell by October 19, 2018.

2019: Changes to the wellness incentive structure were considered in 2017. One consideration was to provide a premium differential instead of the current wellness incentive $150 gift card. It has been decided that a change to a premium differential will not take place for 2019. This option will continue to be explored by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF).

For additional information on the Well Wisconsin program and how to receive your $150 incentive in 2018, visit https://wellwisconsin.staywell.com or contact the StayWell HelpLine at 800-821-6591. Throughout 2018, StayWell will send emails and home mailers to employees with information about the program.

Source: UW System Human Resources

Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Available Through March 1, 2018 for Eligible Employees

The Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) program is an ‘income replacement’ benefit plan that replaces up to 75% of your gross salary if you are unable to work due to a short or long-term disability.

If you are not currently enrolled in ICI, you may be able to enroll during the Annual ICI Deferred Enrollment opportunity through March 1, 2018. If you are currently enrolled in the ICI plan and have Standard ICI coverage, you may be eligible for Supplemental ICI coverage. Eligible employees were notified by email on January 19 from the UW System HR (uwsystemhr@uwsa.edu) email address.

Please see the Income Continuation Insurance section of the UW System Employee Benefits website for more information regarding eligibility and income continuation insurance benefits.

To apply for coverage through the Deferred Enrollment opportunity, you must complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) and return it to your human resources office on or before March 1, 2018. ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1, 2018.

If you have questions, contact your human resources office.

Source: UW Service Center

W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 31, 2018

W-2 Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 31.
Additional Tax Forms to be Distributed in February and March

The 2017 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available online in the MyUW portal. Log into the portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison. Launch the Payroll Information module and click on the Tax Statements tab. Paper copies of the W-2 will be mailed via U.S. mail by January 31, 2018.

A printed W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, employees filing a W-2 printed from the portal, must write their Social Security or Individual Tax Payer Identification number in the "a" field at the top of each Form W-2 section. Social Security and Tax Payer Identification numbers were removed from the online W-2 statements to increase the security of sensitive online information.

Some employees will also receive additional tax forms from the University (Examples: 1095-C, 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter).

  • The 1095-C Form will be mailed via U.S. mail to employees in early February and available on the portal by mid-February. All UW employees who were full-time for some or all months of 2017 will have a 1095-C to document that health insurance coverage was offered to them. Employees will need the 1095-C as part of their documentation requirement when filing 2017 taxes.
  • The 1042-S Forms will be available by March 1, 2018 in the Glacier Online Tax Compliance System for those who chose the option of electronic delivery; others will have them mailed to their home address. The 1042-S Forms will be posted on the portal after March 17. 
  • The Fellowship/Scholarship Letter will be mailed to the employee\'s home address.

Filing Your Taxes

Employees should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2017 earnings statement, to file taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2017 taxable earnings since the last 2017 payroll was paid. These employees may have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting returns on January 29, 2018 for the 2017 tax filing season. Employees may want to consider filing their return as soon as all necessary tax forms are received to minimize the chance of a fraudulent return being processed using their Social Security number, or Individual Tax Payer Identification number. More information is available on the IRS website.

Additional Resources: W-2 ExplanationW-2 Overview and Earnings Statement Comparison

Source: UW Service Center