2016 Benefits and Payroll News

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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.