Benefits and Payroll News

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News


Earn Your $150 Well Wisconsin Incentive

July 14, 2017

The Well Wisconsin incentive, administered by StayWell, is a feature of the State Group Health Insurance program. Employees and spouses/domestic partners enrolled in the State Group Health Insurance program are eligible for a $150 incentive.

There are two easy steps to qualify:

Step 1 - Have a health screening and submit the results to StayWell.

Step 2 - Take the StayWell health assessment.

Use the StayWell wellness portal to complete the program requirements at: https://wellwisconsin.staywell.com

Both steps must be completed and submitted to StayWell prior to October 20, 2017 to receive a 2017 incentive payment. Participants can claim the incentive instantly, or have a Visa gift card mailed to their home address. The incentive is taxable to the health plan subscriber.

For questions, or to find upcoming screening dates, visit https://wellwisconsin.staywell.com or call the StayWell HelpLine at 800-821-6591.

Don’t miss the October 20, 2017 deadline!

State Group Health Insurance: Pharmacy Formulary Information

February 14, 2017

State of Wisconsin employees under the State Group Health Insurance plan have most pharmacy benefits provided through Navitus. Employees are encouraged to log into www.navitus.com by selecting the ‘Members’ option and then going to ‘Member Login’ for up to date news information as well as reviewing the latest formulary. The formulary, or preferred drug list, shows the drugs that are covered under your plan, which was last updated on 02/01/2017. If unable to login online or need assistance on any coverage questions call Navitus Customer Care at 1-866-333-2757. Additionally, Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has an e-learning module available called Pharmacy Benefits - Saving on Your Prescriptions that may be helpful to you.


2017 Insurance Premiums and WRS Contribution Rates

December 23, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period and premiums for 2017 coverage will be reflected on the pay check dated December 22, 2016 for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) and January 3, 2017 for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI) (paid monthly).

How to Check Your 2017 Benefit Enrollments

Your Benefits Summary is available online. Log in to the MyUW Portal and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information module to see your Benefits Summary. On the Benefits Summary page, enter "01/01/2017" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2017 elections.

2017 Plan Cards

Employee Reimbursement Account (ERA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you enrolled in either the ERA or HSA programs for 2017, the first deduction for 2017 elections will be on the January 3, 2017 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 5, 2017 pay check for University Staff. New TASC cards will be sent to all new participants. This card should be used for all expenses in 2017.

Current ERA participants (those who participated in 2016 and have elected to continue participation in 2017) will not receive a new TASC card. Current participants should continue to use the TASC card that they have which will be loaded with their 2017 elected amount.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2017 will increase from 6.6% to 6.80% for all employees. This increase will occur on the January 3, 2017 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 5, 2017 pay check for University Staff.


Social Security and Medicare Taxes for 2017

December 21, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

The Social Security wage base has risen to $127,200 in 2017 from $118,500 in 2016. This means that the first $127,200 of an employee’s taxable wages are subject to Social Security taxes. You and the UW will each pay 6.2% on taxable wages up to $127,200.

An employee’s entire taxable salary is subject to Medicare tax. Both the UW and the employee pay 1.45% on all taxable compensation. Further, any taxable wages that exceed $200,000 are subject to an additional 0.9% tax. There is no employer match for additional Medicare tax.


Monthly Pay Date for December Earnings is January 3, 2017

December 12, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

For UW employees who are paid on the 1st of each month, the monthly pay date for December, 2016 earnings is Tuesday, January 3, 2017. January 3 is the pay date because January 1 (New Year's Day) is on a Sunday and Monday, January 2 is a Federal Reserve holiday.

When a pay date falls on a weekend or Federal Reserve holiday, the pay date is usually the previous business day. An exception to this is the monthly pay date that falls on New Year's Day, January 1.

To avoid tax-related issues, the January 1 pay date for December earnings is paid in the new calendar year and must be the first "official banking business day" following the New Year's holiday. The "official banking business day" is defined as a calendar day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a Federal Reserve holiday.


Update Your Address by January 6, 2017, for W-2 Tax Form Distribution

November 22, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Make sure your current address is up-to-date for the 2016 W-2 Tax Form distribution. In late January 2017 your W-2 Form will be sent via U.S. mail to your mailing address in the MyUW portal. If you do not have a mailing address, your W-2 will be mailed to your home address.  If neither address is in the MyUW portal, your W-2 will be mailed to your office address.

To ensure your W-2 Form is sent to your preferred address, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the MyUW portal for UW System institutions or for UW-Madison.
  2. Review your current mailing and/or home address in the ‘Personal Information’ module.  If this is not your preferred address for W-2 Form distribution, update your mailing and/or home address.
  3. To update your address, click on the ‘Update my Personal Information’ link in the ‘Personal Information’ module. For additional instructions on updating your address, visit: https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/help/personal-information.php
  4. Update your address by the January 6, 2017 deadline.
  5. While in the ‘Personal Information’ module, you are encouraged to self-identify your veteran, disability status or ethnicity using the provided links.  Self-identifying is optional and used only for federal reporting purposes. It will not be shared in any other way.

In addition to the hard copy W-2 Form that you will receive, an online copy of your W-2 Form will be available in the MyUW portal in the ‘Payroll Information’ module, ‘Tax Statements’ tab in late January.

Changing your address in the portal for W-2 distribution may not change your address for all of the benefit plans in which you are currently enrolled. For instructions on how to change your address for all of your benefits, visit: Change Your Name or Address.

If you have questions, contact your contact your institution HR office benefit contact.


2017 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Limits Announced

November 11, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

The IRS announced that because inflation has been very low, there are no cost-of-living adjustments to the dollar limitations for contributions to the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program (TSA) or the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program (WDC) in 2017.

In 2017 – as in 2016 – employees may contribute a basic maximum of $18,000 to the TSA Program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total of $24,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $36,000 (under age 50) or $48,000 (age 50 or older).

If you have 15 years or more of service with the UW and have contributed less than an average of $5,000 per year over your UW employment, you may have an additional "catch-up" opportunity with the TSA Program. Check with your human resources/benefits office to see if you are eligible. For more information, see the web page on TSA limits.

Both pre-tax and Roth after-tax 403(b) or 457 contributions count towards the annual limit. For example, if you are under 50, you could contribute $10,000 pre-tax and $8,000 Roth after-tax to each program. Please note Roth IRAs are an investment completely separate from the UW 403(b) and WDC Programs.

Employees currently enrolled in the TSA Program can easily change TSA contributions for 2017 by submitting a Salary Reduction Agreement to their human resources/benefits office. See the TSA website for more information about enrolling in the program.

If you want to change your TSA deduction for 2017 or enroll in the program, you should submit your TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your human resources/benefits office in early December. Clearly mark the form as calendar year 2017.

To change your WDC contribution call the WDC office at 1-877-457-9327 or access your account at the WDC website. See the WDC website for information about enrolling in the program.  

WDC changes must be made with Empower, the third-party WDC plan administrator, in early December 2016, so that they have adequate time to electronically send the information to the UW Service Center.

If you want to maximize your TSA and/or WDC contributions for 2017, see the chart below to determine how much to contribute per paycheck. Please note: your contribution will automatically stop once the 2017 limit is reached.

Number of Paychecks Annually

2017 Annual Maximum

2017 Amount per Paycheck

9 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$2,000.00

9 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$2,666.67

12 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$1,500.00

12 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$2,000.00

26 paychecks (under age 50)

$18,000.00

$692.31

26 paychecks (age 50 and over)

$24,000.00

$923.08

Note: No deductions are taken during the summer for employees paid on an academic year basis (9 paychecks annually).


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

July 13, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?

If you are a 9-month employee who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2016, 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 April 1, April 29 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 benefits office immediately. If insurance premiums are not collected through the summer prepay deductions process, you will be billed for premiums. In this case, you must remit timely premium payments to continue insurance coverage.

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 UW employment? Employees who anticipate any status change during the summer should contact their Benefits office immediately about the impact to their 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 2016 employment status changes after summer prepay deductions have already been taken, refunds may be issued for these additional deductions. Employees who will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, should contact their Benefits office immediately for assistance in determining employment termination date and the date insurance coverage will end.

Questions

If you have questions, please contact your campus Benefits Office.


WRS Contribution Rates to Increase in 2017

July 13, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced an increase for 2017 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates effective January 1, 2017. According to ETF, the 2017 contribution rates are increasing primarily due to higher life expectancies and lower-than-expected trust fund investment performance. WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis.

Your contribution rate is determined by your WRS employment category. Most UW employees are covered by the General/Teacher WRS category. High level administrators (chancellors, president, vice presidents, provosts) are covered by the Executive category. Employees whose main duties are related to law enforcement or the protection of the public (police officers, fire fighters) are covered by the Protective category.

WRS Contribution Rates

General/Teacher Executives Protectives w/ Social Security
2016 2017 2016 2017 2016 2017
Employee Contribution 6.60% 6.80% 6.60% 6.80% 6.60% 6.80%
Employer Contribution 6.60% 6.80% 6.60% 6.80% 9.40% 10.60%
Total 13.20% 13.60% 13.20% 13.60% 16.00% 17.40%

The 2017 rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2017 beginning on January 3, 2017 for Faculty/Academic Staff and Limited Appointees paid monthly, and January 5, 2017 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:

Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up-to-Date

June 28, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or persons you designate to receive any benefits payable upon your death. Naming beneficiaries ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

To protect your beneficiary(ies), review and update your beneficiary designations regularly. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time. Review of your designations for possible changes is especially important when you have experienced a life event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc. Your assets are distributed according to the beneficiary designations that you have on file, so it is important to review and make any needed changes whenever your personal circumstances change.

How do I know what benefits I have?

Go to the Benefit Information module in the My UW-Madison portal, and click the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link to see your current benefit enrollments. Contact your benefits office to confirm your coverage and coverage levels.

Completing/updating your beneficiary designations

Beneficiary designation forms can be found at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/forms-publications.aspx

Click on each individual plan for the beneficiary designation form for that plan.  Follow the instructions to submit the form.

Make sure you keep a copy of each completed beneficiary form for your records. Return completed forms to the address on the form, not to your Benefits office.

If you are unsure of your current beneficiary designations, please complete a new beneficiary designation to ensure that your designations are current.

The following plans have a beneficiary designation form:

 If you have a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) or Deferred Compensation account, make sure you review and update your beneficiary designations as needed. Contact the plan directly to update your beneficiary designations or, if you are enrolled in the TSA program, update your beneficiary online.

Source: UW Service Center


Use of Vacation and Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) for Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

May 18, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointee (FA/AS/LI) with a 12-month appointment are eligible to bank leave into an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) after they have completed 10 fiscal years of employment. Beginning with the 11th fiscal year, an employee is eligible to bank up to 40 hours. The option to bank vacation is offered immediately following the fiscal year in which an employee is eligible. 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 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, 2016 (up to the maximum allowed).

If you meet the eligibility requirements for ALRA:

If you elect to bank hours to ALRA, the vacation hours used will first come from any remaining vacation carryover you had as of June 30, 2016. 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 the Payroll Coordinator.


Annual Benefit Enrollment: October 17 - November 11, 2016

May 18, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Dates for the 2016 Annual Benefit Enrollment period have been announced: October 17 - November 11, 2016. The Annual Benefit Enrollment period is the only opportunity each year for eligible UW employees to make changes to many of their benefits unless they have an eligible family status or employment change during the year.

More information about the Annual Benefit Enrollment period will be posted as it becomes available. All changes made during the enrollment period are effective January 1, 2017.


Free Well Wisconsin Webinars Available to UW Employees

May 10, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) is offering lunch hour webinars on the third Wednesday of each month as part of the Well Wisconsin Program.

A variety of health and wellness topics will be covered. For a full list of 2016 topics visit the Well Wisconsin website and click on 2016 Well Wisconsin Wednesday Webinars. Pre-registration is required by clicking the specific webinar link. The registration form will ask for your employer group; enter your UW institution.

Well Wisconsin Program

Active UW employees and retirees enrolled in the State Group Health (SGH) Insurance program are eligible to participate in the Well Wisconsin program. Well Wisconsin is a program of financial incentives offered by SGH insurance providers. The program is designed to make employees more aware of current and future health risks while also saving them money.

If you are eligible for the Well Wisconsin program, you can earn a $150 incentive from your SGH insurance provider for participating in the program. Your enrolled spouse/domestic partner may also complete the program and earn their own reward. All wellness incentives are taxable as wages.

Some insurance providers also offer additional rewards and resources to improve your health and quality of life. Visit the Well Wisconsin website: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home and select your insurance provider in the left hand column to learn more about the specific incentives that your plan offers.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for the Well Wisconsin program, contact your institution benefits office or your insurance provider.

Once you confirm your eligibility, there are two steps to completing enrollment in the Well Wisconsin program; taking a wellness assessment (including height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol) and completing an online health survey. Both steps must be completed in 2016 to qualify for the 2016 incentive.

For a complete list of SGH insurance providers participating in Well Wisconsin as well as instructions for completing Well Wisconsin enrollment, visit the Well Wisconsin: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home.


Review/Update Your Personal Information Before You Leave the UW

May 4, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

As you finish the academic year, we encourage you to review your personal information in the Personal Information module of the My UW-Madison portal, and update your information if necessary.

Why is This Important?

Even if you’re leaving the UW, or you’re not going to be working at a UW institution for a few months, there may be a need for your employer to contact you. Please take a few moments to review your address information, and make sure it is up-to-date. This is especially true if you are moving over the summer; it’s easy to overlook this simple step, but it could help ensure that you receive important information concerning your benefits, your paychecks, or your employment at the UW.

Also, while you are in the ‘Personal Information’ module reviewing your address information, you are also encouraged to update your Emergency Contact information.

Questions?

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

If you have other questions, contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available in the Portal

April 21, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2015, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available in the MyUW portal. Go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Click on “2015 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2016” to view or print your statement.

The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your WRS account as of January 1, 2016. The Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information to help you understand your statement. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has also published an Introductory Letter for the statement.

It is recommended that you review each section of your statement using the explanation as a guide:

NOTE: New WRS participants who enrolled in late December 2015, and whose first wages were paid in January 2016, will not receive a statement because no WRS contributions were paid in 2015.

Additional Resources

In addition to the Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits and the ETF Introductory Letter, a schedule of the Live Webinar: Understanding Your Annual WRS Statement of Benefits is available on the WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Help Page along with other resources.

If you have questions, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


2016 Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Effective April 1, 2016

April 18, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Employees who enrolled in Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) or added supplemental coverage during the ICI Deferred enrollment period, January – March 1, 2016, had newly elected ICI coverage effective April 1, 2016.

Employees paid monthly will have the premium reflected on the April 29 paycheck, and those paid bi-weekly on the April 14 paycheck.

For more information about the ICI program, see the ICI plan brochure. Please contact your Benefits office with any questions.


Summer Prepay Deductions: Insurance Premium Deduction Schedule

March 18, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Academic (9-month) employees, who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2016, and academic (12-month) employees, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months, will have additional insurance premiums deducted from April 1, April 29 and/or June 1 paychecks to continue their insurance coverage through the summer months.  These additional insurance premiums, taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions, are referred to as ‘summer prepay deductions.’

Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester, or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have insurance coverage continue during the summer contract break.  Insurance premiums cannot be taken from summer service or summer session appointment earnings.  If an employee is working Summer Session(s) or Summer Service, the insurance premium deductions will have to be taken prior to this appointment via summer prepay deductions, or must be paid through direct payment by the employee.

If an employee’s anticipated fall 2016 employment status changes after additional insurance premiums have already been deducted, refunds may be issued for these additional deductions.  Employees who will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, should contact their Benefits office immediately for assistance in determining employment termination date and the date insurance coverage will end.

Employees who anticipate other status changes; marriage, adoption, divorce, etc., should contact their Benefits office immediately about the impact to insurance benefits.

IMPORTANT: The chart below illustrates insurance premiums deducted for an employee scheduled to return to UW employment in the fall of 2016, who or has a summer appointment and is then terminating.  Most employees will have deductions taken according to the chart below. Benefits offices can assist employees whose deduction schedule may vary from the schedule below based on appointment, summer employment, fall return date, or end date.

2016 Summer Prepay Deduction Schedule

Insurance 

Premiums to be Taken

Paychecks on which Premiums will be Taken

Health and other insurance deductions.*

Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

April 1, April 29, June 1

Income Continuation Insurance

Regular premium deduction PLUS two summer premium deductions.

April 29

Income Continuation Insurance

Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

June 1

*Does not include Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA) Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC). There are no additional premiums taken for these programs.

How Summer Prepay Deductions Appear on the Earnings Statement

Summer prepay deductions 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 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.’

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.  For employees who have one extra deduction for each plan, there will be a total listed under Prebtx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions.  NOTE: ‘Prebtx’ stands for before tax or pre-tax and ‘Preatx’ stands for after tax or post-tax.

IMPORTANT: To verify accuracy, employees should review their earnings statements to ensure that 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 insurance coverage.

Employees should contact their campus Benefits Office with questions.


March 30, 2016 is the deadline for filing 2015 health care and dependent care FSA claims

March 18, 2016 | Source: UW System Administration

If you were enrolled in the Flexible Spending Accounts (Health Care and/or Dependent Day Care FSA) in 2015, you have until the end of the run-out period to submit claims and documentation for eligible expenses incurred during the period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. The run-out period ends on March 30, 2016.

The IRS allows up to $500 Health Care FSA funds to be carried over to the following year. If you have a Health Care FSA balance remaining in your 2015 account in excess of $500, the IRS requires that the excess be forfeited if not filed by 3/30/16. There is no carryover feature for Dependent Day Care FSA—these funds must be used for services incurred by December 31, 2015.

Please remember that the IRS requires appropriate documentation when submitting a claim. All medical, dental and vision claims must include the following:

There are multiple ways in which you can submit your 2015 claims to TASC. Please note that the instructions below are specific for submitting 2015 claims during the run-out period, NOT 2016 claims.

1)      File a claim online

2)      File a claim via fax or mail

P.O. Box 7511

Madison, WI 53707-7511

3)      File a claim using the Mobile App

If you have unsubstantiated claims for the 2015 plan year, you must submit additional documentation to validate the ‘unsubstantiated’ claims. Review your account activity and other claims to confirm that all expenses were approved by TASC and no additional documentation is needed to validate an expense. You may do this by logging on to your account at www.tasconline.com, and clicking on “View Needed Documentation.” If unsubstantiated claims are unresolved by March 30, 2016, wages may be garnished.

Do not wait until last minute to send. All claims and documentation must be received by TASC by 3/30/16.

For questions contact 1customercare@tasconline.com or TASC Customer Service at 1-844-786-3947 (Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST).


2016 State Group Life Insurance Annual Update

March 18, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Employees participating in the State Group Life insurance program will have their coverage level and premium updated effective April 1, 2016.

For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the April 1, 2016 paycheck. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the April 1, 2016 paycheck.
State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium are based on a participant's highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings (typically the prior year's earnings) and age as of April 14. The 2016 premiums are available at: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/life/sgl/.

For questions, please contact your benefits office.


Income Continuation Insurance Annual Premium Update

February 15, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Each year Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premiums are updated on February 1. For University Staff (paid bi-weekly), the premium update will be reflected on the February 18, 2016 paycheck. For Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (paid monthly), the premium update will be reflected on the March 1, 2016 paycheck.

For 2016, ICI premium rates are increasing 20% as approved by the State of Wisconsin Group Insurance Board (GIB). Not all employees will have a 20% increase. Current participants’ 2016 premium update will depend on many factors including:

If you are currently enrolled in the ICI program, you may see your updated 2016 ICI premium, here: ICI Premium Notice. Current enrollees were also sent an email directing them to this customized web page.

Please note:  The February 1 effective ICI annual update does not reflect any enrollments made during the ICI Deferred Enrollment period which began in January and ends March 1, 2016.  Employees who are eligible to participate in the ICI Deferred Enrollment period received notification about their opportunity in late January.

For a full list of ICI premiums and more information about the plan, visit the ICI Plan page. If you have questions, contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


Wellness Benefits for UW Employees

February 9, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Active UW employees and retirees enrolled in the State Group Health (SGH) Insurance program are eligible to participate in the Well Wisconsin program. Well Wisconsin is a program of financial incentives offered by SGH insurance providers. The program is designed to make employees more aware of current and future health risks while also saving them money.

If you are eligible for the Well Wisconsin program, you can earn a $150 incentive from your SGH insurance provider for participating in the program. Your enrolled spouse/domestic partner may also complete the program and earn their own reward. All wellness incentives are taxable as wages.

Some insurance providers also offer additional rewards and resources to improve your health and quality of life. Visit the Well Wisconsin website: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home and select your insurance provider in the left hand column to learn more about the specific incentives that your plan offers.

If you are unsure about your eligibility for the Well Wisconsin program, contact your institution benefits office or your insurance provider.

Once you confirm your eligibility, there are two steps to completing enrollment in the Well Wisconsin program; taking a wellness assessment (including height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol) and completing an online health survey. Both steps must be completed in 2016 to qualify for the 2016 incentive.

For a complete list of SGH insurance providers participating in Well Wisconsin as well as instructions for completing Well Wisconsin enrollment, visit the Well Wisconsin: http://wellwisconsin.wi.gov/Home.


Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Period Through March 1, 2016

February 4, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

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.

Standard ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $4,000/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $64,000 per year of 2015 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings). Supplemental ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $7,500/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $120,000 per year of 2015 WRS earnings).

ICI Deferred Enrollment Opportunity Currently Available for Eligible Employees

If you are not currently enrolled in ICI, you may be able to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment Period through March 1, 2016. Eligible employees were sent an email on January 22. Employees who receive a hard copy earnings statement received a letter the week of January 25 mailed to their home address. You must complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) and return it to your payroll/personnel office on or before March 1, 2016 to enroll during the deferred enrollment period. ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1, 2016.

Deferred enrollment is offered in the following situations:


W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 29, 2016

January 25, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

The 2015 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available online in the MyUW portal. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. Paper copies of the W-2 will be mailed via U.S. mail and postmarked by January 29, 2016.

A printed Form W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, if you are filing a paper tax statement, you must write your Social Security number or Individual Tax Payer Identification number in the 'a' field at the top of each Form W-2 section. In order to increase the security of sensitive information online, any U.S. Social Security or Tax Payer Identification number has been removed from the online statements.

Some employees will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1095-C, 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc Form). The 1095-C (new this year) will be mailed via U.S. mail and available on the portal in early February.

The 1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter and 1099-Misc Forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letters will be posted on the portal when available. The 1099-Misc Forms will not be available on the portal.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2015 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2015 taxable earnings since the last 2015 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) began accepting returns on January 19, 2016 for the 2015 tax filing season. To minimize your chance of a fraudulent return being processed using your Social Security number (SSN), or Individual Tax Payer Identification number (ITIN), you may want to consider filing a return as early as you are able. More information is available on the IRS website.


2016 Insurance Premiums and WRS Contribution Rates

January 8, 2016 | Source: UW Service Center

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period and premiums for 2016 coverage were reflected on the pay check dated December 23, 2015 for University Staff (paid bi-weekly) and January 4, 2016 for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointees (FA/AS/LI) (paid monthly).

How to Check Your 2016 Benefit Enrollments

Your Benefits Summary is available online. Log in to the MyUW portal and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information module to see your Benefits Summary. On the Benefits Summary page, enter "01/01/2016" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2016 elections.

2016 Health, Dental and Pharmacy Plan Cards

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you enrolled in either the FSA or HSA programs for 2016, the first deduction for 2016 elections was taken on the January 4, 2016 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 7, 2016 pay check for University Staff. For important 2016 information regarding FSA and HSA read Important Flexible Spending (FSA) & Health Savings Accounts (HSA) News for 2016.

New TASC cards were sent to all participants. This card should be used for all expenses in 2016. New cards will have the TASC and ETF logos.

Old TASC cards have been deactivated. If there is MyCash remaining on your 2015 FSA card, the MyCash portion of the card will still work. In 2016, the MyCash feature will no longer be available. Reimbursements will be provided based on the reimbursement method you have selected. You may update this method in your MyTASC account online.

If participants have any 2015 FSA unsubstantiated claims, their 2016 card may be temporarily suspended. Cards will become active once claims are substantiated.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2016 will decrease from 6.8% to 6.60% for all employees (except Protectives with Social Security, for whom the contribution will remain at 7.70%). This decrease occurred on the January 4, 2016 pay check for FA/AS/LI, and the January 7, 2016 pay check for University Staff.


Important Flexible Spending (FSA) & Health Savings Accounts (HSA) News for 2016

December 29, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

2016 Healthcare FSA, Dependent Day Care FSA, Transit & Parking and HSA program participants:

Learn more about the important FSA news.

Learn more about the important HSA news.

If you have any questions, please contact your institution’s benefits office.


Monthly Pay Date for December Earnings is January 4, 2016

December 17, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

If you are a Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited employee (FA/AS/LI) paid on the 1st of each month, this is a reminder that the monthly pay date for December earnings is Monday, January 4 2016. January 4 is the pay date since January 1 (New Year's Day) is a Federal Reserve Holiday.

When a pay date falls on a Federal Reserve holiday or a weekend, the pay date is usually the previous business day. An exception to this is the monthly pay date that falls on New Year's Day, January 1.

To avoid tax-related issues, the January 1 pay date for December earnings is paid in the new calendar year, and must be the first "official banking business day" following the New Year's holiday. The "official banking business day" is defined as a calendar day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a Federal Reserve holiday.


New IRS Form Required for UW Employees Filing 2015 Taxes

December 17, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

Beginning in 2016, the University of Wisconsin (UW) must file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1095-C with the IRS to report and document that full-time UW employees were offered health insurance coverage during the previous calendar year (2015).

The UW will also provide all UW employees who were full-time for all or some months of 2015 with a copy of their Form 1095-C. Employees will need the Form 1095-C they receive from the UW as part of their documentation requirement when filing their 2015 taxes. Form 1095-C does not include information about actual health insurance coverage provided, but simply documents that coverage was offered.

Why is Form 1095-C Required for Filing Taxes?

This new IRS tax form requirement is due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Form 1095-C will assist employees and the IRS in establishing that ACA obligations have been met for both the employer and the employee.

The employee must comply with the Individual Mandate: maintaining minimum essential health insurance coverage unless they fall within an exception category. Failure to satisfy this obligation may result in a tax penalty.

The employer must comply with the Employer Mandate: offering health insurance coverage to employees. Failure to satisfy this obligation may result in a tax penalty.

Employees will receive Form 1095-C by February 1, 2016. The UW has contracted the mailing distribution of the 1095-C forms to a third-party vendor, BusinessSolver. Please be aware that the return address on the envelope you receive may reflect this. An electronic copy of the form will also be available in the MyUW portals under Payroll Information, in the ‘Tax Statements’ tab.

Form 1095-B to be Distributed by The Insurance Carrier

Beginning in 2016, the insurance carrier must file Form 1095-B with the IRS, and provide a copy to each employee reflected on a Form 1095-B. This form reflects health insurance coverage provided to the employee during the previous calendar year.

Employees will receive Form 1095-B because the insurance carrier provided either the employee or their family member(s) with health insurance coverage during the previous calendar year. Form 1095-B documents employee compliance with the Individual Mandate. Employees will receive Form 1095-B by February 1, 2016.

UW employees will receive an email in January with additional information about the new tax forms and the ACA requirements.


Review/Update Your Address Information by January 15, 2016 for the Annual W-2 Tax Form Mailing

December 15, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

In late January 2016, your W-2 tax form will be mailed to you and an electronic copy will be available in the My UW portal. Your W-2 Form will be mailed to one of the following addresses:

Please take a few moments to review your address information. You must update your address by January 15, 2016 to ensure that your W-2 Form is delivered to your preferred address.

To Review Your Home Address:

  1. Log in to MyUW.
  2. Your home address will be in the \'Personal Information\' module on the ‘Home’ page, or on the ‘Work Record’ tab in the classic view.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer, click the \'Update my Personal Information\' link to update your address. Your home address will appear in the \'Addresses\' module. To change your address, choose the \"Change addresses\" tab. Then choose the \'edit\' tab next to your home address.

To Review or Add Your Mailing Address:

  1. Log in to MyUW.
  2. To view your mailing address, click the \'Update my Personal Information\' link. Your mailing address will be in the \'Addresses\' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer or you wish to add a mailing address, choose \'Change addresses\' tab. Then choose the \'edit\' tab for changing your mailing address or ‘add’ for adding a new mailing address.

While in the ‘Personal Information’ module in the portal, you are also encouraged to use the available links to self-identify your veteran, disability status or ethnicity. Self-identifying is optional. This information is used only for federal reporting purposes and will not be shared in any other way. You are also encouraged to update your Emergency Contact Information, if appropriate.

Questions?

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

If you have other questions, contact your Payroll/Staff Benefits office.


State Group Life and Income Continuation Insurance Plan Changes Effective January 1, 2016

December 8, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The following changes to the State Group Life Insurance (SGL) and Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) plans are effective January 1, 2016.

Elimination of the Six-Month WRS Waiting Period for SGL and ICI

Effective January 1, 2016, employees are no longer required to serve six months under the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in order to be eligible for SGL and ICI.  The change to the WRS participation requirement is the result of a 2015-17 biennial state budget statutory change.
Important Note: Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited employees (FA/AS/LI) who signed up for ‘regular’ ICI must still wait 12 months before coverage becomes effective, reduced by each month of prior WRS state service. However, the employee may chose ‘early’ ICI coverage and pay the full premium until the WRS participation is met.

Employees who have recently completed or have a pending SGL or ICI applications will be notified by their Benefits office regarding the change in their effective date of coverage and premium deductions.

Employees who became WRS eligible between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 are eligible for SGL coverage effective January 1, 2016 if the application is received by December 30.  If the application is received between January 1 and January 31, coverage will be effective on February 1, 2016.

Premiums are deducted:

Change in SGL Effective Date of Coverage for New Employees

The SGL coverage effective date for new employees will be the first day of the month following 30 days from the date of hire.

There are also changes to the effective date due to a Life Event or a return from an unpaid leave of absence.  See your benefits office for more information.

Termination of Coverage at the End of the Month

Effective January 1, 2016, SGL coverage terminates at the end of the month in which employment ends. Eligibility for continuation of coverage has not changed.


2016 WRS Contribution Rates

December 4, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced the 2016 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates.  Your contribution rate is determined by your WRS employment category.  Most UW employees are covered by either the general or teacher WRS category.  High level administrators (chancellors, president, vice presidents, provosts…) are covered by the executive category, and those whose main duties are related to law enforcement or the protection of the public (police officers, fire fighters) are covered by the protective category.

2015 and 2016 WRS Contribution Rates:

 

General/Teacher

Executives

Protectives w/Social Security

 

2015

2016

2015

2016

2015

2016

Employee Contribution

6.80%

6.60%

7.70%

6.60%

6.80%

6.60%

Employer Contribution

6.80%

6.60%

7.70%

6.60%

9.50%

9.40%

Total

13.60%

13.20%

15.40%

13.20%

16.30%

16.00%

WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis.  The 2016 contribution rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2016 beginning on January 4, 2016 for Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointment (FA/AS/LI) paid monthly and January 7, 2016 for University Staff paid bi-weekly.  As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.


2016 Tax-Sheltered Annuity and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Contribution Limits Announced

November 5, 2015 | Source: UW System Administration

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced 2016 contribution limits for the UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) Program (TSA) and the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation 457 Program (WDC).

In 2016, as in 2015, employees may contribute a basic maximum of $18,000 to the TSA program. Employees age 50 and over can contribute an additional $6,000 for a total of $24,000. These same limits apply to WDC. Employees can contribute the maximum to both programs for a total of $36,000 (under age 50) or $48,000 (age 50 and older).

Employees with 15 or more years of UW service who have contributed less than an average of $5,000 per year over their UW employment, may have an additional "catch-up" opportunity with the TSA program. Check with your Human Resources/Benefits office to see if you are eligible. For more information, see the web page on TSA limits.

Both pre-tax and Roth after-tax 403(b) or 457 contributions count towards the annual limit. For example, if you are under 50, you could contribute $10,000 pre-tax and $8,000 Roth after-tax to each program. Please note Roth IRAs are an investment completely separate from the UW 403(b) and WDC Programs.

Employees currently enrolled in the TSA program can change TSA contributions for 2016 by submitting a Salary Reduction Agreement to their department HR/Payroll and Benefits contact. See the TSA website for more information about enrolling in the program.

If you want to change your TSA deduction for 2016 or enroll in the program, you should submit your TSA Salary Reduction Agreement to your Human Resources/Benefits office in early December. Clearly mark the form as calendar year 2016.

To change your WDC contribution or enroll in the WDC program, call the WDC office at 1-877-457-9327 or visit the website at: http://www.wdc457.org/. WDC changes must be made with Great-West Retirement Services in early December 2015, so that they have adequate time to electronically send the information to the payroll office.

If you want to maximize your TSA and/or WDC contributions for 2016, see the chart below to determine how much to contribute per paycheck.

Number of
Paychecks Annually

2016 Annual
Maximum
2016 Amount
per Paycheck
9 paychecks (under age 50) $18,000.00 $2,000.00
9 paychecks (age 50 and over) $24,000.00 $2,666.67
12 paychecks (under age 50) $18,000.00 $1,500.00
12 paychecks (age 50 and over) $24,000.00 $2,000.00
26 paychecks (under age 50) $18,000.00 $692.31
26 paychecks (age 50 and over) $24,000.00 $923.08

Note: No deductions are taken during the summer for employees paid on an academic year basis (9 paychecks annually).


UIA Life Insurance Annual $24 Premium Deduction

October 22, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The annual $24.00 University Insurance Association (UIA) mandatory premium deduction will be taken from October monthly earnings, paid October 30, 2015.

In 2015-2016 the minimum monthly salary required for initial UIA life insurance eligibility is $2,567.00. Participation in the UIA life insurance plan is a condition of employment for UW System Faculty/Academic Staff/Limited Appointment (FA/AS/LI) whose rate of compensation, when eligibility is initially met, is not less than 45% of the average instructor's salary for the previous year.

Once an employee becomes eligible for coverage, eligibility will continue for the full plan year of 10/01/2015 through 09/30/2016. Employees must re-qualify for eligibility each year.

For more information about the plan, see the UIA Fact Sheet or the UW System website.


'Sabbatical' Now Referred to as 'Banked Leave'

October 21, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

Starting on Monday, October 26, University Staff will notice a change to how sabbatical is referenced in the MyUW portal and on their earnings statements.  The balance that was previously displayed as ‘Sabbatical’ is now labeled ‘Banked Leave.’

The change from ‘Sabbatical’ to ‘Banked Leave’ is a change in terminology only; the actual leave balances are unaffected by this change.  This change is part of the new Human Resource Design (HRD) personnel system implementation.

If you have questions please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


Individual & Family Life Insurance Enrollees can Increase Coverage, October 5 - 30, 2015

October 20, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

If you are a currently enrolled in the Individual and Family Life Insurance plan, you have an annual option to increase your coverage during the Annual Increase Option Period (AIO) from October 5 – 30, 2015.

Actions that May be Taken during the Annual Increase Option Period

During the AIO period, you may elect to increase current coverage by the following amounts:

Review 2016 maximum coverage before making your increase election:

Remember: Spouse/domestic partner or child life insurance coverage may not exceed your total (employee amount) coverage.

To Review Your Current Coverage and Determine Your Premium

Use the Individual and Family Annual Increase Calculator at https://uwservice.wisconsin.edu/indfam-increase-calculator/ to see your current coverage level and determine your premium for 2016 if you elect to increase coverage. 

Application Information and Deadline

If you wish to increase your coverage, submit a paper Annual Increase Option form (UWS 1310): https://www.wisconsin.edu/abe/download/life%282%29/aio.pdf to benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

If your department is offering online enrollment, you may submit your election online.  Access eBenefits via the MyUW portal (http://my.wisc.edu/).   Go to the Benefits Information module and click on the Open Enrollment link.

All elections to increase coverage must be submitted online or received by your benefits office by 4:30 p.m. on October 30, 2015.  The increased coverage level will be effective January 1, 2016 (new premium deducted from December earnings).

Decreasing or canceling coverage

If you plan to decrease or cancel your coverage, you must complete a paper application: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/download/life/if/app.pdf.  Applications to decrease or cancel coverage may be submitted at any time during the year.  Coverage decreases or cancellations are effective the first of the month following the receipt of the application.

Plan Certificate

All of the plan provisions of the group insurance policy are outlined in the certificate.  See the certificate at: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/download/life/if/cert.pdf.

For More Information

Go to http://www.wisconsin.edu/abe/life/ for more information about the Individual and Family Life insurance plan.  If you have any questions, please contact your benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


Annual Benefits Enrollment period is October 5-30, 2015

September 9, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

What is the Annual Benefits Enrollment Period?
The Annual Benefits Enrollment period, October 5-30, is the only opportunity to make changes to your benefits unless you have an eligible family status or employment change during the year.

Do I Need to Take Action if I am not Making any Benefit Changes?
If you participate in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program, you must enroll every year if you wish to continue your participation.Please review the changes under the State Group Health insurance section below. Depending on your current enrollments, there are additional changes which may affect you.

Will I Have Plan Changes Even if I don’t Participate in the Annual Benefits Enrollment?
Yes. If you are currently a State Group Health Insurance plan participant, you will experience changes to your State Group Health Insurance plan due to new plan provisions effective January 1, 2016. These important new provisions are detailed below.

Annual Benefits Enrollment Plan Participants, Highlights and Plan Changes for 2016
Below are plans that are participating in the Annual Benefits Enrollment, changes you can make and highlights of major plan changes for 2016. All changes take effect on January 1, 2016.

State Group Health Insurance
You may enroll, change plans, add or remove dependents, cancel Uniform Dental, cancel coverage, waive or Opt Out. Please note below that health insurance plan names have changed.

It’s Your Choice (IYC) Health Plan (formerly HMO -Coinsurance Uniform Benefit Plans)

If you do not want your Uniform Dental to continue, then with eBenefits, you must choose a State Group Health Insurance plan without the Delta Dental Wisconsin option. If you do not enroll via eBenefits, you must complete a paper health insurance application.

It’s Your Choice (IYC) Access Health Plan - (formerly the Standard Plan)

It’s Your Choice (IYC) High Deductible Health Plan and Health Savings Account (formerly High Deductible Health Plan)

If you do not want your Uniform Dental to continue, then with eBenefits, you must choose a State Group Health Insurance plan without the Delta Dental Wisconsin option. If you do not enroll via eBenefits, you must complete a paper health insurance application.

Pharmacy Benefits

$2,000 Opt- Out Incentive

University employees enrolled in State Group Health insurance in 2015 can opt out of 2016 State Group Health Insurance and receive a $2,000 incentive. Craftworkers and Graduate Assistants are not eligible for the incentive.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA -Health Care, Dependent Care and Limited Purpose FSA
To participate, you must enroll every year. UW Temporary Employees (formerly LTEs, Fellows, Scholars, Graduate Interns/Trainees or Post-Doctoral Fellows/Trainees are not eligible to participate. You will enroll online directly with TASC the plan vendor at www.tasconline.com.

Dental Wisconsin
You may enroll, change plans (between PPO and Select), add or remove dependents, or cancel coverage.

VSP Vision
You may enroll, add or remove dependents, or cancel coverage.

Individual and Family Life Insurance
If currently insured, you may increase coverage. You may remove dependents, decrease or cancel coverage at any time.

Epic Benefits+
If currently insured, you may cancel the vision portion of the plan, remove dependents or cancel coverage. You cannot enroll or add any coverage or dependents.

Other Considerations
When considering your premium deductions for 2016, you should be aware that if you have Income Continuation Insurance (ICI), the premium will be increasing by 20%. The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) deduction is decreasing from 6.8% to 6.6% for the majority of employees.

For More Information and Questions
More information about plan changes for 2016, or changes you can make during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period, will be posted to http://benefits.wisc.edu/2016. Check regularly for updates.


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

July 31, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

What are Summer Prepay Deductions?

If you are a 9-month employee who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2015, 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 April 1, 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 benefits office immediately. If insurance premiums are not collected through the summer prepay deductions process, you will be billed for premiums. In this case, you must remit timely premium payments to continue insurance coverage.

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 UW employment? Employees who anticipate any status change during the summer should contact their Benefits office immediately about the impact to their 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 2015 employment status changes after summer prepay deductions have already been taken, refunds may be issued for these additional deductions. Employees who will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, should contact their HR/Benefits office immediately for assistance in determining employment termination date and the date insurance coverage will end.

Questions

If you have questions, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Reminders for Participating Employees

July 30, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

If you are participating in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program, please review the following important reminders regarding reimbursement and TASC Card usage.

Documentation for Reimbursement

Before submitting a request for reimbursement, make sure that you check your online account to see if documentation is required for your specific reimbursement request.

Your online account will not send you a notification regarding required documentation. By checking to see if documentation is required before submitting a request, you will save time and make the processing of your request more efficient.

If you have already submitted a reimbursement request without documentation and do not receive your reimbursement, check your TASC online account to see if you need to submit receipts.

TASC Card Disables Upon Termination

If you terminate employment, your TASC card is disabled and no longer available for your use. After terminating, you can still request reimbursements. Instead of using your TASC card, you must submit a request to be reimbursed directly from your TASC account.

When a New TASC Card and ID is Issued

If you have a change in the frequency of your payroll checks (i.e., change from being paid bi-weekly to monthly) you will receive a new TASC card and ID.


2016 WRS Contribution Rates

June 29, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced the 2016 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) contribution rates.  Your contribution rate is determined by your WRS employment category.  Most UW employees are covered by either the general or teacher WRS category.  High level administrators (chancellors, president, vice presidents, provosts…) are covered by the executive category, and those whose main duties are related to law enforcement or the protection of the public (police officers, fire fighters…) are covered by the protective category.

2015 and 2016 WRS Contribution Rates:

 

General/Teacher

Executives

Protectives w/ Social Security

 

2015

2016

2015

2016

2015

2016

Employee Contribution

6.80%

6.60%

7.70%

7.80%

6.80%

6.60%

Employer Contribution

6.80%

6.60%

7.70%

7.80%

9.50%

9.40%

Total

13.60%

13.20%

15.40%

15.60%

16.30%

16.00%

WRS contribution rates are set on an annual basis.  The 2016 contribution rates will apply to all paychecks paid in 2016 beginning on January 4, 2016 for unclassified employees paid monthly and January 7, 2016 for classified employees paid bi-weekly.  As a reminder, WRS contributions are taken on a pre-tax basis for state and federal tax purposes.


Long Term Care Info

June 29, 2015 | Source: Mutual of Omaha

This long-term care plan is available to employees and their families.


Keep Your Beneficiary Designations Up-to-Date!

June 23, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is the person or persons you designate to receive any benefits payable upon your death. Naming beneficiaries ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death.

Keep your beneficiary designations up-to-date

To protect your beneficiary (ies), review and update your beneficiary designations regularly. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time.  Review of your designations for possible changes is especially important when you have experienced a life event, such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, divorce, etc. Your assets are distributed according to the Beneficiary designations that you have on file, so it is important to review and make any needed changes whenever your personal circumstances change.

How do I know what benefits I have?

Go to the Benefit Information module in the My UW, and click the “View Benefits Summary Detail” link to see your current benefit enrollments. Contact your benefits office to confirm your coverage and coverage levels.

Completing/updating your beneficiary designations

Beneficiary designation forms and instructions can be found at: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/forms-publications.aspx.  Select the “view by type” box and expand the “beneficiary designations” section. Follow the instructions to submit the beneficiary form for each plan. Make sure you keep a copy of each completed beneficiary form for your records. Return completed forms to the address on the form, not to your campus Benefits office. You will receive an acknowledgement from the plan.

If you are unsure of your current beneficiary designations, you may contact your benefit plan directly for this information, or you may simply complete a new beneficiary designation to ensure that your designations are current. Completing a new form is typically the easiest and quickest way to update your designations.

The following plans have a beneficiary designation form:

If you have a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) or Deferred Compensation account, make sure you review and update your beneficiary designations as needed. Contact the plan directly to update your beneficiary designations or, if you are enrolled in the TSA program, update your beneficiary online.


Changes to State Group Health Insurance

May 20, 2015 | Source: UW System Administration

The Department of Employee Trust Funds Group Insurance Board met on May 19, 2015 and approved changes to the state employee health insurance program. The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) will be summarizing the changes made to employee benefits for 2016 in an upcoming communication. This article is intended to assist you with understanding the benefit changes prior to the official summary from ETF. The changes affect participants’ deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, copays and drug costs. The changes include:

All of the health plan changes will be effective on January 1, 2016.

The 2016 Annual Benefit Enrollment period, where employees can make changes to their benefits, will take place October 5-30, 2015.

Translated versions of this news article: .pdf | .doc


Unclassified Employees: Use of Vacation and Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA)

May 14, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

Unclassified employees (academic staff, faculty and limited) with a 12-month appointment are eligible to bank unused vacation in an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA) at the beginning of their 11th fiscal year of employment. Unclassified 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 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 as of June 30, 2015 (up to the maximum allowed).

If you meet the eligibility requirements for ALRA:

If you elect to bank hours to ALRA, the vacation hours used will first come from any remaining Vacation Carryover you had as of June 30, 2015. If you allocated more unused vacation to ALRA than you currently have as Vacation Carryover, the additional hours to be banked will come from your new Vacation Carryover balance as of July 1, 2015 (vacation earned in the current fiscal year).

If you have questions, please contact the Payroll Coordinator for your work unit.


Review/Update Your Personal Information Before You Leave the UW

April 17, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

As the academic year winds down, thoughts turn towards summer. For many employees of the UW system institutions, the last few weeks of the semester are a flurry of activity as people tie up loose ends before they leave for the summer break, leave employment at the UW entirely, or shift into summer session or summer service duties.

As you finish the items that remain on your own to-do-list, we'd like to encourage you to take a second and review your personal information in the Personal Information module of the My UW-Madison portal and to update that information if necessary. Log in to the portal and select the Work Record tab to locate the Personal Information module. If you have switched to MyUW Beta, choose Personal Information.

Why is This Important?

Even if you're leaving the UW, or you're not going to be working at a UW institution for a few months, there may be a need for your employer to contact you. Please take a few moments to review your address information, and make sure it is up-to-date. This is especially true if you are moving over the summer; it's easy to overlook this simple step, but it could help ensure that you receive important information concerning your benefits, your paychecks, or your employment at the UW.

Also, while you are in the 'Personal Information' module reviewing your address information, you are also encouraged to update your Emergency Contact information.

Questions?

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

If you have other questions, contact your benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available in the Portal

April 14, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2014, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available online in the My UW-Madison portal. For Classic MyUW log in to the portal, select the Work Record tab, go to the Benefit Information module and click on the Statements tab. Click on "ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2015" to view and print your statement. If you have switched to MyUW Beta, search for Benefit Information and launch that app. Click on the Statements tab to find your current ETF Annual Statement of Benefits.

The WRS Annual Statement of Benefits provides you with information about your WRS account as of January 1, 2015. You should review your statement closely for accuracy. The statement includes:

NOTE: New WRS participants who enrolled in late December 2014, and whose first wages were paid in January 2015, will not receive a statement because no WRS contributions were paid in 2014.

Informational Resources

This year, along with the Explanation of Annual Statement of Benefits, there are two new resources published by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF); an Introductory Letter and the Empower Women’s Retirement brochure promoting options for women to plan for retirement.  The brochure features the Wisconsin Deferred Compensation program. UW employees also have the option of participating in the Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) program.

The above resources, as well as a schedule of live, interactive Statement of Benefits Webinars (on April, 21, 28 and 29) is available on the WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Help Page. The help page also includes additional educational resources.

If you have questions about your statement, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


Tax Refund Fraud and Identity Theft Protection

April 7, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

When the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released their statistics on consumer complaints earlier this year, Identity Theft held its position as the top complaint (322,646 reports), with nearly a third of those reports (109,063) categorized as Tax Identity Theft complaints. Unfortunately, with each recent tax season there are more victims of tax-related fraud and identify theft.  This occurs when a name, birth date and social security number are stolen and used to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.  The following prevention and assistance resources are available.

IRS Resources

For the 2014 filing season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has expanded efforts to protect taxpayers and help victims of federal tax-related fraud.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Resources

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) is dedicated to helping Wisconsin taxpayers who are victims of identity theft.  DOR partners with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the IRS. Visit the WI DOR Identity Theft web page for Wisconsin specific resources to help fraud victims.

Federal Trade Commission Resources

The nation’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices. The FTC website has directions for victims of identity theft, and instruction on how to create an Identity Theft Report.


2015 Income Continuation Insurance Deferred Enrollment Effective April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

Employees who enrolled in Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) or added supplemental coverage during the deferred enrollment period in January, 2015, had newly elected ICI coverage effective April 1. Employees paid monthly will see the premium reflected on the May 1 paycheck, and those paid bi-weekly on the April 16 paycheck.

For more information about the ICI program, see the ICI plan brochure. Please contact your benefits office with any questions.


Summer Prepay Deductions: Insurance Premium Deduction Schedule

March 16, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

Academic (9-month) employees, who will be returning to UW employment in the fall of 2015, and academic (12-month) employees, who have a contract that does not include work for one or more summer months, will have additional insurance premiums deducted from April 1, May 1 and/or June 1 paychecks to continue their insurance coverage through the summer months.  These additional insurance premiums, taken along with the regular monthly insurance deductions, are referred to as ‘summer prepay deductions.’

Employees must be expected to return for the fall semester, or must continue employment in a summer service/summer session appointment to have insurance coverage continue during the summer contract break.  Insurance premiums cannot be taken from summer service or summer session appointment earnings.  If an employee is working Summer Session(s) or Summer Service, the insurance premium deductions will have to be taken prior to this appointment via summer prepay deductions, or must be paid through direct payment by the employee.

If an employee’s anticipated fall 2015 employment status changes after additional insurance premiums have already been deducted, refunds may be issued for these additional deductions.  Employees who will be terminating employment, and will not return in the fall, should contact their HR/Benefits office immediately for assistance in determining employment termination date and the date insurance coverage will end.

Employees who anticipate other status changes; marriage, adoption, divorce, etc., should contact their Benefits office immediately about the impact to insurance benefits.

IMPORTANT: The chart below illustrates insurance premiums deducted for an employee scheduled to return to UW employment in the fall of 2015, who or has a summer appointment and is then terminating.  Most employees will have deductions taken according to the chart below.  HR/Benefits offices can assist employees whose deduction schedule may vary from the schedule below based on appointment, summer employment, fall return date, or end date.

2015 Summer Prepay Deduction Schedule
Insurance Premiums to be TakenPaychecks on which Premiums will be Taken

Health and other insurance deductions.*

Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

April 1, May 1, June 1

Income Continuation Insurance

Regular premium deduction PLUS two summer premium deductions.

May 1

Income Continuation Insurance

Regular premium deduction PLUS one summer premium deduction.

June 1

*Does not include Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation (WDC). There are no additional premiums taken for these programs.

How Summer Prepay Deductions Appear on the Earnings Statement

Summer prepay deductions 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 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.’

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.  For employees who have one extra deduction for each plan, there will be a total listed under Prebtx on each earnings statement impacted by the additional deductions. NOTE: ‘Prebtx’ stands for before tax or pre-tax and ‘Preatx’ stands for after tax or post-tax.

IMPORTANT: To verify accuracy, employees should review their earnings statements to ensure that 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 insurance coverage.

Employees should contact their Benefits office with questions.


2014 Effective Interest Rates for Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

March 11, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) has announced the 2014 interest rates to be credited to eligible WRS retirement accounts . The Core Fund effective rate of interest is 8.7% and the Variable Fund effective rate of interest is 7.0%. These rates are applied to the balance of employees' WRS accounts as of January 1, 2014. The rates are based on investment performance earned by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB).

ETF expects to announce the Core and Variable annuity adjustments by mid-March. These adjustments will first be reflected on retirees' May 1, 2015 payments.

See the full article here: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht_20150306.htm

For more information:


Distribution of 1042-S Forms for Foreign Nationals

March 5, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

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 March 6 via U.S mail to employees who elected hard copy distribution.

All 1042-S Forms (distributed electronically via Glacier or via U.S. mail) have been posted to My UW System (UW-Madison users should visit My UW, under the Work Record tab). Forms will be located in the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab

The deadline for filing state and federal income tax returns is April 15, 2015.


Duplicate Tax Statement Requests

March 5, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

If you are unable to print your tax statements (Form W-2, 1042-S Form, etc.), they are also available by completing a Duplicate Tax Statement Request. The 2014 statements are processed at no charge and statements are mailed to employees within 10 days of the receipt of the request.

Processing fees for statements for other years 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 payable for the total amount due to: University of Wisconsin. 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


W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Available Online

March 5, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The 2014 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are available in My UW System (in My UW under the Work Record tab for UW-Madison employees).  Statements are located in the Payroll Information module under the Tax Statements tab.  If you are receiving a W-2C for 2014 (a corrected W-2) this statement will also be in the portal. All paper copies of the W-2 were mailed to employees in January.

A printed Form W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, if you are filing a paper tax statement, you must write your Social Security number or Individual Tax Payer Identification number in the 'a' field at the top of each Form W-2 section. In order to increase the security of sensitive information online, any U.S. Social Security or Tax Payer identification number has been removed from the online statements.

Some employees will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc). These forms are being mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S Forms and Fellowship/Scholarship Letters are currently posted on the portal.  The 1099-Misc forms will not be available on the portal.

Employees are reminded that they should use their Form W-2, not their final 2014 earnings statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2014 taxable earnings since the last 2014 payroll was paid. These employees may have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the Form W-2 that the employee receives.

Related Link: Explanation of the W-2 Wage and Tax Statement


Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Transition from WageWorks to TASC is Complete

March 4, 2015 | Source: UW System Administration

As of 3/3/2015, the transition from WageWorks to TASC for FSA services is now complete for all UW employees.  

What you need to know if you had a 2014 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account but DO NOT have a 2015 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

  • A TASC account has been created for you.
  • To access your TASC account online (called MyTASC), you will need to register for an account by going to www.tasconline.com.  You will need to know what your personal TASC ID# (12-digits) is - this can be found on e-mails previously sent to you from TASC or on your TASC debit card.
    • If you receive an error of “We are sorry, but the username and email do not match any account. Please check your information and try again,” it is possible that your e-mail address is not in TASC’s system. You will need to contact TASC Customer Service (1-800-422-4661) to have them update your profile with your e-mail address. You should then be able to register for an account.
  • Your 2014 carryover balance has been loaded to your TASC account. This means you can now submit claims to TASC for reimbursement.
  • If you have already received your TASC debit card, you may now use it to charge expenses to. You will be able to charge expense to it through March 15, 2015.
  • If you have not already received a TASC debit card, you will receive one within 7-10 business days.  This may not give you enough time to charge 2014 expenses to it. You risk losing your 2014 funds if you decide to wait for the debit card. Although inconvenient, it is much safer to incur expenses, pay out of pocket, and then submit a claim for reimbursement.

What you need to know if you had a 2014 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account AND have a 2015 Healthcare or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

  • Your 2014 carryover balance has been loaded to your TASC account. This means you can now submit claims to TASC for reimbursement.
  • There is a first-in/first-out policy: any expenses you charge to your TASC debit card or submit claims for will be applied against your 2014 funds first.
  • If you used your TASC debit card or were reimbursed for expenses from your 2015 funds from 1/1/2015 through 3/2/2015, TASC will automatically reconcile these expenses and claims against the 2014 funds first. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO OPT OUT and submit your claims manually, you have to opt out here by 3/6/2015. You will need to know your TASC ID# which is found on your TASC debit card. The automatic reconciliation process will begin shortly after the opt-out deadline.
    • Who would opt out? An example of someone who would opt out is someone who has 2014 expenses that they need to submit claims for but has already been reimbursed for claims/expenses made during the Grace Period. The scenario below is just an example - please review your own situation before making the decision to opt out.
    • Example: John Doe has a 2014 balance of $200. He has a 2015 account with an annual election of $500. He has a bill from December 2014 for $200 which he has already paid that he now wants to be reimbursed for from his 2014 balance. In January, he purchased a few prescriptions totaling $100 with his TASC debit card which was deducted from his 2015 funds, leaving him with a balance of $400.
      • If John allows the automatic reconciliation process to occur, the $100 in prescriptions will be charged to the 2014 funds. His 2014 balance will now be $100 and his 2015 account will go back up to $500. If he then submits the claim for the December expense of $200, he will only be reimbursed $100.
      • If he opts out, the $100 expense for the prescriptions will remain on the 2015 account. If he submits the claim for the December expense of $200, he will be reimbursed in full.

Reminder: If you have 2014 funds remaining, expenses must be incurred by March 15, 2015 and claims must be submitted/postmarked by April 15, 2015.

You can submit claims by any of the following methods:

  • Request for Reimbursement via MyTASC Mobile App
  • Electronically at www.tasconline.com (MyTASC)
  • Mail or fax: Download a personalized Request for Reimbursement form from MyTASC (found under the “Resources” section), complete, and submit with substantiation to TASC.
    • Mail: TASC, PO Box 7308, Madison, WI 53707
    • Fax: 608-663-2762

Important to note:

If you would like to have your reimbursements sent to your bank account, you will need to set up your direct deposit information with TASC. If you do not, your reimbursements will go into your MyCash account; they will not send you a paper check in the mail. For more information, please review the MyCash Manager Guide.


2015 State Group Life Insurance Annual Update

February 26, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

State Group Life Insurance coverage level and premium are based on a participant's highest calendar year of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) earnings (typically the prior year's earnings) and age as of April 1. A participant's coverage level and premium will be updated effective April 1. The new premium will first appear on the April 1 paycheck (for those paid monthly and) the April 2 paycheck (for those paid bi-weekly).

The 2015 premiums are available at: http://uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums/index.php#sgl.

For questions, please contact benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.


Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Grace Period for Medical and Dependent Care Expense Claims

February 20, 2015 | Source: UW System Administration

FSA participants may incur medical and/or dependent care expenses through March 15, 2015 and can be reimbursed from 2014 contributions. Services received and reimbursable items purchased in 2014 and during the grace period between January 1 and March 15, 2015, may be reimbursed from remaining 2014 FSA plan year funds.

If you participated in the FSA program in 2014 you should have received an e-mail from TASC on 2/17/15 with updated information regarding the transition from WageWorks to TASC, what to expect and steps needed for employees to access remaining 2014 funds. This e-mail may have been delivered to your Junk folder. If you do not have a copy, please contact your Benefits Office for one.

We understand that employees may be waiting for their TASC debit cards before incurring an expense. It’s possible you won’t receive your debit card in time to charge 2014 expenses to it. You risk losing your 2014 funds if you decide to wait for the debit card. Although inconvenient, it is much safer to incur expenses, pay out of pocket, and then submit a claim for reimbursement.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The TASC e-mail from 2/17/15 indicates that expenses/claims paid during the grace period will be pulled from your 2014 balance first. This assumes that you did NOT incur any expenses against your 2015 TASC card or submit any claims to TASC prior to completion of the transition. If you used your debit card or submitted claims for expenses incurred during the transition period and were reimbursed from 2015 funds, you need to request TASC to apply these expenses to the 2014 funds after the transition period is over. To do so, contact TASC’s Customer Care line: 1-800-422-4661.

The deadline for submitting 2014 medical and dependent care claims to TASC is April 15, 2015*.

All claims must be received by TASC by April 15, 2015 to be reimbursed from 2014 funds. If you do not submit your claims by the deadline, any money remaining in your account for 2014 will be forfeited.

You can submit claims by any of the following methods:

  • Request for Reimbursement via MyTASC Mobile App
  • Electronically at www.tasconline.com (MyTASC)
  • Mail or fax: Download a personalized Request for Reimbursement form from MyTASC (found under the “Resources” section), complete, and submit with substantiation to TASC.
    • Mail: TASC, PO Box 7308, Madison, WI 53707
    • Fax: 608-663-2762

 *Claims cannot be submitted to TASC for 2014 plan year funds until the transition from WageWorks to TASC is complete. At this time it is expected to be complete by the 1st week of March. You will be receiving an email from TASC when the transition is complete.

As new information becomes available, it will be posted here.  Check for updates.

 If you have any questions, contact your Benefits Office.


Anthem Database Breach: Important Information for Health Plan Members

February 18, 2015 | Source: Department of Employee Trust Funds

External link: http://etf.wi.gov/news/ht_20150206.htm


Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) Deferred Enrollment and Annual Update January 2015

January 26, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

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.

Standard ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $4,000/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $64,000 per year of 2014 WRS earnings). Supplemental ICI pays 75% of your salary up to a maximum of $7,500/month (based on a maximum salary of up to $120,000 per year of 2014 WRS earnings).

Deferred Enrollment Period Through January 30, 2015

If you are not currently enrolled in ICI, you may be able to enroll during the ICI Deferred Enrollment Period through January 30, 2015. Eligible employees were sent an email from UWSystem HR on January 20. Employees who receive a hard copy earnings statement will receive a letter the week of January 19 mailed to their home address. If eligible, you must complete an Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) and return it to your department payroll and benefits coordinator to enroll during the deferred enrollment period. Please note the application must be returned to your department and date stamped by January 30, 2015 or before. If you have questions, please contact UW-Madison Benefits Services, benefits@ohr.wisc.edu.

ICI coverage elected through deferred enrollment will be effective April 1.

Deferred enrollment is offered in the following situations:

  • You're a classified employee and your prior year-end sick leave balance exceeds 520 or 728 hours for the first time.
  • You're a classified employee and accumulated at least 80 hours of sick leave (prorated for part-time employment) for the first time in the prior calendar year.
  • Your prior year end sick leave balance exceeds 1040 hours.
  • If enrolled in ICI and your 2014 WRS earnings were at least $64,000, you are eligible to enroll in Supplemental ICI coverage (if not already enrolled).

Annual Update

Each year there is review of all classified employees' earnings and leave usage to determine your Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) premium for the year.

For classified employees (paid bi-weekly), the ICI premium is based on your last year's earnings reported to the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) and sick leave balance/usage as of 12/27/2014. For unclassified employees (paid monthly), the ICI premium is based on last year's WRS-reported earnings and the selected elimination period.

For more information about the ICI program, see the ICI plan brochure. Please contact your benefits office with any questions.


W-2 (Wage and Tax Statements) Now Available Online; to be Mailed by January 31, 2015

January 26, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The 2014 W-2 Wage and Tax Statements are now available in My UW. Your statement is located under the Tax Statements tab in the Payroll Information module. Paper copies of the W-2 will be postmarked by January 31, 2015.

A printed Form W-2 from the portal is a valid document for tax filing. However, you must write your Social Security number or Individual Tax Payer Identification number in the 'a' field at the top of each Form W-2 section. In order to increase the security of sensitive information online, any U.S. Social Security or Tax Payer identification number has been removed from the online statements.

Some employees will also receive additional tax forms from the University (1042-S, Fellowship/Scholarship Letter, 1099-Misc). These forms will be mailed via U.S. mail as they are available. The 1042-S and Fellowship/Scholarship Letter will be posted on the portal. The 1099-Misc forms will not be available on the portal.

Employees are reminded that they should use their W-2 Form, not their final 2014 Earnings Statement to file their taxes. Some employees have had adjustments made to their 2014 taxable earnings since the last 2014 payroll was paid. These employees will have an additional earnings statement generated reflecting these adjustments. These adjustments will already be reflected on the W-2 Form that the employee receives.

Related Link: Explanation of the W-2 Wage and Tax Statement


Social Security Wage Base Increase for 2015

January 26, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

The Social Security wage base, the amount of an employee's salary (after applicable pre-tax deductions) that can be taxed for Social Security purposes, has risen from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500 in 2015. This means that the first $118,500 of an employee's taxable wages is subject to Social Security deductions.

An employee's entire taxable salary is subject to Medicare deductions.

The employer and employee tax rates will remain the same in 2015.

  • Social Security: You and the UW each pay 6.2% on taxable compensation up to $118,500.
  • Medicare: You pay 1.45% on taxable compensation up to $200,000 and 2.35% on taxable compensation beyond $200,000. The UW pays 1.45% on all taxable compensation.


Review/Update Your Address Information by January 19, 2015 for the Annual W-2 Tax Form Mailing

January 13, 2015 | Source: UW Service Center

In late January 2015, your W-2 tax form will be mailed to you and an electronic copy will be available in My UW-Madison. Your W-2 Form will be mailed to one of the following addresses:

  • Your home address unless you already have, or are adding, a mailing address (see below).
  • If you have a mailing address, your W-2 will be sent to this address and not your home address.
  • If you do not have a home or mailing address, then your W-2 will be sent to your office location.
Please take a few moments to review your address information. You must update your address by January 19, 2015 to ensure that your W-2 Form is delivered to your preferred address.

To Review Your Home Address:

  1. Log in to My UW-Madison and choose the 'Work Record' tab.
  2. Your home address will be in the 'Personal Information' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer, click the 'Update my Personal Information' link. Your home address will appear in the 'Addresses' module. To change your address, choose the 'Change addresses' tab. Then choose the 'edit' tab next to your home address.

To Review or Add Your Mailing Address:

  1. Log in to My UW-Madison and choose the 'Work Record' tab.
  2. To view your mailing address, click the 'Update my Personal Information' link. Your mailing address will be in the 'Addresses' module.
  3. If this is not the address you prefer or you wish to add a mailing address, choose 'Change addresses' tab. Then choose the 'edit' tab for changing your mailing address or 'add' for adding a new mailing address.

While in the 'Personal Information' module in the portal, you are also encouraged to use the available links to self-identify your veteran, disability status or ethnicity. Self-identifying is optional. This information is used only for federal reporting purposes and will not be shared in any other way. You are also encouraged to update your Emergency Contact Information, if appropriate.

Questions?

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

If you have other questions, contact your Payroll/Staff Benefits office.


2015 Insurance Premium and WRS Contribution Rates

December 30, 2014 | Source: UW Service Center

Benefit changes made during the Annual Benefit Enrollment period and premiums for 2015 coverage will be reflected on your check dated December 23 for classified employees (paid bi-weekly) and January 2 for unclassified employees (paid monthly).

  • Premiums will increase for health insurance (regular HMO and PPO plans) and VSP Vision insurance.
  • Premium will decrease for health insurance if you enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan.
  • Premium will decrease for the Dental Wisconsin PPO plan.
  • There will be no change to the Dental Wisconsin Select Plan Insurance premiums.
  • If you only cover children on your EPIC Benefits+ plan, you will see a decrease in your premium. Otherwise, there will be no change to your premiums.

2015 insurance premiums are available online at: uwservice.wisc.edu/premiums.

How to Check Your 2015 Benefit Enrollments

Your benefit summary is available online. Log in to My UW System and click on the "View Benefits Summary Detail" link in the Benefit Information box to see your benefit summary. Once you see your benefit summary, enter "01/01/2015" in the date field above the summary and click "Go" to see your 2015 elections.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you enrolled in either the FSA or HSA programs for 2015, your first deduction for your 2015 election will be on the first check payable in 2015 - January 2 for unclassified employees and January 8 for classified employees.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Contributions

The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employee contribution rate for 2015 will decrease from 7% to 6.80% for all employees (except those covered by the Executive WRS category, for whom the contribution rate is 7.70%). This change will also occur on the first check payable in 2015.

Income Continuation Insurance (ICI)

The ICI premium for Classified employees is based on the employee's monthly salary and sick leave balance remaining at the end of the prior calendar year. Employees often want to swap sick leave used for other leave when they see their ICI category change and premium increase.

The deadline to swap sick leave used for other leave is January 30, 2015. Any leave swaps that occur after January 30, 2015 will NOT change the 2015 ICI premium category.

Please contact your Payroll Office to initiate leave swaps.


Events

TSA and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation One-on-One Appointments and Seminar Schedule
One-on-one appointments and seminars available

There are appointments available for one-on-one consulting sessions with the following Tax-Sheltered Annuity 403(b) companies this semester: Dreyfus, Fidelity, T.Rowe Price, and TIAA-CREF. TSA Basics seminars are also offered. Please see http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/benefits/savings/tsa-workshops.aspx for dates and registration information.

Wisconsin Deferred Compensation is also offering sessions and seminars. See the same link for information.

Note: You can attend one-on-one sessions whether or not you are a customer of these vendors.

Related Link: TSA and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Schedules