Overview

Overview

Welcome to the University of Wisconsin System! Employee benefits make up an important part of your total compensation package. To make the most of your benefits you need to know what’s available to you and when you can enroll. You must enroll in most benefits within the first 30 days of employment. If you do not enroll in benefits when first eligible, you have limited chances to enroll in the future.

Review the tabs above for more information:

  • Benefit Eligibility— Learn more about who is eligible for benefits at the University of Wisconsin.
  • Enrollment Deadlines— Overview of enrollment deadlines for benefit plans based on employment category.
  • Essential Forms— Payroll forms commonly required of new employees working for the University of Wisconsin. Please complete these forms and turn in to your benefits office.
  • Statements & Payroll Schedule— Locate your earnings statements, payroll schedule and see which legal holidays are paid at the University of Wisconsin.

What’s in My Benefits Package?

Benefits vary according to your appointment type. Refer to your appointment letter to confirm your appointment type. You can also read about appointment types on the Employee Categories page.

For detailed information about benefits available to you, see the benefit summary and orientation that applies to you.

Benefits Enrollment Walkthrough

Use the Benefits Enrollment Walkthrough tool to determine your plan options and to estimate your premiums.

NOTE: The walkthrough will produce a worksheet summarizing your estimates but will not enroll you in a benefit plan.

Start the walkthrough

Benefit Eligibility

Benefit Eligibility

There are two benefit packages available depending on whether or not you are covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).


Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Benefit Package

University Staff Employees

University Staff employees must be covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in order to be eligible for benefits.

University Staff employees are eligible for insurance benefits if:

  • You first became a WRS participating employee on or after July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 2/3 of full-time for at least one year - 2/3 of full-time is equal to 1,200 hours worked per year (58% appointment); or
  • You first became a WRS participating employee prior to July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 1/3 of full-time for at least one year - 1/3 of full-time is equal to 600 hours worked per year (29% appointment).
Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited Appointees

Faculty, Academic Staff and Limited appointees are eligible for insurance benefits if:

  • You first became a WRS participating employee on or after July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 2/3 of full-time for at least one year - 2/3 of full time is equal to 880 hours worked per year (42% appointment for twelve-month employees and 56% appointment for nine-month employee); or
  • You first became a WRS participating employee prior to July 1, 2011 and you are expected to work at least 1/3 of full-time for at least one year - 1/3 of full time is equal to 440 hours worked per year (21% appointment for twelve-month employees and 28% appointment for nine-month employee).
Executive Staff

Executive Staff consists of the UW President, UW System Vice President(s), Institution Chancellor and Institution Provost(s).

If you do not qualify for the Wisconsin Retirement System, you may be eligible for benefits under the Graduate Assistant Benefit Package.


Graduate Assistant Benefit Package

Short-Term Academic Staff

If not covered under the WRS, you are eligible for insurance benefits if expected to work:

  • At least 21% for at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • At least 28% for at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee.
Student Assistants

Must be in one of the following titles: Research Assistant, Fellow, Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Scholar, Trainee, Teaching Assistant, Project Assistant or Program Assistant, and be expected to work at least 33% time:

  • For at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • For at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee.
Employees-in-Training

Must be in one of the following titles: Grad Intern/Trainee, Postdoc Fellow, Postdoc Trainee, Postgrad Trainee (1-7), Intern (non-physician), Research Intern or Research Associate, and be expected to work at least 33% time:

  • For at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • For at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee.

Enrollment Deadlines

Enrollment Deadlines

Benefit enrollment deadlines are extremely important when you are a new employee. Many benefits only offer a 30-day enrollment opportunity. Please choose your employment category below to see your enrollment deadlines.

These enrollment deadlines assume you are a benefits-eligible employee with no prior service under the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS). These charts do not guarantee enrollment eligibility. If you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, you may have limited opportunities to enroll in the future*. See the individual benefit plan pages for detailed enrollment information. Contact your benefits office with any questions about your benefits or enrollment period.

Note: If you have prior WRS service, you typically have 30 days to enroll in benefits.

*You may have other opportunities to enroll in some benefit plans during the course of your employment due to a family change, employment change or loss of other comparable coverage.


Last updated: 12/14/15

Essential Forms

Essential Forms for New Employees

Below are forms commonly required of new employees working for the University of Wisconsin. Please contact your institution’s benefits office if you have questions.

State/Federal Notices Regarding Health Insurance

  • COBRA: Continuation of Coverage Provisions for the Group Health Insurance Program
    • This notice is provided to meet federally required notification for continuing your health insurance in the event that you or a covered dependent lose eligibility for coverage. Both you and your spouse should take the time to read this information carefully.
  • Notice of the New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage
    • This notice is provided to meet federally required notification of health insurance coverage offered through the Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Other State and Federal Notices

Statements & Pay Schedules

Earnings, Tax, Leave, and Benefit Statements

All employees have access to their earnings, tax, leave, and benefits statements through MyUW or MyUW-System portal. Your earnings statement is available in the Payroll Information box in the portal on or shortly before your pay date, and will remain on the portal for 24 months.

Pay Schedules

Employees are paid on different payroll schedules based on their employee type.

  • Biweekly Payroll Schedule – All University Staff and student hourly employees are paid every other Thursday for the prior two week period.
  • Monthly Payroll Schedule – All other employees are paid on the first of the month for the previous month. If the 1st of month is on a weekend then employees are paid the previous Friday, except June earnings paid on June 30 and December earnings paid on first working day in January.

See the Employee Payroll Schedule for pay period dates and payment dates.

Legal Holidays

The University of Wisconsin grants nine days of paid legal holidays per year to eligible employees. Please see the Legal Holidays page for detailed information.