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College of Letters & Science Preparing for Academic Year Appointments Welcome to the presentation “Preparing for Academic Year Appointments.” This material.

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Presentation on theme: "College of Letters & Science Preparing for Academic Year Appointments Welcome to the presentation “Preparing for Academic Year Appointments.” This material."— Presentation transcript:

1 College of Letters & Science Preparing for Academic Year Appointments Welcome to the presentation “Preparing for Academic Year Appointments.” This material was presented live on June 18, 2012 and has been modified into a self-paced presentation. After you review a slide, click anywhere to advance the presentation. Additional information and clarifications provided during the live presentation will appear in white text boxes (like this one). To exit the presentation at any time, press the Escape Key. To go back to a previous slide, press the Backspace Key. Click to begin the presentation Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

2 Today Welcome Overview: Associate Dean Nancy Westphal- Johnson Presenters and Staff Available to Answer Questions: Susan Adams, Cheryl Adams Kadera, Cheryl Arn, Brian Bubenzer, James Hovland, Cheryl Sullivan, Daun Wheeler Today’s presentation is primarily about academic year appointments, with focus on some of the ramifications of the WRS system. L&S Administration will be providing monthly trainings similar to this on different topics. If you would like to suggest a training topic, please contact Nancy Westphal- Johnson at (Click to advance to the next Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

3 Learning Objectives for Presentation 1.Basic understanding of academic year appointment types. 2.Familiarize you with the steps to determine WRS eligibility. We do not expect you to be an expert; however, we do expect you to have enough knowledge to know when to ask questions. You won’t walk away from this training as an expert in all the calculations for WRS eligibility. You will gain a broad understanding of different appointment, and learn what factors might push an employee into the WRS system. Noticing those factors will help avoid situations of an employee not knowing they will be enrolled into WRS. When you see those factors, you’ll know to look at the appointment carefully. If you can’t make the final WRS determination staff in the Office of Human Resources- Benefits are available to help. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

4 Academic vs. Annual Academic Year appointments = 9 months (C Basis) Annual appointments = 12 months (A Basis) First, let’s review Academic vs. Annual Appointments. There are two salary base types at UW-Madison. The appointment is a “C basis“ if the salary rate is computed on a nine-month (academic year) basis. If the salary rate is computed on an 12 month (annual) basis, the appointment is “A basis.” Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

5 Types of Academic Year Appointments Faculty Fixed-term renewable academic staff (advisor, researcher, faculty associate, etc.) Fixed-term terminal instructional academic staff (STS) – New & Reappointments (Lecturer, Visiting Faculty, Faculty Assistant, Faculty Associate, Adjunct Faculty) Fixed-term terminal non-instructional academic staff – (advisor, researcher,etc) Grad Assistants (TA, PA) Next, let’s review types of Academic Year Appointments (C basis). Fixed-term renewable appointments are for a period of time specified in the appointment letter, and are renewable. Fixed-term terminal instructional is often referred to as Short Term Staff (STS). Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

6 Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) provides retirement benefits for employees of the State of Wisconsin and most local units of government in Wisconsin. At the end of 2010, the WRS had more than 572,000 participants. WRS assets totaled $79.1 billion (actuarial value). This is a general overview of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). We’ll go into greater detail later about how to determine eligibility. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

7 WRS eligible titles examples Faculty (FA) – Professor, Associate Professor, etc Academic Staff (AS) – Advisor, Lecturer, Clinical Professor, Faculty Associate, Researcher, etc. Limited (LI) – Dean, Controller, Bursar, etc. Classified Permanent (CP), Classified Project (CJ), Classified LTE (CL) Some job titles are WRS eligible while others are not. The titles on this page are all WRS eligible. Therefore, when you are working with these appointment types you should determine WRS eligibility. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

8 Non-WRS Eligible Titles Student Assistant (SA) – TA, PA, RA Employee-in-Training (ET) – Post Doc Fellow, Research Associate, Post Grad Trainee, etc. These titles are not WRS eligible, regardless of hours and previous positions. Therefore, when working with this appointment type, you do not need to determine WRS eligibility. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

9 Steps To Hire New Academic Staff Employee PVL/Open recruitment (if required) s Select most qualified candidate s Determine WRS eligibilty s Send offer letter to L&S HR for review. s Conduct CBC for renewable and terminal non- instructional approvals. All others handled through a request sent to the departments each semester (TA, PA, STS) s After receiving approval from HR and the candidate officially accepts the position, you should work with L&S Payroll to get the appointment into the payroll system. Because we’re focusing on WRS eligibility today, we want to stress where in the hiring process you should determine eligibility. But it should be determined before the offer letter is sent. WRS eligibility can, in certain cases, significantly decrease the take home salary of an employee. This information needs to be given to candidates so they can make a fully informed decision about whether to accept the position Determining eligibility should happen after a final candidate has been selected; it cannot be used as part of the selection process. The next step is the Criminal Background Checks (CBC) for the renewable and terminal non-instructional appointments. All others are handled through a batch process that happens each semester. Shirley Holt requests this information from departments about their short term staffing (STS), TA or PA appointments, and coordinates those CBCs. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

10 Today’s Focus While we hope to give you a broad understanding of all academic year appointments, today’s main focus will be on WRS issues and short term staff. WRS eligibility is a positive circumstance for most us; however, it can be a negative for some appointment types. Prior to WRS eligibility, STS appointments generally qualify for the grad benefit package. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

11 Understanding the Implications of WRS 1- WRS contributions (5.9%) 2- Lose Grad benefit rate 3- Less than ½ time rate premiums What happens when employees with a short term appointment log enough hours and become WRS eligible? One adjustment- they are required to pay 5.9% of their salary into WRS. In addition, if the appointment is less than 50% time, the ‘less that ½ time’ premium applies. This rate is significantly more expensive than the grad rates. Between these two changes, premiums could increase from $100 a month to a new premium of $700/mo (family rate). Secondly, when the employee becomes WRS eligible, they no longer qualify for the grad benefit rate. They fall under the premium rates for Faculty & Staff, which are higher. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

12 Do NOT Rely on the WRS Lookback to Determine WRS Eligibility It’s important for your employees to know prior to accepting a position whether or not they will be put into WRS. If employees meet the eligibility criteria, they must be enrolled in WRS; employees have no choice. You can’t rely on Lookback because it only notifies at the time employees become eligible. It’s important for your employees to know prior to accepting a position if they’ll be put into WRS at any point during their appointment; enrollment in WRS can have large financial implications for the employee that might impact their decision to accept the position. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

13 Sometimes this happens the 1 st day of the semester Other times this may happen mid- semester Either way, if caught off guard, the WRS contribution, WRS insurance premiums and < ½ time rate will place a huge financial burden on your employee. Enrollment in WRS happens at the time criteria have been met. While it might happen the 1 st day of the semester, it could happen in the middle. So, when you determine WRS eligibility, you should consider: will the candidate become WRS eligible at any point during the appointment If so, you should have a discussion with the employee about the financial implications. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

14 Here’s an Example: $ vs. $699.15/month John Nothisherrealname was appointed as a 40% Assoc. Lecturer for the spring semester. John had a TA appointment during fall and an Associate Lecturer appt. the previous spring. On 3/1/12 John reached the 440 hour rule and “unknowingly” entered WRS & was no longer eligible for grad health insurance at $100.50/month (family coverage). His less than ½ time WRS rate would instead cost him $699.15/month. While the name, of course, is not real, this situation did happen this year. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

15 Month of EmploymentPremiums (GHC) January – Grad Family Premiums (GHC) February March- WRS <1/2 time Family Premiums (GHC) April May June- prepaid during Spring July- prepaid during Spring August - prepaid during Spring Total Health Insurance premiums paid during Spring Semester To make matters worse, John also had 3 months of summer premium prepays deducted at the higher rate leaving him with only $3,584 to cover his living expenses. This does NOT include the additional 5.9% WRS contribution. This individual was not informed that he would be enrolled in WRS until the middle of the semester, well after his appointment had begun. As you can imagine, he was unpleasantly surprised. This example shows the importance of determining if the candidate will be eligible at any point in the appointment term, not just at the beginning. If this issue happens, unfortunately, there are no good solutions. As mentioned before, enrollment in WRS is mandatory when the requirements are met, and premiums will change at that time as well. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

16 How Do Appointments Previously Not Eligible Become WRS Eligible? Common examples… –Percentage of appointment increases –Appointment length increases or appointment becomes renewable –Lookback—Someone has worked 880 hours (or 440 under the old WRS rules) in a WRS eligible position during the past 12-month period. When might a percentage increase? Here’s an example: During part of the semester, an employee helps out for a few weeks with an unexpected vacancy (increasing appointment for several weeks in the middle of the semester). A general rule of thumb: if you determine a candidate will be close to becoming eligible in a term, contact OHR-Benefits. They can make an exact determination, and implications can be discussed with the candidate before they accept and start the position. Or, you might have a fixed term terminal appointment that is very short in nature, and is extended. You should determine benefit eligibility if an appointment is extended in length where it may qualify for WRS. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

17 Template letters will include a reminder: “Regardless of HRS designation (Centralized, Centralized Plus, Decentralized), it is the Department’s responsibility to determine WRS eligibility prior to submitting a draft offer letter for L&S review. Please refer to KB in the HRS Knowledgebase or contact OHR-Benefits for assistance.” Going Forward The template letter includes language to remind you to determine WRS eligibility before submitting an offer letter for L&S Review. The templates are available in the L&S Administrative Gateway at https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/page.php?id=23210 (or, go to the L&S Administrative Gateway at https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/ and search for “templates.” https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/page.php?id=23210https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/ We’d also like to take the opportunity to remind you that it’s the department’s responsibility to determine eligibility (though help is available from OHR-Benefits!). Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

18 Going forward - (cont.) Please include the following statement for fixed- term terminal (& some renewable) appointments that do not qualify for WRS under the new eligibility criteria: “If you were employed by a WRS participating employer (even if you were not in the WRS) prior to July 1, 2011, please complete and return the Affidavit of Employment with a Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Participating Employer Prior to July 1, 2011 form to your Departmental benefits coordinator immediately as this may impact your benefits.” Service with another WRS eligible institution may count towards eligibility requirements (even if the prospective employee was not in a WRS eligible title). In most cases, this form is how the University would get that information. For that reason, please include this statement in appointment letters. L&S has also put language into the letters to inform employees that if they were previously in a WRS participating position, that work could put them into WRS. One additional exception that this will help catch is if an employee was working in anywhere in the UW System within the last 12 months, and was covered by WRS. In that case, they are eligible immediately, even if they are only working a small percentage such as 10%.

19 Step 1 The employee must be expected to work for: -- at least one calendar year (A basis) OR -- one academic year with the expectation* that the employee will return the following academic year (C basis); *L&S Definition of expectation: STS (Short Term Staffing) appointments are generally approved well in advance but are contingent on sufficient enrollment and availability of faculty. Therefore, L&S defines “expectation” as the time these contingencies have been satisfied. This typically happens at the beginning of the Fall or Spring semester. Steps to help you determine WRS eligibility For example, if you initially have an employee in an appointment for the fall and spring semester–- the expectation for the following fall doesn’t start until the first day of that appointment. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

20 Step 2 If the employee was hired on or after July 1, 2011 and has never worked for a WRS-covered employer, the employee must be expected to work the following number of hours per year: Unclassified 12 month employees: 880 hours per year (42% FTE/appt. %) Unclassified 9 month employees: 880 hours per year (56% FTE/appt. %) Or……… Steps continued..... The percentages (42% and 56%) are good numbers to remember, and to note they are about twice as high as under the old rules. If an employee doesn’t fit under this rule, they will fit under the rule on the next slide. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

21 If the employee was hired either before July 1, 2011, or hired on or after July 1, 2011 but worked for a WRS-participating employer prior to July 1, 2011 (did not need to be covered by the WRS), the employee must be expected to work the following number of hours per year: –Classified employees: 600 hours per year (29% FTE/appointment %) –Unclassified 12 month employees: 440 hours per year (21% FTE/appointment %) –Unclassified 9 month employees: 440 hours per year (28% FTE/appointment %) Here is an example of how a previous position can affect WRS eligibility: A student hourly worked 10 years ago on a UW campus, and now is going to work one semester. Because the individual worked for a WRS employer (even though the position wasn’t WRS eligible), they are placed into this rule category. This is a new change since last year. This is why L&S included the affidavit language in the appointment letter– you won’t always have access to the employee’s full employment history. It protects both the employee and the department to ensure we know about previous employment at WRS eligible employers. If an individual was working at a WRS institution in a non-eligible job title, we would only know this through employee self-disclosure on this form.

22 Steps Continued…… Step 3- Calculate WRS eligibility Step 4- Contact OHR-Benefits for confirmation if you’re unsure. Step 5- If WRS eligible, discuss implications with prospective employee prior to sending offer letter to HR for review. More detailed information is available – KB https://kb.wisc.edu/hrs/page.php?id=21642 As a review, the following important factors affect eligibility : 1.) FTE percentage 2.) Duration of appointment and expectation 3.) Position Title Sometimes, you can’t calculate eligibility easily. Or, you’re not sure how a brief increased appointment, for example, affects the calculation. If you have any questions at all, contact OHR, and staff will make a final determination for you. If you find out that a reappointment will make an employee eligible for WRS, discuss the financial implications with the employee before they accept and start the position. The OHR KB document provides additional and detailed information about calculating WRS eligibility. OHR staff are happy to help you with questions as well! Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

23 Important opportunity This is an opportunity for each department to review their upcoming fall appointments and address any possible issues before these assignments actually begin. Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key

24 WRS Eligibility Determination Job Code FTE Duration [Continuity, KB 21642, https://kb.wisc.edu/hrs/page.php?id=21642] OHR has a KB document titled “Benefits Eligibility and HRS” that provides detailed information about determining WRS eligibility. This is an excerpt of the Continuity Table on that page. 02A and 02B have been added to the table. On their own, these types do not qualify for WRS. However as we have reviewed, there are exceptions, for example where a person had prior state service. ValueAppointment Description and Duration Expected Job End Date WRS Eligible Graduate/Short- Term Benefits Eligibile 02A Fixed Terminal; - If academic year (C-basis) appointment: < 1 semester - If annual (A or H-basis) appointment: < 6 months RequiredNo 02B Fixed Terminal; If academic year (C-basis) appointment: ≥ 1 semester but ≤ academic year (w/ no expectation of renewal) If annual (A or H-basis) appointment: ≥ 6 months but < 12 months (w/ no expectation of renewal) RequiredNoYes 02C Fixed Terminal; If academic year (C-basis) appointment: ≥ academic year w/ expectation of renewal the following semester**; If annual (A or H-basis) appointment: ≥ 12 months** Required Yes – provided WRS eligibility met Only if WRS eligibility not met

25 Have additional questions? WRS Eligibility: OHR, L&S Administrative Gateway: Contains appointment templates, Short-Term Staffing information and more…. https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/ https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/ General L&S Short Term Staffing (STS) questions: James Hovland, L&S HR Graduate Appointments: Brian Bubenzer, Asst Dean for Graduate Education, L&S Suggestions for future L&S Admin trainings: Nancy Westphal-Johnson, Associate Dean, L&S Exit: Esc Key Previous Slide: Backspace Key


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